October 27, 2023

Oakland's Best Brunch Spots: A Brunch Odyssey You Can't Miss

Explore Oakland's vibrant brunch scene with our comprehensive guide. From cozy cafes to trendy bistros, discover the city's top brunch spots serving diverse and delicious meals. Your ultimate brunch adventure starts here!

Richard Gargan
Richard Gargan
Reviewed from:
Oakland's Best Brunch Spots: A Brunch Odyssey You Can't Miss
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If you're in Oakland, you're in for a treat! This vibrant Californian city is a veritable brunch paradise, boasting a culinary scene that's as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. From cozy corner cafés serving farm-fresh egg dishes to trendy downtown bistros with global fusion brunch menus, Oakland's brunch offerings are simply unmatched.

Sequoia Diner

3719 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland

(510) 722-1764

Reviewed by:

Jeremiah Ferguson

Sequoia Diner is hands down the best breakfast spot in Oakland. I'm obsessed with their plant-based breakfast - their combination of mushrooms, braised greens, spinach, hash, and avocados is remarkable. The biscuits are top-notch and the Shakshouka is outstanding. Not to mention their orange juice and turmeric tonic, which is strong and refreshing. Despite a little wait for a table, the staff was polite and prompt, and my food came out in no time. The beef hash I had was divine. The biscuits were delicious and the mocha was freshly brewed. The place is cozy but has a great light and airy vibe. I visited again for brunch on a Sunday around 1pm, and trust me, the 40-minute wait was worth it. The Chilaquiles verde with house-made chorizo and a side of potatoes we shared were packed with flavor. While the lavender latte was sweeter than I like, it was enjoyable. Our server was fast, friendly, and attentive. They have also recently acquired a liquor license and have a pretty impressive cocktail list. Every time I visit Oakland, Sequoia Diner is always on my must-visit list. My advice is to run, not walk, to this incredible place.

Koffee Pot

2532 Telegraph Ave, Oakland

(510) 452-2755

Reviewed by:

Shena Marten

I absolutely adore Koffee Pot for brunch and breakfast! Trust me, it is delightful every time. The waffles are buttery, fluffy and deliciously crispy, while the bulgogi, rice, and eggs are so packed with flavors. The portions are generous too! This little gem of a neighborhood restaurant is absolutely fantastic. Despite its small size, with only two tables, the ambiance is very cozy. The owner is incredibly accommodating, taking special care of my food allergies and making sure my meal was absolutely allergen-free. The vegetable cheese omelette is substantial and so fresh - real eggs, no fakes here! The sourdough bread had a wonderful taste. And the Vietnamese coffee? Divine! You can totally take your food to go if you prefer eating elsewhere. Staying in a nearby hotel? This is your perfect breakfast spot! Their veggie eggs benedict are simply delightful. And don't neglect that iced Vietnamese coffee or a traditional cup of joe. Everything tastes amazing at Koffee Pot. The bulgogi omelette and French toast are simply out of this world, with a bold and distinct flavor, loaded with the perfect amount of spices. The restaurant isn't large and might not be the best for a large group or a formal dining experience, but if you're alone or with a friend and looking to grab a hearty breakfast, this is the place. The service is top-notch, with kind and attentive staff. The food arrives quickly and is always fresh. I wholeheartedly recommend Koffee Pot, but remember it's more for a casual, delicious dining experience rather than a formal one.

Almond and Oak

3311 Grand Ave, Oakland

(510) 250-9550

Reviewed by:

Melanie Mo

I was immediately taken by the beautiful interior design of Almond and Oak, the combination of brick, wood, and lighting, and the great view through the open windows. The ambiance was truly top-notch and the food was equally impressive. Standouts were the pork chop main and the crab cakes, and the freshly squeezed orange juice shouldn't be missed. I'll admit, parking can be a bit of an issue, but it's a minor inconvenience for the quality of food and service. I initially visited for brunch, but after experiencing their dinner menu (the salmon was amazing), I know I'll be back. While I haven't been back in Oakland for long, this restaurant is definitely a highlight. I'm holding back on that fifth star for now, but I have a feeling I'll be giving it soon. Highly recommend Almond and Oak for groups of 2-4.

Lakeshore Cafe

3257 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland

(510) 832-4374

Reviewed by:

Michael Lhermite

I make sure to visit Lakeshore Cafe every time I'm in the Bay area. Their mimosas are always fantastic and impressively, they even kept them available for takeout during the Covid-19 crisis. The breakfast food is consistently good and the service is always top-notch. This place really captures the local, town ambiance. As a Texan, I was pleasantly surprised that this was the best meal I had during my entire stay on the West Coast. The friendly staff, fresh and hot food left a lasting impression, making me wish I had discovered this place earlier. The affordability of the menu and the convenience of good timing for parking adds to the overall appeal of the place. My recent brunch experience was particularly enjoyable; I savored every bite of the huevos rancheros and French toast. The breakfast potatoes were an excellent accompaniment too. Their outdoor space is charming, although it appears the plants are still recovering from the winter season. Regardless, I'll absolutely be back to Lakeshore Cafe on my next visit.

Lois The Pie Queen

851 60th St, Oakland

(510) 658-5616

Reviewed by:

Gena Landry

My brunch experience at "Louis the Pie Queen" in Oakland was truly memorable. I devoured a heavenly breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried chicken, and hash browns while my husband enjoyed pork chops, scrambled eggs with cheese, and a pecan waffle. The generous portion sizes left us satisfied and ready for the day ahead. There was ample street parking available and the restaurant is wheelchair accessible, making it convenient for all diners. What made our experience even more special was how the owner, Corey, personally checked on us. It felt like dining in a family home rather than a restaurant. This place has been family-owned for 77 years and it shows in the quality of food and service. I also loved the fact that they serve breakfast all day. The next time you're in Oakland and craving a delicious, hearty breakfast, I highly recommend Louis the Pie Queen. I'm already excited about my next visit and trying other dishes on their menu. Plus, who can forget about their famous pecan pie? You simply can't go wrong with this breakfast gem in the heart of Oakland.


3407 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland

(510) 251-0329

Reviewed by:

Marcus Alberson-Bendele

My visit to Shakewell for brunch was a delightful experience. The warm and inviting atmosphere paired with the friendly staff immediately made me feel at home. Every dish I tried was not only beautifully presented but also bursting with flavor. I recommend trying out their paella, a highlight in their diverse Spanish/Mediterranean fusion menu. Despite having a large group, they were able to accommodate us in their outdoor seating and the food was served quickly. However, I have to note that the portion sizes seemed a tad small considering the price, but that didn't take away from the overall deliciousness of the meals. My only real disappointment was with the fried chicken sandwich and the berry zero-proof drink. The sandwich was forgettable due to its size and the drink lacked the berry flavor I was expecting. But to give them their due, all the other dishes were excellent. The shakshuka and vegan bowl, in particular, were absolutely tasty, with better serving sizes. And I must say, their chicken and churros looked so good I regretted not ordering them. The service and vibe inside Shakewell were very enjoyable. We were able to get seated right away without a reservation on a Saturday at 1 pm. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I would definitely recommend it.

Montclair Egg Shop

6126 Medau Pl, Oakland

(510) 339-9554

Reviewed by:

Eleida Yasar

I had a wonderful experience at the Montclair Egg Shop for brunch. The service was excellent, with a lovely waitress who was attentive to our needs. I will say, the chilaquiles were not to my liking - a tad soggy and lacking in flavor. But the staff was incredibly friendly and made excellent menu suggestions. The food arrived promptly and was hot, which is always a plus. Getting drink refills was a bit of a challenge after our food arrived, but once we managed to catch another server's attention, they were brought quickly. Upon arrival, we were quickly seated and the ambiance was delightful. The food surpassed my expectations. I savored a spinach mushroom omelet with feta cheese which was packed with flavor. The variety of mimosas and quality of coffee just added to the experience. The staff was appreciative as we left, thanking us for our visit. I can't wait to return. Our breakfast adventure this morning was a real treat. The atmosphere inside was lively and full of character. It may be a bit noisy for some, but I found it energizing. Our server, Maria, was an absolute joy. She was kind, helpful, and offered some valuable tips for our next visit. The food was scrumptious, leaving us both full and delighted. I can confidently say, we'll definitely be back. A big thank you to Maria for making our visit so enjoyable!

Lynn & Lu's Escapade Cafe

3353 Grand Ave, Oakland

(510) 835-5705

Reviewed by:

Sapo Miller

I highly recommend Lynn & Lu's Escapade Cafe for brunch in Oakland. The cozy, intimate setting offers both indoor seating and an al fresco patio dining option. One thing I would note, the space is somewhat limited, so it might not be the best choice for a large group or for those with mobility issues. The menu is full of delicious brunch dishes. I opted for the meatlovers Benedict, which was truly enjoyable despite having to wait for it. A friend ordered the salmon lox salad topped with poached eggs - not only did it look incredible, she confirmed it tasted just as good. One highlight of the place was their fresh squeezed OJ, a delightful dose of vitamim C. I also decided to try their chicken and waffles. The chicken fillet was perfectly fried and nicely portioned, pairing well with the classic waffle, which to my delight, was not the typically heavy Belgian variety. My only minor complaint was that the waffle was a bit cold by the time it arrived. Regardless, I was really pleased with my meal, especially with the option of blueberry sauce or maple syrup to drizzle over my chicken and waffles. The staff was friendly and the service was excellent. We enjoyed our breakfast and conversation for hours until closing time. Their back patio is a charming, private spot with a peaceful atmosphere, ideal for catching up with friends over a delectable meal. In all, a memorable brunch experience at Lynn & Lu's Escapade Cafe.

Mama's Royal Cafe

4012 Broadway, Oakland

(510) 547-7600

Reviewed by:

Naketa Williams

As a visiting vegan from Los Angeles, I found Mama's Royal Café in Oakland to be a delightful and satisfying diner experience. The atmosphere was cozy and filled with the warmth of home, a perfect representation of my cherished diner memories. The staff was exceptionally considerate and knowledgeable about their menu which was a pleasant surprise. I ordered the tofu scramble with potatoes and sourdough bread. The tofu was flavorful and perhaps the best I've tried. Their homemade salsa was a delightful addition that I liberally added to my meal. The portions were extremely generous and left me full, content, and a bit sleepy. They also served delicious coffee, which was a treat. A highlight of the visit was their commitment to fresh ingredients and accommodating dietary needs. When I visited with a friend after helping him move a piano, we indulged in a variety of dishes. The lemon curd pancakes were excellent, and they even offer fantastic gluten-free toast. In conclusion, Mama's Royal Café is a must-visit spot in Oakland that guarantees satisfaction with its homey feels, generous portions, and a diverse menu catering to all dietary needs and preferences. It is a great breakfast place I have been frequenting for decades, and I can't wait to return. Definitely a five-star experience!

Chop Bar

190 4th St, Oakland

(510) 834-2467

Reviewed by:

Jean Vereen

I recently had a wonderful brunch at Chop Bar in Oakland. My family and I indulged in wings, chips and guacamole as starters, all of which were delicious. I opted for the chop burger with cheddar and meatloaf as my main, while my kids thoroughly enjoyed their chicken and fries and the mac & cheese. I quenched my thirst with the bad bunny juice, which was incredibly refreshing. The service was top-notch with our food arriving hot and fresh. There was a small fee added to our bill unexpectedly, which I wasn't overly pleased with, but it wasn't a deal breaker. We visited on a drizzly Saturday afternoon and were so grateful that Chop Bar allowed us to bring our dog and provided outdoor seating. We sampled their take on poutine and a beet salad amongst others, all of which were fresh and served promptly. I should note the patio seating is along a rather busy street, which could be a concern for families with very young children. The P.E.I. Mussels, guacamole (careful if you're not a fan of spice), and fries are also solid choices and I wish there were more vegetarian options. If you enjoy a good cocktail, do yourself a favor and order one of their fancy ones. Overall, we had a great time and I'll definitely be returning to try out more of their menu.

Crepevine Restaurants

5600 College Ave, Oakland

(510) 658-2026

Reviewed by:

Manuel Zacarias

My recent brunch experience at Crepevine Restaurants in Oakland was a delight. I ordered the Palermo with added chicken and while there was a minor oversight with the chicken in the original order, it was quickly rectified when I ordered extra. The flavors were fantastic, although the grill could have been cleaner as it interfered with the taste. However, the star of the meal was the pasta. It had a lovely appearance and tasted great, making it the best part of the meal. Although my gluten-free crepe had an unusual cake-like texture, the quality of the produce used for the cold potatoes and salsa was impressive. The savory crepe could have been warmer, but it wasn't a dealbreaker. There was a minor issue with flies, but I'm still on the hunt for the perfect crepes in Oakland/Berkeley. I appreciated the vast selection on their menu and the convenience of ordering through DoorDash. The express delivery option was a bonus. I found that Crepevine offers good portions for their prices, with my total coming up to $70. Particularly, the French fries and ceasar salad were just okay, and the El Dorado burger needed a little more time on the grill. The service was commendable. After ordering, they provide a number and often, the wait staff will assist in finding a suitable table for your group. This was particularly helpful for me as I was with four other people. As for the seating, I'd recommend the small outside patio or indoor seating as the outdoor street seating can get a bit noisy with the traffic. Despite a few minor hiccups, I had an enjoyable meal and I would definitely return to Crepevine Restaurant in the future.


1611 2nd Ave, Oakland

(510) 663-7678

Reviewed by:

Jalen Gage

I can't stop talking about the fries at Portal! They're hands down the best in Oakland. Their brunch is pretty popular, too, but honestly, I prefer coming on a quieter afternoon, getting a seat on the patio, and just enjoying a big basket of those delicious fries with a good beer. Not to say the brunch isn't good - it's just that the place can get busy, and in my opinion, the food, though good, doesn't quite live up to the hype. However, Portal's service is consistently top-notch, always a solid 10/10. They frequently rotate their tap menu, featuring a wide range of local and domestic brews, as well as gluten-free options and even kombucha. The ambience of their patio is really relaxing, especially if you're lucky enough to grab a seat overlooking the lake. The happy hour, which runs from 3-5pm, is a bit early, but they do have a great deal for tacos on Tuesdays. The food quality is excellent, staff are pleasant and welcoming, and the atmosphere is cozy and comfortable. It's a fantastic place to hang out with friends and family, plus it's kid-friendly. My wife, friends, and I decided to try Portal on our first visit to the city. From the moment we walked in, we had an outstanding experience. The warm, friendly welcome we received made us feel like we were part of the family. The cleanliness of the place was impressive - tables, chairs, plates, and silverware were all spotless. The food - Bison Burger, Stromboli, Sliders, salad, local craft drinks, and those unforgettable Garlic Fries - was cooked to perfection and we had no complaints whatsoever. The personal touches in the menu added an element of fun to the dining experience. I'm definitely keeping Portal on my radar for future visits. Overall, great food, great service, and great atmosphere. Eating out on the back porch made for a truly enjoyable meal. I can't recommend this place enough!

Diggery Inn

4212 Park Blvd, Oakland

(510) 531-0224

Reviewed by:

Jebakiruba Cruz

The Diggery Inn is a gem of a breakfast and lunch spot in the Glenview neighborhood. The owners are incredibly warm and make a point to know you by name, creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. My mobile order experience was disappointing, as there was confusion and delay when I went to pick up my meal. I was also disappointed by the food; my home fries were partly cold, biscuits were lukewarm, and the "grilled chicken salad" had store-bought lunch meat. Moreover, my omelette was more of a scramble, falling short of my expectations. Despite paying a premium and also a gratuity, the service and food quality did not meet the mark. However, the place has potential and could be a local favorite if they elevate their service. Located on the corner of Park and Glenfield, it's an accessible spot with ample parking. On the bright side, my experience on a weekday morning was trouble-free with quick and friendly service, and no wait time. The food was fresh and tasty, and the coffee was excellent. They serve delicious omelettes and their home fries are a standout. The bathroom, albeit small, was clean. I'm looking forward to trying other dishes on their menu. Despite the setbacks, I would recommend the Diggery Inn and hope they can improve on the areas of concern.

Oakland Grill

301 Franklin St, Oakland

(510) 835-1176

Reviewed by:

Juan Jose Contreras

Oakland Grill serves up an impressive variety of breakfast options, but I particularly recommend the breakfast burrito which is worth every penny. The waitstaff, Sal in particular, are fantastic - friendly, attentive and with a good sense of humor. The French toast combo with Mimosas is a must-try, and they have two delicious flavors, strawberry and orange. Located conveniently near the USS Potomac and Visitors Center, the place has a laid-back and comfortable ambience that makes dining there a pleasure. The food is always hot and tasty, with the Crac Omelette and the Crab Cake Benedict being some of my favorites. It can get busy on Saturday mornings, but the service is always quick and pleasant. While I still haven't found my go-to breakfast spot, I would gladly come back to Oakland Grill for another round.


229 Broadway, Oakland

(510) 444-2976

Reviewed by:

Karen Patel

Despite the small parking lot, my visit to Buttercup for brunch in Oakland didn't disappoint. I arrived with a large group of seven and was pleasantly surprised to find ourselves seated in less than 10 minutes. Once inside, I was greeted by a brightly lit, cheerful atmosphere, complete with a fully-stocked bar and a football game playing for entertainment. In terms of food, I opted for the chorizo Benedict. While the Hollandaise sauce could have used a bit more kick, the dish was generally satisfactory. Their michelada, on the other hand, was quite enjoyable. The server did seem a bit spread thin, as they only checked on us once and forgot to refill coffee for one of our party. Despite this, they were still pleasant and the service was overall acceptable. This was my first time visiting Buttercup since its renovation and I was glad to find that the food was just as great as I remembered it to be and still reasonably priced. Despite some minor hiccups, my experience was largely positive and I'm already looking forward to my return visit. The quality of the food really stood out, so much so that my family and I ended up having breakfast there for two consecutive days. I've visited Buttercup three times now and each visit was consistent in terms of service, food quality, and pricing. It’s a lovely little spot for breakfast and I highly recommend it.

Kitchen Story Oakland

5422 College Ave, Oakland

(510) 922-9443

Reviewed by:

Karen Ross

I recently had a great experience at Kitchen Story Oakland for brunch. Upon arrival, I was swiftly added to the waitlist and was seated at a cozy table for two in just about ten minutes. The host was cordial and accommodated my travel bags by giving me a bigger table. The food was served promptly and the waiting staff was courteous throughout. I ordered the morning tacos, millionaire’s bacon, and mascarpone French toast. The Galbi in the tacos was delightful with perfectly crispy potatoes, while the bacon was an excellent addition. The French toast was generally good - I just expected the mascarpone to be a bit sweeter. Apart from these, they serve diverse Korean fusion dishes as well as classic options like chicken & waffles and avocado toast. I found the waffle slightly too sweet for my liking and the texture was a bit spongy. However, the chicken was fried to perfection. The avocado toast offered a unique blend of sweet and tangy. The Jjapaguri was an interesting twist on noodles with breakfast toppings. Opened in early 2020, Kitchen Story Oakland stands proudly today in a vibrant, two-story building. The overall brunch vibe was energetic on the patio and the first floor, with the second floor offering a more relaxed environment. For drinks, I tried the Marmalade Morning Sour, a refreshing combination of whiskey, marmalade, and sweet and sour mix. Breakfast-wise, I opted for the Blackstone Benedict which was served over ciabatta - a delightful alternative to the typical English muffin. My companion fully enjoyed the Sprout Bibimbap with beef shortrib, noting the generous serving of veggies. Another friend appreciated the Marnier French toast, which included an upgrade to a full meal accompanied by nicely fried eggs and Millionaire’s bacon. Overall, Kitchen Story Oakland is a highly recommended brunch spot, albeit slightly heavy. There is a decent variety of unique items on the menu to look forward to, despite a few minor hiccups in presentation and preparation times. Looking forward to trying their omurice on my next visit!

Brenda's Oakland

4045 Broadway #101, Oakland

(510) 929-0510

Reviewed by:

Aurea Gautam

During my visit to Brenda's in Oakland, I had a fantastic brunch experience. The Creole style food, particularly the "vegan-que" po boy, was some of the best I've ever tasted. Even my non-vegan friends thoroughly enjoyed their meals. Additionally, I found the fried chicken and pasta to be equally delicious and satisfying. The flavors were simply on point. As for the ambiance, it was warm, friendly, and ideal for a relaxed meal with friends or loved ones. The unfortunate incident of a car burglary outside the restaurant did not overshadow the overall positive dining experience I had at Brenda's. Despite being a little pricier, the quality of food and service at Brenda's is definitely worth it. I would suggest getting there early as it tends to get busy quickly. Specific favorites like the ube beignets and southern specialties are highly recommended. As are the shrimp and spicy grits, they taste just like the ones I had in New Orleans. The satisfying flavors extend to the vegan options and po'boys with sausage as well. Overall, Brenda's is a great spot for brunch in Oakland and I can't wait to return. The food and ambiance are superb, making it a must-visit when in the area.

Piedmont Cafe & Bakery

4054 Piedmont Ave, Oakland

(510) 653-8560

Reviewed by:

John Riveros

I absolutely love Piedmont Cafe & Bakery - it's a no-nonsense neighborhood breakfast and coffee shop that serves traditional meals quickly and efficiently. You can't beat the front tables by the large windows, they're perfect for people-watching and taking in the scenery. Not to mention, this place has the best brunch/breakfast in town. The donuts never disappoint and the coffee is just the right balance every single time. I can't say enough good things about this place. The staff, especially Rachel, is fantastic and the food consistently delivers. The people who frequent this place are genuinely happy and kind, creating an all-around wonderful vibe. It's my go-to spot in Oakland for breakfast and whenever I want to sit back with a good book. I can't recommend it enough - the food is always spot-on and the coffee is just fantastic.

Blackberry Bistro

4240 Park Blvd, Oakland

(510) 336-1088

Reviewed by:

Bridget Henderson Franklin

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Blackberry Bistro for brunch while in Oakland. The food was absolutely fantastic, with large, hot drinks that hit the spot perfectly. I had previously visited for their regular daytime meals, enjoying their tasty salads and fries. A friend of mine had a bean dish that they said was excellent. Their evening Ethiopian food also impresses, with the vegetarian plate for one person easily feeding two with its generous portion. Every dish was delicious, and the staff was friendly and professional, making the entire experience even better. I had come to Oakland with a group from my church based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we were looking for a place to have breakfast. Despite being a large group of 14 people, Blackberry Bistro accommodated us at the last minute. With just one waitress and cook in that day, we were blown away by the phenomenal service and delicious food. We were so impressed that we returned the following morning. I can assure you, I will be back the next time I visit California. Everyone was super friendly, and the East African breakfast and eggs benedict is a must-try! The fresh ingredients paired with the comfortable, cute local atmosphere is a winning combination. I honestly couldn't recommend Blackberry Bistro highly enough.

Rockridge Cafe

5492 College Ave, Oakland

(510) 653-1567

Reviewed by:

Edenna Story

Rockridge Cafe is a fantastic spot for a cozy weekend brunch. The food is just like homemade, with the tacos truly standing out as a delicious dish. The service is commendably fast and the self-seating option is a nice touch. Depending on your mood, you can choose to sit indoors or outdoors - either way, you're in for a great experience. The portion sizes are generous and perfect for sharing. I've been here a couple of times, and not once have I been disappointed. The most recent visit was on Father's Day where we were a group of four. Despite the cafe being busy, the service was still friendly and efficient. The menu is extensive with regular and special options. The American and Mexican breakfast and lunch dishes are a delight, and I particularly appreciate the all-day breakfast service. The cafe boasts a nostalgic ambiance, complete with quaint decorations and framed artwork. The staff is friendly and quick, ensuring your food arrives in record time. The only downside would have to be the portion sizes - I wish they were a bit bigger. What really stood out for me was their cafe latte. It was so well made that it didn't require any additional sweetening - truly a pleasant surprise. In summary, Rockridge Cafe is a slice of the neighborhood's history, maintaining its charm for over 50 years now. For a wholesome and incredibly tasty breakfast or brunch, it's the place to go. Definitely a five-star spot with dishes that tickle your taste buds and service that warms your heart. Thumbs up!

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