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

Sidebar
Ranked #64 of 1,226 Restaurants in Oakland
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 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
Helpful?
Thank OakJohn94602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    15
    2
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Castro Valley
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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
Helpful?
Thank Brigitte R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
221 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 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
Helpful?
Thank Oaklandish3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
291 reviews
141 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Fantastic place for food and drink”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 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
Helpful?
Thank Frank E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs, California
Level Contributor
371 reviews
223 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 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
Helpful?
1 Thank lavonnemy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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