In 2014 this vegetarian restaurant relocated from 202 Second St and shortened its name from Encuentro Cafe and Wine Bar. Now it's a full service restaurant with more food offering. The name Encuentro means "to meet, gather, encounter." Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Italian, Beer/Wine
550 2nd St
Oakland, California 94607
Closed now

Tue-Sat 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:30pm-10:00pm

  • Outdoor seating


First Review by Marni
  • vegan


Posted on 10 / 01 / 2014

The hotel where we planned to stay turned out to be right around the corner from this place...and oh my god it was amazing. I called to see if I should make a reservation thinking it wouldn't be a big deal since it was a Wednesday, but they were pretty booked up! We ended up with an 8pm reservation and the place was packed, which I completely understood after trying our first appetizer. My husband and I split the stuffed dates, grilled bread with nut ricotta and roasted grapes (mmmmm!!), roast vegetable salad (which had these little crunchy quinoa clusters in it!), pumpkin stuffed empanadas, and roast potatoes with aioli. I was completely stuffed but this was not the kind of place to skip dessert- so I got the ice cream cookie sandwich with chocolate and caramel sauce and it was ammaaaaazzzziinnng. It's hard to say what I liked best, the nut ricotta & toasty bread and the dessert were pretty incredible, but it was all really good. I would love to go back and try everything. Don't miss this place!!!

Pros: Amazing quality, creative menu with seasonal ingredients , incredible desserts!!
Cons: Pricey- but worth it!
  • mostly-vegetarian

Great Food

Posted on 09 / 09 / 2014

Amazing food and the service was grand. This is a must, if you in the city decrepit city centre of Oakland.
Seriously, there are many restaurants to choose from here, many converted Asian hole in the wall to deep fried Louisiana grease pit.
If you want looking for a clean well maintain place look no further.

Pros: Clean, Friendly, Creative
  • vegan

Fantastic small plate fine dining in Jack London

Posted on 12 / 22 / 2013

Place is tiny, plates are tiny, flavors are huge. When I feel like something approaching fancy and refined but do not want to go all in on Millennium (or cook at home and bemoan the loss of Ubuntu), this is the spot. Love the avocado bruschetta, the tempeh satay, and, if you have a sweet tooth, they have excellent rotating desserts. I have never had wine here so I cannot review that, but their iced green tea is very good.

Pros: refined flavors
Cons: tiny place, so can be a looooong wait

  • vegan

Amazing! As good as Millennium, but less $$ !

Posted on 05 / 03 / 2013

My dining companion and I just adored eating here this evening. We ordered LOTS of food, small tapas-style dishes that we shared. Everything on the menu is vegan unless you're crazy and you opt for goats' milk cheese instead of the delicious smoked pecan/macadamia nut/herbed cashew cheese. WHAT? Who would do a certifiably insane thing like that? I don't know, but my friend and I certainly didn't. OK, they also randomly have deviled eggs on the "small bites" menu. I guess it's kinda the "omni option" (I was trying to make a little joke there about restaurants having one "vegan option" but I'm not sure that it actually works as a joke, so, sorry.)

The stuffed dates with macadamia nut pate and walnut "honey" were so good that my friend got a second order of it to go. The French lentil walnut spread with crostini (it also had a bunch of arugula) was really great and I kinda licked the container after we finished. The side salad, which I got with vegan Caesar dressing due to the novelty of vegan Caesar was quality. The marinated mushrooms with smoked pecan pate, cornichon, house made prune chutney, French mustard and crisp crostini was rich and flavorful and very much like something you'd get at Millennium, but kind of a small portion, which actually suited the two of us fine because we'd ordered so much. We also got the quesadilla with cashew pecan chipotle cheese, which apparently has a different filling every day.

Each thing made us ooh and ahh. It was a LOT like spending twice as much at Millennium in SF (a restaurant I love, but cannot really afford), except I got to do it while sitting outside on a bright, quiet Oakland street while people walked their adorable tiny dogs by us (yep, everyone at the veg restaurant wants to pet your dog, you know this). This place has a great friendly and casual vibe and it seems like the people who work there are, like, happy. Not BS happy, but actually not-hating-their-jobs happy.

And, yes, we also got dessert and somehow put it all into our faces. The 4 desserts were all vegan! I opted for a raw strawberry cheesecake kind of thing that was perfection, and my friend got a little multi-layer parfait thing which was also perfection, but I liked mine better.

Go to Encuentro! It's easy to park nearby, also. This place has the best food in Oakland, I'm pretty sure of it. I want to eat all the things (except the deviled eggs)! Can't wait to return.

I've posted pictures of the food. Look and drool.

Pros: best food & vegan cheese, people's tiny dogs, great friendly vibe
Cons: deviled eggs, want to eat all the things, cons?? no.
  • vegetarian


Posted on 10 / 04 / 2012

I had read about this place on happycow and decided to stop by and check it out. Here's my Encuentro Cafe and Wine Bar review/comment (well, it's more of a comment than review).

Enroute to San Francisco from LA, I stopped in Oakland to try the VEG places. I had just had a filling meal at Souley Vegan a few blocks away, when I had made my way here afterwards, I was too full to eat.

However, I was very impressed with how nice this place looks and feels. Encuentro is a very modern and chic place, yet feels laid back. Floor to ceiling glass windows frame the entire front side of the cafe, so you can see inside, and diners can see outside. In addition to small table seating, there is also a bar with tall stools for seating.

The menu features wine and alcoholic drinks, of course, but also some food. Mostly smaller plates and appetizer like foods. Food is all vegetarian with vegan ones marked. Prices ranged from $5 - 11 or so.

The area seems a bit odd/unfamiliar to me. Encuentro is just a block around the wholesale fruit and vegetable distributors whose gates have all shut by the late afternoon hours, so the area seems a bit "deserted" - yet just a block all around you see very new and modern condo buildings, and Jack London Square is a short walk away.

Anyways, next time I will save room in my stomach so I can try the food.

  • non-vegetarian

cool space, great vegetarian, vegan restaurant

Posted on 12 / 15 / 2010

This stylish Oakland vegetarian restaurant, which will make many dishes vegan, has delicious, creative food with outstanding fresh ingredients. The food is elegant in conception and very well prepared. A great place for a relaxed meal in a very cool space with interesting people. Good art work on the walls, too. I highly recommend it.

Pros: Delicious food, fresh ingredients, friendly staff


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Last updated: 2014/09/22


Added: 2010/01/03


Added by: Guest