Merritt Restaurant & Bakery: Another Oakland Tradition
Merritt Restaurant & Bakery has been around for about sixty years. Most people that know it just call it “Merritt Bakery,” even though it is more than a bakery. They offer lottery ticket sales, all sorts of bakery items, homemade ice cream, a “to go” counter offering up their famous fried chicken, and finally old school style diner options in their restaurant.
I haven’t eaten at the restaurant since my college days when groups of us would go for late night chow after “clubbing” in the City. At the time, it was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Today it is open until 10pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
These days when I have an urge, I normally pick up items from the bakery and the “to go” counter.
They call it world famous fried chicken. I do think they fry up some great tasting fried chicken. If you are willing to wait 15 or 20 minutes you can ask for your chicken to be made to order. Fresh from the hot oil, you won’t be disappointed. The crust is crispy and the meat is tender and juicy. The chicken doesn’t have any spice to it, so I just add some of their packaged hot sauce and it is all good.
Merritt Bakery has had some troubles staying afloat in recent years. It did obtain a loan from the City of Oakland and there was controversy whether they really applied for the loan or went straight to former Mayor Dellums. Also, how could they obtain a $150k loan when the restaurant already owed $800k. Regardless of the controversy, I think Oaklanders are happy to have Merritt Bakery around, I know I am.