Z Cafe & Bar

4.3
254 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
The best happy hour in Oakland featuring over 100 vodkas. Serves Scratch-made American Cuisine for Lunch & Dinner. Party Space. The menu changes seasonally to provide flavors at their peak. Z Cafe & Bar carries over 100 vodka selection and offer a variety of hand shaken specialty martinis.
What 254 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BN
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Z Cafe experience is always a way for us to relax and enjoy during the weekends. The food selection is always deliciously consistent. I had the Rigatoni (special of the day) and husband had the salmon. We both enjoyed the food and ambiance at Z Cafe - one of the treasure of Oakland.

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AH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Celebrating a birthday. Service and food was great. Had no idea this place was nestled in here. We’ll be back!

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s
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great beef special entree. And the ribs appetizer is excellent. With great ambiance and friendly, responsive staff this is one of our favorite restaurants.

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AM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Low key decent food, worthy of a another visit. But not a must to have to visit. Overall it was good.

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SD
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Rich, textured, smoky mac n cheese (its’s difficult to find a good one)!! My date enjoyed a vegan burger & fried green tomatoes. Yummy, pretty drinks! Very friendly & attentive staff. I’m hard of hearing - but there wasn’t too much noise on a Wed eve. Plus there’s a patio for future visits!

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s
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the food and service was excellent (great martinis!) and the atmosphere relaxed. Great crab cakes!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Forgot how good but noisy this place is. We loved it but ask for a quiet table if you want to talk. Otherwise just enjoy the party

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O
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

We went on a Friday night. The place was full. Reservations a must. I had the ribs and crab cake appetizers and the apple/walnut salad. All three were good. My wife had a house salad and the Mac and cheese “happy hour” special. The latter came very late, which was voluntarily removed from our bill. Neither dish impressed my wife.

All and all the dinner was ok. Not bad and not great. If we were drinking we may have had a better time because they had a full bar and many happy customers.

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a
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I was notified of their special by email. The spicy chicken stew. Drove one hour to come to dinner!

It’s always a very tasty meal no matter what I’ve ordered it. It’s one of my favorite spots to visit when I come to the bay area.

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L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great low-key dinner restaurant - tasty food and lucrative happy hour.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Was a good option. Didn't blow me away. Middle of the road. Picked for proximity to business meeting.

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B
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always have a delicious meal at Z'Cafe and Bar. The salmon and the chicken piccata are my favorites. But if you're in the mood for a great hamburger, go for it! Actually, we go fairly often and have tried many of the items on the menu at various times. Drinks are well made and prices are reasonable. It's going to be even more crowded once the various apartment buildings nearby are completed. Hope they will save a place for us!!!

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J
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was well above par for a fine dining experience but the prices were so reasonable for the bay! Cocktail menu was extensive and well made.

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D
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Went for restaurant week based on positive reviews. Husband got the special. His Fish was very overcooked. I had shrimp appetizer which was fabulous. Everything else was just so so. Mac and cheese very disappointing. Ut needed another type of cheese to pop up the flavor. added backn was just thrown on top. Service was good but overall it was nothing to write home about.

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FA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It's Restaurant Week, so it was crowded and noisy, but it was still very good! Our server was really hustling, and he made sure we were well taken care of! The food was very good, and because it was Restaurant Week, it was an excellent value too!

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OT
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Service could’ve been better but the food was good

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Y
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an outstanding meal here during restaurant week. We were both very impressed with the food selections and quality. I want to point out, however, the one thing that made this great experience a stellar experience. The restaurant was busy for restaurant week, and that can often create delays or service issues. Not in this case. The team supported each other, covered for each other, and made sure that my dining experience wasn't dragged out or delayed. And I still got friendly service! I really want to thank the team that was working that night - it was a great experience and we will be back!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

We had a very enjoyable night out at Z Cafe for Restaurant Week. The food was good. While the server was very attentive and friendly, they were rushed and the kitchen pushed food out too fast so we felt rushed. We got over it. The ambiance is authentic old school and I love it. This would be a great place to meet up on a blustery afternoon and enjoy good drinks, good comfort food and good company. Not an intimate quiet 5 star restaurant but a solid good value venue worthy of repeat business.

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m
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great drink menu. There is a great variety of food - something for everyone . There were 5 of us. Large portions, excellent value. Mashed potatoes excellent.

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HF
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

They have a great happy hour menu in saturday until 10pm! Service was excellent too and attentive. Will def come back.

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LH
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

Appetizers were good especially the shrimp which is outstanding. Main courses were bland and tasteless. The garlic mashed potatoes had no flavor.
The French bread is excellent.
Pulled pork sandwich was too plain-just pork on a bun.
Lemonade tasted fresh made.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I have been driving past this restaurant for the longest and just so happened a coworker brought in leftover pasta that looked wonderful so we decided to get it a try. Why didn’t I come here sooner!? The ambience is great; cozy and welcoming. The staff is 1st rate and you can’t beat the HH menu. We will definitely return soon!

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner there. We will be back

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JM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We tried this restaurant due to its proximity to the Paramount theater. We were not disappointed. Good food, good price and excellent service. Its a nicely appointed space. We'll go back.

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a
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My third visit to this restaurant. I look forward to their food each time.

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r
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice service. Noise level was low to moderate. It was easy to chat with someone whom you have gone out for dinner.

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OJ
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Went here for a co-worker's going away luncheon and the service was very slow even though there was not a lot of people in the restaurant. We had the biggest party (6 people) and there were maybe 2 other tables which had 2 people on each. We looked around to see if the restaurant was busy coz service was slow and that's when we realized it was not. I ordered a crab sandwich , it was bland, mediocre at best. Also had blueberry pudding for dessert and that was ok. The servers were very nice just slow. I don't think I would go back.

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M
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I have gone to Z Cafe several times over the years. The food is consistently good and it's easy to park and get seated. I almost always get the crab cakes because they are excellent. The menu has a good variety and all members of our party were satisfied. Our waitress was super professional and friendly too.

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DW
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

You get large portions for a real value. The salmon was fresh and cooked perfect.

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HA
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Price worthy good food.

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TB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service from a little hole in the wall bar and cafe. Would repeat

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AB
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We (9 people) had my birthday dinner there at 6:30 on a Saturday eve. The place was packed. As soon as we came in we noticed the high noise level. I had to talk very loud just to talk to my friends right next to me, the two people who sat across from me (or at the other end of the table) were unable to talk to me. It got a little better when the place emptied out sightly after 8 but then a group of 6 or 8 young guys sat at the very front and made so much noise that we could not wait to get of of there.
The Waiter must have been totally overworked or brand new. We all felt sorry for him because he ran around trying his best but just could not catch up with his tables.
The food was mixed: some of us liked it a lot (like the Chicken Parmigiana and Pork Chops) but the others were so-so. The appetizers (onion rings, crab cakes) and desserts (flour-less chocolate cake and blueberry/lemon bread pudding)were absolutely wonderful!
All in all: I think that without the noise our dinner would have been very pleasant but unfortunately it ruined our evening.
IMHO: this place is perfect for bar sitting and snacking and watching sports on the TV screens.

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O
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Solid spot that I had no idea existed. I saw it was open (at least) since 2009 and I've lived in Oakland, fairly close, for 7 years and never even heard about it. Glad we found it. Friendly atmosphere with comfort food and a top notch bar.

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a
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

After my first visit, I knew I had to come back. Delicious food and drinks.
We scheduled a BDay party/coworker reunion and had a great evening!

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s
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went with our daughter earlier in the week, and then again last night in a group of 7 friends. As always, on both occasions, everybody was very happy! A fun experience, staff is friendly, helpful- but not intrusive. Last night 2 of us had meatloaf - better than Mom's! (Sorry Mom). The special was chicken parmigiana and of course, perfectly cooked - done - but still juicy/tender. I tried the soup of the day, Clam Chowder - very nice! (Tuesday is a wonderful chicken/tortilla soup.) And I had the Manhattan to start - which is really good and I wish somebody would figure out how to make it as good - without alcohol so I could have more! I also had the Apple Walnut salad - the apple and the lettuce tasted fresh out of the garden. The guys all had various burgers. I guess they all liked them because there was not a crumb left on any of their plates. There was a group of young adults dressed in costume dining last night. They were really cute and they were eating before going to an event to fund-raise for a local group of young girls. They fit right in to the classic style of "Z" and added to the ambience & decor perfectly! Anyway, we often see interesting people and run into friends at the Z!

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s
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We are meeting our daughter tonight at Z Cafe and I can't wait to eat the pork chop tonight - which is consistently perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful. I will also probably have the Apple Walnut Salad - their salads are sooooo fresh and crispy. To start off, not sure which: Cucumber Basil or a Martini - both are incredibly yummy!!! Z is awesome everytime! It keeps us coming back again and again from Castro Valley. Thank you Medhi & staff for a delightful and delicious experience EVERY time!

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MT
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had date night here and both thoroughly enjoyed everything we ordered. We shared a salad, he had salmon, I had the pork chop, I had the flourless chocolate cake, and he had a beer. The ONLY thing that wasn’t superb was that his mixed vegetables were clearly cooked frozen veggies. He was the one who had them with his meal and didn’t care though. I would have. But the lower prices reflect that difference so it is still fair. Service was stellar, parking was easy, ambiance was nice. We will be back for sure!

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AB
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food, moderately priced, with fast and friendly service. Salads have fresh mixed greens. Burger is a good value. So is the Z salad with choices of protein, including chicken or salmon.

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a
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Drink, salad and chicken stew were fantastic!

I will certainly be back!

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DW
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food and service was very good. This was my second time at this restaurant.

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