Dining at The Habit, TrueBurger, and Shan Dong

The Dining Guide is a list of restaurants visited and recommended by our writers.


New Alameda Listing

The Habit Burger Grill

BURGERS The Santa Barbara–based chain is gaining ground in the East Bay, most recently at Alameda Landing, which came quickly on the heels of a San Leandro opening. The draw is the “Charburger,” which comes with mayo, lettuce, pickles, and grilled onions—not bad for a mere $2.95. Add cheese, bacon, or avocado, or even go for a lettuce wrap. Or try the teriyaki char with grilled pineapple, the barbecue bacon char, the mushroom char, or the Santa Barbara Style char. Yes, it’s fast food, but not many other grab-and-go joints offer add-ons like sweet potato fries, tempura green beans, grilled sandwiches (from chicken and tri-trip to albacore tuna, a veggie burger, and club) or as robust salads. It’s clean, new, and service-oriented eat-in or take-out dining. A few kiddie things, plus shakes, malts, cones, sundaes, and even pretty good strawberry-limeade will give this chainster some staying power. Serves lunch and dinner daily. 2640 Fifth St., 510-337-9982. www.HabitBurger.com CC Wheelchair Accessible $


New Oakland Listing

The Growlers’ Arms

ENGLISH The Growlers’ Arms walks a tightrope between its casual, rustic feel and its elevated intentions, but it puts to rest once and for all the outdated and dimwitted stereotypes of bad English and Irish cooking. The space, the former Glenview business district home of Marzano, has been remodeled in the style of a British country pub, one turning out upmarket, seasonal, presentation-conscious renditions of English, Scottish, and Irish classics. That means warm potato salad, a shaved Brussels sprouts salad, a $28 pork chop, haggis (though like none other), an English-style fish plate (with the best-ever chips), oxtail and leek pudding butter, bubble and squeak, smoked halibut omelet, oysters, clams, Lancashire hot pot, fish pie, ore apple pie, and the classic dessert, Spotted Richard (aka Dick). The cocktail program and the genial proprietors are enough to make you want to become a regular. Serves brunch Sat.–Sun., lunch and dinner Sun., and dinner Tue.–Sat. 4214 Park Blvd., 510-328-1315. www.TheGrowlersArms.com CC Full Bar Reservations Accepted Wheelchair Accesible $$$-$$$$


New Oakland Listing


BURGERS Need a gourmet burger fast? You can get it here, in this newcomer to Broadway. Greg Eng and Jason Low’s second TrueBurger outpost sports minimalist, no-frills décor with lots of windows, faux wood, and polished concrete floors in a decent-sized space that shares a deck with neighboring Underwood Café. Same drill here as at the Grand Street original, with customers ordering at the counter and being served on a metal tray. The Angus beef patty, medium, rides on a fluffy egg bun with garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato, and, if ordered, American cheese. Add fries and an over-the-top milk shake, maybe with a crazy add-in, for a full-blown All-American burger experience. Serves lunch and dinner. www.TruBurger.com. 4101 Broadway, 510-883-8808. CC Beer & Wine Wheelchair Accessible $-$$


New Oakland Listing

District Oakland

AMERICAN District is best known as a wine and whiskey bar with small plates. After all, the clubby Old Oaklander offers more than 40 wines by the glass, more than 60 craft whiskeys, and snack-ish bites like oysters, deviled eggs, and french fries to accompany a well-curated cocktail lineup. But it’s also a pretty nice place to savor a Sunday brunch. The bottomless brunch buffet is $20 ($32 with endless Mimosas) with novel breakfast items like ceviche mixta, fried sweet plantains, braised collard greens, and organic baby green salad, plus biscuits and gravy, buttermilk pancakes with banana-rum syrup, bacon and spicy sausage, chipotle-garlic breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs with cheese, cheddar grits, and chocolate chip bread pudding. Fill up your plate with sweets, head out to the sidewalk patio, eat, and then return to the buffet, maybe to load up on savories, and then do it all again—we dare you. Serves dinner Mon.–Sat. and brunch on Sunday. 827 Washington St., 510-272-9110. www.DistrictOak.com CC Full Bar Wheelchair Accessible $$–$$$


New Oakland Listing

Shan Dong Restaurant

CHINESE Go here for the most delicious sesame noodles. They are hand-pulled, chewy threads thickly covered with a peanutty-flavored sauce with a hint of spice to make them that much more memorable. From the outside, Shan Dong looks like almost every other Chinatown storefront, and the interior is fairly nondescript with small two-tops and a few massive round tables with lazy Susans atop a dull tile floor. But the kitchen at the perennially popular and packed restaurant, especially at lunch time, has a real way with noodles. And dumplings. And onion pancakes. And mu shu. And just about everything else from Northern China. Jut put Shan Dong on your go-to list for handmade noodles. 328 10th St., 510-839-2299. www.ShanDongRestaurantSF.com Wheelchair Accessible $–$$

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