What’s scorching in Oakland’s meals scene?

Want an inside look at some of Oakland’s most vibrant local spots?

We investigated the question in a data-driven manner and with Yelp determined which local companies had particularly high ratings this month.

To see who was on the list, we looked at Oakland businesses by category on Yelp and counted the number of reviews each received. Instead of just comparing them based on the number of reviews, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month and tracked companies that have continuously increased their review volume to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are particularly hot right now.

Almond & oak

Photo: andrew c./Yelp

Opened in June, this cocktail bar and New American spot is trending compared to other companies categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp.

Citywide, New American Spots saw their new ratings increase by 1.3% on average last month, but Almond & Oak saw a 65.2% increase, staying a solid 4.5-star rating throughout. In addition, the number of Almond & Oak reviews increased by more than 190% month over month.

It’s not the only trend outlier in the New American category: Grand Lake Kitchen – Lake Merritt saw ratings jump 0.3%.

The Almond & Oak is located at 3311 Grand Ave. (between Avenues Elwood and Santa Clara) and offers corn soup with spring onions, basil oil and chive flowers; grilled asparagus with fried goat cheese, roasted beets, grapes and candied walnuts; and flatbread topped with hummus, yogurt, watermelon radish and herb salad. The menu also includes ratatouille, California king salmon and confit pork shoulder.

Almond & Oak is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Fridays from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, and on weekends from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm. (It is closed on Monday.)

Large seaside kitchen

Photo: glk d./Yelp

Whether or not you’ve heard of Grand Lake Kitchen in East Peralta, the cocktail bar, and breakfast and brunch spot that serves sandwiches and more, it’s a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While companies categorized as “Breakfast & Brunch” on Yelp saw an average increase in new reviews of 1.5% over the last month, Grand Lake Kitchen saw new reviews increase by 30.8% over that period thus maintaining a convincing four-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by receiving 1.3 times more ratings than expected based on its previous performance.

Open on 2042 MacArthur Blvd. (between Dimond Avenue), Grand Lake Kitchen has been serving a variety of brunch dishes since May, including hearty French toast, baked eggs, and chilaquiles with black beans, scrambled eggs, avocado, queso fresco, pickled red onions, and sour cream. The evening menu features pan-fried chicken breasts, spiced chickpea stew and fried pumpkin blossoms.

The Grand Lake Kitchen is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Saap avenue

Photo: Saap Avenue / Yelp

Saap Avenue on Piedmont Avenue is also making waves. Opened since 2017 at 4395 Piedmont Ave., Suite 2 (between Pleasant Valley Avenue and Brandon Street) the popular cocktail bar, whiskey bar and Laotian spot, new ratings have increased 9.4% over the last month compared to an average 3.1% increase for all businesses labeled “Cocktail Bars” on Yelp. In addition, The Saap Avenue ratings have increased more than 170% month over month.

Saap Avenue offers crispy tiger prawns, fried chicken, and short rib beef noodle soup. When it comes to desserts, look for mango sticky rice and coconut jelly pudding. For the past month, it has maintained an excellent 4.5-star rating on Yelpers.

Saap Avenue is open Monday through Thursday 5:00 pm-10:30pm, Friday and Saturday 5:00 pm-11:30pm, and Sunday 5:00 pm-10:30pm.

This story was automatically created with local business data, then reviewed and supplemented by an editor. Click here to learn more about what we do. Do you have any thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.

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