The East Bay is home to many vegetarians and vegans, but that doesn’t mean that meat lovers are out of luck. There are lots of great restaurants in Oakland and Berkeley designed with die-hard carnivores in mind. If tofu and salads just aren’t hitting the spot, check out our top ten spots restaurants for meat lovers in the East Bay.
Hopscotch located in Oakland’s Uptown district, offers new American food with a Japanese twist. Stop in during brunch hours for a braised pork belly benedict and a wasabi Bloody Mary, or come for dinner and indulge in baby back ribs with charred escarole. But even if you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, Hopscotch has you covered. The take-out menu, which includes buttermilk fried chicken and chili-miso wings, will make your lunch break the highlight of your busy day.
Wood Tavern sounds rustic but the dishes it serves are quite sophisticated. Dinner offerings include appetizers like beef tongue terrine and sage-citrus duck rillettes, and entrées like pan-roasted duck breast, grilled pork chop with pancetta, and pappardelle pasta with braised rabbit ragout. If you’re feeling fancy, crack open the restaurant’s extensive wine list, or better yet, treat yourself to a pear martini, made with Polish vodka, pear purée, ginger syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Bakesale Betty, located in Oakland’s Temescal district, is without a doubt the most beloved sandwich shop in Oakland. Every day, the line stretches around the block, and nearly everyone waiting in it is hankering for just one item: the buttermilk fried chicken coleslaw sandwich. This sandwich is one of only two sandwiches on the menu, but it is so delicious that it has made chef Alison Barakat famous. Just mention Bakesale Betty to any Oaklander, and they’ll know what we mean.
If you’re looking for a great brunch and lunch spot with plenty of meat-filled dishes, look no further than 900 Grayson. This West Berkeley offers specialty sandwiches, omelets, burgers, waffles, and more. For the ultimate experience, get the Demon Lover, 900 Grayson’s take on fried chicken and waffles. Alternately, try the Grayson Burger, severed with crispy onions and applewood-smoked bacon. In fact, bacon is something of a restaurant specialty. It finds its way into many menu items, and you can always request an extra helping.
Everett and Jones is a Bay Area barbecue institution with distinctly Southern roots. It is the creation of Dorothy Everett, a single mother of nine who arrived in Oakland from Alabama in 1973. Since then, the business has grown to include five more Bay Area locations, and all are still family-owned. Pop in to Everett and Jones for a smoky rack of baby back ribs smothered in barbecue sauce, a helping of tender brisket, and a generous portion of collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and freshly baked cornbread.
Hog’s Apothecary is all about great food and sustainability. All of the meat served at this ‘New American Beer Hall’ is house-butchered, and all of the produce comes from local sustainable farms. Try the grilled hanger steak with celery root gratin and wild mushroom butter, or the ale-braised pork shoulder with apple-rutabaga mash. The lunch menu even offers the Sister Betty, a new take on Bakesale Betty’s famous fried chicken sandwich. Try both and see how hard it is to say which is more delicious!
‘Sahn Maru’ means ‘top of the mountain’ in Korean, and the name is fully justified. The food at Sahn Maru Korean B.B.Q. is certainly top-notch, and the extensive menu is sure to please even the most discerning of palates. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the black goat stew with sesame and scallions, or go for the spicy pork ribs in house sauce if your tastes are more traditional. Whatever you order is likely to inspire a return trip. The restaurant was featured on the KQED show ‘Check, Please!’ and has earned rave reviews.
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Restaurant and Butcher Shop | Courtesy of Clove and Hoof
The menu at Clove and Hoof may be small, but this restaurant and butchery’s simple yet sophisticated sandwiches are guaranteed to hit the spot. You can’t go wrong with the C & H burger, served with caramelized onion jam and pimiento cheese, or the smoked pulled pork sandwich with poppyseed slaw and pickles on a potato pepper bun. Clove and Hoof also prides itself on sustainability and humane treatment of animals. You’ll know exactly where your meat came from and how it was raised, so you can chow down guilt-free.
If you’re looking for a cheap and delicious no-frills burger joint, make a trip to Oakland’s TrueBurger. A hormone and antibiotic-free cheeseburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, garlic mayo, onions, and pickles will cost you just seven dollars! With your leftover money, order a side of garlic fries, spicy coleslaw, or a milkshake. Although chocolate and vanilla are the only flavors available, your milkshake is endlessly customizable with add-ins like banana, coffee, caramel sauce, peanut butter, and marshmallows, all just 50 cents each.
In the 1950s and ’60s, Oakland housewife Lena Mae Peters spent a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking for her family. Her children were privy to all of her culinary secrets, and so although Peters died in 2004, her legacy lives on in Lena’s Soul Food Café. Here you’ll find traditional Southern treats like jambalaya, pork chops, beef links, and fried chicken, along with sides like candied yams and okra. If you’re still hungry, top it all off with a generous portion of red velvet cake or peach cobbler.