Valentine’s Day Ideas: Date Night in Downtown Alameda

Valentine’s Day is a special night in Downtown Alameda. Local restaurants are putting together special menus and events for you to share with that special person in Alameda’s historic Park Street district. It’s a good time to start making plans since restaurants are now taking reservations for the special day.

Pappo Restaurant_downtownPappo is offering a special “Market Dinner” for St. Valentine’s Day 2016. The 4-course dinner allows guests to select a starter (smoked mushroom mousse), soup or salad (crab bisque or chicory salad), an entree (filet mignonette, pan seared scallops, or mushroom risotto), and a dessert (chocolate tart or strawberry-lemon bread pudding). Price is $55 per person. (Reservations: 510-337-9100)

A special menu for Valentine’s Day is in the works at East End. They’re not ready to give away any surprises yet, but they will gladly serve you and your sweetie a heart-shaped pizza upon request. (Information: 510-263-9630)

C’era Una Volta is making it easy to celebrate Valentine’s Day any time during the weekend. Brunch is being served on Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 2:00pm with a special 4-course menu ($30/person). In the evening, two special Valentine’s Dinner Performances will be held each night. Early seatings are at 4:00pm and later seatings start at 6:00pm. The dinner includes a 4-course meal, sparkling wine, and music provided by Daniel Maya and Thomas Perry. Cost is $40-$70 per person, depending on night and seating time. (Reservations: 510-769-4828)

Wine & Waffles Alameda Valentine CruiseTreat your Sweetheart to a romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner & Movie Special. Cinema Grill has put together a special package that includes a pre-fixed menu (appetizer, entree, and dessert), glass of wine or bubbly, and a movie at the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex. Guests will avoid the Box Office lines as they will have movie tickets in hand and enter the theatre through a private VIP corridor; the “Back Stage Pass”. Cost is $120 per couple. (Reservations: 510-769-2000)

Wine & Waffles is taking to the waters by putting together a romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise aboard the “Chardonnay” yacht. You and your sweetie will be surrounded by the beautiful bay night and live music while cruising along the estuary and into the Bay. Stop by for more information or give them a call. (Reservations: 510-523-2301)

Guide to Classic Dining in Downtown Alameda

There are a number of wonderful restaurants that have been in existence in the historic Park Street district for a many years. These restaurants have a well-earned reputation for being a place to go for special occasions. The restaurant owners pride themselves in offering fresh cuisine and impeccable service. Perfect for a night out with your Valentine!

Asena Restaurant Alameda


Asena (2508 Santa Clara Ave, 510-521-4100)
An Alameda favorite since 1996, this Zagat-rated restaurant features seasonal cuisine that is influenced by the owners’ Mediterranean roots and infused with wonderfully delicate flavors. Each dish is lovingly prepared and graciously served.

C’era Una Volta (1332 Park Street, 510-769-4828)
This authentic Tuscan Italian restaurant is a neighborhood gem tucked away in Redwood Square. It boasts an elegant environment and features classic dishes like Spiedini and Risotto Mare e Monte. The restaurant’s name translates to “Once Upon a Time.”

Gold Coast Grill Alameda

Gold Coast Grill

Gold Coast Grill (1901 Park Street, 510-522-5388)
Gold Coast Grill opened its doors in 1992 and was the first restaurant in Alameda to feature Greek cuisine. Enjoy a wide variety of appetizers, salads, pastas, steaks, seafood dishes, and their popular rack of lamb. Other house made delights include Moussaka and Souvlaki.

Kamakura (2549 Santa Clara Ave, 510-521-9121)
Alameda’s original Japanese restaurant since 1981, where traditional and authentic Japanese cuisine is enjoyed along with innovative and creative dishes not found anywhere else. Fresh ingredients are combined with their award-winning hospitality.

Linguini’s Pasta & Vino (1508 Park Street, 510-865-5101)  Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Alameda: Super Bowl 50 on the Big Screen + Party Trays

Don’t settle for a TV screen when you can watch Super Bowl 50 in style on a giant movie screen in Downtown Alameda…

Super Bowl 50 at Alameda TheatreA FREE live simulcast of the Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers game will be shown at the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex on Sunday, February 7 at 3:30pm.

Don’t wait to get your FREE TICKETS at the Theatre Box Office. They are available now on a first come, first served basis (limit 2 tickets per person).

The Theatre Snack Bar will be open for snacks, hotdogs and beer.  No outside food or beverages allowed.

Reserved Seating is available at Cinema Grill for those interested in In-Seat Food/Bev Service. Seating is limited for this option so stop by for reservations today.  

Looking for other places to watch the Big Game? The post of last year’s Super Bowl bar specials is a terrific guide for more gathering spots in Downtown Alameda.

Downtown Alameda’s Best Party Foods for the Super Bowl: 
Sandwiches, Sausages, Cheeses, and Veggie Sticks

Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to gather with friends and family to watch the “Big Game.” It’s also a big day for party food and beer. Last week, we posted suggestions on where to pick up pizza, chicken, and beer.  Many of the food places found in Downtown Alameda can also help you build festive party platters for game day with friends and family.

Sandwich Platters

Sandwich Board Alameda Turkey Sandwich

Sandwich Board

Dimitra’s Sandwiches To Go (1251 Park Street) – Dimitra’s has been serving its signature subs since 1976. The service is fast and friendly, and the food is fresh and flavorful. Ask them to slice the sandwiches into quarters. Alameda pick: The “Texarkana” (turkey, roast beef and avocado with all the fixings).

Subway Sandwiches (1407 Park Street) – Did you know that Subway offers sandwich platters that are made fresh and piled high with a variety of tasty subs that can serve 5-9 people? They also make 3-foot Giant Subs (serves 9-15) and 6-foot Giant Subs (serves 18-25). Alameda pick: The “Flavor Craver” Platter.

Sandwich Board (2412 Webb Ave) – Sandwich Board has been roasting fresh turkeys daily for over 30 years and they are particularly known for their fabulous turkey sandwiches. The sandwich shop is family-owned and operated so they are able to accommodate special requests not found on the menu. Ask them about putting together a platter of sliced turkey for game day. Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Alameda’s Top Take-Out Picks for the Super Bowl: Pizza, Chicken, and Beer

Are you ready for Super Bowl in the Bay Area?!! The “Big Game” is a great excuse for getting together and noshing on lots of party food. Sure-fire hits for sports fans always seem to include pub-inspired pizza, chicken, and beer.

In previous years, we posted suggestions on where to find good pub food while watching the Super Bowl in Downtown Alameda. But what if you’re planning to watch the game at home or go over to a friend’s place? To make it easy to enjoy the game at home, Downtown Alameda’s great food and drink establishments offer plenty of to-go options.

Here’s our latest list of favorite take-out places in Downtown Alameda and recommended menu items:

Pizza Pizza!

Bowzer's Pizza Alameda deep dish garden veggie pizza

Bowzer’s Pizza: Deep Dish Veggie Special

Bowzer’s Pizza (1330 Park Street) – Bowzer’s serves up fresh homemade pizza, subs, and salads. All of their dough, dressings, and sauces are made from scratch — complimented with artisan meats, fine cheeses, and fresh and local produce. Alameda’s Pick: The deep dish version of the “Garden Gourmet Veggie Special.”

East End (1650 Park Street) – East End is best known for their award-winning wood-fired pizzas (plus a whole lot more). Each menu item is made with market-fresh ingredients and a healthy dose of imagination. Alameda’s Pick: The “Blackjack With Meat” (red sauce, caciocavallo cheese, shaved fennel, taggiasca olives, orange/fennel dust, and Finocchiona Salami).

Linguini’s (1508 Park Street) – Linguini’s is an Alameda tradition and people love their “old school” style. In addition to being a great place to watch the game, it’s also a great place to grab a pizza to go. But don’t forget to check out their daily specials. Alameda’s Pick: Linguini’s “Super Combo” with a side of Garlic Bread and Buffalo Wings. Read the rest of this entry »

Find Award-Winning Businesses in Downtown Alameda (2015 DABA Awards)

We’re proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Downtown Alameda Business Awards!

At the end of each year, the Downtown Alameda Business Association presents special awards to business members for outstanding performance. The selected businesses (owners, managers, and staff) are recognized for contributing to the success of our shopping and entertainment district by actively participating in downtown activities and attracting a strong customer base. These businesses also demonstrate support for the community by giving back in various ways.

Congratulations to our 2015 award winners! These businesses and individuals are excellent examples of the quality of goods and services, along with fantastic customer service, that you can expect to receive year-round in Downtown Alameda.

Retail Business of the Year 

Alameda Bicycle family rides

Alameda Bicycle

Alameda Bicycle, 1522 Park Street
It’s not enough just to sell bikes. Alameda Bicycle also works to ensure that customers enjoy their new purchases by inviting them to be part of a community through organized bike rides and offering free lifetime maintenance services. In addition, Alameda Bicycle supports our downtown events by providing space for secure bike parking at each of the street festivals.

Professional Business of the Year

Alameda Eyes Optometry, 1432 Park Street
Whether you need a routine eye examination, an eyeglasses fitting, contact lenses, or treatment for an eye infection, the staff at Alameda Eyes Optometery will provide you with the best care, advice, and options. They take the time to get to know you, your eye care history, and your vision needs. As the newest owner of the downtown business, Dr. Anders Hansson doesn’t hesitate to volunteer at our district events.

Culinary Business of the Year

East End pizza in Alameda

East End

East End, 1650 Park Street
East End is in it for the love of good food, good drink, and good company. The seasonally-driven menu features award-winning wood-fired pizzas (plus a whole lot more) while the bartenders excel at craft cocktails with a healthy dose of imagination. In addition to providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, East End puts great effort in supporting the community by hosting fundraiser events throughout the year.

New Business of the Year

Alameda Island Brewing Company, 1716 Park Street
Since opening earlier this year, AIBC has been about more than just making great beers. Brewmaster Matthew Fox and his wife strive to be innovative while embracing the island’s history with names such as Neptune’s Pale Ale, Cavanaugh Kolsch, and Park St. Morning Porter. The beautiful tasting room and the relaxing patio are welcoming gathering places for all in the downtown district.

Member of the Year  Read the rest of this entry »

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda’s Historic Park Street District (Nov/Dec 2015)

CLICK HERE to view our round-up of new businesses that opened in 2015

Sole Desire Shoes Alameda

Sole Desire Shoes

This past year saw an explosion of new businesses in Downtown Alameda — plenty of new restaurants, bakeries, craft spaces, personal services, and business services. It seemed there was always a new surprise appearing around the corner. The last few months of the year were no different.

We eagerly waited for the new bakery to open as an extension of Mama Papa Lithuania. We also waited with anticipation to see what was happening behind the brown papered windows of the former yogurt shop on Santa Clara Ave.

But one of the biggest surprises was the sudden closure of longtime independent shop Scott’s Shoes back in October. Thankfully we didn’t have to say goodbye to owner Scott Erwin. Instead he was proud to announce that family friends were taking over the Park Street location and he would remain as the local manager for Sole Desire Shoes.

Help us welcome the newest businesses to Alameda’s historic Park Street district. Stop by and say “hello” to these folks the next time you’re in Downtown Alameda.

New Businesses:

Hot Spot Soup Place, 2321 Santa Clara Ave
* Taiwanese cafe offering hot soups (hot pots), tea drinks, and shaved ice.

Kimbu Ventures / Shaabi Denim, 1516 Oak Street #320
* On-line catalog featuring limited-production clothing handmade with high-quality, tough fabrics.

Mama Papa Lithuania Bakery Alameda

Mama Papa Lithuania Bakery

Mama Papa Lithuania Bakery, 1239 Park Street
* Traditional and modern pastries handcrafted from the Lithuanian in-house-chef’s cookbook.

Psychtools Psychology Group, 1402 Park Street #G
* Therapy that helps you better manage painful life issues setting personally meaningful goals.

Sole Desire Shoes, 1330 Park Street #B
* Independent women’s fashion comfort footwear and accessories, including hard-to-find brands.

Suzanne Hayne, LMFT, 1516 Oak Street #314-315
* Experienced therapist providing couples and individual counseling.

T4, 1431 Park Street #A
* Taiwanese premium teas and smoothies made with natural ingredients; large selection of snacks.

New Associate Member:

SpeedPro Imaging East Bay, 1734 Clement Ave — grand opening January 15
* Providing large format printing: signs, banners, window/wall/floor graphics, vehicle wraps, and more.

Symmetry Health Center AlamedaNew Location:

Symmetry Health Center, 1708 Park Street #103
* Advanced chiropractic care, weight loss management, massage therapy, and personal training.

In the Works:  Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2015 in Downtown Alameda: Reservations Not Required

New Year's Eve 2015 at Churchward Pub AlamedaIt’s not too late to make plans for New Year’s Eve (or too early). You’ll find a celebration for every taste and every budget in Downtown Alameda. You can simply meet up with friends at one of your favorite restaurants, catch a movie, or extend the evening by ringing in the new year at one of the district’s many parties.

As mentioned last week’s post, C’era Una Volta, Capone’s Speakeasy, and Speisekammer are taking reservations for New Year’s Eve. In addition, Cinema Grill is offering a special dinner package to help the Friends of the Alameda Theatre raise funds to refurbish the lobby carpet and other improvement projects.

But not all venues require a reservation. If you’re looking for one of those last-minute gathering places, these nightspots in Downtown Alameda will be celebrating New Year’s Eve 2015-2016 in style:

Alameda Wine Co. (2315 Central Ave) – Toast the new year with sparkling wine that does not have to be expensive to be well-made.

Club House Sports Bar (1215 Santa Clara Ave) – Revel in music, food, and fun!

Fire Den AlamedaFD Bar (1231 Park Street) – The newly renovated Fire Den is the perfect place to meet with friends and enjoy great food and cold beers.

Lemon Tree Inn (2542 Santa Clara Ave) – Where the Friendly, Fun, Young, Old, and Inbetween are always welcome!

Lost Weekend Lounge (2320-1/2 Santa Clara Ave) – This is the place where you will find retro decor and no pretense.

Lucky 13 (1301 Park Street) – Kick back with friends, meet interesting new people, and have a drink prepared by the friendliest bunch of bartenders in town!

New Years Eve at Churchward Pub AlamedaMcGee’s Bar & Grill (1645 Park Street) – Offering fresh food and spirits, McGee’s is a favorite stop for locals and visitors alike.

Monkey King Pub & Grub (1315 Park Street) – Celebrate a diverse background through food, drinks, and a casual environment.

The Churchward Pub (1515 Park Street) – They promise to host the hottest NYE party in the East Bay — there is a $10 cover for this one.

The Hobnob (1313 Park Street) – This is the place for Karaoke on New Year’s Eve! (Plus, they’ll open for brunch on New Year’s Day at 11:00am.)

Wine & Waffles (1505 Park Street) – Enjoy a magical night with great food, great wine, and great champagne.

But who says you need to be out past midnight to celebrate? Here are a few more places that will make for an enjoyable early evening with friends or loved ones:  Read the rest of this entry »

Santa, Ugly Sweaters, and New Year’s Eve in Downtown Alameda

Alameda Island Brewing CompanySanta visits Downtown Alameda invites you to join them Sunday, December 20 for their first annual “Ugly Holiday Sweater Party & Contest.” Prizes will be given for “the best of the worst.” Festivities start at Noon and go until closing at 6:00pm.

AIBC is a family-friendly venue… Bring the kids to meet Santa from 5:00pm to 6:00pm! For an afternoon of family fun, pick out a board game to play while you wait for his appearance.

Adults will find a terrific lineup of specialty brews at AIBC, from Neptune’s Pale Ale to Park Street Morning Porter. If you haven’t been there yet, the knowledgeable beer servers can guide you through the beer selection and easily direct you to something you will enjoy. Perhaps you’ll find something you’ve never tried before — Owner/Head Brewer Matthew Fox is constantly running what he likes to call research and development batches.

AIBC also has rootbeer on tap and a few other non-alcoholic options.

Alameda Island Brewing CompanyEnjoy the party and find out what’s on tap by visiting Alameda Island Brewing Company in person at 1716 Park Street.

A current list of beers is also posted on their website:

Downtown Tip: Don’t have an ugly sweater in your closet? Try looking through the racks at an Alameda thrift shop such as Goodwill (2319 Lincoln Ave) or Salvation Army (1915 Park Street).

Make A Reservation For New Year’s Eve

Downtown Alameda has a New Year’s Eve celebration for every taste and every budget. It’s not too early (or too late) to make plans. You can simply meet up with friends at one of your favorite restaurants, catch a movie, or extend the evening by ringing in 2016 at one of the district’s many lounge parties.

Make a reservation today! Here are a few picks that require reservations in advance:  Read the rest of this entry »

Shop Local – Finding Holiday Desserts in Downtown Alameda

Downtown Alameda has a terrific selection of shops and restaurants. You’ll find everything from antiques to jewelry, and from bagel shops to wine shops.

This week’s featured local businesses: Bakeries and Dessert Shops

Crispian Bakery, Alameda

Crispian Bakery

Crispian Bakery (1700 Park Street)
Crispian Bakery is a small-batch bakery producing French-inspired American breads and pastries. Stop by to see their holiday selection of pies, tarts, small cakes, and cookies. Custom cakes can also be ordered in advance — their specialty is a French-style layered cake called Entrement, available in a range of chocolate and fruit flavor combinations.

Feel Good Bakery (1650 Park Street)
Located inside the Marketplace, Feel Good Bakery bakes fresh daily using the finest ingredients. The artisan bakery offers pastries of all kinds including macarons, cakes, tarts, cupcakes, and cookies.

Mama Papa Lithuanian Bakery (1239 Park Street)
Mama Papa Lithuanian Bakery offers all the best traditional and modern pastries from their Lithuanian chef’s cookbook such as cookies, pastries, pies, rolls and cakes. Even their famous honey cake can be ordered as a whole piece at an affordable price.

Teazzert, Alameda


Teazzert (1342 Park Street)
Teazzert the ultimate spot in Alameda to indulge in bliss. They have a variety of desserts and baked goods for you to choose from: macarons (the latest flavors include vanilla-strawberry, salted cream cheese, chocolate mint), ice cream sandwiches, and cupcakes. Organic cookies by local San Francisco bakery C.B.G. come in both gluten free and non-gluten free packages for holiday gift giving.

Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream (1349 Park Street)
Tucker’s Ice Cream specializes in rich and full-flavored old-fashioned super creamed ice cream. Tucker’s is also famous all over the Bay Area for their fresh fudge, ice cream cakes, and the finest baked cakes. Their delicious snowballs make for an especially nice holiday treat.

More dessert ideas for the holidays:  Read the rest of this entry »


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