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“Overhyped” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Brown Sugar Kitchen

Brown Sugar Kitchen
2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607-1727
510-839-7685
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Ranked #5 of 1,067 Restaurants in Oakland
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Family Fare
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Description: Brown Sugar Kitchen is a full service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch & brunch. We have a Zagat score of 26, which is the highest score for a soul food restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Houston, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Overhyped”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

In a slummy part of Oakland surrounded by industry. There is almost always a line here and sometimes long waits.

The food was good. I've had much of the menu; ordered the fried chicken and waffles, the beignets, the grits etc. Usually a fair wait for the food. I'm a coffee addict and I don't like their coffee! This is one place where I'm grateful when they forget to refill my cup!!

The chicken is OK, a buttermilk variation but have had better. The waffles are good, a cornmeal variant, but again had better. I travel all over the country so have plenty of other restaurants to compare with.

I generally have guests with me. We eat there because of the proximity. When on my own, I eat elsewhere. It is expensive for what you get; usually $20-30 per person for breakfast... I've had better waffles and chicken in another city and paid $6 for it including coffee, a real steal!!!

This is a destination restaurant built on hype as are so many others. Generally I've found that the more media coverage a place gets, the more politicians hang there, the higher the price and inability to meet overblown expectations.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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86 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    48
    28
    9
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Northern CA
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Wonderful Meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Went here late on a Tuesday morning, thinking we might avoid the lunch crowd, but almost every table was taken, even at 11 AM. The hostess graciously let us take a moment to decide. Rather than wait for a table, we chose the counter seating so we could watch the staff do the cooking.

We ordered the chicken & waffle and the gumbo, with an appetizer of freshly made beignets, dusted with powdered sugar and washed down with excellent house-brewed coffee. It was fun to see the chef take the beignets out, plate them, powder them and whisk them to our waiting counter spaces. They were light, sweet and the perfect starting point for our meal.

The chicken was tender and not greasy; the waffle light and with a hint of cinnamon. I felt that it was just the right portion of food, filling but not heavy. The gumbo came served in a large bowl with a side of some of the best cornbread I have ever had. All around me, people were eating the macaroni and cheese, jerk chicken, and other dishes I will have to try on my next visit. Yes, there will definitely be a next visit, LOL.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park CA
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Worth the trip for the cornbread alone.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Easy to find with GPS. Gotta drive to get there.
This is a breakfast/ lunch place, as it closes at 3pm. Blackened catfish cooked perfectly. Did not try the waffles, but they were served at the next table. Return trip is mandatory. New Orleans inspired menu.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martha's Vineyard
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“A 'must eat' destination! Yum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I can't get the shrimp and grits off my mind; a large bowl with an ample amount of sauce to smother the grits in an incredible flavor (just spicy enough) with a generous portion of shrimp. Loved it! My fellow diner raved about the chicken and waffles. There were customers waiting outside and the restaurant was packed. We sat at the counter, so our wait was short. It was fun to watch the quick efficiency of the kitchen. This restaurant is a large clean room with great style. I'd be a regular if I lived in the Bay area. I highly recommend it!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Tracy, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A good place for good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

This is one of my favorite restaurants. Whether it's breakfast or lunch, you will not be disappointed with the Brown Sugar Kitchen. Although you may encounter a wait, this laid back restaurant is worth the time. The service is good and friendly. Nice size portions without feeling overly stuffed at the end of your meal. The ribs are some of the best I've tested. Ironically, better than most "rib joints." (Chef Tonya recently opened another restaurant B Side which has good BBQ) Go several times and if there are specials, do try one. I was told many of the cooks are culinary students or recent graduates of culinary schools. If there is any truth to this it's in the consistency and quality of the food. Each time, I've been everything has also tasted the same which is a good thing.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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