50s-inspired diner opens in downtown Oakland with avocado poppers and housemade ice cream in tow

Photo: Al M./Hoodline
By Matt Charnock - Published on October 07, 2020.

Keven Wilson — who’s worked in fine dining across the Bay Area for well over 20 years — and his wife, Justyna, had hoped they would open their upscale-casual concept, Daughter's Diner, in downtown Oakland earlier this year. But then the pandemic promptly derailed those plans.

Thankfully, though, the self-described hub for “high quality, accessible food” recently opened its doors at the former El Burrito Gordo space on 326 23rd Street. According to Berkeleyside, the address, too, was once a Chinese restaurant called New Lakeside Café.

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It’s been a journey everyone, over a year long journey to make this life long dream come true. Today Daughter’s Diner is opening its doors to serve our local community with high quality, accessible food. Even though we would have never imagined we would be opening in the midst of global pandemic, political insanity and restaurant crisis, we are pushing through, excited, humble, hopeful. We are a family of three, opening a family place, fulfilling a family dream, and this family does not give up easily. We are excited to make an impact on our local community by offering remarkable dining experience at affordable prices for all. Everyone is welcomed to partake in this journey with us and we’re thankful to have you. 🙏❤️ Chef @kevenwilsn ———————- #eatlocal #knowyourfarmer #bayarea #bayareaeats #oaklandeats #bayarearestaurants #oaklandrestaurants #sfeater #keepitoakland #supportlocal #oakland #eatersf #sfbayarea #bayareaeats #supportsmallbusinesses #supportsmallbusiness #chefsofinstagram #starchefs #cheflife #local #sfeater #infatuationsf #chefsoninstagram #chefslife #starchefs #eastbayeats

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Open Wednesday through Sunday only,  for now, the Wilsons' menu harkens back to the no-frills diner dining of the 50s. The restaurant — which features emerald-green upholstery that’s contrasted by off-white tables and countertops — evokes the luncheonette atmosphere synonymous with that era. And because we’re now in the age of social distancing and al fresco dining, they’ve also constructed a makeshift parklet in front as well.

Daughter's Diner is so-named for the couple's three-year-old daughter, and was slated to open earlier in the year and sell more high-brow foodie fare like gougére breakfast sandwiches. But the pandemic changed everything — and, in fact, actually shifted the concept to lean more toward its original diner-inspired roots. 

Photo: Al M./Hoodline

The food selection, however, is by no means rote or unoriginal. (Think approachable decadence that can be enjoyed amid a global health crisis for not too much cash.)

A few fresh additions to the diner’s menu includes things like house-made candy cap mushroom ice cream (scooped inside cones that are also made in house), warm duck potato salads, potato tots and avocado poppers, and mountainous burgers and deli sandwiches. In addition to a well-fleshed kid’s menu, Daughter’s Diner is also serving classic cheesecakes, pies, and floats. 

And better yet: not a single offering on their menu is more than $16. In fact, most of their well-portioned entrees sit below $11.

Daughter’s Diner’s website is also live now, and you can sift through their most recent menu here. To keep up with their current offerings — which depends on the day — and restaurant updates, visit their Facebook and Instagram handles.

Daughter’s Diner is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 326 23rd in Uptown; visit daughtersdiner.com for more details.
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