The best new restaurants in Berkeley and Oakland in 2021


Nosh 2021 in review
· East Bay’s most trusted bar and restaurant destinations
· East Bay’s Best Dining Experiences
· The best alfresco dining in East Bay

At the end of each year, East Bay Nosh interviews Cityside’s newsroom staff as well as its regular editors and columnists. The objective: to bring you an overview of the gastronomic and gastronomic scene of the region thanks to our diverse group of contributors. Please continue to check back daily until the end of the year for answers to the 2021 Meal Question Pack – and if you wish, add your own answers in the comments at the bottom of this article. .

Today, our respondents were asked: What new East Bay bar and / or restaurant has you most excited about in 2021? (Yes, Instagram-based pop-ups count.)

Crystal Wahpepah’s new restaurant opened for raves in 2021. Credit: Melati Citrawireja

No doubt, it was Wahpepa’s kitchen. I’ve tried Chef Crystal Wahpepah’s catered meals before, and I’m crazy about his buffalo meatballs in blueberry sauce. When I visited his new restaurant in November I had to order breakfast and then lunch because I wanted to taste everything. Had a blue corn waffle with maple butter and berry sauce, then a smoked cedar sweet potato tostada with pumpkin cream and a wild rice quinoa horchata to drink. Wow. Anna mindess, Nosh contributor and Berkeley-based freelance writer

Bad Walter! Non-dairy ice cream, counterfeit FTW! Jill kunishima, Vice President of Development, Cityside

It wasn’t technically “new” in 2021, but I was delighted to Mum in Oakland reopening this year. A group of friends and I couldn’t wait to try it out and booked in mid-March 2020 which obviously didn’t happen. Soon after, the restaurant closed and its future did not look bright. So when Mama announced their reopening this year [Ed note: with a new ownership team and revamped menu], we were delighted to make another reservation, this time outside on a warm summer evening. We enjoyed it immensely after a long and uncertain wait. Moriah Van Vleet, Nosh contributor and founder of butter, sugar, flowers

Manny McCall, chef and former waiter at Zuni Cafe, now owner of Pickle Pana, sells pickles and donates money to those in need.
Manny McCall sells his pickles for $ 9 a jar, donating a portion of the proceeds to a local nonprofit. Credit: Amir Aziz

Back in March, I wrote on Manny McCall and his pickle and bacon business that took off on Instagram. Since distributing food to the homeless community. He also organized a private dinner (which I unfortunately missed). I know he’s cooking some sort of brunch, and I just want to see what else he’ll do in 2022. Azucena Rasilla, Reporter: Arts & Community, The Oaklandside

I don’t know exactly when it opened, but Thai food from Wawa on MacArthur Boulevard is one of the places I discovered this year [Ed note: it quietly opened at the tail end of 2020, when we were all hunkered down], and I had very pleasant meals there. Not to mention, I left my shoulder bag on their patio after dinner one evening, and when I returned the next morning, convinced he would be gone, he was sitting in exactly the same spot. Pleasant! Jacob Simas, Editor-in-Chief, The Oaklandside

Day trip Couldn’t have been more fun and delicious, all in all just a fantastic experience. When Mago first open, I think I said then that if I had endless funds, I would be a regular there; I feel like Daytrip just joined this list. Our neighbor, who we went with, told me the other day that she is still thinking about that chestnut dessert we had. Alix wall, Nosh contributor and Oakland-based freelance writer

Via del Corso executive chef Massimo Orlando, general manager Marco Penitenti and owner Peter Chastain. Courtesy: Via del Corso

We were so sad when Corso closed – it was our neighborhood corner! So we were so happy that Via del Corso open plan with a large outdoor dining area. Unfortunately it’s so busy and we never remember to make reservations. We hope to go there soon if we can think of making a reservation. Doug Ng, Director of Information Platforms, Cityside

Yunnan rice noodles: This neighborhood restaurant in El Cerrito opened in 2020 without much fanfare and serves consistently delicious food. Try the stir-fried lotus root, the beef “burrito” and, of course, the restaurant’s signature soup noodles. – Shirley Huey, Nosh collaborator

I know I shouldn’t be playing favorites, but I love Italian food so I’m very excited about Via del Corso and the dishes I spied on their menu. I haven’t done it yet, but… Christmas is coming! In Oakland, Tribune seems like a nice bet for a sophisticated meal. I’m a big fan of sandwiches too, so watch out Heroic italian. I can’t wait to discover them. Joanna della penna, Columnist openings / closings of Nosh

Lobster pad thai at Jo’s. Credit: Angelina Hong

Anyone who praises Daytrip and Via del Corso is totally in on it, as the two came out of the gate at a lightning pace and didn’t look back. As a fan of Make the sum from their early days in the pastry box (so many Fridays spent rushing through town to pick one up), I love that they have a permanent slot now. In the same selfish vein of “I love you and want you all the time”, the fantastic pop-ups by chef Intu-on Kornnawong were so difficult to mark seats at, so have it behind the menu / in the kitchen of Modern Thai by Jo is kind of a dream. Eve batey, editor of East Bay Nosh

Snail bar, I’m a cliché … Flore Tsapovsky, Nosh contributor and cultural writer

I was very excited about Bombera in the Dimond district of Oakland, and it didn’t disappoint. Workers’ property Sub-floor in Old Oakland with its rotating menu is a gem. I really appreciated Louie in Berkeley; one of the best coffee drinks I have tried there (cold tahini caramel brew) and their mezze platter is a feast for the eyes, heart and stomach. I haven’t been there yet, but I will visit Adorable in Oakland soon; from what i heard i’m sure i will enjoy it! Momo chang, Nosh contributor and Oakland-based freelance writer


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