In Uptown, Hopscotch may look like just a diner, with its lipstick red chairs and black-and-white checkered floor tiles. But the menu is so refined that even the Michelin guide took note. Under chef Kyle Itani, a Japanese influence weaves through most of the dishes, from the salads with burdock root and the oysters with citrus soy sauce to the buttermilk fried chicken with black sesame. Other menu offerings taste purely of Europe, like the roasted trout with beurre blanc. The polished cocktails are not what you’d find at any diner either: the “Wagonwheel” combines bourbon, maple syrup, hot coffee, and scotch cream. Though you could come for a few bites and drinks during happy hour, the best value menus are at lunch and weekend brunch.
Reservations: Highly recommended.
Directions: It’s a five-minute walk northwest of Oakland’s 19th St. BART station. For more Transportation details see Oakland and Around (in the yellow bar).