Bay Area Bites: Restaurant Recommendations

4 mins read

People cope with quarantine boredom in different ways. Some go outside, others call friends, and still others pass the time by staring blankly into space reading. No matter what your quarantine hobbies are, you’ve got to eat. Sometimes food is the only motivation to get through the day…and when your next meal is the only thing on your mind, it’s easy to exhaust all your options. Looking for new inspiration? Here are a few spots to try out if you haven’t already (all of these restaurants do takeout and no-contact delivery).

Le Boulanger

I was surprisingly emotional visiting this popular downtown spot–as soon as I walked in, I could almost see the group of M-A students waiting in line and doing homework together in the booths. Le Boulanger has always been an M-A favorite, serving as the perfect place to celebrate the first day of break or just hang out. I got the pesto chicken sandwich with a side of chips (not pictured). There is a lot of flexibility to customize your order with certain add-ons, and you can also pick between ciabatta, 9-grain, Dutch crunch, and sourdough bread (I ended up with what is arguably the lamest option, 9-grain, because my mom ordered this for me). Nonetheless, it was toasted to perfection and very enjoyable. The only drawback is that these sandwiches are on the smaller side, so they may not be filling enough for some people. I would definitely advise against choosing 9-grain bread if you’re looking for something more satisfying, because it becomes very airy when toasted.

Overall rating: 7/10 — good, but lacks excitement.


For more appetizing pictures, check out the Sweetgreen website! I believe there is truly something for everyone here. Sweetgreen is a great place for people looking to increase their vegetable intake in the most painless way possible! On the left is the Honey Chicken Plate (with blackened chicken because they ran out of their famous chicken thigh), and on the right is the Pesto Protein Bowl. I’m always amazed by how flavorful all the vegetables are, and all of their menu items are still very filling. Once again, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing what’s in your bowl or salad; some of my favorite add-ons are mushrooms, chickpeas, and the spicy broccoli. All of the ingredients are sustainable and locally sourced, which is another great reason to support this chain. And get this: if you’re looking to make something similar at home, you can shoot @sweetgreen a direct message on Instagram–they’re very responsive, and are often willing to share their recipes! 

Overall rating: 9/10 — this place seems like it has its life together.


Oren’s Hummus

I’d like to stress that my photography is very underwhelming, and hardly does the food justice, but Oren’s Hummus is the real deal. This is one of their pita sandwiches with green falafel, but you can choose among grilled chicken, chicken schnitzel, and beef (you can even add fries inside!). Everything about this place is incredible–their pitas are to die for. I always order 2-3 on the side to save for another time, because you’ll never find pitas this good anywhere else. You can also buy their freshly made hummus to go (original, green cabbage, chunky eggplant…the options are endless) and eat it with the pitas. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, there are chicken/lamb/beef kebabs and rice bowls too. I strongly recommend eating here, or at least buying their pita and hummus. 

Overall rating: 10/10–it’s a yes from me. 


Lulu’s on the Alameda

While Lulu’s is already well-known for its burritos and tacos, I had to include this particular photo for the sake of my fellow seafood haters. Above is the fish taco on a corn tortilla. You might be thinking: of all meats to fill a heavenly tortilla with, who in their right mind would choose fish? Apparently a good amount of people do. In fact, this is a go-to order for my parents. It took a long time for them to convince me to try the grilled fish inside the taco, but I must say I was shocked–there was no seafood taste whatsoever, and it honestly tasted just as good as any other meat option. To anyone trying to eat more fish, I would suggest starting with this taco. The combination of salsa, avocado, chipotle sauce, and radish definitely drowns out any trace of fishiness. I applaud Lulu’s for their ability to make anything and everything taste good. 

Overall rating: 7/10–good, but still…why fish tacos? 

West Park Farm and Sea

Another very nostalgic place, as it’s right by the movie theater in Redwood City. This is a local Mediterranean restaurant that I think deserves way more attention. They specialize in grilled skirt steak (I got the steak wrap, but the bowls are also super good) and falafels. Not only is the food tasty, but the owners are great people. Even given the current situation with the pandemic, I’d be remiss to mention the indoor atmosphere: there is a real cozy feel inside, and you can watch the chefs make your food. The portions are perfectly sized and very well presented (once again, ignore my photography). When I walked in to pick up my takeout, I noticed the place was empty; maybe it was just a slow day, but I would hate to think of this wonderful restaurant suffering. Next time you’re unsure where to eat, consider taking a chance on West Park Farm and Sea–it’ll be delicious, and you can get some movie theater vibes!

Overall rating: 9/10–a hidden gem. 


Additional shoutouts: 

Taqueria La Cazuela: An authentic Mexican restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with great vegetarian options as well.









Real Produce International MarketThis is not a restaurant, but it is a brand new grocery store that specializes in Mediterranean produce. They sell delicious guavas, and the berries are very affordable (sometimes they even give you free boxes!).

Emily Xi is a senior and first-year journalist with the Chronicle. She is interested in writing about M-A, technology, and pop culture.

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