Restaurants in Oakland for Thanksgiving dinner

11 Best Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving Dinner Oakland – 2024

As the golden leaves of November pave the streets and the chilly breeze carries whispers of winter, the city of Oakland readies itself for a time of gratitude, warmth, and togetherness.

Thanksgiving, a holiday deeply rooted in history and tradition, is more than just a feast. It’s a symbol of unity, a time when families, old friends, and even strangers come together to share stories, memories, and a hearty meal.

In the heart of California, Oakland emerges as a culinary beacon, offering an array of dining experiences that embody the spirit of Thanksgiving.

From the rustling trees of the Rockridge district to the serene waters of Lake Merritt, the city paints a picturesque backdrop for a memorable Thanksgiving dinner.

This guide endeavors to take you on a journey through the streets of Oakland, unveiling eateries that offer not just food, but heartwarming experiences and a slice of history.

Best restaurants in Oakland for Thanksgiving this year

1. The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill

The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill

Why it is a must-visit

Imagine a peaceful escape right on the waters of Lake Merritt. The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill is a hidden gem in Oakland.

Housed in a splendid old building that’s seen 100 years of history, this spot has both indoor and al fresco options for you to munch by the mesmerizing lake.

The enormous space is perfect for last-minute plans, especially if you’re looking for an affordable yet elegant place to celebrate.

Seafood lovers, this is your haven. The menu is a delightful twist of Californian cuisine with a seafood specialty. Want something fresh?

Try their raw bar. Whether you’re after a classic turkey meal, scrumptious pies, or unique seafood dishes, this place nails it all. And oh, their 80-foot-long bar? It’s a cherry on top. The perfect spot for drinks, food near me, and the local chatter.

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2. Black Bear Diner Oakland

Black Bear Diner Oakland

Why it is a must-visit

Step into a cozy cabin world. Black Bear Diner, an Oakland favorite, has a friendly vibe that reminds you of home. You’ll find yourself surrounded by warm wooden interiors, echoing the comfort of classic diners.

Whether you’re planning a family dinner or looking for a last-minute spot, this place is ideal. Plus, it’s easy on the pocket!

From sunrise to sunset, Black Bear Diner promises a belly-full treat. The menu is packed with hearty home-style meals.

Imagine diving into fluffy pancakes during dinner or relishing pot roast for breakfast. It’s the kind of comfort food you crave during Thanksgiving.

Plus, they offer takeout, which means you can enjoy their delightful dishes from your couch. Their dinner delivery ensures you get your feast hot and ready, just the way you like it.

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3. The Terrace Room Events

The Terrace Room Events

Why it is a must-visit

Ever dreamt of dining in a place with history and a stunning lake view? The Terrace Room is your dream come true.

Tucked away inside The Lake Merritt Hotel, this spot offers breathtaking views of the shimmering Lake Merritt.

With its elegant Art Deco design from 1927, the place holds the charm of the golden era, where Big Bands like Count Basie set the rhythm.

The Terrace Room is not just about the ambiance, it’s also a top pick for hosting events, especially weddings.

Winning awards like the Reader’s Choice by East Bay Express and Best of 2022 and 2023 by The Knot, you know you’re in for a treat.

So, if you’re thinking about where to eat this Thanksgiving, consider this historic gem. Don’t forget to schedule a tour to grasp the full beauty of the place!

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4. Portal


Why it is a must-visit

Simplicity with a touch of community warmth, that’s Portal for you. Designed as a friendly neighborhood hangout, Portal makes every visitor feel like an old friend.

It’s a casual spot where you can feel the heartbeat of the community, making it one of the best places to eat in Oakland.

At Portal, the menu isn’t just about food; it’s about celebrating the pride and character of Oakland. While the exact Thanksgiving offerings may vary, expect dishes that resonate with the spirit of the community.

Whether it’s pies, turkey, or other local favorites, you’re in for a delicious treat. And if you’re searching for a restaurant that offers both dine-in and takeout, Portal has got you covered.

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5. À Côté

À Côté

Why it is a must-visit

Nestled in the picturesque Rockridge district, À Côté is a pocket of Mediterranean bliss. The charming environment invites you to relax and enjoy, whether in their cozy indoor setting or under the open skies in their outdoor section.

À Côté masters the art of serving small plates packed with big flavors. Think Mediterranean, think fresh, and you get À Côté’s menu.

Their seasonal cocktails and wines make sure every bite is paired with the perfect sip. If you’re on the hunt for dinner delivery or takeout near me, they’ve teamed up with Doordash and Caviar to deliver their deliciousness right to your door.

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6. Brotzeit Lokal

Brotzeit Lokal

Why it is a must-visit

Imagine sipping on a cold German craft beer, overlooking the Oakland waterfront – that’s Brotzeit Lokal for you. Located in the Brooklyn Basin neighborhood, every table here gifts you a serene water view.

It’s a German delight! Brotzeit Lokal crafts traditional German dishes with a twist of local freshness. From meaty treats to vegetarian and gluten-free options, they cater to every palate.

Their extensive tap list, featuring both German and local beers, is a crowd-pleaser. And for those who fancy wine or cocktails, they’ve got you covered.

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7. Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse

Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse

Why it is a must-visit

Step into Galeto and step into the vibrant heart of Brazil. This authentic Brazilian steakhouse is an experience in itself, bringing alive the South American essence right in Oakland.

Ever heard of churrascaria? It’s a Brazilian style of serving grilled meats, and Galeto is a master of it. Their Rodizio Gauchos (meat servers) roam the dining area, offering a spread of 12 to 14 rotisserie types of meat ranging from beef to chicken.

The flavors, the seasonings, and the entire feel are so authentic, that you’ll be transported to Brazil with every bite. It’s an experience best shared with friends and family.

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8. Bellanico Restaurant and Wine Bar

Bellanico Restaurant and Wine Bar

Why it is a must-visit

Tucked away in Oakland’s Glenview district, Bellanico welcomes you with open arms. This neighborhood spot is all about warmth and family vibes.

And soon, they’re leveling up the experience with a wine bar addition! The new parklet area is the ideal spot to relax and chat.

Bellanico’s menu changes with the seasons, ensuring you get the freshest flavors on your plate. Dive into their Cicchetti, indulge in some homemade pasta, relish a slice of pizza, or satiate your sweet cravings with a dessert.

Their selection of Old World Wines by the glass is like the cherry on top. The friendly Bellanico crew ensures you have a fantastic time while you dine.

Location and Contact

9. Duende


Why it is a must-visit

Nestled in Oakland’s bustling Uptown district, Duende is a whiff of Spain in the heart of the city. This neighborhood restaurant is a blend of tradition and modernity, ensuring every visit feels special.

Let Duende take you on a Spanish culinary journey! With a foundation in regional Spanish flavors, the menu here is a perfect mix of the old and the new.

Sourced from local farmers and ranchers, every ingredient speaks volumes of quality and freshness.

Tapas, Pintxos, Raciones, or the show-stopping Paella and Fideua, everything is crafted to be enjoyed among loved ones. The ever-evolving daily menu means there’s always something exciting waiting for you.

Location and Contact

10. Marica Restaurant

Marica Restaurant

Why it is a must-visit

A treasure hidden in the East Bay since 2000, Marica is a testament to familial love and dedication. The casual, laid-back vibe paired with attentive service ensures you feel at home from the moment you step in.

The heart of Marica is its California (New American) and Seafood dishes, each plate a symphony of fresh flavors.

From the Cooked Maine Lobster to the comforting Clam Chowder and sweet finale with Creme Brulee, the menu is an exploration of the culinary riches of the coast and beyond.

If you’re in the mood for a walk-in dinner around Oakland, this spot is perfect for an impromptu, delightful meal.

Location and Contact

11. Lena’s Soul Food

Lena's Soul Food

Why it is a must-visit

Lena’s Soul Food is more than a restaurant; it’s a legacy. Named after the matriarch, Lena Mae Peters, this place is soaked in history and heartfelt stories, making it feel like you’re dining in someone’s family home.

At Lena’s, you’re treated to authentic southern cooking, fondly known as Soul Food. Lena’s early kitchen lessons in Texas set the foundation for dishes that spell comfort and warmth.

While the menu is an array of Southern classics, each dish is a chapter from Lena’s life, reflecting her love for family and food.

If you’re craving hearty meals, made with love and served with a side of stories, Lena’s Soul Food is your destination this Thanksgiving.

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As the final leaves fall and Thanksgiving approaches, Oakland, with its rich tapestry of culinary delights, stands ready to welcome every soul searching for a taste of home and heart.

The restaurants highlighted are not just places to eat; they are sanctuaries where memories are made, stories are shared, and gratitude is felt deeply.

In a year that may have seen its share of ups and downs, let’s remember to find solace in the little things – a warm plate of food, the laughter of loved ones, and the comforting ambiance of a beloved city.

So, as you gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, whether it’s in a cozy corner of a local diner or the grandeur of a lakeside restaurant, remember to cherish the moments, savor every bite, and above all, be thankful for the love and warmth that Oakland, and life, has to offer.

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