Cheap Dates

The Moveable Feast Story and photos by Meredith Pakier   You’re looking forward to that date, but your budget tells you to keep it under 16 bucks. Does that have to mean dining on a cold bench next to a food truck? Here are six comfy eateries that check all my boxes (before tax and…

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The Moveable Feast: A Low-to-No-ABV Night on the Town

Story & Photo by Meredith Pakier   On beyond seltzer and lime! Bars and restaurants all over are pouring creativity into their low-to-no-alcohol beverage programs to satisfy a growing crowd of abstainer palates. Here’s a short list of places where I’ve gone for lifted spirits without the spirits. Order the Lambruscno at Tupper & Reed…

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The Moveable Feast

More than Martinis in Martinez Story & Photos by Meredith Pakier Roam around the Contra Costa County seat of Martinez and you’ll find a well-preserved historic downtown, train depot, and marina; the home (now museum) of naturalist John Muir; and ample rumors that the martini was born here. Dig a little deeper, and the town’s…

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Fermented Finds

Story and photos by Meredith Pakier   Part art, part alchemy, and pure patience, food fermentation is an ancient process that humans have relied on and reveled in throughout the ages. Here are some notable East Bay spots where food artisans keep the microbial process percolating. Look for unique applications of fermented foods throughout the…

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LAZY SUSAN SUNDAYS: Favorite East Bay Dim Sum Spots

By Meredith Pakier and Bridge Ho | Photos by Meredith Pakier     This season, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, I teamed up with my friend Bridge Ho, who grew up in San Francisco and went out for dim sum nearly every weekend with their family. It wasn’t just for the food. These outings…

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Sink Your Teeth into Temescal

Big Flavors in the Little Neighborhood Story and Photos by Meredith Pakier     North Oakland’s Temescal district has no shortage of notable restaurants and bars. It’s also where I’ve been lucky enough to live for the past six years, curating a list of reliable favorites. When I want to stay close to home, here…

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Alameda Alimentation

Island-Side Food Finds Story and photos by Meredith Pakier   Through the past summer, I found myself whizzing through the Webster Street Tube on many occasions to visit a recently relocated friend. Always hungry on arrival, I had plenty of chances to explore some island-side eats. Here are some memorable meals and bites. The Tuesday…

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Food with a View

Good grub on the water’s edge Story and photos by Meredith Pakier     Do you think (as I do) that food tastes better when you’re gazing out over the water? Here’s my list of East Bay spots with waterfront views where you can test out this theory:     For a laid-back, New England–style…

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Ravenous in Richmond

A Sweet and Savory Outing Story and photos by Meredith Pakier     If you live in Richmond, you’re already savvy to the great array of local eateries. But yes, even someone smugly content with their endless options in Oakland can find plenty to savor along your streets and boulevards. Barely scratching the surface, I…

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Tip-Top Popups

Story and photos by Meredith Pakier     The East Bay is exploding with popups whose followers appreciate the high levels of craft and creativity. As the nature of popups is inherently nomadic, locations, menus, and ordering systems change often and quickly, so I’ve found that the best way to keep tabs is to follow…

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The Great Outdoors

Where to Eat and Drink Alfresco Story and photos by Meredith Pakier It’s hard to imagine a time when parklets and bistro table–dotted sidewalks were not an integral part of East Bay street life. Here are some outdoor spots I hope will stay as restaurants return to full capacity. In September 2020, a devastating fire…

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Food I Want to Remember

from a year I’d like to forget Story and photos by Meredith Pakier Opening and sustaining a restaurant or food business is a monumental undertaking in the best of times. During 2020, as an unmitigated global pandemic devastated millions of businesses and livelihoods, an indifferent government largely left the restaurant industry to fend for itself.…

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Takeout for the cause

Resistance Is a Loaf of Babka Story and photos by Meredith Pakier     It’s not news that, this year, the restaurant and hospitality industries have been caught in the crosshairs of a public health crisis, forced to make difficult decisions—to restructure, lay-off staff, or close completely. In the midst of this mounting uncertainty, our…

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East Bay Bakeries

6 East Bay Bakeries that Rise to the Top Story and photos by Meredith Pakier     Chopping, sautéeing, and roasting are easy, but when it comes to baking pastries, breads, and cakes, I’m happy to leave it to the professionals. That leaves more time to roam the East Bay discovering the sweets. Here’s a…

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8 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Cocktail Season

Some of us can be overwhelmed with the seemingly endless flow of booze that accompanies the holiday season. But remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Here are some of Oakland’s best low- (and not-so-low) ABV cocktails to slow down with. Try a naturally low-octane highball like the Ramen Shop’s smoky Shop Highball made with…

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