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2
Mon, 05/12
20:00

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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$21 - $30
CUISINES
American
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features

MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

There’s always a crowd at this neighborhood standby, where friends, families, and chic couples congregate for drinks at the copper-topped bar. Flanked ...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
Bib Gourmand: good quality, good value cooking
Reviews (464)
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Traveller rating
279
134
30
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5
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All reviews hamburger chicken fries berkeley college hype foodie salty bay
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Reviewed 18 August 2022

I have had one mediocre meal at the Wood Tavern and just had another that was worse. I can forgive the service and the noise and the sense, too, that they "so rushed, they're sorry they didn't bring the food on time, because we are...oh, so popular." But I can't forgive the food. There are so many wonderful places to eat in Berkeley and Oakland, ranging from posh A Cote to authentic Kirala to amazing pasta at Berlotti to the down-home deliciousness of Agrodolce. But this food, with the exception of the pork belly salad, is over salted and badly prepared. The chicken I ordered took an hour to come to the table. It was in a salty sauce and the mashed potatoes--served with much patronizing because they are so committed to fingerling potatoes with chicken--was swimming in salt and gravy. It was their big favor to me, but you could tell that very little care was put into it: The mashed potatoes were separated and hidden under the salty gravy so they had liquified. The chicken was covered with a crust of bread crumbs and salt. It was served with fried radicchio--again full of salt and so tough you could choke on it. This restaurant is capitalizing on the Bay Area, SF foodie hype--that accepts what is expensive and a "creative idea"as good food. (An example: The tough, fried radicchio is clearly someone never tried before And for good reasons!). The bar serves great Bloody Mary's--but nothing you can't do if you have some horseradish at home. This place is a monument to Bay Area craze about expensive food. The shrimp Tacos at the Cactus Taqueria are better--and so is the hamburger at The Smokehouse. If you want a calm, nice atmosphere, with good service and a bartender who knows all about spirits and wine, go to A Cote. And if you want a good pizza, go to In the In the Wood---a few blocks down on College. Both places have better food and better service.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 2 June 2022 via mobile

It has been a few years but we returned here this week. Food great.. service fine…seems to be a more mature group of servers and staff in general. Worth the trip and wait if needed.

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed 1 June 2020

We've been big fans of the Wood Tavern and Southie since we moved into Rockridge 4 years ago. We ordered take out from SouthWood (the takeout menu is a merge of both places. We ordered the BBQ ribs and pan-roasted half-chicken, and topped it off...with the wicked chocolate cake. The ribs required 10 minutes in a 400 F oven, but came out perfect: spicy, juicy, and lean. The chicken was tasty, tender, and outstanding. We'll keep supporting our local places, in particular when the food quality is top-notch.More

Date of visit: May 2020
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 5 March 2020 via mobile

This has been our go-to resto since they opened. Great cocktails and food. We’ve enjoyed every dish. And still one of the best burgers and fries anywhere.

Date of visit: March 2020
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 12 February 2020

Great food and service the meal was delicious and plentiful. They know their appetizers and the desserts were wonderful. Great place for a group of friends that want to hang out.

Date of visit: June 2019
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Reviewed 26 January 2020 via mobile

Came here for a business lunch. We had reservations and were seated in the best table...corner, by the bar and by the window. This isn't our first time coming here and it's been great every time. You can't go wrong with anything in the menu...its...all Excellent! Enjoy!More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Reviewed 1 January 2020 via mobile

Our party of five went here for New Year’s Eve. This was one of the best dining experiences I have had in quite some time. I am a pretty experienced foodie when it comes to fine dining. The staff was so friendly and service was...as attentive as necessary without being over bearing. Serving of all dishes was nicely paced. Wine and water were all promptly topped off, even on a busy night. The owner was present throughout the night and seemed pretty hands on. Checked in with every table at least once from what I could tell. Loved our server! I do have to say that one thing I didn’t care for about the place is that the tables felt a bit on the small side. Our table was pretty crowded and the restaurant is definitely an “intimate” environment. Started with a lovely cheese board. The almonds with the spiced honey are a real treat. Followed that with the Apple and Butterleaf lettuce salad. Perfect amount of dressing, and the texture on all of the fruit and vegetables was perfect. Not to mention it was a generous portion that was artfully assembled. Entrees: two of us ordered the pappardelle with lamb/pork sugo, three of us ordered the pan seared cod. I’m lucky that some of my family are light eaters, so I was able to enjoy a nice portion of each. Pasta was perfectly cooked and the sauce had some seriously rich depth of flavor. The cod was perfectly cooked on everyone’s plate and the romesco sauce was the perfect compliment. We ordered three of the desserts to share: the carrot cake, the quince-apple tart and the chocolate banana bomba/bread pudding. All amazing. I’m not normally one for desert and I would say trying a desert here is well worth it if you’ve stashed some of your calorie count away for the day. Highly, highly recommend if you are looking for a phenomenal fine dining experience.More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Reviewed 7 December 2019 via mobile

Not sure my review is a fair one. Buuut we had reservations for 8:30 and they could not seat us at that time. We were offered seats at the bar a while and some complimentary drinks while we waited which was super nice it just...kinda sucked to wait around when we had made the reservation. We got seated by the window around 9ish. The wait staff definitely tried to make up for it and were very apologetic. It really didn’t seem like it was their fault that a group stayed for such a long time. The food was pretty friggin phenomenal and I think we will give them another shot.More

Date of visit: December 2019
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Reviewed 30 November 2019 via mobile

I have had dinner twice at this place. The first time was 5 stars all the way: great food, very good service and a solid wine selection. This was several years ago. The second time, which was about 2 weeks ago, was a 3-star experience....Although we had a reservation, our table was not available until we had waited for for about half an hour. No one apologized. My impression was that this happens so often that it did not seem out of the ordinary to the staff. Soon after we were seated, a couple who said that they had been waiting for an hour, despite having made a reservation, gave up and walked out. I realize that this is a small place and that it can be difficult to judge when people will finish their dinner. However, the problem is made worse by the fact that seats at the bar were also reserved in advance, so people waiting for a table could not sit down and have a drink while waiting. We tried not to let the foregoing debacle ruin our evening. Our three entrees ranged from very good to mediocre. The service was friendly and professional, however, and this helped to improve our moods. The wine selection is still quite respectable and this also helped.More

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 6 November 2019 via mobile

We were visiting Oakland to celebrate my MIL’s 94th birthday. My SIL chose Wood Tavern having eaten here before. What a fantastic place! Reservations are a must as they are busy every night. The service is exceptional and the food is fantastic! Be prepared to...wait for your dinner as it is cooked to perfection. Enjoy an appetizer and a drink along with conversation with your dinner guests. It’s a wonderful atmosphere to unplug your electronics and really enjoy your evening. I don’t think you could go wrong with any choice on the menu. I had the halibut and it was superb. MIL had the chicken and said it was excellent!More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 6 November 2019

Great Food.. Tables by the windows are best. A bit noisy. Food is delicious. Service is great. Hamburgers are delicious. Soup of the day is great.

Date of visit: July 2019
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Reviewed 5 November 2019

Excellent service with great suggestions and pairing ideas..amazing! The salads, the soups, the ACME bread. Evetyting is excellent!

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 9 October 2019

For those of us in Oakland, you don't have to go to Saul's for exquisite pastrami. Wood Tavern has the perfect blend of fat, meat and juice. Yeah, it's a bit on the saltier side but it's pastrami. It's also not served on rye, but...on a sourdough baguette. There's so much meat it literally falls out the sides! My mouth is watering just writing this review! The cole slaw that comes with it is refreshing and offers great balance. We order their fries to split for a perfect meal. Wood Tavern seating is a bit crowded and it is often very noisy but the food and service, is top notch.More

Date of visit: August 2019
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Reviewed 26 September 2019 via mobile

The food is great, but the service is amazing. Very good appetizers to share and well served main dishes. Great bar menu and wine options.

Date of visit: September 2019
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Reviewed 12 September 2019 via mobile

Had dinner with friends, the service was friendly, everyone was really polite, the crowd was positive and creating a nice vibe. And the food was excellent. Try the beef tar tar, meat balls and fried chicken. All very good

Date of visit: September 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
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littledribbling
20 February 2019|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Roderick R | Reviewed this property |
Street Parking is pretty good in this location, and there is a parking lot directly across the street above the supermarket. Enjoy!
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Andrew M
7 May 2017|
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Response from Kay D | Reviewed this property |
Yes& I would highly suggest one, it's always busy.
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mary jo c
9 September 2015|
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Response from FashionSpeedTravel | Reviewed this property |
If they're a casual couple this is a good choice. $150 will suffice and would include wine for two.
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WOOD TAVERN, Oakland - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Wood Tavern

Wood Tavern is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4