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With great access to the ocean and bay, the East Bay offers some terrific dining spots with enough fresh and tasty seafood and glittering views to earn well-deserved reputations. Here are five East Bay restaurants diners keep coming back to.
20050 San Pablo Ave.
Crockett, CA 94525
The Dead Fish sits as close to the water as can be, with a killer view of the Carquinez Straits along with the twinkly bridge as a close backdrop. With its comfy interior and classy-casual atmosphere, what causes the most excitement and brings diners back time and again is simply the great food. Fans go on and on about the tasty fish and seafood they’ve had, and the views, the cozy booth seating and the perfect tables near the windows in the bar go a long way in adding to the enjoyment. An Open Table Diners’ Choice Winner, 2013, The Dead Fish has it all, from calamari, oysters, crab cakes and crab chowder appetizers, to seafood tureens including Dead Fish stew, to salads, crab and meat sandwiches, pastas, surf & turf and “Other Dead Things,” as the menu says. Bring the kids, as there are menu items for them too. Try this spot for brunch on weekends and holidays for a crab Benedict or omelet, along with more traditional fare such as fresh blueberry or apple pancakes. The bar has some fun with its drink names, such as the Fish Breath Mint Julep, Red Herring Moscow Mojito and the Bloody Shark. “Who would name a restaurant The Dead Fish?” Find out here.
1520 Lakeside Drive
Oakland, CA 94612
Situated on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill is a charming spot to eat, drink, get a little romantic or simply enjoy a casual evening with family and friends. The restaurant is well known for its fresh seafood, including a raw bar offering six oyster choices plus crab and prawns. Lunch and dinner menus highlight an array of fish, seafood, steak, chicken and lamb dishes, plus a variety of before-, during- and after-meal choices to complete the feast. Lake Chalet extends the enjoyment with weekend brunch beginning at 10 a.m. plus a double-the-pleasure daily happy hour twice each day. Visit the website for more information and to view the menus.
1333 N. California Blvd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
For over 35 years, Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar has been a successful go-to spot for seafood meals, first opening in San Francisco and then adding a second location in Walnut Creek. While the menu is heavily seafood and fish based, there are also pizza, hamburger, chicken, pork chop and steak options available. Sunday adds a lively Champagne Jazz Brunch Buffet featuring seafood and traditional brunch specialties, served 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Scott’s Walnut Creek also hosts happy hour on its terrace Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., featuring $3 beers, $4 house wine, $6 well cocktails and $7 appetizers. Check the website for further details, including private dining bookings, holiday and special occasion Sunday Brunch, and Scott’s on-site, full-service, boutique-style flower shop.
1555 Bonanza St.
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
Not actually a yacht club and no membership required, just a nice nautical feel, owners Ellen McCarty and Kevin Weinberg aim “to bring the atmosphere of a day on the Bay to landlocked Walnut Creek.” Many guests say WCYC serves the freshest fish and seafood in Walnut Creek. With a mainly seafood menu – even the mac and cheese gratin contains lobster – there is so much to choose from, and many items come with a novel twist. For folks who prefer their dinner to be more “Terra Firma” based, there is a Moroccan spiced chicken breast and an Angus New York steak available. Fresh fish choices are plentiful and come in your choice of grilled, blackened or sautéed cooking methods. Apply to the free Loyalty Membership program and earn points for every purchase toward a cash back bonus, plus take advantage of members-only monthly promotions, such as the January lobster meal deal for the entire month.
3593 Mount Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
Yankee Pier Sustainable Seafood Restaurant is a lively seafood house offering ocean-fresh local seafood sourced in accord with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. As a designated “Bay Area Green Business” in 2011, the restaurant model “is founded upon adhering to sound environmental practices on every level.” The extensive menus at lunch and dinner include a raw bar, soups and salads and featured fish and shellfish dishes in addition to a few “other than fish” items like New York steak and grilled chicken breast. There are also dessert, gluten-free and kids’ menus, plus a well-priced happy hour. There are other Yankee Pier restaurants in Larkspur and at San Francisco International Airport.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.