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Oakland may come in a distant second to San Francisco’s property values and crime statistics, but there’s no compromising when it comes to food. One place guaranteed to please is Daniel Patterson’s Plum (2214 Broadway; tel. 510/444-7586; www.plumoakland.com). With simple menus, reasonable prices, and vegetable-heavy delicious food, it’s been a hit since its 2010 opening. I always end up dining at the bar at Wood Tavern, 6317 College Ave. (tel. 510/654-6607), a contemporary and convivial spot known for its great selection of wines by the glass and contemporary American food (think seasonal, farm-fresh cooking). Vegetarians won’t find tons of offerings on the menu, but don’t let that dissuade you; when asked, the chefs will put together spectacular animal-free ensembles. Another favorite is Yoshi’s Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant, 510 Embarcadero West (tel. 510/238-9200; www.yoshis.com), a longtime destination in Jack London Square where you can watch legendary jazz musicians perform live in a proper nightclub while noshing on sushi. Like its sister Berkeley, Oakland also has a slew of wonderful, spectacularly affordable ethnic restaurants dotting its streets.

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