It's easy to get into a dining rut. You have your go-to coffee shop, the pizza joint where everyone knows your name, and a watering hole where the bartender starts making your drink as soon as you step through the door. Thankfully, Oakland Restaurant Week is here to help you get out of the dining doldrums. From January 14-24, restaurants across the city will be offering lunch, dinner and occasionally brunch deals for diners who are looking to try something new (or want to visit their favorite spot at a discount). This year, there are more than 100 restaurants participating, but we've picked our five favorite deals to help you navigate the list. All you have to do is make a reservation.
Oakland Restaurant Week deals
We're just as intrigued by Korean-fusion tacos as the next person, so Belly's $20 dinner deal is one of our favorites during Restaurant Week. Here's what you get: four tacos, one order of fries (Mojito fries? Yes, please) and a homemade nectar drink. Get in our belly, stat.
1901 San Pablo Ave, 510-839-0000, www.bellyuptown.com
Juhu Beach Club
If you're gunning for Indian food without breaking the bank, Juhu Beach Club has a killer deal: $20 for dinner, which includes a Bhel salad and a choice between two curries. The deal also includes Linden Street beer: Burning Oak Black Lager, Hop Candi or New Oakland Glow.
5179 Telegraph Ave, 510-652-7350, www.juhubeachclub.com
One of Oakland's newer restaurants, Salsipuedes, is normally a little pricey, so we're stoked about the $30, three-course dinner deal going on during Restaurant Week. The cuisine is California rustic with a touch of Baja and Pacific Rim, so you'll find butter clams, tiradito black cod, fried chicken torta, house made churros and more here.
4201 Market St, 510-350-7489, www.salsipuedes.us
Penrose defines its cuisine as having North African, Sicilian and Andalusian roots, and if that's a bit out of your normal wheelhouse, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try something new. The $30 dinner menu includes a winter citrus salad, Penrose Merguez with farro salad and flatbread, and a choice between dessert (a chocolate pot de creme) or a glass of wine.
3311 Grand Ave, 510-444-1649, www.penroseoakland.com
Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar
This new Mexican restaurant in Uptown Oakland is offering lunch and dinner for $30. Choose from dishes like plantain fritters, masa pockets, braised pork shank and tortas, along with desserts like arroz con leche and Oaxacan cookies. You can also upgrade your meal with three tacos for $10, and be sure to indulge in Calavera's excellent mezcal and tequila from the agave bar. Bonus: the restaurant is also offering a $30 brunch deal with many of the same lunch and dinner offerings.
2337 Broadway, 510-338-3273, www.calaveraoakland.com