Sandwiches … you know, those things that your mom used to slap together for your brown paper bag lunch.
At times, sandwiches can be the unglamorous PB&J or a bologna-mayonnaise abomination. Other times, the lowest common denominator in your lunch box can be elevated to a level of culinary excellence.
Within a two block radius of Grand Avenue and Broadway in uptown Oakland, you’ll find multiple establishments striving to give the sandwich a more respectable reputation. So, if you find yourself in that part of town during lunchtime, or perhaps even dinner time, we’d like to offer you some advice on which direction to head (because we know that with the demise of Bakesale Betty you might be feeling a bit lost).
Farley’s East, at 33 Grand Ave, is best known for being an excellent coffee shop where work-from-home types and thesis writers can plop down and cozy in for a few hours worth of writing, working and good coffee. However, while mostly known as place to get a coffee shop with a friendly staff and an extensive selection of upper crust, international fashion and culture magazines, Farley’s also offers up some tasty items to go with your cup of joe.
Weekly specialties showcase the Farley’s kitchen’s creativity, with ingredients such as prosciutto, Italian sausage, exotic pestos, roasted yams and weird cheeses. Their usual fare includes both hot and cold sandwiches such as turkey clubs, tuna salad and grilled cheese. Vegan options available.
Go to Farley’s: If you need a double Americano and this month’s Vogue Italia with your sandwich routine.
With the brightly colored walls and old school lunch boxes on the wall, you won’t be able to miss Ike’s Lair – nor should you. Ike’s - located at 2204 Broadway - is the type of place that has already achieved cult status with its storefront in San Francisco, where sandwich makers pile on the meat, the cheese,and a variety of unexpected condiments and toppers to create indulgent, mouth watering, stomach filling sandwiches. There won’t be much room for dessert after, but, just in case, Ike's offers sodas, chips and cookies, as well as a free lollipop with every sandwich.
Ike’s offers a few twists on old classics, such as the Paul Reubens, its take on the classic reuben sandwich, and intriguing new concoctions, such as Going Home for Thanksgiving with turkey, cranberry and sriracha. The only seating available is outdoors, so make sure you get your grub to go on rainy days. Vegan options available.
Go to Ike’s: If you’re the type of person who prefers to order your sandwich with an app and you want your sandwich to have mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers and tons of meat in it, if you so choose, of course.
What was once Mama Buzz - an arts café that catered to vegans and other health conscious eaters - has done a complete 180 and has now become Telegraph, aka Sausage, a veritable homage to meat and meat eaters. Pancakes, coffee, beer and pear and boar sausages grace the quirky menu.
The large beer garden out back of the café at 2318 Telegraph is the perfect place to sit and compose emails to your parents telling them that you’re doing something with your life or to play one of the many guitars floating around, with a kitschy indoor décor that is faintly reminiscent of a hipster-inspired Applebee’s. No vegan options available.
Go to Telegraph/Sausage: If you want to pretend you’re an artist without really being an artist while eating a heart stopping bacon cheeseburger on a donut.
The newly opened Sweet Bar Bakery has taken over the former home of MacFarlane’s Candy and Ice Cream with grace and aplomb. The beautiful space at 2355 Broadway has ample seating and offers a beautiful view of pastries, cookies and cakes for sale.
Much like its sweet tooth offerings, the sandwiches are unfussy, elegant and delectable. Ingredients are high quality and honest – staff will let you know all the details behind the flour, eggs, sweeteners and dairy used – and that honesty shines through when tasting the food. With a few sandwiches, flatbreads and salads on the lunch menu, Sweet Bar Bakery is the perfect place to share a Niman ham and gruyere sandwich or coffee and flourless chocolate cake with a first date ... or even a 32nd date.
Go to Sweet Bar Bakery: If you want to get some vegan, gluten free and also some straight up, traditionally indulgent pastries for your kids or coworkers with that artisanal sandwich.
You might know Luka’s Tap Room & Lounge, located at 2221 Broadway, as an excellent night spot with amazing DJ’s and an ass shaking dance floor, but from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays, Luka’s is an upscale, sit down restaurant that offers a tasty lunch menu complete with sandwiches, appetizers, entrees and well-crafted cocktails. The sandwich section of the menu offers several meaty options, such as the BLT[A], the burger and a grilled cheese and tomato soup combo, that are sure to offer ample sustenance and palatable hunger relief. If you’ve still got time left over during your lunch break, be sure to grab a beer or two and hit up the pool table in the back.
Go to Luka’s Tap Room: If you’d like a handcrafted, seasonal cocktail and some mussels with that restaurant vibe sandwich expedition.
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