Box and Bells

Box and Bells

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.boxandbells.com/
  • Phone: 5109232000x
  • 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.
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Box and Bells reviews from OpenTable diners
109 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
66% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (74)neighborhood gem (63)great for outdoor dining (46)special occasion (24)good for groups (21)vibrant bar scene (20)hot spot (19)romantic (14)kid-friendly (12)great for brunch (10)late-night find (8)great for lunch (6)notable wine list (4)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Expensive and small portions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We went with friends and we thought the portion size compared to the price was not so good. The food was great but we needed snacks when we got home. The wine was expensive also. We thought it was a pretty atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    LRoadsVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We have been here several times. This visit was not even close to prior experiences. Both food and service were lacking. Not sure if we'll go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Nice new flavors. Enjoyed dinner with the family. Good cocktail.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slow service on a slow night
    Gastronomer1VIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We went there for dinner during the week on a slow night (5 or 6 other tables). Yet after ordering and waiting for 10 minutes, we were told that one of the dish that was in a menu was an error and was not available; after another 10 minutes we were informed that one of the dish would take another 25 minutes and had to change our orders since we had some time constraints. The food was good but the portion small for the main course (fish).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wow factor
    disappointedVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The food is sublime: pork belly in grits can not be missed. The roast chicken is insanely moist and flavorful. The thyme creme brule is a destination item unto itself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Will Be Back.....
    hard2pls
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Last minute choice for two couples....Seating outside was a blessing since the weather has been warm. Very pleasant and quieter than inside. All of our menu choices were delicious! Especially loved the warm squash salad and we ordered extras on the deviled eggs! Our waiter was well informed on all of the menu choices when we asked for further description and the food presentation was pleasing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • So disappointed
    AmelieVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I was so excited to visit this year-old restaurant in the heart of Rockridge's gourmet ghetto, and it couldn't have been worse. From the weak, trying too hard to be couture drink menu, wines from god knows where with no taste, beers in cool looking containers yet unsatisfactory..To the appetizers our table of 6 tried, fried chicken with oyster sauce, caprese with just a few tomatoes and a sprig of basil and the hushpuppies with sorrano ham were sad. The main courses actually were the tipping point. Greasy duck breast, tasteless sole, hamburger no lettuce, tomato or onion (too ordinary?) the pomme frites looked like they were the remnants of another order, overall, poor. Thank god for the good company at the table...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food but slow service
    GBearVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Will probably try the place again but first shot wasn't impressive on the service. Our waitress was polite and checked in on us appropriately after being pretty slow to check if we wanted drinks initially. The food delivery times were quite long though and it was really a long time from appetizers to main courses. The burger is highly recommended as it's excellent on the pretzel bun and the medium rare was also perfectly medium rare. So good! The duck was also really good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid Rockridge Option
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    I had been here once before and just had the burger in the bar area. This time we made a reservation, and still ended up in a corner table in the bar area. Service was fine, though not terribly attentive. Good options on the menu. The three of us split a bunch of small plates (the ham of the day, fried chicken, a couple of salads) and then split the hangar steak and potato frites. All quite tasty, though the steak was quite rare, considering we'd ordered it medium rare. Good cocktails. We skipped dessert since they were out of chocolate mousse.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We will be back !
    Dawn
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Fried chicken was delicious ! ditto the pommes frites ! The portions were perfect - not overwhelming, but not tiny. the huckelberry crisp with horchata gelato was yummy too ! this place has a very nice ambience - and good beer and spirits list ! prob wine also - but didn't look at that
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    Luna
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The restaurant is beautiful, the service is good but the food isn't. Overall you get dishes that are nicely presented but something's always off. We ordered fries and the texture was amazing but they were so salty we had to send them back. Then we ordered the steak tartare which had thicker lumps of meat... Honestly that was kind of gross. I've been eating steak tartare my entire life and it's never had chunks of meat in it. Then we ordered the halibut and we were disappointed. It was bland, there was no sauce with it just some beans and capers.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • roobrew
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The best thing about the restaurant was the waitress who was warm and present. Mixed experience. Loved the interesting combinations of ingredients but somehow they felt like a scientific combo rather than inspired. Each dish was very good but something felt missng. How can a cauliflower salad with wonderful ingredients seem so bland? I wanted to love the restaurant but left a bit disappointed-a bit overpriced, small portions and no perfect dish. I love his other restaurants so may try again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really fun place!
    SpectorVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    We ate again (fourth time since opening) at Box & Bells the other night and were very pleased with both food and service. What a nice casual restaurant! We had oysters (which were very fat, fresh and tasty, with a nice garnish), deviled eggs (tasty as well and the look of them was surprisingly high-end), cauliflower salad (very light and subtly flavored), squid (nicely cooked (tender not rubbery) with a fine spicy overlay, which all went well with a nice bottle of french burgundy, and a dessert with huckleberries and a couple of interesting digestifs. All told a nice, well-paced meal at a decent price. Only drawback for me was that is is LOUD inside. Will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mediocre at Best
    lunchie
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    We went for dinner: the drinks were blah, the deviled eggs tasteless, the oysters warmish with far too much granita piled on them and shell crumbs in the oyester shell. The sand dabs were beautifully cooked but had not been properly trimemd for cooking and the bean and chantarelle accompaniment was ill thought out. The hamburger was not very good and Denny's on a bad day would be ashamed of the fries.. A creme brulee had ill thought out figs lumpily in the custard. Expensive,; service so-so; food, well one can do better and within 50 feet!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unfortunate service
    rocky0
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    This place is nice, good food and menu, current, and killed by untrained, unresponsive, service. You hate it when your server checks in too often, but when they are consistently not there when you want them, and every single item, from drinks, to ordering, to food your wondering where your server is. To make it worse, the manager and host were around us constantly and did not respond to our craning our necks to find some help. We'd like this place but they clearly don't have their act together on service and I hope they realize this and fix it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • fish bad, hamburger good
    Paul
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    fillet of sole - very bad, undercooked, not filleted. Hamburger excellent. Other food medium. Not worth the cost. Eating in the outdoor area was very pleasant on a fall evening.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Cute and delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Came here for brunch and food was delicious although there weren't a lot of choices for brunch what we got was good. Sat in the patio area which was really cute and cozy. Will definitely come back to try dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beer and a Shot
    AFungVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This was my 2nd time at Box and Bells and its only improved. The menu seems expanded and more choices for those less meat adventurous eaters. Oysters, Deviled Eggs, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Steak. All great. It has a really nice neighborhood vibe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • horrible service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    went with a group of gals, we were appalled by the service- our server was SO rude. we payed the tab after one drink and appetizer and left
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • what's up?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    we arrived on time, early for a Saturday and were seated at a tiny table by the window despite lots of empty tables. maybe our wait person had a bad day but she was perfunctory at best. no intro, no sense of place established at all. opportunity missed. we most likely won't return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great spot!
    BerkeleyFoodloverVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We really enjoyed our first visit to Box & Bells. The menu is small but very well thought out, and everything was executed perfectly. The flavors were distinct and intense, and the combinations worked very well indeed. We particularly liked the Monterey squid, the deviled eggs, the burger, and the ribs. Looking forward very much to a return visit soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Box and Bells happiness
    Odie
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Best service we have had in Berkeley/Okaland in a long time. Drinks were great, food was unexpeted and good, but service was superb! We will go back just to be taken care of in such a thoughtful and generous way.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Box & Bells
    Elsie
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Although the food was very good. The service was spotty. No one ever offered to take a drink order and I don't think the same person came to our table twice. The music was too loud and annoying for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food Disappoints
    esippel
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    This is my third time at the restaurant. The first time we visited, the menu was outstanding with bold interesting flavors and ingredients. The last two times, the menu has been more pedestrian.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Don't rush me
    lynandersen
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I thought that the service was quite rushed. We didn't even get out cocktails when they delivered the appetizers and then wanted to bring on the salad before the appetizers were completed and we had only one sip of the drink! We told them to slow way down - we were dining not wolfing. Food was great, however.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Box and Bells yum!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We loved it. We ordered a lot of different dishes and shared - everything we had was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • foodluverVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Nice buzz without being so noisy you have to raise your voice. Specialty drinks were great. All our food was well-prepared and tasty. The hamburger and fries were fanatastic - the burger was very light and flavorful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Box & Bells
    AITCHPEEBE
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    WE ATE IN BACK, OUTSIDE, SO THIS REVIEW IS LIMITED TO THAT EXPERIENCE. NO VIEW, URBAN YARD, BUT EXCELLENT DESIGN, VERY ROOMY, OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCE. INSIDE WAS MORE CROWDED, WARM FOR US, AND RATHER NOISY. OUR EXPERIENCE WAS TRULY OUTSTANDING, BUT EXPENSIVE; LITTLE PLATES ADD UP!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well-crafted dinner
    LindaD
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food is a bit pricey but exceptionally well prepared so worth it. The sparkling white pinot noir was great. Very tasty deviled eggs. The petrale sole was absolutely delicious. It was a whole fish (sans head) and they offered to bone it for me but it was very easy to do myself. My husband had the hanger steak which was also delicious. We split the plumcot strudel with vanilla gelato. Very crispy and tart perfectly blended with the gelato. The restaurant is quite noisy when busy, which it was when we were there on a Friday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Great drinks, waitress, grilled squid, spot prawns, pork chop. Frites were so so, hanger steak OK. Patio was wonderful place to eat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • RJ44VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    This time around couldn't ask for anything more! oysters with frozen tabasco sauce and calamari were fresh and well prepared, ribs and burger tasty and delicious. Raspberry strudel more a tart than strudel but good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sunday eve and chef ?away
    PollyVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We have eaten here several times but sun eve food was not nearly as good as I. The past. Maybe chefs. Ite off heirloom salad so small and not best tomatoes . Fried chicken , fair, ribs ok, not great. Wine list expensive We will go again and see if we just hit a bad nite
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The halibut was cooked to perfection. My Brother enjoyed his skirt steak and side of fries. Dessert & drinks also amazing. Staff very helpful with recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best burger on the planet.
    Physikist
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The box burger is the best burger on the planet earth, and possibly the galaxy. (however that will be difficult to prove) It consists of the top of a french onion soup (Gruyère cheese and grilled onions) in a bun made from pretzel dough. Rumor has it the beef is massaged by monks. The fries are extremely nice, although I did complain about them once. But now I retract.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • overall great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Two dishes were too salty, the deviled eggs and the grilled veggies that came with steak. And I like salt. Everything else was great. Cucumber salad, grilled corn, ribs - all awesome.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Solid dining choice
    JustaRegularGirl
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We enjoyed our dinner though my pork porterhouse was overdone and tough. I hate to waste food, so I didn't send it back. The other dishes were tasty and creative (shredded cauliflower salad). A good selection of drinks. Attentive service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing special
    Mlovefoodie
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thursday evening
    TakeMeOut
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super staff+wonderful food!
    InSeason
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Celebrated my husband's birthday!
    Mika5ballet
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Loved the food and the service was wonderful. Look forward to returning, maybe for brunch with our grandchildren (6 and 8).
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.