Anula's Cafe

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Price: $

This Chinatown breakfast and lunch counter serves “organic bicycle-pedaled roasted coffee” and Sri Lankan homemade Chai tea. There’s also an array of tropical smoothies, and a lunch menu full of Caribbean and Sri Lankan flavors that rotates daily and often sells out. (You can order a day in advance.) The muffins and breads all come from Semifreddi’s bakery. Prices are very reasonable, seating is limited, and catering options are available.

Restaurant Details

This tiny takeout lunch counter in the heart of downtown Oakland looks like just another generic deli. But there’s more than meets the eye at Anula’s. Anula Edirisinche, the eponymous chef-owner, is Sri Lankan; her husband is Jamaican. Many of the most interesting food items come off the daily specials menu, which is an amalgam of those two cultural influences — one meat option and one vegetarian option, both priced at $7, available starting at around 11:30 a.m. The best of these, a plate of jerk chicken (falling-off-the-bone tender, with enough heat to clear the sinuses) over Caribbean-style peas and rice, is only served on Tuesdays, but you’ll always find something of interest: rotis on Wednesdays, lamb curry on Thursdays, and coconut fish on Fridays. Also not to be missed: an excellent roasted-eggplant sandwich, Sri Lankan patties, and a different homemade cake, sold by the slice, Monday through Friday.

Luke Tsai

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Price: $

Cash, all major credit cards Delivery is available within a one- or two-block radius (or slightly farther away if you place a large order at least a day in advance).

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