Golden Lotus in the only reason to go to downtown Oakland. There, I said it. I know some people are going to get all bent out of shape about that, but it's true. Oakland had a lot of bustling new apartment buildings going up, new restaurants planting themselves, and a lot of hope until just a year or two ago when everything went bust with the economy. Now there are lots of empty buildings and a defunct old Sears and, OK, probably still places worth venturing into, but the Golden Lotus is the only place where I keep wanting to come back.
Located on the corner of 13th and Franklin, this all-veggie Vietnamese spot will make you crazy for fake meat! When's the last time you wanted to go where your vegan friends wanted to go? Pictured here is the spicy "beef" noodle soup. I also recommend the pot stickers with ginger sauce. The tea is also great. All around the menu, you can't go wrong.