Finding a decent place to eat in a small city can be a challenge. You generally reach for chain restaurants but there are those days when you want to change up the pace. If you find yourself in Hayward, here are 10 food places you need to try in Hayward you should check out.
1. Sapporo Restaurant
Visiting a new sushi restaurant can be a gamble. Fortunately, this restaurant located on a prominent corner in Downtown Hayward wins all bets! With well-crafted rolls being made right before your eyes and an attentive wait staff, you can’t go wrong with Sapporo’s. If you happen to have room after dinner, make sure to try the fried ice cream!
2. Acqua e Farina
If you’re in Downtown Hayward and feel like some Italian food, Acqua e Farina may fit your dinner needs for food places you need to try in Hayward. When you walk in you are greeted by a bar usually filled with many patrons but then the restaurant transforms into a very intimate setting. Whether you bring a date here or a friend, the quaint dining atmosphere will almost make you forget that there is a bar full of individuals just around the corner. I recommend the house-made fettucine pesto and an order of calamari to accompany the candle lit table. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the small restaurant because you may drive past it on accident!
This gem was discovered one weekend when my partner wanted mac & cheese, but we wanted to stay in our city. The smoked gouda mac & cheese may seem small at first, but it is incredibly filling. As a huge fan of water carafe’s, the friendly waitstaff accompanied with ‘70’s- ‘90’s R&B with no need to flag someone down for water was a huge plus side. If you are in the mood to get full on comfort food, this is one of the best food places you need to try in Hayward to achieve that goal!
4. Buffalo Wild Wings
A great place for watching the latest sporting event, Buffalo Wild Wings is a relatively recent phenomenon in Hayward. It is incredibly busy during basketball season but if you want that classic wing & beer combo, this is the wing destination for you. It’s a fun relaxed environment perfect for huge group celebrations or a date night cheering on your favorite team!
5. Sonic Drive-In
Many Hayward residents make the journey to Sonic because there is something so enticing about the nostalgic feeling the restaurant provides. With car hops in skates delivering mouth-watering slushes and ½ prices milkshakes after 8PM, this is an ideal late-night hangout spot. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger, popcorn chicken, or even a loaded hot dog Sonic has the variety that Hayward craves. Along with crispy tater tots, you should visit sonic if you want a diner feel without the actual diner.
6. Dairy Belle
On those days you want something a little heartier than a regular fast food cheeseburger, Dairy Belle is the place in Hayward for you. Fried zucchini, Butterfinger blasts, and chocolate banana milkshakes are just a glimpse of the extra special dessert treats you can get here. I vouch for the patty melt because of the freshness and crispy level only Dairy Belle seems to provide. A great sit-down spot in Hayward or a pit stop for a soft serve cone, this famous establishment has it all.
Maybe you want pasta, but you also want to keep the damage to your wallet at a minimum. If this is the case, Rigatoni’s is the Hayward restaurant for you. With a fantastic salad and pasta combo, you will leave feeling satisfied and not stuffed to the brim. Plus, you can load up on different types of bread without olive oil!
8. Mountain Mike’s Pizza
Although there are many pizza places you can choose from in Hayward, Mountain Mike’s has always been my go-to. As someone who only ate pepperoni pizza for the longest time, this was the only pizza place I trusted. It was always well-cooked, fully scattered, and delivered at a quick speed. Now I know that they have fantastic specialty pizzas like The Everest or Chicken Club, but the smell of the pepperoni always gives me a sense of nostalgia. If you want quality pizza at a reasonable price in Hayward, Mountain Mike’s should be given a chance. This is another one of the food places you need to try in Hayward!
9. Black Bear Diner
Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast or dinner, Black Bear Diner will fulfill your craving. Be warned that their portions can be overwhelming at times so come with your appetite. One of their drawing points is the bear décor that can even become part of your home with a purchase from the gift shop! A bustling Hayward establishment on weekend mornings, you can eat like a bear here without any feeling of guilt.
10. Bob’s Hoagy Steaks
Despite changing owners, Bob’s has remained a Hayward staple. With many cheese steak variations available, this restaurant will fulfill your meat & cheese needs. I order the bell pepper cheesesteak with swiss cheese and have yet to be disappointed. They also place phone orders relatively quickly in case you want to enjoy the filling sandwich in the comfort of your home.
There is an eatery to fit your needs in Hayward, you just have to search for them! Which of these food places you need to try in Hayward are you going to? Let us know below.
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Rebecca was born in Hayward, CA and still resides there today. She received her BA in English Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. She is a Poetry student in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California and is furthering her involvement in the literary community. In her spare time, she likes to lose her voice at Giants games, read Young Adult novels, make lists, and aims to cross become a writer off it.