My Alameda

Nihaar Gupta
Alameda Theatre plays first run and classic films

There is no better way to learn about a neighborhood than to get the perspective of a local. Nihaar Gupta has lived in Alameda for seven years and generously shared his perspective.

“First thing to know about Alameda is that it’s a big family neighborhood. Every restaurant is family-friendly. Park Street is the heart of downtown Alameda. It’s a complete central corridor that serves the shopping, entertainment and dining needs of the island city; Along Park Street is the history Alameda Theater featuring first-run and classic films, a vibrant shopping district with a book shop, cafes and even a toy store.

The neighborhood hosts numerous city events including the annual Park Street Art and Wine Faire, the Alameda Downtown Spring Festival and the Downtown Alameda Classic Car Show.

Below photos: Photos of youth teams sponsored by Lola’s Chicken Shack grace the wall of their restaurant. The Star on Park’s dining room is a repurposed old bank. Hot sauces at La Penca Taco Bar. The order counter from La Penca Taco Bar.

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Nihaar’s favorites

Here are some of my Park St. favorites and recommended dishes:

Jim’s Coffee Shop

“This is a great brunch place. I get eggs, waffles, pancakes and brunch stuff. My kids love the waffles while running around the putting greens outside.”

Country Meat Scramble

Sausage, bacon, ham, onions, peppers & mushrooms, scrambled with eggs, over home fries, topped with country gravy.

Belgium Waffles

Old Fashioned or Belgium Choice

Lola’s Chicken Shack

“Good fried chicken, they have their own breading — signature breading. They also have a huge sauce list. I like the Chipotle Mayo, Buffalo Sauce”

5 Tenders with 3 Sauces

Shown with Lola's signature breading.


“Good sushi, great rolls at a great price. Also have amazing ramen - some of the best on the island. The inside is a like a long train caboose - narrow and long with lots of cool Japanese art on the wall”

Rainbow Roll

Sliced raw fish over California roll.

Red Dragon Roll

Spicy tuna over Tempura roll.

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Mama Papa Lithuanian

“Cool, unique place. Love the Lithuanian rye bread with garlic.”

Fried Lithuanian Rye Bread with Garlic

Vegetarian. Black bread fried in oil and rubbed with garlic.

Borscht with Mushroom

Gluten-free. Beet and chicken broth with lots of vegetables and a dollop of sour cream served with Lithuanian rye bread.


“Kids eat free on Thursdays! Family place, Italian. Love the roasted cauliflower, shiitake mushroom and sausage pizza. The kids love the pizza. Thin dough, brick oven."

Shiitake Mushroom and Sausage Pizza

with fontina, onions, thyme, and parmesan

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Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Vegetarian, gluten-free. With spicy Feta.

Burma Superstar

I love the Mango Chicken, Platha & Dip, and Coconut Rice. Of course they’re also known for their famous Tea Leaf Salad.

Platha & Dip

Handmade buttery multi-layered bread. Served with a side of coconut chicken curry sauce.

Tea Leaf Salad - Laphet

Featured by sunset magazine as the "best of the west-salad”. Tea leaf salad is enjoyed by Burmese people throughout myanmar. Our version combines the fermented tea lead (lephat) with fresh romaine lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, crunchy peanuts and seeds, sun-dried shrimp and lemon juice.

Mango Chicken

Wok tossed chicken breast cooked with mangoes, onions and chili. Served with fresh mangoes on the side.

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La Penca Azul

“Great margarita (which we can’t get on DoorDash at the moment), chicken soup, street tacos — carnitas, carne asada are my favorites. They have a Super Famoso Burrito which is massive - heart attack on a plate. While I’ve never ordered it myself, I’ve yet to see someone finish the entire meal."

Caldo De Pollo / Chicken Soup

Homemade chicken soup with all white chicken meat & vegetables. Topped with avocado chunks. Served with a side of rice.

Grilled Chicken Super Famoso Burrito

Authentic Mexican Street Tacos

Topped with onions & cilantro. Served with grilled onions, pickled carrots, radishes, lime & salsa.

The Star on Park

“This is a pizza place located in an old bank, and the vault is still there! Cocktails are great, chicken wings are also really good.”

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Spicy Baked Wings

Mary’s chicken, dry spice rub, celery, choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Little Star (Deep Dish)

Spinach blended with ricotta & feta, mushrooms, onions, garlic. The Star made their name with their authentic deep dish pies.

Monkey King at the Brewery

“Monkey King at the Brewery is right next to the Alameda Island brewery. They share a courtyard. I think of this place as ‘Fried Goodness.’ The food goes well with beer which you can order from next door and bring back. Or vice versa. I love the spicy chicken wings, crab fried rice, spicy garlic crab fries.”

Chicken Wings

Seven traditional or boneless wings to an order. 10 different wing flavors.

Ginger & Green Onion Crab Fried Rice

Homemade ginger and green onion paste sauteed with eggs and crab meat.

Spicy Garlic Crab Fries

The list of restaurants highlighted in the story. Order delivery or grab pick-up from any of the places near you.


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