The 2018 Guide to Orinda Restaurants – Bon Appétit!

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By ELANA O’LOSKEY

Staff Writer

Why not stay local to avoid traffic and parking hassles? Try dining hometown whether it’s a quick bite or a relaxed meal. Options include coffee/tea, healthy smoothies, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, a little nosh, a glass of wine or beer, scotch, or just takeout. Enjoy afternoon Happy Hour plus entertainment most Thur. – Sat. evenings at the Fourth Bore. Listen to pianist Patti Leidecker and drop-in singers at Cine Cuvee on Sun. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Skip the mess and treat the kids. Thanks for making a hometown choice. Keep this section or go online to www.orindanews.org, Oct. 2018.

 

AMERICAN/CALIFORNIA CUISINE
Casa Orinda
20 Bryant Way
925-254-2981
www.casaorinda.net

Hours:  Dinner Mon. – Sat. 4 to 10 p.m.; Bar Mon. – Thur. 4 to 11 p.m.; Bar Fri. – Sat. 4 to 12 a.m.; Sun. Dinner 4 to 9 p.m.; Bar 4 to 10 p.m.
The Casa is Contra Costa County’s oldest continuously operating restaurant, celebrating 86 years! Try their prime rib, luscious fried chicken with homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes or sign up for a winemaker’s dinner. Inside are historical photos of rodeo dudes and cowgirls plus antique firearms. Enjoy the full bar at this local gem – a place out of time. Reservations recommended. 
 

Cine Cuvée
2 Theatre Square, #103
925-386-0125
www.cinecuvee.com

Hours: Mon. – Thur. 5 to 9 p.m.; Fri. 4 to 11 p.m.; Sat. – Sun. Brunch 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Sat. 3 to 11 p.m.; Sun. 3 to 9 p.m.; Closed Mon.
Sip flights of wine or craft beer while lounging on a leather banquette and watch a silent film. Listen to pianist Patti Leidecker and drop-in singers on Open Mic Night, Sun., 6 to 9 p.m. Get your laugh on the first Wed. of every month at 7 p.m. stand-up Comedy Night. Try the New England lobster roll, lobster cocktail or Atlantic shrimp cocktail. Outdoor seating. Check website for special offers/events.

 

Fourth Bore Tap Room and Grill
2 Theatre Square, #130
925-254-1183
www.thefourthbore.com

Hours: Sun. – Thur. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Happy Hour Mon. – Thur. 2 to 5 p.m., Mon. all day
Orinda’s alehouse sporting 28 craft beer rotating taps, wine list and a full bar. Try the Brussels sprouts appetizer, grilled salmon Caesar salad, cheese steak or Portobelo mushroom sandwich or anything from the wood fired grill. Sports on eight flat screens. Large outdoor seating with screen, big fire pit, comfy seating and event deck for live music most Thur. – Sat. evenings. Happy hour bar menu.  Check online for specials and events. Dog friendly, validated parking.

 

Nation’s Giant Hamburgers and Great Pies
76 Moraga Way
925-254-8888
www.nationsrestaurants.com

Hours:  Open 7 days – Sun. – Wed. 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thur. 6 a.m. to midnight; Fri. – Sat. 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Late at night and starving? Fast-food joints have nothing on these big, juicy burgers cooked just how you like ‘em. They’ll do it just as fast and for takeout too. Breakfast served all day. Pies by the slice or whole. Kids love this place and you won’t break the bank. 

 

Reem’s Steaks
70 Moraga Way
925-253-2004 

Hours: Mon. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Sun.
Try one of their 15 types of Philly cheese steak sandwiches, eight burger choices, fish and chips or shrimp and chips. Nice selection of Korean BBQ – your choice of grilled beef short ribs, Bul-Go-Gi, spicy pork or chicken teriyaki served with rice and vegetables. Nutella lovers will like the crepes made with bananas or strawberries. Kid friendly with a special menu for them; take out.  

 

Shelby’s
2 Theatre Square, #152
925-254-9687
www.shelbyseatbetter.com

Hours:  Lunch Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner Tue. – Thur. 5 to 8:30 p.m.; Dinner Fri. – Sat. 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Brunch Sat. – Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sun. Dinner 5 to 8 p.m.
Popular for business breakfasts and lunches. Try their Chinese chicken salad, salmon bistro style, grilled Caesar salad. Desserts include crème brûlé and chocolate Charlotte. Full bar, patio seating great for people watching. Validated parking, wheelchair accessible, dog-friendly.
 

CAFES
Caffé Teatro
26 Orinda Way
(under the Orinda Library)
925-254-5871

Hours:  Mon. – Thur. 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fri. 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Orinda’s answer to Cheers. Outdoor tables/umbrellas to enjoy changing art sculptures while sipping Illy coffee made to order; almond or soy milk on request. Try a generous, reasonably priced breakfast or lunch sandwich, or Bulgogi Korean BBQ. Quality tea selection. Kid friendly. 

 

Genuine Goodness

21 Orinda Way, Suite G
925-317-3348
www.gengoodness.com

Hours:  Breakfast Mon. – Fri. 9 to 11:30 a.m.; Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Sat. – Sun.
Owned by two Orindans who create handcrafted soups, salads sandwiches and smoothies made from all-natural, high-quality products. Menu changes daily such as chicken Masala sandwich with mango, tuna salad sandwich with lemon juice, apples and cranberries. They bake fresh daily and provide gluten-free options. Ample parking, outdoor seating. 

 

Geppetto’s Caffe
87 Orinda Way
925-253-9894

Hours:  Mon. – Fri. 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Sun.
Speedy drink service in the morning with fresh pastries or a breakfast burrito. Outside umbrellas offer a respite so you can enjoy a veggie sandwich on gluten free bread or a tasty BLAT. Homemade soup and smoothies. Order by phone at busy lunch time for quick service.
 

Peet’s Coffee and Tea
63 Moraga Way
925-258-9328
www.peets.com

Hours:  Mon. – Fri. 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. – Sun. 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Exceptional beans freshly roasted and served up by expert baristas. Variety of teas and tasty pastries. Try their ethereal jasmine downy pearls tea.  Wi Fi; comfy seating inside, benches
outside. 
 

Starbucks
2 Theatre Square, #106
925-258-0476
www.starbucks.com

Hours:  Open 7 days – Mon. – Sun. 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Convenient location, friendly baristas, coffee in every shape and form, fine teas, seasonal specials and tempting pastries. Also healthy snacks. Specials change often. Free Wi Fi. 
 

Starbucks
One Camino Sobrante, #9
925-253-0447
www.starbucks.com

Hours: Open 7 days – Mon. – Fri. 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat. – Sun. 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun. 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friendly baristas who remember your name and order; outdoor seating. Coffee in every shape and form, fine teas, seasonal specials, pastries, healthy snacks. Specials change often. Free Wi Fi. 
 

Village Inn Cafe
204 Village Square
925-254-6080
www.orindacoffeeshop.com

Hours: Breakfast Tues. – Sat. 7 to 11:30 a.m., Sun. 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Lunch Tues. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Mon.
A family friendly, no frills diner just right for a cup of coffee, omelette or Belgian waffle. Lunch sandwiches like veggie burgers, avocado-turkey-bacon club; add fries for 50¢. Return visits for corned beef hash, made from scratch. Generous portions, coloring books for kids, easy parking.
 

CHINESE
Szechwan Restaurant Chinese Cuisine
79 Orinda Way (Village Square)
925-254-2020
www.szechwanorinda.com

Hours: Lunch Tue. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner Tue. – Sun. 4 to 9 p.m.; Closed Mon.
Across from the golf course, cozy booths. Return visits for their outstanding sizzling rice soup, potstickers, jalapeno pepper calamari, broccoli or asparagus beef.  Order to go from online menus. Family friendly, beer and wine, easy parking. 
 

Yu Bistro Mandarin and Sezchuan Cuisine
One Orinda Way, #1
925-253-9852
www.yansrestaurant.com/wp

Hours: Lunch Sun.– Mon., Wed. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Dinner Sat. 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Closed Tue.
This family-owned restaurant does a big takeout business. Extensive menu including lunch specials, appetizers, mu-shu pork, soups, Kung Pao prawns. Brown rice on request. No MSG, spiciness at the level you prefer and prepared dry wok at your request.

 

DELICATESSENS
Europa Hofbrau Deli & Pub
64 Moraga Way
925-254-7202     
www.europahofbrau.com       

Hours: Open 7 days – Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A spacious cafeteria style family restaurant with a play area, slide and video games for the kids. Known for delicious corned beef and mash with cabbage, turkey and meats carved, sandwiches created right before your eyes. Grab a stool to catch a game and have a beer on tap. Family fun night every Friday 6 to 8 p.m. with free face painting and ice cream bar for the kids.

 

Subway Sandwiches
2 Theatre Square, #108
510-601-6400
www.subway.com

Hours: Open7 days –  9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
This well-known chain is always good for a sandwich on the run. They carry soup as well. Sandwiches can be ordered in sizes six- or 12-inch; and you pick the bread. It’s all made on the spot. 

 

DESSERTS
Loard’s Ice Cream and Candy
230 Brookwood Road
925-254-3434  
www.loards.com          

Hours:  Mon. – Wed. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thur. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This all-ages Orinda favorite is the perfect place to stop for a generous scoop. Choose waffle or sugar cones or order an ice cream birthday cake. Sample chocolate showers or ube (purple yam, taro root, coconut) ice cream or one of their other 37+ flavors.
  

Republic of Cake
2 Theatre Square, #151
Orinda, CA 94563
925-254-3900
http://republicofcake.com

Hours:  Tue. – Thur. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.*; Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.*; Sun.11 a.m. to 5 p.m.* Closed Mon.
* Or until the display case is sold out.
Delicious, moist cupcakes made with the finest local ingredients such as locally milled flour to keep a low carbon footprint. Seasonal cupcakes including wheat free options; flavors, such as honey-lemon or snickerdoodle, change monthly. Try their chocolate-vanilla or vanilla-vanilla minis.
 

HAWAIIAN
Lava Pit Hawaiian Grill             
2 Theatre Square, #142
925-253-1338
www.lavapit.com

Hours:  Mon. – Thur. noon to 8 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. noon to 8:30 p.m.; Closed Sun.
The aroma of BBQ floats out to meet you. Lunch specials and BBQ mixed grill plate. Yelpers like the fried shrimp and mini bowls, $6 for chicken, steak or pork with steamed veggies and rice; brown rice available. Outdoor seating, bottomless drinks, free Wi Fi.
 

ITALIAN
La Piazza           
15 Moraga Way
925-253-9191
www.lapiazzaorinda.com

Hours: Breakfast Mon. – Sat. 8 a.m. to noon; Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Sun.
Good food, family friendly staff and a cozy atmosphere across from the theater. Try their brick-oven prosciutto pizza, calamari salad, risotto Milanese or penne a la vodka. Tiramisu for dessert, a must try. Weekly specials, local beer and good wine selection by the glass.

 

Piccolo Napoli
2 Theatre Square, #144
925-253-1225            
www.piccolo-napoli.com (check for specials online)

Hours: Open 7 days – Dinner Mon. – Tue. 5 to 9 p.m.; Lunch/Dinner Wed. – Thur. – Sun. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Family owned, excellent service. Traditional thin-crust pizza to gluten free choices, many toppings. Kids menu. Full bar, beer and wine, artisan cocktails. Try the chicken parmesan over penne pasta, Tuscan salad with pears, or gluten free meatballs. Outdoor seating. Orinda home delivery 5 to 8 p.m.

 

Taverna Pellegrini
65 Moraga Way
925-258-4200
www.tavernapellegrini.com

Hours: Open 7 days – Dinner Sun. – Thur. 3 to 10 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. 3 to 11 p.m.
Trattoria setting with three dozen pizza and pasta choices, all made from scratch. Full bar, live music Sat. night. Try the misto salad with hazelnuts and pears, linguine vongole, or beef short ribs; gluten free choices. Tiramisu and affogato are among the many desserts.

 

Village Pizza
19 Orinda Way
925-254-1200            
www.villagepizzaorinda.com

Hours: Open 7 days – Lunch Daily – Mon. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Dinner Sun. – Thur. 5 to 9 p.m.; Dinner Fri. – Sat. 5 to 10 p.m.
Family atmosphere in this casual spot. Wide variety of pizza options from vegetarian to chicken, sausage, pepperoni or tuna. In a hurry? Try a mini pizza for lunch dripping in cheese, served with a salad. Wine, beer; best news yet – they deliver. Local since 1984, family-run.
 

Zamboni’s Pizza
One Camino Sobrante, #4
925-254-2800            

Hours:  Open 7 days – Mon. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Pizza where everything is made fresh daily with additive-free cheeses. Your pizza is built to order; also pizza by the slice and salads. You can eat in, take out, or they deliver. Return visits for a slice of pesto pizza with plenty of garlic, cheese and basil, $5. Wine, beer, soft drinks. 
 

JAPANESE
Hanazen Japanese Sushi
87 Orinda Way
925-254-3611            
www.myhanazen.com

Hours:  Dinner Only Tues. – Sat. 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Reservations only. Closed Sun.
Owner Kenji Horikawa prepares chef’s choice omakase daily. Selective ingredients combined with tradition yields high quality. Yelpers rave about the sushi rice and everything else.  With 12 seats, reservations are a must. Fantastic sake choices.
 

Niwa Restaurant
One Camino Sobrante, #6
925-254-1606             
www.niwarestaurant.com

Hours: Lunch Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sat. 11:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Dinner Mon. – Thur. 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Fri. 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Sat. 3:30 to 10 p.m.; Closed Sun.
Sushi with more fish than rice. Try their lunch specials, oyster shooter, Hank’s roll, salmon skin hand roll or spicy tuna hand roll. Known for their smoky, sweet sauce and complimentary cucumber salad. Check out the specials board, takeout available, order online. Wine, beer and sake. 
 

Serika Restaurant
2 Theatre Square, #118
925-254-7088            

Hours:  Open 7 days – Lunch Mon. – Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner Mon. – Thur. 5 to 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Sun. 5 to 9 p.m.
Fresh sushi in a relaxing spot tucked away from the street. Yelpers like the hamachi collar, sushi platter, miso, obento box with salmon and chicken, tuna, sashimi chirashi and lunch specials. Gluten free soy sauce. Plenty of kid-friendly food. Kirin on tap, wine and sake. 
 

Sushi Island
19 Moraga Way
925-253-8399  
www.sushiislandorinda.com

Hours: Open 7 days – Lunch Mon. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner Mon. – Thur. 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Dinner Fri. – Sat. 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Lunch Sun. noon to 3 p.m.; Dinner 5 to 9 p.m.
Try their super fresh a la carte sashimi, hamachi in creamy sauce, spicy California and spicy tuna rolls, miso soup, tempura, and Orinda roll. Bento lunch box specials $9.50. Kids menu. Real crab meat always served. Order take out online. Beer, wine and sake. 
 

MEDITERRANEAN
Petra Café
2 Theatre Square, #105
254-5290            

Hours: Open 7 days – Mon. – Sun. 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Top marks from online fans for this takeout favorite with its tiny interior and outside tables. Regulars swear by chicken or lamb and beef gyro with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce in a warm fluffy pita. Roasted vegetables, falafel, spanakopita, dolmas, or hummus for vegetarians. 

 

MEXICAN
Baja Cali Taqueria and Grill
23 Orinda Way, #H
925-258-9987
www.facebook.com/BajaCaliTaqueriaGrill

Hours: Open 7 days 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Popular spot for lunch and take out. Yelpers like the tostadas, steak quesadilla, Chicali fries, shrimp and steak burritos, fajita chicken salad, chiles rellenos, and aguachiles. Kids menu. Beer including Negro Modelo, wine, micheladas, or sodas and free Wi Fi. Ample parking in rear of building. 
 

Maya Mexican Grill
74 Moraga Way
925-258-9049            

Hours:  Mon. – Sat., 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Closed Sun. 
Try some of their authentic Mexican dishes from family recipes. All sauces and salsas are made in-house daily; they roast their own chilis, grill their own meat; all platos are cooked to order. Can’t say better than that. Busy at lunchtime so order take out. People come back for: burrito Maya with mole sauce; many vegetarian options; fish tacos, guacamole. Kids menu. Beer, wine and soft drinks.
 

THAI
Baan Thai
99 Orinda Way
925-253-0989
www.baanthaiorinda.com 

Hours:  Open 7 days: Lunch – 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Dinner 4:30 to 9 p.m.
Return visits for chicken satay appetizer with peanut sauce, Thai crunch salad, pumpkin curry with prawns. Lunch specials with entrée choice, sauce choice (curry, ginger, etc.) rice and salad. Options include tofu, vegetables, chicken, prawns, scallops or calamari. Vegan upon request, take out. Wine, beer, Thai iced tea, hot ginger tea. Off street parking in rear of building complex.  

 

Siam Orchid
23 Orinda Way, #F
925-253-1975
www.siamorchidorinda.com

Hours: Open daily – Lunch Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner 4:30 to 9 p.m.

Family owned and operated. A white tablecloth experience with full bar. Return visits for appetizer combo for two with satay chicken, real crab Rangoon, egg rolls, fresh spring rolls, and tasty chicken shrimp rolls. Or try the ginger salad, papaya salad, veggie pad Thai; brown rice on request. Lunch specials served with egg roll, salad and steamed rice. Take out available, online menu. Ample parking in the rear.

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