Bocanova
Bocanova

Bocanova

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bocanova.com/
  • Phone: 510-444-1233
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday
    Brunch Bocaditos 11:00am – 4:00pm | Dinner 5:00pm – 9:30pm
    Monday - Wednesday
    Lunch 11:30am – 3:00pm | Happy Hour 3:00pm – 6:00pm | Dinner 5:00pm – 9:30pm
    Thursday - Friday
    Lunch 11:30am – 3:00pm | Happy Hour 3:00pm – 6:00pm | Dinner 5:00pm – 10:30pm
    Saturday
    Brunch Bocaditos 11:00am– 4:00pm | Dinner 5:00pm– 10:30pm
    *"In Between" menu 4:00pm – 5:00pm on the weekends between Brunch & Dinner
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Californian
  • Executive Chef: John Jackson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We have a private dining room that can seat around 40 guests with the option of adding access to our patio as well.
  • Private Party Contact: Matt Detert 510-444-1233

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Embarcadero W
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: There is a parking garage in Jack London Square that can be entered at Embarcadero and Broadway. Validated parking is available.
    There is also a valet from 5:00 every night in the lot in front of the restaurant.
A word from Bocanova
Bocanova, located in Jack London Square, features Pan-American food in a lively and colorful setting. Available for all your dining needs, we offer intimate tables in our dining room, a number of communal dining tables for larger parties or if you're in the mood to meet new people, and counter seating up by our exhibition kitchen, when you're in the mood for a show.
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Bocanova reviews from OpenTable diners
241 reviews since July 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (174)fit for foodies (154)scenic view (128)good for groups (117)special occasion (96)great for lunch (80)neighborhood gem (73)great for brunch (63)hot spot (54)romantic (52)vibrant bar scene (46)notable wine list (38)kid-friendly (25)late-night find (14)Show More
  • Love this place.
    OakWorkers
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We love Bocanova - brought a group to celebrate a birthday. Their ceviche is always a favorite. The chocolate bread pudding was over the moon good. Everyone except our waitress was excellent - maybe she was having a bad day.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, excellent service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    First time to Bocanova, different takes on South American/American dishes. Excellent service from Miles. My girlfriend is allergic to coconut, so we asked about a ceviche on the menu. Miles told us it did not have coconut in it, so we ordered it. A few minutes later, after taking a bite or two, he came out and told us that the dish was prepared in the same area the coconut dish was. This was truly appreciated by us, he took this dish off the bill and recommended another option, which was actually better tasting!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great Jack London option
    Katie
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Bocanova remains a great place for a special dinner - the interiors are warm and open; the small plate menu is well prepared and interesting, even for vegetarians. The service was impeccable. Dining outdoors on the patio, which looks out onto the water, is an option. Look forward to my next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty but needs more veg foods
    OkieintheO
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    I've been to Bocanova a few times and always enjoyed. The outdoor seating is something I want to try still Was too full on a Friday at 1pm to get an outside even though I had a reservation (that was not specifically for outside though). The food is fresh and tasty. I was disappointed they took the juarache off the menu. I wish they had more veg foor friendly options. This is California, and Oakland, ya know? I am vegan and I only had a couple salad options and appetizers. Jicama appetizer was tasty so was the beet salad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always delicious!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Never disappointed when dining at Bocanova! Rick and Meredith and their crew are wonderful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service Needs Tweaking
    Juror17
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Bocanova is in a great location and I'd give the food a B+. The salted peppers are perfect with cocktails, and my ribs had a delectable spicy guava sauce that made me want to lick my fingers. However, pacing is off. Our drinks didn't arrive for 25 minutes and the appetizers arrived before we were served anything to drink. My cocktail was not what I'd ordered, although the waiter apologized and brought me a second drink. My friend's posole had great flavor, but was only lukewarm, as if it had been sitting too long. The waiter didn't bring our wine orders until we were 2/3 of the way through the entrees and we asked 2 busboys to locate him. We suspect he simply forgot us.The lackadaisical approach to service was a turn off.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently great food
    UkaricanFoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Brought 4 out of town guests for dinner; as usual the seasonal changes were great. Ceviche with steelhead trout a great surprise. Octopus main course very nice. The only disappointment: a side delivered well after main courses didn't get eaten and there was no offer to make it right.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • boca - nirvana!
    catsmeow
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The menu can satisfy any & all food preferences/needs - and they do it superbly. Be it vegan, gluten free, omnivore - all simply delicious & creative in a beautiful, warm modern setting with friendly service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bocanova
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The good was great as usual. The service was just okay, our server was more attentive to other diners, and did not check out us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jessica
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We hosted a family birthday party and enjoyed Bocanova thoroughly. Everything was wonderful, especially the quinoa salad and the lamb. We will return there. Paul
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great small plates, nice atmosphere
    gogirl1213VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Bocanova surprised me with a sophisticated interior and inventive small plates (plus many entrees, but I didn't order one so it would be hard to comment). Service was a little stiff /forced but otherwise very pleasant overall!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liked it!
    JillW
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    This was a first time for us and really liked everything! The fish tacos were excellent, the roasted beat salad and grilled octopus was fabulous, the wine was great! Our waiter was friendly, but service was so-so. Still, I would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great atmosphere, food not as good
    EwokinOaktown
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We've eaten at Bocanova many times, this is the first time I thought the food was just okay. Service, drinks and atmosphere are still great
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Better menu and food
    BillTVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I had eaten at Bocanova many times when they first opened, and then stopped going back because I though the menu was expensive and the food wasn't that great. I heard they had changed chefs, and it shows - the men in interesting, and our party of 6 all had good meals. My steak was fantastic. Recommended since Jack London Square is happening, and they have great outdoor seating with views of the harbor.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good
    kate21
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    should have more tapas, desserts, non alccoholic beverages, breakfast food, music
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not what it used to be
    SorryToSay
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Food was cold, took forever and then all came at once. The halibut tasted old, Caesar salad and chile relleno were bland, and other dishes were just over sauced. View is still great but we won't return.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    This place is a consistently fantastic! The ambiance, food, service, and cocktails are fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • our waiter gave good advice
    outandabout
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Four of us for dinner. Started out with the padrón peppers, which everyone loved. Shared several plates including the stuffed plátanos, the octopus, spare ribs, heirloom tomato salad, beets with goat cheese, and chili relleno. On Wednesday, wine by the bottle is half off, so we split a red between three of us. We sampled three desserts and all agreed the crème fraîche cheesecake took the prize. Our guests loved the food, which made us happy, because we do too. Has an outside deck with heaters if you prefer alfresco. Bocanova has a large dining room and seems able to accommodate drop-ins. Minuses are noise level and low height of the banquettes relative to the tables. Service can be uneven, but on Wednesday our waiter was top notch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • creative menu & well executed
    LetsEat
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    due to construction/set up outside it was a bit loud, otherwise a good experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner with New Orleans friends
    EastBayOmnivore322
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Friends were visiting from New Orleans and hadn't been to Bocanova, or Jack London Sq. in years, so hubby and I took them here. They're both sailors and liked the view, though it was chilly -- so wimps that we are, we ate dinner inside. Outstanding meal of scallops, ribs and chicken with black rice, plantain fritters and cerviche -- it did not disappoint our foodie friends. Plus, lovely waiter and a fine time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brillliant Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Loved the wonderful small dishes (sharable by two) at manageable prices. The waiter was charming, knowledgeable, and was never missing when needed, but didn't hover either. Perfect. And the dishes offered truly expert blending of flavors and textures. We're looking forward to going back and exploring the menu further. Lovely place to sit outside near the water at sunset.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • tri-tip?
    Brian
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Our one complaint is that the waiter described (a couple times) a tri-tip soup special and what showed up was a tripe soup. My 86 year old mother in law loves tri-tip but hates tripe!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    BonTon
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Have been to Bocanova many times and was very disappointed in the quality of the food served on what was supposed to be a special occasion for a friend. Caesar with egg is not "caesar"; could not taste anchovies --egg dominated. Grilled octopus--swimming in oil, hardly any octopus on the plate bbq ribs were good, not fantastic; menu said was exorbitant charge for bread;ordered it anyway after finally finding the waitress who had disappeared; we were not charged--but it was a turn-off.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great setting & food
    BusinesslunchesVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Shared tapas and a carafe, great experience. I hope to return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Definitely Delicious Dishes
    IamBMWVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Took a group of ten visitors for a business dinner and elected to eat outside (we were unaware we would have to share benches, which was somewhat difficult). The menu offers an excellent variety of complex flavors, complementing each other while offering taste surprises. Every dish we had (with a group of ten we had A LOT!) was wonderful - attracting "ooohhhhssss" and "aaaaahhhhhssss". After an issue with a wine selection, which was definitely unsatisfactory - the GM brought a fabulous wine that pleased the group. Issue with service - poorly timed delivery of main courses (one of our group had to wait for five minutes for their plate), no secondary drink service offered after initial round - the only complaint was inattentive service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very disappointing service.
    Nancy
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We have brought two sets of out of town guests here recently. The first time the service was rough, but BN was busy. Monday night, September 8, was not at all busy. Our first server was nice enough but gave perfunctory explanations of dishes. Food service was haphazard. Main courses were brought before the salad. When we asked for two plates (which we had asked for in the order), server just clattered them onto our table. We had to ask twice for bread. We got dessert menus, but had to ask for the dessert! In the end, my husband had to walk around the restaurant to find someone to give us our check. I like this place but don't feel I want to recommend it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Happy Spice
    HavePalateWillTravel
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Go for the interesting Central and Sourh American flavors. Fun drinks. Has a "big restaurant" feel but more attractive, comfortable food. This is not a foodie choice, it is a relaxed fun choice.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food & very good service
    Jesseplace
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We've eaten here may times and have never been disappointed. .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We had a group of 7pp and we thought service was slow. We loved the food!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Keeping Jack London Square Alive
    Secondhalf9
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We had fun at Bocanova. Friendly service, great food, nice outdoor dining area overlooking the boat slips. Inside would be fun in the evening--very large dining room with an interesting layout. Well done!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    Ducklehead
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Duck Carnitas Taco's were amazing, same goes for the crab deviled eggs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • So close to great...but not
    PaigeVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    We returned to Bocanova after a long absence; our last brunch visit was so disappointing that we wrote a bad review based on bad service. The manager invited us back on their dime, which I totally appreciated...we have long had Bocanova as our #1 date spot. The food was fantastic as always, but again we waited over 25 minutes for a cocktail to arrive (ordered when we had jicama and didn't arrive until the third wave of food) and felt like the staff was in the weeds the entire time. I think this is a staffing issue - one bartender for a full patio and full bar, plus 10 tables inside is clearly NOT enough. Thanks to Bocanova's generosity, we weren't as disappointed as last time (hard to hate •free•)...but still see service as a BIG problem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding!
    pickypalate
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    From first bite to completion, our evening at Bocanova was perfect. We arrived with a small group of friends and our waitress guided us through the menu impeccably. Cocktails were superb followed by a number of shared plates ... cauliflower, sweet corn, scallops, melt in your mouth rib eye, tasty green peppers, fantastic sweet potatoes, and a watermelon salad that cleansed and refreshed our palates. We loved every plate and every bite. The chocolate bread pudding topped off our feast ... and, can easily be shared. The waitress and staff didn't miss a beat ... suggestions and service were A+. Bocanova provided the backdrop for a wonderful evening ... we will return soon and look forward to another memorable experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great meal
    Lunchbunch
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I would recommend this restaurant for quality, ambience and location.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bocanova
    Oakos
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food was very good and so was the service. The large windows providing lighting and the generous spacing between the tales made it easy for two of our group's members to navigate unassisted.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT!
    GoodVIP
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Every time I have been here it has been great food and great service. Thanks
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Second time's a charm.
    mbayogi
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    I went to Bocanova twice in one week for dinner with different sets of coworkers. It's a great place for groups since the plates are designed to be shared. This means the plates are too small for one and you definitely need an appetizer or second entrée to be fully satisfied if you have a large appetite. I haven't tried anything so fast I don't like. There's more than a couple vegetarian options too, though they tend to be under seasoned compared to the meat dishes. The tables on the left side near the bar are busy so make sure to sit on the right of you want to be able to talk easily.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sumptous
    Barry
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Outstanding blend of flavors and foods. Whould definitely go back anytime.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional every time!
    Foodie13
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Lovely evening on the patio, excellent ribs--fall off the bone delicious, corn--that you still think about days later. Bread pudding is a must order so save room.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    One of my favorite spots for dinner with friends and business colleagues from Oakland or other spots. The grilled octopus that my dining companion enjoyed and my scallops with Brazilian curry sauce were both outstanding. Enjoyed the summer alternative to my always favorite quinoa salad w. stone fruit. The winter version w. duck confit is still best!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic