Oakland Restaurant Week: Eat Well (And Do Some Good)

While there's no shortage of good eats available throughout the year, Oakland Restaurant Week always draws crowds of hungry bargain-hunters.

The long-awaited promotion kicks off today and lasts until Sunday, January 29. This year, participating restaurants will offer prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at $20, $30, $40, or $50.

Calavera is one of more than 90 restaurants taking part in ORW. | Photo: Walter Thompson/Hoodline

Frances Wong, Senior PR Manager for Visit Oakland, told us that Oakland Restaurant Week has grown exponentially since its launch seven years ago. The city's growing rep as a "hot culinary destination on the west coast" can be attributed to its unique selection of independent, non-touristy eateries, she said.

This year, new participating restaurants include Core KitchenClove & Hoof, Dragon Gate and Sobo Ramen, while NidoBourbon & Beef and Home of Chicken & Waffles are some returning favorites. 

With so many places to choose from, you might have some trouble narrowing down your options: these restaurants will donate a portion of their ORW proceeds to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which provides food for 240 nonprofit agencies. Complete restaurant lists, menus, and reservations are also available on www.oaklandrestaurantweek.org

Photo: Lungomare/Facebook

Lungomare 

Located at Jack London Square, Lungomare (1 Broadway) specializes in northern coastal Italian dishes, which are interpreted by Chef Craig DiFonzo. Its $30 prix-fixe special includes an endless glass of wine, a choice of one antipasti, one secondi and one dessert. Full menu here

Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar 

Housed inside The Hive, Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar (2337 Broadway) serves creative "Mexican region-inspired cuisine," modern cocktails and one of the country’s largest selections of tequila and mezcal.

During ORW, it will offer a $30 dinner menu with options like enchiladas de camaron, pollo con mole poblano, and a variety of tacos. See full menu here. 

Photo: Chop Bar/Facebook

Chop Bar 

In West African parlance, "chop bar" refers to a roadside bar or restaurant that acts as a community gathering spot. Drawing inspiration from this concept, this Jack London Square fixture (247 4th St., #111) serves affordable brunch, lunch and dinner options inside a friendly atmosphere.

For ORW, Chop Bar is serving a $30, three-course dinner; choose between pork confit, veggie pasta or meatloaf for your main entree. See full menu here. 

Farley's East 

Drop by for an affordable lunch at Farley’s East (33 Grand Ave.), a community coffeehouse in Uptown that serves sandwiches, baked goods, healthy salads and homemade soups. For ORW, you can grab a panini, a cup of soup and a beer/glass of wine — all for $20.

Tamarindo Antojeria

In 2005, restauranteur Gloria Dominguez opened Tamarindo Antojeria (468 8th St.) with her son, Alfonso. The Old Oakland establishment, which specializes in creative cocktails and traditional Mexican cuisine, is offering a three-course meal for restaurant week that includes one antojito, one plato fuerte, one dessert and a house cocktail, beer or wine. 

Photo: Urbano Latino/Facebook

Urbano Latino

In the heart of the Temescal District, Urbano Latino (4307 Telegraph Ave.) uses locally-sourced ingredients to craft a Latin-inspired menu that features small plates and craft cocktails.

This year, its $30 prix-fixe dinner special features a salad, an appetizer and a main course (your choice of a burrito, enchiladas or mole chicken). See full menu here.

What are you having for Oakland Restaurant Week? Share with us in the comments. 

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Oakland restaurant week eat well and do some good