Where to Eat Pre-Show at Oakland's Fox Theater

By Tamara Palmer  |  April 11, 2014
Credit: El Gusano

Oakland's Fox Theater is in the midst of an action-packed concert season, with diverse acts like Neutral Milk Hotel, Diana Krall, Bryan Ferry, The Knife and Empire of the Sun on the marquee in just the next several days alone. If you're going to see a show there (or at the neighboring Uptown Nightclub, Paramount Theatre or The New Parish), you'll probably need to eat beforehand. Here are some great food options to consider that are within a few blocks of the beautiful venue. 

  • Credit: Duende


    Former Oliveto executive chef Paul Canales is behind this bustling 84-seat Spanish restaurant that's right across the street from the Fox. There's a sherry-focused wine bar in the lounge and a menu that ranges from small pintxos to flavorful pans of paella that are great for sharing.

    What to order: Paella with rabbit, morcilla and kale ($38) or farm egg, rapini, kabocha squash and gigante beans ($34), hamburguesa tartara ($13.50)

    468 19th Street; 510-893-0174

  • Credit: Hopscotch


    As the restaurant's name implies, chef Kyle Itani can nimbly leap between regional American styles, so you'll find both the approachable (pork chop) and the adventurous (burger with beef tongue) here. A newly added second dining room makes it even easier to stop by before a show.

    What to order: Smoked hamachi crudo with crispy nori ($12), buttermilk fried chicken with creamy polenta and roasted peppers ($18)

    1915 San Pablo Avenue; 510-788-6217

  • Credit: Flora


    It's fashioned as a classic art deco restaurant and bar, with the attentive craft cocktail action to match. But Flora also has a forward-thinking menu of comforting American hits lightened with California produce.

    What to order: Creamy Anson Mills grits with chicken and pork belly ragu ($13), baked Alaskan halibut with farro and black rice, spring vegetables and basil oil ($26), Brooklyn cocktail ($12) made with rye and Dolin Blanc

    1900 Telegraph Avenue; 510-286-0100

  • Credit: El Gusano

    El Gusano

    Michael Sopher and Erin Brooks, owners of SoMa's Tropisueno, also operate this East Bay gem. At lunchtime, El Gusano is a taqueria and it becomes a full-service restaurant at dinner. They have at least 100 tequilas and mezcals, making it a great spot to pre-game.

    What to order: Huaraches ($9.95), Gusano Loco pambazo sandwich ($9.95), Margarita Casera ($8) with Aji chile salt

    1015 Clay Street; 510-444-9676

  • Credit: Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe

    Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe

    The funky American diner that's owned by a team including Green Day's Mike Dirnt expanded from the original location in Emeryville to this large Fox-adjacent space. The coffee shop basics are all here, but there are three important words to know: breakfast for dinner.

    What to order: Rudy's Breakfast of two eggs, hash browns and toast ($6), Monster BLAT ($13)

    1805 Telegraph Avenue; 510-251-9400