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
127 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
73% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (85)neighborhood gem (70)great for outdoor dining (54)vibrant bar scene (34)hot spot (28)special occasion (24)good for groups (23)romantic (20)great for brunch (12)late-night find (12)kid-friendly (11)notable wine list (5)great for lunch (5)scenic view (1)Show More
  • So delicious!
    FavoritesVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow food
    UCgradVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bells & Whistles
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Taste but Very Small Portions
    Liteonfood
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not what I expected
    FoodBugVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed again!
    RJ44VIP
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    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...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • fabulous but OMG noisy
    pkr21VIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad night at Box and Bells
    food4fun
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • a winner
    foodiefun22
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Meeting Place!
    BillWallace
    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!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • great food
    alexVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun Night
    Burgess
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food below average
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Noisy bar like atmosphere. Good food but small portions.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • taggyleeVIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Opensesame
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Very Good by all measures
    costosVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food is the weak point...
    AjwsfVIP
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cool Speakeasy Atmopshere
    NinjaFoodieVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome waiter
    pcjr
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 67 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food3.9
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 99 reviews are from the Box and Bells reviews archive.
  • Box & Bells hits all high notes!
    JenniferC
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than expected food and Svc
    Misterkevin
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    My wife and I have been to many gastropubs and brewpubs, this one has the kind of decor that makes you think it could be all-style-no-substance with snooty hipster service. So glad my prejudices were wrong! The food was EXCEPTIONAL. The service was WARM, FRIENDLY and ATTENTIVE. The cocktails were SUBLIME. We will returning and recommending B&B to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    Birthdayreveler
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    Inventive yet not overwrought cuisine that is beautiful, generous and thoroughly satisfying. Staff very attentive and friendly. Outdoor seating is great and more to our liking. The indoors is bustling, loud and somewhat dark but with terrific artwork. Nice touches like delivery of silverware in old wooden cigar boxes. A real gem for a convivial meal or romantic an amazing food experience
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service!
    Moedavis
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The food was great! Fried Chicken and the Squid were outstanding. The service is very good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceptional Dining Experience
    MotownJoeVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    I ordered the Pate' de Mason, Grilled Sand Dabs and Roasted Half Chicken. Each was exceptional. I asked my very attentive waiter to assist in selecting wines and was pleased with each pairing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hiedVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    beautiful place but the food was not as good as I thought it would be - everything seemed greasy. Very noisy.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Smoke and Mirrors
    EastbayfoodieVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Such a fan of Commis...not the case with B/N/Bells....Pate ok grilled bread burned....Squid weird with sour cream of some sort and not warm/not tasty at all....the duck, what can I say not warm, not tasty and tough with lack luster knives... Lots of money for such a bad meal...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Second time dining
    JanButlerVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    I really like the decor and our service has always been good. I love the oysters - topped with a blood orange ice. They also have a great burger and fries. T?his time we ordered the fried chicken - boned but VERY greasy. We also ordered their special ribs which were tasty but I only got 4 small ribs for $14. Seemed a little pricey. This might be a good place for drinks, oysters, and a burger!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place for dinner.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Nice place for dinner. Food plates are small for the price.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but
    PlateheadVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Food was good but a bit more expensive than expected for a casual place. 3 of us shared3 small plates and 2 main entrees , 2 drinks each and bill was over $200, not exorbitant but a little high for what we got . That being said, the sand dabs were excellent other dishes good
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TKO
    WolfitaVIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    The food at Box and Bells is knock out. Any vegetable dish is innovative, and the Porchetta with Corn Bread was outstanding and plentiful. Try the Fourth Regiment!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Six months old and humming
    MferVIP
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    Six months old and humming along. Great food with knowledgable waitstaff. We will be back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food. Great service.
    Ashley
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We arrived early so we sat at the bar for a couple drinks. The bartender was so friendly and the service so fast that we stayed at the bar for dinner as well. His food recommendations were fantastic, the drinks we got were alright but that's much more to preference. The dessert menu was to die for. We couldn't pick so we go two and both were amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A night on College
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We arrived early, our reservation could not be found. Informed the hostess our reservation was made on open table. I advised I could go out to my car and retrieve the information and she said it was ok. It took a little bit and then we were seated. I would have preferred to sit at a regular table but she hesitated perhaps because it was for a reservation of which ours could not be confirmed. The people who waited on us were very nice and attentive. The restaurant was a little loud and a baby crying most of the night which was a little distracting. We enjoyed our meal, dessert and drinks.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous dinner and great
    Lizzie
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Fabulous dinner and great service!! We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • poor service, argumentative
    harwood
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    poor service, argumentative re: us coming at 9:30pm only for drinks and dessert, which we stated as soon as we arrived. server seemed very upset with that. poor service, would come to our table then talk to another server who passed by - all very odd and the 4 of us saw all the bad service from her as retribution for not having dinner. there's more, but really, we will not return and will not recommend to our neighbors and friends. what made it all the more offensive was that when the bill was brought to us she was suddenly very nice, telling us about brunch, please come again, etc etc. we have seen many restaurants in this spot come and go over the years which we have supported, but not this one.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • decent spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    We generally liked this place and had pretty good service at a nice table. There's some room for improvement if they wanna stay around. Service started a little slow but picked up by the main course. Drinks were tasty. According to the menu, plates are meant to be shared however most dishes we ordered came in three. Even numbers would've been nice. $50 ribeye was tasty, but really overpriced and way too fatty. I've had much better steaks for less money. Bone marrow was delicious but came in three. Three great biscuits. Three grilled artichokes. We enjoyed our evening but won't likely be frequent diners given the prices and portions.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very noisy. Very slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    Very noisy. Very slow service and bland food. It took an hour to get the first salad. The veggie came after the meet was servedm which was served half hour after the first salad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My new favorite Oakland restaurant
    mindyb
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Food was soo good, service was great -- love it. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • left a bit hungry
    calbear
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    We thought the food was quite good, well prepared and high quality. We were a bit disappointed about the size of the portions, they were quite small even for "small" plates, making it hard to gauge how much to order for a table of 4.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic