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Food & Drink
Taste Your Way through Temescal
You’ve just arrived in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. If I’ve guessed anything right, you’re here to eat. Before you get started, I’d love to point out that while strolling through this neighborhood, you'll immediately witness the cultural diversity of the community reflected in the restaurants, bars, and eateries present. On this tour, we’ll specifically focus on the Asian inspired eateries. From Vietnamese and Korean, to Burmese and Southeast Asian, pique your taste buds with the various scents and flavors. I hope you have a curious appetite because you’re definitely in for a treat!
1. Pacific Ring Sports
493 40th St, Oakland, CA 94609
Known as one of the top Muay Thai gyms in the country, Pacific Ring Sports provides ‘real’ training for the Temescal community. Their offerings include Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Strength and Conditioning, Youth MMA, and Yoga. Visit their website to join one of their classes in the newly re-opened facility, and kick your training into gear!
2. Co Nam
3936 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Co Nam has been making waves in Temescal since its debut. Considered a "quan nhau," this restaurant marries a Japanese izakaya, a Spanish tapas bar, and an American craft cocktail bar. Inspired by the word “nhau”, which translates to drinking and feasting for no particular reason, a "quan nhau” is a tavern of sorts, normally one that spills out onto the streets and hits its peak around dinner time. Catch their Vietnamese street food dishes paired with a beer or cocktail for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
3. Saucy Oakland
3932 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
The Saucy Oakland restaurant is already making a statement in Temescal with their pan-Asian comfort food. Prior to opening their brick and mortar location, Saucy hosted pop-ups, private tastings, and events. Their pan-Asian comfort food is perfect for noodles on the couch or happy hour with family. The restaurant menu includes saucy wings and hamachi shooters that will not disappoint!
4. Chaiyo Thai Massage
3920 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
If you’re looking for a spot to unwind, Chaiyo Thai Massage will deliver the perfect service based on your needs. From Swedish to deep tissue massages, their massage therapists offer a relaxing Thai massage experience sure to please many client needs. Their passion in providing exceptional care for their clients is clearly evident with their health and safety measures, including temperature checks and contactless payment.
5. Daol Tofu & Korean BBQ
4301 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
While tofu is in its name, that is not the only dish that this restaurant serves. If you pop into Daol Tofu, it’s probably for their yummy kimchi fried rice, bo sam, or casserole hot pot. The best part of Daol Tofu is the banchan, or 12 small side dishes they serve with your meal."
6. Kansai Sushi Bar
4345 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Voted Oakland’s best late-night happy hour spot, Kansai is the place to be for late-night grubs Sunday through Thursday. This is your chance to order sake bombs and a sushi spread at a discounted price. Kansai is great for a shared meal with friends, family, and kids, too. Whether late night or a regular afternoon, your sushi cravings will absolutely be met.
4419 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Izza, a Japanese ramen and curry izakaya and restaurant, also recently opened its doors to the Temescal neighborhood. Serving Yakitori, sake, and Japanese sandwiches, Izza has quickly gained popularity among foodies in the area, and you’re sure to find several menu items to indulge in.
8. Bird & Buffalo
4659 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Bird & Buffalo is a new, super authentic Thai/Lao restaurant you should be sure to visit. Their short ribs, drunken noodles, Guay Tiow Kua Gai, and mango sticky rice are just a few of the reasons you should make this your regular stop for lunch or dinner. Their outdoor dining area offers a great space to relax and enjoy their dishes, or you can pick up your order to enjoy at home.
9. Pyeong Chang Tofu
4701 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Pyeong Chang Tofu is a family-run restaurant offering traditional Korean cuisines to residents from around the Bay Area. Peter Kim and his family own and operate the restaurant, with most food cooked by Peter's mom, Young Kim. Be sure to try their famous soft tofu soup, kimchi, and crispy fried chicken when you visit.
10. Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
If you walk 3 blocks ahead, you’ll officially reach the part of Temescal that is most often raved about. This is where you'll see really good Italian food. It's where you'll get American food at Bakesale Betty's. It's where you'll see tacos at Cholita Linda and ice cream donut sandwiches at I Scream Donuts. This is where you'll see yummy Burmese food. This is the action.
Burma is most notably known for their Tea Leaf salad but the greatness does not stop there. Their menu is packed with options for the meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Recommended menu items include the garlic noodles, the samosa soup, any of their salads, and the sesame beef.
11. Marufuku Ramen
4828 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
One visit to Marufuku Ramen will have you questioning how you were even ‘doing ramen’ before this visit. Known for serving authentic Hakata-style Tonkotsu Ramen, they give you the option to try various ramen dishes that satisfy all of your cravings. Other favorites include the Chicken Paitan Ramen and Geso Fry.
12. Burma Bites
4911 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
Burma Bites serves best sellers from Burma Superstar, in addition to Burmese-American fusion comfort food like the Burmese fried chicken sandwich, loaded fries, and Burmese-spiced wings. What makes this place even more special? This is a delivery-only service for the entire Oakland area. Be sure to order the popular Burma Superstar dishes, like tea leaf salad, platha and dip, garlic noodles, and basil chicken.
13. Ziggy's Delectables
470 49th St, Oakland, CA 94609
New kid on the block, Ziggy's Delectables in Temescal Alley just opened up. This candy and snack shop has a wide variety of unique, international candies and treats, including Ramune Japanese sodas, rare flavored pocky, plus natural chocolates, and childhood favorites, like Corn Nuts. Be on the lookout for new candies and snacks every week.
14. FOB Kitchen
5179 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
If you want a fun time with good food to match, look no further than FOB Kitchen! This QWOC, Filipino-owned restaurant serves solid Filipino food, island inspired cocktails, and good times for all guests who visit. Set in a modern tropical space with bold wallpaper, vibrant tiles, and an open kitchen plan, just know that every time you enter their doors, either for a dine-in experience or pick-up, you will always be made to feel like you’re at home.
Do you know of any AAPI-owned businesses in the area? We’d love to hear more about them! Share your favorites via Instagram and tag @visitoakland for a chance to be featured in our social media stories.
This experience was crafted by The Cosmopolitan Project (TCP), a division of Made In Color, an Oakland-based creative agency. TCP specializes in building community and amplifying stories that are typically untold, undersold, or marginalized. We connect our clients to the communities they know and love by creating hyperlocal content that is deeply rooted in community, inclusivity, and culture.
Jena Dominique and Brianna Mills, two MIC creatives, created this self-guided itinerary. Jena is a prominent Bay Area voice and tastemaker. Her specialty is producing multimedia content and activations that shift the perspective of Oakland. Jena has been designing and leading experiences in Oakland for the past five years.
Brianna is a copywriter, editor, and strategist that also lends her talents as a professional travel writer and photographer for various publications across the globe. A creative and trained professional, Brianna has several years of experience perfecting her inclusive writing and communications skills while also sharing her knowledge, work, and creative journey through storytelling.
Images for this blog were captured by Alexa “Lexx Marie” Brown, a Bay Area artist whose mediums include photography, henna design, and tattooing. Lexx has been an entrepreneur since 2015 and is the proud owner and curator of Lexx Marie Arts & Photography studio.