If you’re looking for a great place for Southeast Asian food, Champa Garden is one of my favorite restaurants in Oakland! Located in a residential area in East Oakland, you’ll have to find street parking since they do not have their lot. During the pandemic, there is still no indoor or outdoor dining and you can only order online or phone ahead for pickup. While you don’t get the experience of dining in, their food-to-go is just as delicious so make sure to stop by and support Champa Garden.
With dishes ranging from appetizers, noodles, curry, noodle soup, and more, they have quite an extensive menu of items to choose from. If I had to recommend anything, it would have to be the kasoy with ho fun but you can choose another type of noodles. Don't question it, just get it! If you are into a semi-spicy soup base that will fill you up, this is the noodles for you. Add a splash of tamarind spice and it elevates the taste. The soup is a fermented bean soup with minced chicken and cabbage but everything goes together so well. I have also tried their pad see ew which consists of their pan-fried noodles with Chinese broccoli, egg, and your choice of protein. Another great option is the classic pad thai as well. If you are looking for a great appetizer for groups, go for the Champa Sampler which consists of Lao sausages, rice ball salad, and fried spring rolls! It is enough for 2-3 people and it's similar to your DIY rolls. One of my favorites to order and it is delicious and filling.
If you're around the neighborhood, check out Champa Garden! It is a staple in my books and is decently priced for a comforting bowl of noodles. I have been going here since my high school days and it makes me happy to see that the flavors are still the same and the food is authentic. Have you tried Champa Garden before and if so, what is your favorite dish? Even though you cannot dine in now, you can still enjoy their food by picking up to-go and enjoying it from the comfort of your own home due to the pandemic. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I would love to hear more recommendations on places for Southeast Asian cuisine that are located in the Bay Area.