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“Cool, beautiful decor; excellent food & value” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sidebar

Sidebar
542 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610-3515
510-452-9500
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Ranked #100 of 1,119 Restaurants in Oakland
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Oakland, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Cool, beautiful decor; excellent food & value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Sidebar is close to where we live, so we go every once in a while and are always pleased. The place is always very busy, but not very noisy. Because we can hear each other, we linger over our meals and aren't eager to leave. The bar is in the middle of the room and the tables are on the sides. They have a good wine list and lots of delicious specialty cocktails. The hamburger is always good; the grilled swordfish brochette is excellent; as are the steamed mussels. During pleasant evenings they open the big front windows and you can enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Merritt, one of Oakland's crown jewels. Clientele is very diverse, just like Oakland.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    8
    2
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Castro Valley
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Burgers.....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Sat at the Bar and had one of the wonderful burgers on the menu. Service was solid, and the ambiance quite nice. A neighborhood gem filled with local vitality! I shall be back to further explore the menu.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“Great Neighborhood Gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

This is my neighborhood & we go at least once a month. The food is simple and uncomplicated American food well done. I only order a couple items because they are so good: the burger I believe to be the best burger in the Bay Area. Always perfectly cooked, with a side of house pickled onions and cuc's, a slightly spicy sauce, and an uninteresting bun of perfect texture to hold together under all the juicyness. YOU MUST order the 'regular herb fries' as it otherwise comes with large cut baked fries which I find just plain wrong! If I'm not in the mood for the burger, I get the mussels which are always great. Cocktails are super and I love that they have locavore versions. My only wish is that they'd change up the menu which has been almost exactly the same for a long time now. I also think the entrees on the whole are too big and too heavy...great steak and frites, etc. but a couple lighter dishes would be nice. This is a neighborhood gem. Don't go for creative cooking but do go for really good food at reasonable prices, great cocktails and friendly folks.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Oakland, California
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Fantastic place for food and drink”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

The Michelin guide says three stars are "worth the detour." Well sidebar is worth a detour. Maybe not a great 500 k detour, but if you happen to be in the area, you should go there. Terrific drinks and fabulous food at reasonable prices. Great atmosphere too. Not too big so it might get crowded, but on a Tuesday night we did not have to wait and found a spot on the kitchen counter.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Palm Springs, California
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Wonderful Bar and Menu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

I decided to walk around Lake Merritt and find a place for lunch. I passed the Sidebar and liked the menu in the window. I was not disappointed. The sandwich I had included a salad. All ingredients were organic. Just delicious. That evening I took my daughter for drinks. It being the Christmas holidays, we decided to have a Tom and Jerry. The bartenders at the Sidebar are experts at making new drinks. Our Tom & Jerry was with homemade batter. It was a fantastic drink. I can not wait to visit Oakland again so I can return to the Sidebar for dinner and drinks!

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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