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“Vegan heaven!”

Encuentro Cafe and Wine Bar
Ranked #66 of 1,265 Restaurants in Oakland
Restaurant details
wellington
Level Contributor
198 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Vegan heaven!”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Tucked away on Oakland is this very pleasant bar/restaurant. It is upmarket vegetarian with plenty for vegans on its small but perfectly-formed menu. We turned up late and sat at the bar - it is quite a small and popular place so would recommend reserving a table. It was difficult to select as it all sounded delicious, but in the end I plumped for the bruschetta ($5) with seared pear in a golden balsamic reduction, vanilla oil and macadamia cheese - awesome. I followed this up with a classic BLT (tempeh bacon rather than the cruel piggy sort!) which was also delish. I really wanted the zucchini pecan cornmeal cakes with pumpkin seed chili,salsa and cilantro lime cream ($12) but all the other hungry diners had got in first and eaten them all, alas. My carnivorous but open-minded companion ate devilled eggs ("very good") and Italian Field Roast sausage, pepperonata, and garlic sauteed kale sandwich with "cheddar" sauce on ciabatta served with arugula salad ($12, also "very good"). WE washed this down with some quality wine. Would have stayed for desserts, which sounded and looked amazing, but we had to go. Friendly helpful service - would definitely go again - and so would the carnivore! Only open from 5.30...

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank nzvegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    9
    2
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Lompoc, California
Level Contributor
247 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Yes excellent!”
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Encuentro helped make our first visit to Oakland a great visit. We stopped in for drinks and appetizers and was happy with the visit. Food, drink and service were great, probably the best humus ever. We will return.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Jbhes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Vegetarian has never been more flavorful and delicious”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

When you encounter Encuentro you will be in for a real treat. For those who speak Spanish, I did that intentionally.

The food is fresh and local and has extraordinary flavor. I went with friends for my birthday (they chose it) and when I got there I remembered, some of the others joining are big carnivores, OMG what do we do now? When they brought out the nut based pate' and my friend liked it better than any old liver pate' I knew I was home free. I had the ratatouille as a main course and he had the portabella mushroom sandwich. The ratatouille was savory (how do they do that ) and was packed in a crisp pastry pocket. The diary cheese tray was wonderful as was the vegan cheese tray. You wouldn't guess it was vegan. The level of flavor and texture makes you think, "This can't be vegetarian and certainly isn't vegan.". But it was and it was GOOD. It was a breezy warm summer night and you could sit outside. It is in the old warehouse now condo area of Jack London Square. It has a hip young crowd and the cook and wait staff are also young and very knowledgeable. It's been open three years and has a faithful following. I recommend reservations. They take them for parties of four.

The kitchen is small and you probably won't get everything out at the same time. I recommend ordering family style and sharing a tasting as each new dish comes out.

This is tThe best vegetarian I've ever had, and I'm not a vegetarian.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
9 Thank Anddrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastopol, California
Level Contributor
289 reviews
192 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“We're not even vegan but WOW!”
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

We went to Encuentro due to the persistent insistence of a friend who also isn't vegetarian but now eats there twice a week. The food was sensational. We ordered a bunch of small plates and here were the results: deviled eggs were good, the dates stuffed with macadamia nut paste were absolute heaven (my friend had no interest in the dates till she saw them and then she quickly changed her mind), the olives with orange zest were good, the nectarine salad was really tasty with so many flavoes and textures, the stone fruit bruschetta were delicious, I didn't care for the sucatssh bruschetta but my friend liked them. The walnut lentil spread was deceptively good and filling, and the smoked pecan pate with mushrooms had the most deliciously smoky flavor. I was a little full for the cheesecake troth strawberry compote but my friend happily finished it off. We were a little cold sitting outside, but the service was wonderful. the food superb and frankly I'm considering going back today.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
10 Thank MMMSebastopol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great place to take vegetarians from out of town”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I've been to Encuentro I think four times now and hands down it is one of the hidden gems of Oakland dining. Sweet little place tucked away in a cool part of Oakland (it's nice to take a stroll around Jack London Square water before dinner). The food has been consistently tasty, with surprising flavor / ingredient combinations and fantastic specials. The wine selection offers lots of chances for discovery, too. My only wish is that they would be open for lunch also but maybe that will happen down the line. Great place!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
11 Thank C_from_Oakland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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