Box and Bells
5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618Neighborhood:
Gastro PubPrice: $30 and under
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
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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Box and Bells reviews from OpenTable diners
127 reviews since May 22, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
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!FavoritesVIPDined on 7/2/2014Box 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Slow foodUCgradVIPDined on 7/1/2014We 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.
- Bells & WhistlesOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 6/29/2014The 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 backSpecial Features:
- Taste but Very Small PortionsLiteonfoodDined on 6/27/2014First 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:
- Not what I expectedFoodBugVIPDined on 6/19/2014I 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:
- Disappointed again!RJ44VIPDined on 6/17/2014This 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:
- fabulous but OMG noisypkr21VIPDined on 6/13/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bad night at Box and Bellsfood4funDined on 6/7/2014We 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.
- a winnerfoodiefun22Dined on 6/5/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Meeting Place!BillWallaceDined on 6/5/2014The 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:
- great foodalexVIPDined on 5/31/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun NightBurgessDined on 5/31/2014We 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:
- Food below averageDinerVIPDined on 5/30/2014Weirdly 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.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 5/29/2014Noisy bar like atmosphere. Good food but small portions.I would recommend this to a friend.
- taggyleeVIPDined on 5/28/2014good 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpensesameDined on 5/25/2014Delicious 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:
- Very Good by all measurescostosVIPDined on 5/25/2014In 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The food is the weak point...AjwsfVIPDined on 5/25/2014This 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.
- Cool Speakeasy AtmopshereNinjaFoodieVIPDined on 5/24/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome waiterpcjrDined on 5/24/2014Our 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 99 reviews are from the Box and Bells reviews archive.
- Box & Bells hits all high notes!JenniferCDined on 5/16/2014Great 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Better than expected food and SvcMisterkevinDined on 5/15/2014My 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:
- OutstandingBirthdayrevelerDined on 5/14/2014Inventive 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 experienceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and service!MoedavisDined on 5/10/2014The food was great! Fried Chicken and the Squid were outstanding. The service is very good.Special Features:
- Exceptional Dining ExperienceMotownJoeVIPDined on 5/7/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- hiedVIPDined on 5/7/2014beautiful place but the food was not as good as I thought it would be - everything seemed greasy. Very noisy.Special Features:
- Smoke and MirrorsEastbayfoodieVIPDined on 5/3/2014Such 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...
- Second time diningJanButlerVIPDined on 5/3/2014I 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!
- Nice place for dinner.OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 5/2/2014Nice place for dinner. Food plates are small for the price.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good butPlateheadVIPDined on 4/23/2014Food 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 goodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TKOWolfitaVIPDined on 4/18/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Six months old and hummingMferVIPDined on 4/13/2014Six months old and humming along. Great food with knowledgable waitstaff. We will be backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food. Great service.AshleyDined on 4/12/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A night on CollegeOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 4/12/2014We 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:
- Fabulous dinner and greatLizzieDined on 4/10/2014Fabulous dinner and great service!! We will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- poor service, argumentativeharwoodDined on 4/5/2014poor 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:
- decent spotOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 4/3/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very noisy. Very slow serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 3/30/2014Very 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.
- My new favorite Oakland restaurantmindybDined on 3/29/2014Food was soo good, service was great -- love it. Can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- left a bit hungrycalbearDined on 3/28/2014We 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: