The Best Restaurant For Breakfast In Oakland, California

Best breakfast restaurant in Oakland? That’s a personal question.

This post is meant to start a fight that needed to happen long ago. What’s the best place for breakfast in Oakland, California? Everyone has their favorites, and for reasons as different as the people who give them. But for this blogger, who’s lived in Oakland since 1974, there are just a few places that get it right.

The one place that’s centrally located and with great food and service is Lakeshore’s Cafe at 3257 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. I’ve eaten here so much that I was the “Mayor of Lakeshore’s Cafe” according to Foresquare, for some time. And while I’ve not been around as much to hold on to my title, I still go back there whenever I have the chance. And there’s one dish I order far more than most: the Lakeshore’s Omlette in the YouTube video from Zennie62.

The Lakeshore’s Omlet consists of chicken apple sausage, mushrooms, spinach, salsa & cheddar, and costs $11.50. You have to pour tabasco sauce on it, as much as you can stand. I always get either extra potatoes, or fruit, rather than the english muffn, but that’s by choice; the muffin is excellent. With the Lakshore’s Omelette, I also order water, coffee, and cranberry juice. And I’ve done it so much over the years, the service people know what I want without my saying a thing. And that’s what leads me to what else I like about Lakeshore’s Cafe.

The service that’s given is nice, honest, and caring. I don’t want to name specific people, because then I might leave out someone else who’s nice too, so I’ll just say everyone’s great: servers, cooks, and the owner.

Lakeshore’s Cafe is the best place in Oakland for breakfast – just make sure you get there before 4 PM, because it closes after that time. And on Sunday’s get their early, because the brunch time between 11 and 2 is packed! But it’s worth the wait.

I’ve held a lot of my Zennie62 on YouTube interviews at Lakeshore’s Cafe, like this epic one with Joe Tuman when he was running for office…

Or this interview with Catherine and Kyle Fisher in 2009, who built and ran the original Parkway Theater in Oakland and the Cerrito Theater in El Cerrrito – both sadly gone now.

And then there was this interview, one of the most upsetting and yet eye-opening I’ve ever conducted, in 2012, and with Ali Saleem Bey, and John Muhammad Bey of the same Bey Family not just connected with the murder of my friend Oakland Post Reporter Chauncey Bailey, but the focus of rival factions within the same family. A sad story. This, too, was at Lakeshore’s Cafe.

A more fun talk with with Dana King when she was running for The Oakland District Two Seat in 2014:

As was this talk with her challenger Oakland City Council District Two representative Sokhom Mao…

In case you’re wondering, I did interview current Oakland City District Two Councilmember Abel Guillen, but at Farley’s Cafe…

So, for me, Lakeshore’s Cafe is a kind of community center in Lake Merritt. It’s also a great place for breakfast.

My other great places, are as follows:

  • Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe at 1805 Telegraph Av in Downtown Oakland, which serves breakfast, round the clock.
  • Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland on 2534 Mandela Pkwy, and for which I don’t get to visit anywhere near as much as I would like. It’s been way, way, way too long, and Lakeshore’s Cafe’s walking distance from my place in Adams Point. But the good news is it’s expanding into the Uptown District. I can’t wait.
  • Mama’s Royal Cafe at 4012 Broadway in Oakland is a classic, with perhaps the best offering of weird but good omelet’s you’re going to get in Oakland. Check it out, and see what I mean.

Now, I have to admit, I’m kind of a “rut” guy, and have places I habitually go to. What are your favorites, in Oakland and why? Send me an email at or post below. I’ll update this post with the entries I receive.

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