Today, Lisa is sharing her favorite affordable restaurants for families in Eastlake (perhaps after a bout of haggling at the Sunday flea market at Laney College). She got to know Eastlake — a small Southeast Asian enclave along International Blvd. just east of Lake Merritt — when she was living in Oakland and her son was attending a bilingual Chinese and English preschool in the neighborhood.
- Cam Huong is a neighborhood favorite, often packed with locals lined up for cheap banh mi and kid-friendly steam table dishes such as chicken skewers and noodles (Vietnamese). 920 Webster St.
- Chai Thai Noodle has fantastic Pad Thai and very fresh vegetable dishes. 545 International Boulevard, Suite B.
- Pho Hoa Lao’s leafy interior and aquarium, and tasty Laotian food, makes it a comfortable place to bring kids. 720 International Blvd.
- Kevin’s Noodle House (also known as Pho Huynh Hiep) welcomes kids and serves cheap, gigantic bowls of pho; my little boy is partial to their beef balls (Vietnamese). 1402 E 12th St.
- Sun Sang Supermarket offers the sensory overload of a trip to an authentic Asian market. Look for stinky durians, octopi on ice and yards of Pocky snacks. 1211 8th Ave.
Bonus tip: The leafy park at the center of the district at 6th and International is called Clinton Square Park, and features a busy, if small, playground, basketball court and open space.
Thanks to Lisa for sharing her family’s favorite eateries in the Eastlake district. Did she miss any of your favorites?