Casual Eats.

Looking for a quick spot to satisfy your cravings?! These Bay Area joints are the perfect place for tasty fast food.

1. Beauty’s Bagel Shop: I love a good bagel; chewy dense dough toasted and smeared with cream cheese, what’s not to love?! Beauty’s Bagel Shop in Oakland takes inspiration from Montréal’s famous bagels which are boiled in honey sweetened water and then baked in a wood fired oven. Their iconic bagel flavors include plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, onion, garlic, wheat, salt and pepper, cinnamon raisin, and everything, and they have tons of different flavored cream cheeses. You can even get bagel sandwiches and side dishes. I had to get the classic open faced sandwich on an everything bagel topped with lox, cream cheese, red onions, tomato, and capers. So good.

Classic Open Faced Bagel Sandwich.

2. Mai Banh Mi: This newly opened joint in Oakland serves up fresh and flavorful Vietnamese food. Mai Banh Mi has tons of different banh mi sandwiches, spring rolls, and rice or vermicelli noodle plates. Even though they’re known for their sandwiches (they look super delicious), I decided to try the grilled pork vermicelli noodle plate. The pork was outstanding; tender sweet meat served with carrots, peanuts, and aromantic herbs, all on top of vermicelli noodles and lettuce. Next time, I’ll be sure to try one of their sandwiches since I know it will be bomb.

Grilled Pork Vermicelli Noodle Plate.

3. AS B-Dama: Located inside Swan’s Market in Oakland, AS B-Dama serves tasty and fast Japanese food. Swan’s Market is the perfect place if you’re with a group of picky eaters since it’s essentially in a food market with various options such as Mexican, pizza, seafood, Indian,  American, and much more. At AS B-Dama we tried 3 types of nigiri sushi: salmon belly, tuna, and fluke (the fluke was my favorite). We also ordered udon noodles (super satisfying on a cold day), tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet with sweet tonkatsu sauce), and sake kama (grilled salmon collar with lemon and daikon).

Salmon Belly Nigiri, Tuna Nigiri, and Fluke Nigiri.


Hot Udon Soup.

Sake Kama with White Rice.

4. Monster Pho: There’s nothing more satisfying and comforting than a bowl of hot noodle soup on a cold rainy day. Monster Pho in Oakland not only has pho noodle soup but appetizers, noodle salad, and rice plates. Both the appetizers we tried were pretty average, nothing spectacular. I ordered the vegetable pho because I wanted all the various vegetables plus the tofu but you can add some meat like I did. The pho broth was quite tasty and I loved all the kinds of vegetables in the noodle soup. Of course adding the jalapeños, freshly squeezed lime juice, and fresh Thai basil only bump up the flavor of the pho.

Shrimp Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.

Chicken Potstickers.

Vegetable Pho with Added Beef.

Bean Sprouts, Jalapeños, Limes, and Thai Basil for the Pho.

5. Gregoire: This is the perfect place to get gourmet takeout for lunch or dinner! Gregoire has two locations, Oakland and Berkeley, and serves mostly sandwiches for lunch and New American cuisine for dinner. I’ve only been there for lunch and I love all their creative sandwiches and different potato side dishes. Without a doubt you must try their potato puffs, airy fried balls of heaven!

Also check out my favorite sandwich shops, Oaktown’s neighborhood joints, and healthy feel good food posts!

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