Happy Cafe

Happy Cafe
723 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94620
(510) 986-0163

For those looking for American fair, this is not the place for you. This is what it is, a Hong Kong street style tea cafe. People that are from Hong Kong can sort of appreciate this place, but most will complain that there are no custard tarts (H.K. style) and or pineapple buns with butter. It is not for people used to American Diners or the likes of Denny’s, but their food is definitely on the cheap.

The closest competitors in this field around that area are the following:
D&A Cafe on 8th St.
ABC Bakery Cafe on 9th St.
St. Anna Cafe Shop on 8th St.

This is considered a fusion between true Hong Kong and British cuisine. You might see many dishes with a familiar Western name, but does not resemble it at service time. They are not trying to stiff you but, it was changed in Hong Kong. To truly enjoy this place you can try the Chinese items and compare them to the other Chinese places around the area or order the SinoWestern dishes but please compare them to those palaces only. Comparing SinoWestern dishes to Western Dishes is like comparing Bristish to German Dishes just because both chef has Blond hair and blue eyes (not meant to be racist).
To me this seems to be the best place so far. It does not seem to carry as much MSG as the dim-sum places around the area. The portion is pretty good for the price. And the service is pretty prompt considering the price.

If you decide to be adventurous and try places like these, I would recommend that you try the Chinese fair first, because I do want you to be turn away from their SinoWestern cuisine (you will never know what your missing). Once familiar give there specials a try they are what most of their usual customer gets, because it is really cheap.

There are a couple of things to look for in a Hong Kong Tea cafe:
1. Tea (Not Chinese tea, but the milk tea. It should be bold, not bitter, and smooth to the taste.
2. Happy Hour appetizer specials (It is not bar food but can be very filling at a low price)
3. The specials they have for breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (You will definitely get more for you buck. It is not overly filling but will hit the spot.)

So far this place ranks #1 for me in breakfast spots, because it is cheap, quick, and makes me happy.

Here is my top 5 for breakfast:
1. Happy Cafe (on Webster in Oakland)
2. The Country Way (on Mowry in Fremont)
3. Denny’s Restaurant (on Industrial Pkwy in Hayward)
4. Venus Tam Cafe (on Jarvis in Newark).
5. Baldie’s Cafe (on Decoto Rd. in Union City).

What is your take any reommendations?



One Response to “Happy Cafe”

  1. Tsai Says:

    From your top 5 breakfast list, I like Venus Tam Cafe the best. The prices are extremely reasonable and the portions are plenty. The style and range of dishes they offered seemed to bring me right back to Hong Kong… strong fusion of Chinese traditions mixed with British tastes. My favorite dish there is the Baked Pork Chop over Rice, which has two large pork chops sitting over fried rice with tomato sauce poured over the top and dripping down the sides.

    The Country Way serves large portions of the traditional American breakfast… pancakes, sausages, ham… It’s ok, but feels somewhat too heavy for breakfast. Somewhat overrated. I could make those items easily at home.

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