Grab a quick bite or stay a while at little known W. Grand café
It takes nothing short of a perfect storm to stumble upon the Loring Café. Despite being a stone’s throw from the wildly frequented Farley’s Café (on Grand Ave., off Broadway) this Oakland gem is probably news to you, which leads me to believe that the only viable explanation is that it’s charmed.
Sure, when you look through the window from outside, it looks like the kind of place that would break the bank. But I assure you, despite its fancy décor and sophisticated demeanor, it’s absolutely unpretentious. In fact, I’d say you get the bang for the buck.
With the most comfortable armchairs, perfect lighting, and high ceilings, it’s as though they encourage you to linger that extra hour or two. Did I mention that they have wifi?
My favorite time to go is in the mid-afternoon, during their happy hour, which runs 3-6 p.m.; not so much for the drinking, but for camping out under a nice desk lamp and getting that work done. The house white and red runs at $5; beer at $3; and food plates at $6. If you do go for a drink, I’d recommend the “Bartender’s Creations” at $7. It won’t disappoint.
The eclectic menu boasts such dishes as Mussels “steamed with peppers, onion, jalapeno and bourbon cream,” but I’m pretty simple, so I usually just stick to the 3 for $12 deal of vegetables dishes; the mini kale salad, the roasted cauliflower, and the asparagus in lemon butter.
“I think it’s a treasure,” said Loring Café guest, Judy Harrison. “I love the décor, the food, and the prices.”