Known for its small-town charm, the island city of Alameda is big on tasty eats, which include a classic American breakfast and refined Italian fare.
Opened in 1927, Ole’s Waffle Shop serves home-style food with a side of nostalgia. The short order cooks sport paper hats; the chatty wait staff keep coffee cups brimming; and the customers—seated elbow-to-elbow along the counter or in orange vinyl booths—dig into waffles, omelets, sandwiches, and more.
Eating can be messy business, especially at Hang 10 Boiler, where diners don plastic bibs before diving into Cajun-style seafood boils of Dungeness crab, mussels, crawfish, clams, or shrimp. A melting pot of cuisines, this casual spot also serves Filipino, Vietnamese, and Hawaiian dishes, including crispy pork lumpia, buttery garlic egg noodles, and smoky kalua pork.
Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails is located in a shopping mall, but its food and interior—both inspired by Italy’s Adriatic coast—are a million miles away from food court fare. Chef Giuseppe Naccarelli brings the flavors of his home region of Abruzzo to Alameda with house-made pastas, blistered-to-perfection pizzas, and grilled meats and seafood. The bar crafts signature cocktails, which include the Milano Mule and the Bitter Italian, with liquor from the island-based St. George Spirits and Hangar 1 Vodka.
No need to cross a bridge or traverse a tunnel for Hong Kong–style dim sum thanks to East Ocean Seafood Restaurant. It’s the quintessential dim sum experience—servers push gleaming stainless-steel carts around the dining room, stopping by to laden tables with sweet and savory delights, such as rice noodle rolls plump with shrimp and custard-filled pineapple buns topped in a sugary crust.
Heading to the beach? Pack your picnic basket with provisions from Domenico’s Italian Deli, located two blocks from the Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach’s western tip. The friendly staff at this family–run spot load up fresh-baked rolls with tasty fillings such as hot coppa and house-roasted lamb.
Photography by Christina McNeill (Trabocco); courtesy Domenico's Italian Deli (sandwich)
This blog post was first published in July 2015. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.