Charlie Hallowell: Oakland’s Restaurant King

April 21, 2014

Photo: John Storey/The Chronicle

Photo Credit: John Storey/The Chronicle

Very few restaurateurs have made an impact on Oakland’s booming food scene like Charlie Hallowell, the talent behind three of Oakland’s popular restaurants (Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe Service and Penrose). This “Rising Star” chef, also a Chez Panisse alum, brings a dynamic atmosphere and unforgettable eats to each of his establishments. Here’s what to expect at each stop:

Pizzaiolo – The O.G. Restaurant

What you’ll find: A hip, bustling ambiance with tasty, hand-crafted drinks and wood fired pizzas. The pizzas often steal the show, but don’t miss out on the other flavorful Italian dishes on the menu. Breakfast is also delish, including crispy croissants and pastries.

Where to find it: In the heart of Temescal, Oakland’s burgeoning foodie district. The MacArthur BART Station is just a few blocks away, and several bus routes run along Telegraph Avenue (check for details).

Boot & Shoe Service – The Little Sister

What you’ll find: Similar to Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe specializes in craft cocktails and wood fired pies. Looking for a bustling weekend brunch scene? This is the place to be. If you’re more of a curl-up-with-a-newspaper-and-cup-of-joe type of diner, the café portion will suit your needs.

Where to find it: Along Oakland’s booming Grand Avenue district near Lake Merritt. Take the 12 AC Transit bus from Downtown Oakland, or spend time walking along the picturesque lake.

Penrose – The Newbie

What you’ll find: Rounding out Hallowell’s trio of Oakland restaurants is his third tasty hub, Penrose. A bit different than his pizza staples, Penrose is divided into four categories – meat, fish, vegetables and bread. Tasty treats come straight off the grill, or raw.

Where to find it: Conveniently, right across the street from Boot & Shoe on Grand Avenue!

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