One bewildering fact about Oakland is there are no actual 24-hour restaurants(except Denny’s), but we will still inform you of all the best late-night food options that are open now.
Warning: This article contains truth. Most “top 10” lists you find online are generated by AI, bots, and random search results. These are actual places with real hours based on my personal experience of living an entire life in Oakland. I would drink late night all over Oakland, rave in dirty West Oakland warehouses, party at the clubs in San Francisco like 1015, DNA, Ruby Skye, etc, and return home to Oakland for food, what few options we have. I’ll just say it now, the best option Nikkos has closed down. Good luck with what’s left.
24-Hour Food Facts
First the actual facts about 24-hour food in Oakland.
- No, there are no actual 24-hour sit-down restaurants in Oakland(except Denny’s).
- Yes, there is 24-hour fast food like Jack in the Box and McDonald’s open now
- No, there are no 24-hour grocery stores(anymore).
- Yes, there are 24-hour convenience stores such as 7-11.
- Yes, there used to be 24-hour restaurants before Oakland went to trash.
- Yes, you can blame the residents for creating unsafe late-night working conditions.
Now Open 24-hours
Denny’s Hegenberger Restaurant
Look, I’m only joking when I include this because I know you’re smart enough not to go here. Unfortunately, it is the only real actual sit-down restaurant that is still open 24 hours in Oakland. However, this place is a disaster. You better be ready for anything when you go here. Just check out the less than 2 star reviews on Yelp.
This place is ghetto, the staff is ghetto, the customers are ghetto, and the place is dirty and nasty. The only reason it is even the last surviving 24-hour restaurant in Oakland is because it is a mega corp that does not care about quality, customers, or safety. If the place turns a profit, they will keep it open.
If you really really must go to Denny’s, San Leandro is a slightly better option. It has 2.1 stars instead of 1.9.
Colonial Donuts 24/7
I know this is not a restaurant but if it is that late and you really want something to eat, get some donuts! These guys have been a staple in Oakland for as long as I can remember. I used to go here often when I worked late night and graveyard shift as a security guard in Oakland. One secret about this place is the best donuts come in the early morning, say 4 or 5 am. Hot fresh gooey yummy donuts.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken Open Now
You can get this chicken 24 hours a day at the Exxon Gas Station on High Street and Foothill. I used to live very close to here(yeah, I’ve lived all over Oakland) so I will warn you, if you try late at night on a weekend you might get trapped in the middle of a sideshow. They just love to take over that intersection and gas station. OPD does nothing about it.
Jack in the Box Drive-Thru
I would not go here anymore, but it must be listed. I know you were looking for more than just fast food, but at this hour it could be your best bet. JITB is spread out pretty evenly through Oakland, but not all are equal. After hitting them up late at night for over 20 years, I know which ones to avoid, but you’re going to have to learn this on your own young grasshopper.
Carls Jr Drive Thru
There is one 24 hour Carl’s Jr in the Deep East, almost San Leandro at Foothill Square.
24 Hour McDonald’s Drive Thru
You should never eat here, ever, again, in your life. You have many reasons. Get it together.
Remember, at certain times they required a certain passport to even enter a McDonald’s. Never again.
Ouch. Is this even food? Maybe you can do better here than at McDonald’s though.
Open Until Midnight
While we do not really consider this late-night food, we will give you this bonus information and provide open until midnight options.
Tacos Mi Rancho
You used to be able to go here up until 3 am on some nights, but Tacos’ Mi Rancho wisened up and started closing at midnight. That place used to be like a fight club around 2 am.
Even if they were still open late, I would not eat there anymore. I have been going there since 2003 or something when burritos were like $3.50. Prices have skyrocketed as quality tanked. All while crowds grew and got rowdy. I’m not sure if you can still do this, but I used to eat here 1-3 times a day(lived six blocks away) and I would call ahead and order and always beat the lines.
Shooting Star Cafe
A mix of options here, mostly Asian and located in China Town. Maybe good for dessert and sorts. If it is only midnight, I would not make this my first option unless I was on foot nearby and starving.
Ole Ole Burrito Express
Nothing special, sub-par Mexican kitchen in the Uptown neighborhood that closes at midnight. OK if you just walked out of a bar.
If you’re into that sort of thing.
Open Until 1am
Open later than Tacos Mi Rancho and quite frankly, always been better quality. The only reason I used to go to Mi Rancho so much more was it was within walking distance and actually on my walk to and from work. Otherwise, when night came around and I was driving, I went here a lot. If you have not tried it, do so, and you can personally compare the quality and comment below. There was a short period they did a truck a few blocks down International around 3rd but people did not know about it, and they closed it down.
In N Out Burger
While not ideal, surely better than Jack in the Box or McDonald’s. I used to eat at this location just about every day for lunch when I worked at a nearby Comcast office. I really can’t complain. They were on top of the fast food back in the mid to late 2000s. I stopped going there when I stopped working on Hegenberger. Not worth an actual trip or drive for food. Only a worthy option if you are already in the neighborhood. Which you shouldn’t be at night unless you’re looking to buy some rocks.
Open until 2am
This might be your best bet for 2 am options near Downtown Oakland. Pricey and a step above fast food. Like most new establishment food in Oakland. It has been said the employees here are pretty much like most Oakland food workers, annoyed you dare order anything from them. It’s the Oakland way.
Newer to the scene and priced as so. If you’re in the Temescal neighborhood and have money to burn, this could be your place. Open semi-late and some nice options for Korean food lovers.
Nation’s Giant Hamburgers
Ohhh Nations’ They have been here forever and have let people down forever.
Dan Sung Sa
Open pretty late, centrally located, but not my first choice. I’ve been only once, and it was enough not to return. I could be biased though as I would take a burrito over an overpriced plate of meat and rice any day. But maybe it is your cup of tea.
2am Taco Bell’s
It is what it is. I ate here a lot but 20+ years ago. I would not do so now or recommend it. These fast food companies all burned themselves to the ground over the last few years.
Open until 3am
New Gold Medal Restaurant
This spot in China Town might be a secret to most, and for that reason, the Asians might be mad at me for telling you about it, but now you know.
I only know you’re not welcome because I used to go here with all Asians late night. I grew up rolling with the Asians, mostly crips and I know how it is on the inside of their culture.
I was all up in the Murder Dubs in the 1990s as the neighborhood was converted from Blacks to Asians. Bet you didn’t notice the Twomps(aka Murder Dubs, Rolling 20’s) changed from mostly Black to mostly Asian over the last few decades. Also pretty clear why they went from “Murder Dubs” to just a “kind of nice neighborhood”. Asians from overseas were the original Oakland gentrifiers. I saw it all go down. All of my homie’s parents were from another continent. None of them spoke English. My homies were “birth right citizens”.
Subscribe because I will write an article about the unspoken changes in the future.
Oh yeah, back on topic. You might not be welcome here. It is already pretty busy, and they don’t need new people from outside circles showing up. The fact is segregation is a natural evolutionary human trait and China Town is not meant for outsiders. They have been dealing with a lot lately due to all the Black on Asian attacks going down there and in “Little Saigon” aka East Lake. When on earth did they start calling it Little Saigon? I lived on East 14th and 6th Ave for over ten years and only started hearing this name recently with all the attacks and murders of Asians in that neighborhood. If anything it is East Lake or the border of Funk Town.
So the bottom line is, probably do not go here unless you are Asian.
Open until 3:45am
Tacos El Gordo
Another sort of OK taco truck in East Oakland. This one is closer to High St but is open much later than the others. We’re looking at 3:45 am on Friday and Saturday, but 2:45 am on Sunday through Thursday. So it’s a bit of a mix-up but still later than most Oakland eateries. Not as expensive as Nasty Mi Rancho and much better but still very high for what it is.
They are the self-proclaimed “Best Mexican cuisine in the Bay Area”. Check them out, it may be your only option at this late hour.
Open until 4am
Edible Happy Pizzeria
What can we say, it’s edible pizza. It is open late.
What’s strange about this one is they have a location on Broadway but also seem to be at the ghetto ghost kitchen on Adeline so who knows where your actual pizza may come from when you order.
It’s actually pretty good. You’re looking at $35 for a 20″ pepperoni pizza though. According to some photos from the owner, they use organic brand stuff that looks like he just buys it at Whole Foods? Maybe that’s why it is so expensive, they don’t have a supplier?
Screamin Hot Chicken n Waffles
It’s not a real restaurant. You can not eat there. It is what is known as a “ghost kitchen” or “cloud kitchen” so you may only order for delivery or pick up.
It is swarming with DoorDash drivers because it is a fake business location umbrellaing a bunch of cloud kitchens.
It is also not very quality and overpriced for such a minimal service.
This is a tough one to recommend with $12 chicken sandwich, $13 chicken tenders and waffles, and even $9 just waffles.
But if you are near there and it is late, it may be your only option.
24 Hour Grocery Stores in Oakland
Really? This is Oakland we’re talking about. These companies do not care about you, the customer. They used to have 24-hour stores, but as a late-night shopper, I can tell you they were ghetto and being robbed blind. They simply don’t want to risk their employees and inventory anymore, so they closed all 24-hour options even before Covid.
You can still find a local 7-11 if you’re really in a bind.
You do have the Safeway on Broadway and 51st open until 2am.
I know you’re looking for the magical secret 24-hour place to eat(other than Denny’s), but you must remember, this is Oakland, not Las Vegas. Oakland is a weak city in the shadows of failing San Francisco, and 24-hour food makes no economic sense. It was tried and failed. The city of Oakland hurts their local businesses, they support crazy mandates and laws, the crime is rampant and it is flat-out dangerous for any mom-and-pop shop to try and stay open late at night. At this point, it is only a question of how long before Denny’s corporate office pulls out of the Hegenberger location.
You actually only have Jack in the Box and McDonald’s(and Denny’s).
There used to be a few places over the years like Nikkos and Buttercup Cafe but trying to stay open all night in Oakland is asking for trouble(just ask Denny’s).
I’m sure you’re already aware of the many sub-par taco trucks and you’re tired of them which is why you are here. But that is it. You must eat yet another expensive low-quality burrito from Tacos Mi Rancho or Jack in the Box(or maybe Denny’s).
We will keep this article up to date with any new restaurants that pop up in Oakland.
We ask you to comment below with your late-night dining experience in Oakland.
You know how it is. Walking home at 7am from an all night rave in a dirty West Oakland warehouse, McDOnald’s on Jackson is the only option. Dollar menu who-ride.