Bites near BART
In a dining rut? If so, consider hopping on BART and exploring some of the Bay Area’s most popular foodie districts. Within each district you’ll find an assortment of options including comfort-food favorites, enticing ethnic gems, award-winning destinations, and a growing number of breweries with tasting rooms and beer gardens. There’s no better time to enjoy eating your way throughout the Bay.
Photo from Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen Facebook page.
Though many Mission district eateries have been replaced by trendy restaurants and bars, you can still enjoy a great Latin meal near both the 24th Street Mission and the 16th Street Mission stations. Cafe La Taza is a favorite neighborhood spot, serving all-day fare, coffee, and Central and South American dishes. For a gluten-free alternative to the requisite Mission burrito, check out Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen. These masa pillow-like pockets come stuffed with a variety of Latin-flavored meats and vegetables. Bar San Pancho is a fun new Latin-infused sports bar from the same folks who operate Tacolicious. For San Francisco’s version of classic Mexican fare, Papalote Mexican Grill rarely disappoints.
Photo from Souvla SF Facebook page.
Parking in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley is never fun, which is why the 5-minute walk from San Francisco’s Civic Center/UN Plaza station is the best solution for exploring this neighborhood’s varied dining scene. From acclaimed Rich Table, where walk-ins wait for a coveted counter seat to allergen-friendly Little Gem, there’s something for everyone in this hood. Cala, lauded as one of the best restaurants in the nation, offers tacos Monday to Friday from 11am to 3pm from the alley behind the restaurant on Hickory Street. And, let’s not forget Souvla, the modern Greek restaurant that reinvented (and elevated) the humble gyro.
Photo from A16 Rockridge Facebook page.
Italian restaurants seem to be a thing in this upscale Oakland neighborhood, and there are several options within a few blocks of the Rockridge station. Besides Oliveto’s, which has continuously turning out some of the best regional Italian cuisine for more than 20 years, there’s also A16, specializing in Southern Italian specialties and pizza. It’s the sister restaurant to San Francisco’s (non-BARTable) Marina District location. There’s also Enoteca Molinari, a diminutive and dependable Italian trattoria and wine bar. The newest Italian spot on the block is Belotti, specializing in house-made pastas and Northern Italian cuisine. And, if you get inspired after your meal, head over to Market Hall for fresh pasta.
Photo from Little Giant Ice Cream Facebook page.
Oakland’s Uptown district’s dining scene continues to expand, focusing on creative use of space and is a great option for anyone passing through the 19th Street Oakland station any time, night or day. Besides Calavera in the Hive, diners looking for Oaxacan cuisine should also check out the new Agave Uptown. Like a little art with your coffee? Visit the new Tertulia Coffee and art gallery next to the Fox Theater. For sweets, don’t head back home without checking out Little Giant Ice Cream and James and the Giant Cupcake.
Photo from Teleferic Barcelona Facebook page.
Walnut Creek is BARTable! The city’s free shuttle runs between the Walnut Creek station and the city’s downtown district every 15 minutes every day of the week. For comfort food, burgers, and craft beer, visit the new Broderick Roadhouse. Tony Gemignani’s pizza empire expands to the burbs with Slice House and is a great spot for a slice of his signature pie. Farm Creek Brewing Company has finally opened and is accessible either by shuttle or via a 7-minute walk. Open Thursday to Saturday, this family-run brewery encourages you to hang out and sample their lagers and ales and bring in outside food. Fans of rooftop dining have two new options: Teleferic Barcelona and Rooftop Restaurant & Bar.