The folks at Savor Oakland Food Tours love all things Oakland – including the culinary renaissance spreading all over “The Town.” There is plenty to see, hear, and taste in Oakland, with the eclectic art during Art Murmur, diverse live performances at multiple music venues, and the plethora of tasty dining options throughout the city.
We asked them a few questions about their beloved city and their food tours.
1. What can people expect when they go on a Savor Oakland food tour?
Savor Oakland currently offers our two main public tours: The Jack London/Waterfront Tour, and The Oakland Chinatown Tour. We also do private tours for corporate team building, as well as special events. We will be offering a Cocktail+Small Bite Pairing, and an East Bay Craft Beer Tour this summer. People can expect an amazing blend of food and drink, Oakland history, and good ole’ Oakland culture. We give people on our tours an engaging snapshot of Oakland.
2. Is there a best time of year for foodies to visit Oakland?
Oakland has about 300 days of sun during the year. We think anytime is a great time to visit. Foodies in particular should try to schedule a trip during Eat Real Fest Sept 18-20. Eat Real combines a state fair, a street-food festival and a block party. First Fridays on Telegraph along with Fridays at The Oakland Museum are other noteworthy foodie trip. You should also check out our upcoming Bay Area Ramen Festival in late spring/early summer.
3. When a foodie comes to Oakland, what neighborhoods should they visit?
Around 200 restaurants have opened in the last year in Oakland. Foodies should definitely check out Jack London Square, West Oakland, Uptown, Rockridge, Fruitvale, and Lakeshore. There are pockets of amazing eateries in many more neighborhoods.
4. Are there any Oakland chefs we should be keeping an eye on?
Definitely Chef James Syhabout. He runs the only Michelin star restaurant in Oakland, Commis, as well as his other amazing restaurants Hawker Fare, and The Dock. Chef Nelson German from alaMar is another chef to keep an eye on. He has found a great niche with his seafood cuisine, and he will be the next culinary force in The Town. Chef Sophina Uong formally of Pican is another great chef who will be doing great things in the future. Chef Silvia McCollow from Nido is dishing out some of the best modern Mexican food in the Bay Area. Honorable mentions to Simone+Sebastian from S+S Gastrogrub, and Shane+ Marie from SnM Vegan. They run two of the hottest catering companies in Oakland/Bay Area, and host two of the hottest pop up dinner series right now in the East Bay/Bay Area.
5. Tell us a bit of trivia about the Oakland food scene.
We’ve had about 200 restaurants open the last two years. The Oakland food scene is one of the most prolific scenes in the Bay Area, and will continue to be strong. We have two former TopChef contestants open restaurants in Oakland: Jen Biesty with Shakewell, and Preeti Mistry with Juhu Beach Club.