The Deal: Situated across from the only Bay Area body of water Keanu Reeves would consider putting a house with a mysterious time-traveling mailbox near, Grand Lake Kitchen is a rather... grandly named deli-cum-booze house from a former Park Tavern sous chef and an ex Delfina GM.
The Food: Stop wondering what's in the creatively named BABA-Go-Llama (or keep wondering, it's actually totally up to you!), and go for a create-your-own or the mouthwateringness that is the Cheddar Bratwurst from 4505 Meats with scratch coleslaw and pickled red onion.
The Drinks: There's a full selection of beer and wine to wash down what's in a Baba-Go-LLAMA (SERIOUSLY WTF IS IN THIS SANDWICH?!?), which're both cheaper during their happy hour and can come with an accompanying meat/house pickle plate.
The Bonus: Just like you and the 11 other people you share an apartment with, they're making the most of the small space, with a takeaway section and tiny local foods shop, stocked with their fave gourmet goods like 4505 chicharrones.
1. Grand Lake Kitchen
576 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
The food at GLK, like the Lake Merritt scenery, is fantastic' -- it's a brunch staple thanks to the savory French toast and the life-saving chilaquiles. It’s a bit cramped on the inside (as well as the front patio), so the sidewalk wait always looks like a mid-morning street party is taking place... which is admittedly half the fun. The tastiness continues at dinner with roasted pork belly sandwiches (with pickled fennel and chimichurri) and avocado-topped Dungeness crab toast.