In addition to fantastic and relatively cheap food, this is where you'll find the best backstory of any restaurant in Oakland. In 2011, James Syhabout, Oakland's only Michelin-starred chef (for his Commis, on Piedmont Avenue, which is Oakland's premier fine-dining "molecular gastronomy" restaurant), opened Hawker Fare. His goal: to create a hip sit-down spot for people to enjoy food inspired by the street fare of his family's homeland, Vietnam. His location: the corner storefront where his mother ran a Vietnamese restaurant when he was a child. The food: mostly rice bowls--with amazing tofu curry, pork belly, poached chicken, Issan sausage, and more.