10 Authentic Asian Treats You Must Try in Oakland Chinatown
While most people recognize the importance of San Francisco’s Chinatown district, right across the bay toward the east, you’ll find Oakland’s vibrant Chinatown. Oakland’s Chinatown is one of the oldest in the US, settled in the 1850s by Chinese immigrants working on the transcontinental railroad. After the 1906 earthquake that decimated many of the homes of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco, displaced Chinese families moved across the San Francisco Bay to Oakland, California.
Today, Oakland’s Chinatown district is less tourist-oriented than San Francisco’s, and you’ll find many businesses selling everyday items to residents and locals of Chinese descent. When you come to Oakland’s Chinatown, be sure to try some of these authentic Asian treats to tantalize your taste buds.
Peony Seafood Restaurant
When you’re craving dim sum and seafood, you’ll appreciate the offerings at Peony Seafood Restaurant. The chefs here come from Hong Kong and serve dim sum, including barbecue pork buns, steamed walnut buns, and shrimp dumplings served with zesty cilantro.
Location: 388 Ninth St., Suite 288.
Head to Shandong Restaurant when craving Chinese-inspired dishes to fill your tummy. People come to this restaurant for its hand-pulled noodles and steamed dumplings filled with vegetables, chicken, or pork. You’ll appreciate wonton noodle soup or spicy soup with noodles, tomato, and ginger on a cold foggy Oakland evening.
Location: 328 10th St.
If you’ve never had Chinese-style desserts, stop by UC Dessert for Asian sweet treats. Order a cup of hot tea with dessert selections, including almond paste with tofu pudding, mochi rice balls with sesame seed paste, and sticky rice with mango and coconut. You can also enjoy desserts, such as the raspberry milkshake, pistachio macaroons, fresh cantaloupe juice, or an exotic durian fruit milkshake. Complete your snacks with hot green tea, milk tea, or a sweet matcha latte tea.
Location: 388 Ninth St.
Ramen noodle shops are quite popular in Asian cultures. You can sample premier ramen noodle dishes when you stop by Sobo Ramen, with offerings such as the spicy black tonkotsu with black garlic oil, savory vegetarian miso ramen with shitake mushrooms, and ramen soup with chicken and fish broth, soft-boiled egg, and bamboo shoots.
Location: 988 Franklin St., Suite 186.
Contact: Via the website.
Ming’s Tasty Restaurant
Ming’s Tasty Restaurant also specializes in dim sum, with dishes including the red bean pineapple bun and corn and ham bun. You can also order tasty treats like sweet rice wrap, beef chow fun, and egg custard. Or, why not try the savory pork spare ribs, shrimp dumplings, or sweet rice wraps to satisfy your palate?
Location: 723 E. 12th St.
Nothing beats baked treats and a hot beverage on an Oakland morning, and you’ll find the perfect to-go items for breakfast or an afternoon snack at Bake Sum. Several Bay Area restaurant reviewers, including those who write for the San Francisco Chronicle, have voted Bake Sum one of the best places to eat in the area. At Bake Sum, you can pick up mochi bites, pineapple milk buns, ginger biscuits, and cookies topped with black sesame seeds.
Location: 3249 Grand Ave.
Tastee Steam Kitchen
Tastee Steam Kitchen offers steamed dishes to keep the flavors of the seafood intact. You’ll enjoy seafood that’s light and tasty with limited oils. Try a steamed hotpot with clams, shrimp, blue crab, fish, basil, and fresh vegetables, or one with beef with ginger, cabbage, and black mushrooms. Add sushi rolls or Bento boxes filled with salmon teriyaki or chicken teriyaki to complete your steamed hot pot meal at Tastee Steam Kitchen.
Location: 329 11th St.
If you enjoy milk teas, you’ll appreciate the offerings at T4 Oakland. Taro milk tea, pearl milk tea, and elegant rose royal tea are house specialties at T4 Oakland. You can also enjoy tasty treats, such as watermelon milk tea, peppermint milk tea, and roasted oolong milk tea with grass jelly. For a super special beverage treat, why not try the Oreo peppermint milk tea or the jasmine milk tea?
Location: 1068 Webster St.
Shooting Star Cafe
You’ll feel like you’re eating in a cafe in Hong Kong when you dine at the Shooting Star Cafe. This Cantonese-style neighborhood restaurant offers noodle soups, seafood dishes, wonton dishes, and satay skewers. You can also order goodies such as Chinese onion pancakes, bean sprout chow mien, and curry chicken to satisfy your exotic food cravings. Be sure to save room for desserts, which include egg puffs with mango or fresh strawberries, whipped cream crepes with fresh fruit, and exotic coconut cake.
Location: 1022 Webster St.
Fen Classic Guilin Rice Noodles
Enjoy eating Guilin rice noodles made from rice flour when you dine at Fen Classic Guilin Rice Noodles. This style of noodle dates back over 2,000 years to the Qin Dynasty and comes in two shapes: round or flat strips. Chefs often simmer the noodles in broth with beef, pork, or chicken with added vegetables and seasonings. Guilin noodles are fragrant, chewy, and satisfying.
At Fen Classic Guilin Rice Noodles, you can get clear broth rice noodles made with pork beef or cabbage, spicy rice noodles with beef tripe, or house specialties with barbecued pork or deep-fried eggs. Wash down your meal with soy milk, sour plum juice, or orange tea. You’ll also find Classic Guilin Rice Noodles in Milpitas and San Mateo.
Location: 188 10th St.
There you have our list of places to get authentic Asian treats in Oakland Chinatown. Which of these spots for Asian food is your favorite? Are there other locations around Oakland, California, that serve authentic Asian dishes you can recommend? If you know of a spot, let us know. The team at De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers always enjoy learning about amazing Asian dining spots in our area.
Photo Credit: Image by zmtomako is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0