This week marked the debut of Chow Oakland Cafe, Bakery, & Market, a sprawling grocery store and all-day dining destination all rolled up into one.
This is the first Chow to open in the inner East Bay, although Tony Gulisano has opened versions in San Francisco, Lafayette, and Danville dating back to 1997. Chow Oakland (3770 Piedmont Ave.), however, takes his gourmet comfort food concept further into the grocery realm. After dining at the Chow restaurant, you can pick up produce, meat, and pantry goods to cook at home the rest of the week — or opt for some pre-made meals, such as chicken Parmesan or mac ‘n’ cheese, to heat up later.
There’s also a robust grab-and-go area with basic sandwiches and salads. Organic kale with oranges, goat cheese, almonds, and farro goes for $5.50. The grocery area features mostly high-end and organic products, including local brands such as Baia Pasta and Cafe Fanny Granola.
The lodge-like restaurant serves brunch all day as well as lunch and dinner starting at 11 a.m. There are sandwiches, salads, pizzas, pastas, and mains — primarily American and Italian dishes, although the menu dabbles in Thai, French, and Mexican flavors as well. Most items cost $10-$15. After dinner, you can explore the bakery, ice cream selection, or full bar, with a decent wine list, six beers on tap, and simple cocktails.