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Box and Bells

Box and Bells Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.boxandbells.com
  • Phone: (510) 923-2000
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Wednesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Gastro Pub
  • Executive Chef: Ben Coe
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Chabot
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Two blocks north of Rockridge Bart
A word from Box and Bells
Box and Bells is an eating and drinking house located in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland California. Our cooking is spirited and always intended to be accompanied by a well made cocktail, glass of wine or a shot and a beer. As Ernest Hemingway said "I drink to make people more interesting". Welcome to Box and Bells.Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Beautiful and nice ambiance. Fried chicken and cauliflower salad were nice and yummy but overall this place was nothing special. Probably would not be on my radar when thinking of a restaurant with all of the great Oakland options"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The service was quite good. The hamburger was excellent; cooked just right. My friend commented on how difficult it is to find a a well-done hamburger that is cooked just right. I recommend the grilled corn as a side dish. The restaurant was fairly empty at 7:00 p.m. but packed by 9:00. I found the restaurant noisy, perhaps because we were seated in in small corner in the front. Our table felt a little cramped."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Our Waitperson was so patient with my pickey-eater partner. That, combined with the fantastic food and the other friendly staff, made for a very fun experience. It's staying on my "Go-back-to" list."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Loved the food and the service was wonderful. Look forward to returning, maybe for brunch with our grandchildren (6 and 8)."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "Menu was unique and the food was fantastic. Fried green beans. OMG! Awesome. Burger was amazing as was the hangar steak. Service was attentive and friendly. Great wine pairing too. Saturday night ambience was perfect for dinner in the neighborhood."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Very welcoming vibe with an outstanding menu. This was my 2nd visit, and it won't be my last! One meaningful touch: the server kept my food allergy in mind, and offered a dessert which wasn't to be on the menu until the following day."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "The space here is nicely designed, including a very comfortable back patio. I loved the creamy liver mousse starter and my soft shell crab dinner. The cucumber salad was disappointing---cukes are in season in such variety now that it was a shame the chef did not take advantage. (For the price, I wanted a bit more pizazz, and also have them seeded!)"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "The menu must really be studied here, but even then you must ply your server with many questions. Especially enjoyed the grilled squid panzanella salad, the frites with a very tasty mayonnaise, and the pasta carbonara, tho the taste was subtle. It begged for fresh pepper....Don't go here to stuff yourself. Portions are modest, perhaps sensible. Really enjoyed the patio on a mild night. Easily spent $90 (three of us) without even getting to dessert, which, even then we HAD to have. Wonderful Verve coffee served in carafes. Server was fine but too busy to pay us a lot of attention."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "We had high hopes for a new place in Rockridge. I read the reviews here and thought it might be OK. And it was just that: OK. Food was not spectacular and as much as I hate to say because I cringe when I read other reviews complain about the portions, but they were a tad under-sized for the price. And I'm not complaining about the price because all the restaurants we go to are all about the same. The server was nonplussed, too. The wine selection could have been better. My recommendation? Go here for the bar and get a killer cocktail. That's about it."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We used to visit Somerset when it was here but hadn't been back since Box and Bells was opened. It was a very pleasant surprise. We started with a mixed salad with beets and the Hen's liver mousse - both of which were very good. Our server recommended a nice Italian wine that was reasonably priced and was perfect for a warm summer night. My husband had the salmon and I had grilled squid panzanella and they were also good. For dessert, we shared the grilled pound cake with berries. The décor is nice and service was excellent. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Four of us went to dinner to celebrate a birthday. We each ordered appetizers and entrees. For each course, they only brought out 3 of the 4 items ordered. And to top it off, it was the birthday girl's appetizer and entree that were not delivered with the others. Big fail. Her appetizer came out after the rest of us had finished ours and we were told she had not ordered an entree when ours were delivered - despite the fact that we all heard the waitress confirm the order clearly. The food was not bad, but only so so. It looked as thought they had never heard of vegetables. The pork was a huge slab that filled the plate. Not bad, but nothing with it."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Box and Bells occupies a prime location on College Ave, just a short walk from the Rockridge BART station. For earlybirds, the bar opens at 5:00 with dinner service starting at 5:30. Also, happy hour extends through the weekends, with $6 beers and $7 house wines (cocktails are $10). Service is friendly and quick, no sitting around with empty glasses wondering where the wait staff are. The menu is well-curated, which is to say that it fits on a single page, with multiple fish, poultry and red meat options. Most of the ingredients are local and the starters include poutine, salted padrone peppers, and eggplant salad. Dishes are smallish, best for sharing."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Oysters with bloody mary shaved ice, soft shelled crab on a creamy corn base, and an ice cream assortment, including basil ice cream (unbelievably good) all showed the imagination and skill of the chef. There were no-show-off-y innovations but unusual combinations that enhanced the ingredients, and everything was perfectly balanced. Efficient, considerate service too. My only complaint is the noise level--OK at 5:30, but later my partner and I were shouting to hear each other."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "we sat out in the garden. a bit warm and the canopy they've hung to cut the light worked but still a bit warm, never-the-less pleasing. we sampled many plates off the brunch menu. other than the french toast being a bit on the sweet side, food was wonderful and enjoyed all around. nice bloody mary too, nice and spicy…well done! very friendly and helpful staff. all in all, a very nice meal was had by all."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "i took my husband here for his bday. i alerted the hostess that it was his bday and she told me that she would tell my server. we decided to skip dessert (we had 2 starters, 1 salad and 2 mains). our server handed off the bill. no happy birthday, nothing. as we headed out the door, i asked the hostess why my husband's bday wasn't acknowledged. she was like, 'oh you have to order a dessert.' i was like, 'that would have been good to know earlier. i would have ordered a dessert.' i don't expect a small, boutique restaurant to give us anything for free. our tab (before tax) was $77. i know this isn't chevy's but for goodness sake, let a woman know what the protocol is so she can follow it. plus, the food was oversalted!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "College Avenues has become a foodie’s mecca. Come early to cozy up to the bar for a perfectly designed cocktail. The dry martini and negroni were first rate. We sat out on the pretty patio where it was quieter as the main dining room is dark and super noisy. The patio needs heaters as the wind picks up. The wait staff are friendly, knowledgeable and swift. For starters we ordered the beet salad and frites, both delicious. For entrée, the crabs were really a small portion, but the sole was huge and filling. Being an anniversary, they brought us a delectable dessert. Food is really good and prices reasonable. Looking forward to a return visit when they have heaters!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We ate at the bar the other night, and the two knowledgeable and helpful bartenders guided us through the menu and drinks. They are great assets for you, and you should treat them well. We ate cucumber salad, padron pepper salad, frites, and squid, all recommended by the bartenders. And two desserts: ice cream bar and the chocolate mousse, again on the bartenders' recommendations. Very, very good. Portion small on the entree squid, and it was perfectly prepared, and not too chewy."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Dinner was exceptional and was matched by the fantastic service."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "The place is beautifully designed. Wait staff was very friendly. Menu was extremely limited and portions are tiny. We left hungry and spent about $160 before tip. Our drinks were delicious but also miniscule. I am not sure why an owner decides to be skimpy with everything. I'd rather pay more for a regular sized portion. I had read reviews beforehand, but didn't imagine it could be that bad. My husband ordered a seafood entree as an appetizer and a beef entree for dinner. The hanger steak was fairly tough to chew. The reason I would not tell friends, though, is that the menu selection offered nothing appealing for me. Vegetarians, don't bother. The beet salad was fabulous but you'd need to order 3 of them to make a meal."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Box and Bells never disappoints. Whether it's a cocktail and burger at the bar or 4 courses of food, it is amazingly delicious. Warm, friendly staff and cozy atmosphere."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "We sat on the patio, but the seating is not that comfortable there, but the noise inside was incredible. My wife's halibut arrived ten minutes before my burger. The fish portion was very small, too skimpy for $23. Tasted ok. The burger was done less than I specified, but it was good. The server was prompt enough, but the kitchen's production was faulty. No good reason to go back."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "The cocktails are amazing here. I had a moment to sit at the bar & was able to watch the genius of the mixologists create one tasty cocktail after another. They were so patient with me as I kept inquiring about each concoction. Sat in the backyard which is a lovely setting. The food was to be expected outstanding. I will def. be coming back"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "First off, they know how to cook at this place. My biggest issue was portion size. Don't get me wrong, I see the importance in not serving up huge portions but this place is not cheap. I put Box & Bells at the same level of execution as Bourbon & Beef. The main difference is potion to cost. The salmon I ordered was probably a 2 ounce portion. Not a big deal unless it is ~$25. I get it, good product cost a restaurant but I walked out of the place, spending a pretty penny and just didn't feel like I got my money's worth. Great food but I just don't see me going back."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I thought the menu was wonderful: creative, yet understandable dishes. But some of the main courses were not up to par and the frites were a disappointment. The frites are such a simple dish to wow people with, so I was surprised when they weren't even average. For the first course, the softshell crab was very good, as was the beer batter green beans."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "This was our second time at Box & Belle, first time food was too salty and the fish we ordered had so many bones that made it almost almost impossible to eat, this time around the service was the biggest problem, our appetizer came on time but we had to get up and ask about our main course, server never came to the table to explain when tables next to us which were seated after us got their dinner. We had to ask for bread to go with sweetbread sausage ($17) which just comes as one and almost nothing else on the plate and by the time the bread came my friend was finished with the lone sausage. Expected more from people who run Commis..."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "This is really a great neighborhood gem. The food was great, inventive and delivered by great staff. They pour 1/2 glasses of wine, but someone needs to baffle the noise level. I was exhausted from having to yell at my dinner partner."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We have enjoyed Box and Bells before so we were very disappointed at the poor service. We had a reservation for 8 and after 25 minutes we were told our table was still occupied. We were seated near the doorwy. it was LOUD and busy. The drinks and bread arrived well into the meal& when we suggested to the manager that the service was poor, he said "That's just how long it takes because everything is made to order". The waiter, perhaps in an effort to correct our impression of poor service, reached across me to clear the table of crumbs every 20 minutes. Finally, the check came as a total, not itemized. I have no idea what I paid for, but don't intend to pay a check at Box and Bells again. Too bad because the food is good."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "I was very impressed by the staff. Good food and drink suggestions, a sense of humor(which is very important) and not lurking around. Water is served immediately, good touch, and service was quick but not too quick. Definitely a find. Food was great."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "The food is excellent, the service is terrific and the menu one of the more interesting in a Bay Area high-end gastro pub. We had bone marrow (a huge portion big enough for three people), sweetbreads sausage, duck breast with blue berry sauce during our second visit. Everything was fantastic! Try the Japanese style cheesecake to finish if it is on the menu when you are there. Scrumptious!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "I prefer the dinner menu to their brunch menu. Good for groups if you want to share a bunch of small dishes. However portions are small for the price."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We had a great, great time at Box and Bell. The group we were with created an energy we just enjoyed. The food was innovative and very tasty. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Weirdly designed restaurant. Strange liquor list and martini's we're not served in a martini glass. Expensive wine list. Food was not good. Grilled squid was mushy. Ordered sand dabs but they replaced with sole which was difficult to eat due to the abundance of bones. Will not be back. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Noisy bar like atmosphere. Good food but small portions. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "good cocktails, friendly service. first order of biscuits was incredible, asked for a second order and they weren't as good. hardly matters with that pimento butter (soooo good!). very few vegetarian options that are substantial enough for a meal. will return for snacks and drinks."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Delicious food. Interesting. Not the usual run of the mill fare. The burger was the best I have ever had and it is right across the street from Barney's! We will be back soon to try dining outside on the patio in back. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "In a neighborhood that is rapidly becoming Oakland's answer to Gertrude Stein's memorable description of a place where "there is no there there", Box and Bells has added the exclamation mark to the there that now is really there. What a fun, inviting, and comfortable place which just happens to also have some very inventive and carefully conceived menu items. Oh, those deviled eggs! And the soft shell crabs, the squid, the bone marrow, etc. etc. The four of us shared everything (and the kitchem had no problem with adding a fourth marrow bone to the usual serving of three). We look forward to a return visit - soon."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "This restaurant has a lovely look, a welcoming staff and a mix of fun local family regulars in Rockridge. The one thing that seems missing is memorable food. I detected no particularly interesting or meaningful theme across the menu, apart from something like northern california home cooking. Each dish is presented without much or any adornment, resulting in a rather ungenerous portion size. Flavors are not particularly complex or well developed. In short, I like the ambience a lot, but the food won't be bringing me back."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We loved the cool vibe. The two salads on the menu were light and freshing. The vegetables tasted crisp and not overpowered by dressing, yet very tasty. We really loved the pate with toast. We enjoyed the ribs. The sand dabs were a bit disappointing. I wish they had removed the bones before topping the fish with the sauce. The dish lacked flavor. My favorite dish of the night was the Box Burger! I will be back for that. The pretzel bun had a great texture, hard on the outside, but soft on the inside and soaked up all the luscious burger juice. This is on the best restaurant burgers ever. My kids loved the Japanese cheese cake for dessert. I couldn't pass up the Verve coffee for dessert. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Our waitress really knew her stuff. We got all of the attention we needed. Restaurant was able to accommodate our every growing party size."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Great new neighborhood restaurant offering inventive dishes - perfect for sharing. The biscuits with pimento butter - addictive. Fresh oysters with bloody mary granite - briny and delicious, blood pudding poutine - plate-licking good, grilled artichoke - simply fresh, and ended by sharing a hamburger - juicy and the pretzel bun was fantastic. Coming back to try all the other dishes!! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014