- For other places with the same name, see Oakland (disambiguation).
Oakland is a port city in the Bay Area of California in the United States of America. Once overshadowed by San Francisco, its larger neighbor lying directly to the west, Oakland has begun to step out from under San Francisco's shadow with its notable natural and architectural features and its rise as the multicultural "hipster" city of the Bay Area. Visitors to the city notice that Oakland reflects its diversity and history.
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|“||What I loved the most about Oakland was that all of my neighbors came in as many colors, ideas, and religions as there are people on the planet. How lucky I was to know so many people that were so different and yet so much alike!||”|
—Patricia Polacco, Scholastic
While Oakland has neither the concentration of tourist amenities present in its western neighbor, San Francisco, nor the suburban sprawl of San Jose to the south, the visitor can easily spend a few pleasant days here. From the mid-1960s through the early twenty-first century, popular media stoked American racial and class biases to generate negative perceptions about Oakland. Since the late 1990s, however, the actual basis for these often exaggerated portraits of Oakland life have receded, as the city is experiencing an economic and cultural revitalization, as well as the more controversial hyper-gentrification. Oakland is now the Bay Area's most diverse city. Although still an underrated cultural center, its heady arts and culinary scene and ongoing revitalization have generated enthusiastic coverage in the world media of record, including the NY Times, UK Guardian, UK Independent, NPR, and the LA Times. The city gets its name because it has an abundance of oak trees.
Since the 1960s, Oakland has been a hub of progressive politics and radical, sometimes outlaw organizations. For example, while Oakland gave rise to civil-rights-conscious labor movements in the mid-century, it was also the birthplace of the Black Panther Party and a crucial hub for the early era Hell's Angels.
Oakland's history in the arts and entertainment arena is notable as well, as Oakland has nurtured or been a second home to novelists Gertrude Stein and Jack London; actors Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks; architect Julia Morgan; environmentalist Julia "Butterfly" Hill; classical conductor Calvin Simmons; rappers MC Hammer, 2Pac, Messy Marv, and notables in the liberal arts and sciences.
Oakland, like San Francisco, has a Mediterranean climate with temperatures moderated by the San Francisco Bay and the nearby, greater expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Rain generally occurs in winter, not summer, since rains share more similarity to monsoons than they do to thunderstorms. Also, the effects of the San Francisco Bay and the East Bay's Mediterranean climate mean that below-freezing temperatures are unlikely, and if they do occur, the air will be dry.
Oakland or Auckland?
It's not just Full House's Stephanie and Michelle Tanner that have ended up in Auckland, New Zealand instead of Oakland, California. Several incidents have been reported of tourists destined for Oakland ending up on the wrong side of the Pacific, either due to ticketing agent errors, or because they misheard an Air New Zealand flight attendant saying their London to Los Angeles flight was continuing to "Oakland". It may pay to double check your airline tickets and the destination screens before you board your flight; otherwise, it will be an expensive flight home.
- 1 Oakland International Airport (OAK IATA) (Airport Rd off of Doolittle (SR-61). From Nimitz Freeway (I-880) the airport can be accessed from 98th Ave (Exit #36) or Hegenberger Rd (becomes Airport Rd) (Exit #35)). It is served by many domestic and international carriers. Domestic non-stop air service is avaliable from Hawaii, most cities on the West Coast, and a few flights to the East Coast. There are international flights from the Azores and Mexico. The main carriers that serve OAK are Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines. Terminal 1 (Gates 1-17): Alaska/Horizon Air, Allegiant Air, American/American Eagle, Azores Airlines (SATA), Contour Airlines, Delta/Delta Connection, Hawaiian, JSX, Spirit Airlines, Volaris; Terminal 2 (Gates 20-32): Southwest. There is private shuttle service ($10–25) to hotels in Oakland and San Francisco. The airport is also served by the "BART to OAK" people mover to the Oakland Coliseum BART Station, from where you can continue onward to central Oakland or San Francisco, or transfer to the similarly named Amtrak Capitol Corridor station. The people mover runs every 5 minutes during the day, and ticket pricing is integrated, e.g. $7.85 to central Oakland or $10.05 to central San Francisco. This replaces the earlier AirBART buses, which have now been retired.
Other air travel options include the San Francisco (SFO IATA) and San Jose (SJC IATA) International Airports. SFO, with its BART station, is the more convenient of the two and also sits closer to Oakland. Though SFO has a much wider range of destinations, it is infamous for its weather delays. If you can get a good flight into Oakland, that risk would be diminished. Those flying into SJC may have to battle significant traffic, pay for an expensive van or taxi ride, or take VTA's Airport Flyer (Route 10) to the Santa Clara Caltrain Station, then Caltrain to the Millbrae Intermodal Station, and then BART toward Oakland. (From SFO and Millbrae, BART provides direct service to West Oakland, Oakland City Center/12th Street, 19th Street, MacArthur, and Rockridge stations; those traveling to other Oakland stations, such as Coliseum, must change trains at either West Oakland or 12th St.)
For private pilots, Oakland Airport (OAK IATA) has a separate General Aviation area "North Field", essentially the equivalent of another airport to the north of the commercial facilities, with separate tower, taxiways, and radio frequencies. Its long runway is frequently used for jet travel, and Oakland makes a far better GA destination than SFO's complex, heavily trafficked field.
Amtrak has two stations accessible from Oakland, 2 Jack London Square Station (At Alice and 2nd street, not far from the Square itself) and the much larger 3 Emeryville Station (At Horton and 59th Street, in Emeryville). It's always a good idea to get to your train at least 30 minutes early, to allow for lines, security and so forth.
- California Zephyr Emeryville to Chicago via Sacramento. Reachable by a bus ride via both AC Transit and the Emery-Go-Round.
- Capitol Corridor San Jose to Auburn via Sacramento). The route also includes a stop at the Oakland Coliseum/Airport Amtrak station, adjacent to the Oakland Coliseum BART station. The Oakland Coliseum/Airport Amtrak station has no station agents. Passengers may board the train and buy the tickets from the conductor at no surcharge.
- Coast Starlight Seattle to Los Angeles
- San Joaquins (Oakland to Bakersfield, California)
- Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches connects Emeryville and Oakland Jack London Stations to downtown San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo by bus. Connections to the Pacific Surfliner are in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
From San Francisco, Interstate 80 east leads over the beautiful Bay Bridge to I-580, I-880, and I-980, which go to east, west, and downtown Oakland respectively.
From Stockton, either follow the Altamont Pass route or take California Route 4 through Contra Costa County to Route 242, then to Route I-680, which connects to Route 24.
From Contra Costa County, Route 24 leads to north Oakland through the Caldecott Tunnel.
Alternatively, you can connect to Highway 123 and San Pablo Avenue in Richmond, and follow it to Oakland, if there is trouble on the parallel I-80. It's city streets, so will likely take extra time, and it will mean driving into and through everything between Richmond and West Oakland, including both El Cerrito and Berkeley.
Most northern entries to Oakland go through the heinous MacArthur Maze, a spaghetti-like mashup of four freeways trying to merge and pass each other. It's got terrible traffic during commute times (7AM-10AM, 4PM-8PM), so you might want to avoid driving on the freeways at these times.
- Flixbus, 1431 7th St (Near W. Oakland BART), ☏ . Daily 5:30AM-1:30AM. Connects to all of the cities of California and much of the Southwest, from San Francisco to Reno, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.
- Greyhound, 2103 San Pablo Ave (San Pablo Ave & Castro, a block up from 20th St.), ☏ . Daily 5:30AM-1:30AM. At the western border of Uptown in a notorious location — be careful. There is regular local bus service to and from Downtown and in the opposite direction, Berkeley.
- Hoang Express, bus stop at Banh Mi Ba Le's Sandwich Shop, 1909 International Blvd (E 14th St) (International Blvd & 19th Ave south of downtown Oakland), ☏ , toll-free: . Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster) and northern California (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento). $60-65 to Bay Area from Los Angeles.
The San Francisco Bay Ferry has departures from both Pier 41 and the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Its Oakland terminal is at the foot of Clay St. in Jack London Square, a block from the AC Transit stop and easy walking distance to the Amtrak Station.
Oakland is a good-sized city, with attractions more than a fair distance from the center of town. Car rentals tend to be more expensive than other locations in the country, and streets are frequently lined with meters, unless they're in completely residential zones. Some of the larger attractions have their own parking of course, and some of the more visitor-friendly neighborhoods have sizable parking lots - some paid and some not. Most residential areas allow parking for only a limited time for non-residents, so the wise traveler is best-advised to use public transit of some kind.
The frequent and long-term visitor to the area may be best-advised to acquire a Clipper card, which is touted as an 'all-in-one' transit electronic flash pass. It allows much easier use of almost all of the entire Bay Area's public transit agencies, allowing the user to use simple cash value or a specific transit agency's monthly pass. Cash value may be added at any of BART's stations, as well as a certain stores in Oakland or throughout the Bay Area.
Oakland has a wide and increasing infrastructure of bicycle lanes. If you need a bike, rental shops are close to nonexistent. Oakland enjoys a pumping bike culture, with lots of bike parking, and especially at some "parklets" at many of the city's coffee shops. If you like mixing bikes with your nightlife, you can join the 300+ people that cycle together monthly at East Bay Bike Party.
Most of the bike sharing in Oakland is through Ford GoBike and their trademark blue bikes and docking stations. LimeBike is known for its trademark lime green rental scooters. Both tend to be quite pricey. GoBike's machines allow only a limited time of use, 30 minutes at a time for a day-long access pass or 45 minutes a ride for an annual membership fee.
- AC Transit, 1600 Franklin St, ☏ . M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa-Su 9AM-5PM. Bus service to most parts of Oakland and its neighboring cities and towns for $2.35 (one-way, $.25 for single-use transfer), transbay service to San Francisco is $4.50 (one-way, single-use transfer for AC Transit only is free). A Local Day Pass, allowing unlimited transfers at no additional cost is $5, and lasts until 3 AM the following day. Service for most routes ends at or around midnight. There are several all-night routes, designated by "8xx" numbers, such as the 800, which runs from Richmond BART/Amtrak, through El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley and Oakland to and from San Francisco. (From Bay Area phones, dial 511, then say "AC Transit" for the AC Transit menu, then say, "Customer Relations".)
- The B, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 7AM-10PM. The B is a free shuttle service operating along Broadway from Grand Ave. all the way to Jack London Square.
- Emery-Go-Round, 1300 67th St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 6AM-10PM, Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 9AM-7PM. Shuttle service that connects at MacArthur BART Station, providing frequent and free service from the early morning to around 10PM between Oakland and Emeryville Free.
Unlike the often-tightly packed and crowded streets of nearby San Francisco, many locations of Oakland are much more friendly to cars. Parking lots are a more frequent sight, some requiring a nominal fee, as well as larger parking structures near the airport, and some of the BART stations.
In addition to the freeways and route mentioned in the "Get In" section, there are a couple of smaller intraurban freeways in Oakland:
The Warren Freeway (CA 13) is a two-way narrow four-lane highway that intersects CA-24 near the Caldecott Tunnel at one end and follows the feet of the Oakland Hills, passing alongside the wealthy Montclair neighborhood, through a wooded valley until it merges with I-580. It's often used to bypass the often-circuitous route taken by I-580 and the MacArthur Maze, but its narrowness can turn it into a traffic jam far more easily. Interstate 980 is a north-south freeway that becomes CA-24 when it nears the Cloverleaf merge with I-580. It meets I-880, passing around the western edge of Old Oakland.
Car sharing has been available since 2001 in Oakland, when City Carshare (absorbed by Getaround in 2016) opened its doors for the first time. Rates are usually by the hour or the day, depending on the individual service. Getaround, Gig Car Share, Upshift and Zipcar offer easily-accessible services to account holders city-wide.
Rental car facilities may be found scattered throughout the city, though Oakland International Airport has a dedicated facility; including a connecting rental car bus. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National and Thrifty all maintain offices and rental lots at the Rental Car Center at 7600 Earhart Road (Entrance is at the corner of Langley and Doolittle), outside of the Airport proper.
In addition, Avis, Enterprise and Hertz all operate smaller car rental facilities at various locations in the city itself.
Uber and Lyft both do a bustling business in the entire Bay Area, including Oakland. As of August 2018, Uber offers services for a minimum fare of about $7.20 and $1.33/mile, and Lyft about $3.50 minimum and about $1.50/mile or $0.18/minute. Uber offers wheelchair-accessible services, and both offer SUV services. Both services have additional fees for rides beginning or terminating at Oakland International Airport. Surge pricing applies during certain heavy traffic hours with both services. Be careful - with heavy traffic during rush hours, surge pricing and mileage can result in a very hefty bill.
- BART, ☏ . Connections between Oakland to San Francisco, the Peninsula, Contra Costa County, and San Jose, usually at a cost between $2 and $4 each way. The size of the fare depends on the distance traveled. BART has stations in several major neighborhoods in Oakland, such as Downtown (City Center), West Oakland, Lake Merritt and Rockridge. Note that there is an extra $5 added to any fare beginning or ending at SFO.
Taxi services in Oakland tend to be a very mixed experience. Prices tend to be high, and even the more reliable taxi companies can be very hit and miss for reliability and prompt response time. There are a large number of companies with "Yellow" and "Cab" in their name, without being the same company.
Oakland has many attractions to the eye and for the mind. Where some believe that it is a city of run-down Victorian houses or endless stretches of urban blight, this is very far from accurate. Oakland is a city with roots as far back as the earliest years of the admission of the State of California, and as such, it has architecture extant from many different eras. The Victorian architecture preserved and restored in Old Oakland, the Art Deco glory of Uptown, and the history of the Port of Oakland itself are among the many things to see. New York City has Manhattanhenge, towers of glass and steel; Oakland has the valleys of stone. Eight different walking tours are offered by the City of Oakland, with eight different paths to explore the city, from the historical landmarks of Jack London Square and the Waterfront, to the cultural sights and experiences of Chinatown, and the history of African Americans that grew and made their marks in civil rights and the history not only of the city but of the nation, just to give a small sample of three of the tours' itineraries.
The first place many visitors are likely to visit is Downtown, especially if they are in town on business, or simply do not know where to start. The center of transportation by BART and by bus is there, if you want to branch out. Only a few streets away is Old Oakland, along 10th Street, just west of Broadway. Just east of Broadway and continuing north and south is Oakland's famous Chinatown, where many of the buildings and streets of Chinatown reflect the diverse nature of its history, in architecture and in the bilingual signs seen throughout the neighborhood.
The curious traveler can venture to take a bus southwards along Broadway, and come to Jack London Square. The unlikely mixture of warehouses and very expensive restaurants and posh atmosphere alongside some of the landmarks of the city's waterfront makes the Square an interesting place to visit and explore, even for locals. It's the home of the USS Potomac and the site of the namesake author's residence, still preserved and humbly standing not far from a saloon from the same era.
Just west of Downtown and slightly north of the Financial District is Uptown. In the evening it buzzes with art galleries, theaters and residents and Bay Area visitors coming into the area to see concerts. A popular area on the weekend with a mixed vibe of hipster and hip hop. It's a burgeoning neighborhood of performing arts ranging from nightclubs to music halls, and some of the best in the city's vintage architecture, like the Gothic Revival Cathedral Building and the Art Deco Fox and Paramount Theaters, as well as several nationally renowned restaurants, including Flora, Duende, and Pícan.
North Oakland is a sweeping term, referring to just about everywhere north of Uptown and Lake Merritt. Temescal is a neighborhood that lies north-northwest from Downtown; it is home to a range of restaurant cuisines, from Korean to Ethiopian. Northeast of Temescal lies Rockridge, a picturesque and affluent neighborhood mixed with family friendly and artistic vibes. South of Rockridge lies Piedmont Avenue, a street home to many renowned eateries, close to the small, sleepy and wealthy town of Piedmont. East along I-580 are the Grand Lake and Lakeshore neighborhoods, which share a friendly, early twentieth century suburban ambiance. The Grand Lake Theater stands at the entrance to the neighborhood that bears its name, a matter of a few hundred feet from Lakeshore Avenue - both neighborhoods have a range of eateries no matter what your budget, be it burgers or a romantic meal.
West Oakland was once a burgeoning working-class neighborhood with its roots tracing as far back as the opening decades of the 19th century. The neighborhood is a gritty paradox, featuring separate blocks of slums and industrial sites and on others, stately restored victorians and arts-rededicated warehouses. Marred by among the city's higher crime rates, West Oakland also boasts a growing number of stylish hipster cafés, drawing a clientele ranging from the port's dock workers to concept-conscious hipsters from around the Bay Area.
- 1 African American Museum and Library at Oakland, 659 14th St (at Martin Luther King Jr. Way), ☏ . Tu-Sa noon-5:30PM. This is a beautiful building, one of the libraries donated by Andrew Carnegie, and its exterior merits a look before or after you visit the interior. The museum is on the second floor. Some of the temporary exhibits are quite worthwhile, and the permanent exhibits, which tell the black history of Oakland in text, pictures, and videotaped interviews, are really well done. Check the AAMLO web site for information on special exhibits, programs and events, such as an African American walking tour of downtown Oakland. Free.
- 2 Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ VisitorInfo@ChabotSpace.org. W-Su 10AM-5PM. Opened in August 2000, the Center is a state-of-the-art science and technology education facility on a 13-acre site in the hills of Oakland. Visitors can watch planetarium shows and/or Megadome movies, simulate space missions in the Challenger Learning Center, explore a variety of changing hands-on exhibits and observe the sky through the center's telescopes. In addition, the Science Discovery Lab (for children 7 and under and their parent/guardian) is fantastic. Discounts for first Fridays of the month, during evening hours. Adults $18, seniors/students/military/ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers) $15, children $14, members free.
- 3 The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (The MADE), 3400 Broadway (Just north of 34th and Piedmont Ave, former Saw Mill building), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. F noon-midnight, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su noon-6PM. A museum dedicated to the entire history of video games, from the days of Pong and Donkey Kong to their own VR rig, available to the public. Arcade games, consoles, PC games, imports, big screens - whatever your age or your interests, there's always something to see and do. $12, members free.
- 4 Oakland Aviation Museum, 8252 Earhart Rd, Bldg 621 (inside Oakland International Airport; use Cooke St., parking is on Boeing St.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W-Su 10AM-4PM. Civilian and military aircraft both large and small, even the Flying Boat. Flight simulators, flight lessons, even open cockpit days make this stop in Oakland International's old North Terminal a memorable one for anyone interested in flying or the history of aviation. Adults $15, seniors (60+) $12, military/student/teen $10, children 5-12 $8, children under 4 free.
- 5 Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St (at 10th; Lake Merritt BART station), ☏ . W-Th 11AM-5PM, F 11AM-9PM, Sa Su 10AM-6PM. A startlingly good museum dedicated to the art, history, and culture of California. The building itself is an admirable piece of architecture, and the exhibits are almost uniformly excellent and engaging. Free for everyone on the first Sunday of each month. $15.95/adult, $10.95/concession, $6.95/youth.
- 6 Oakland Public Library, 125 4th St (Main Branch, six blocks east of 12th Street BART), ☏ , toll-free: . With branches in neighborhoods throughout the city (check their website for specific branch locations and hours), the Oakland Public Library hosts numerous public events that make use of their facilities and vast resources.
- 7 Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd (exit off I-580), ☏ . Seasonal. The mission of the Oakland Zoo is to inspire respect for and stewardship of the natural world, while providing a quality visitor experience. At the Oakland Zoo, you can explore together, learn together, and have fun together. $24, kids and seniors $20 Age 2 and under/76+ Free.
- 8 Pardee Home Museum, 672 11th St (at 11th St and Castro St), ☏ . By appointment only. The home of the Pardee family, beginning with a California State Senator in 1868, and made into a museum in 1981. The main attraction is the accumulation of knick-knacks that the family gathered from traveling the world, as well as the history of the family, and the vintage of the house and grounds. $10/person.
- 9 Peralta Museum of History and Culture (Peralta Hacienda Historical Park), 2496 34th Ave, ☏ . W F Sa 2:30PM-5:30PM. Check website for tour hours and special events. Once headquarters of the Rancho San Antonio Spanish land grant, this six-acre park contains the 1870 Antonio Peralta House and interpretive exhibits, a native plant garden, and changing exhibits on history and culture. $5 admission, free for Fruitvale community members, members, and children 10 and under.
- 10 USS Potomac, Clay St and Water St (Oakland Ferry Terminal; adjacent to Jack London Square), ☏ . M-F 9AM-2PM. Historic cruises on the bay are available Apr-Oct Th & Sa; these must be booked with TicketWeb or by calling +1-866-468-3399. The Potomac was built as a Coast Guard cutter, and remodeled as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidential yacht in 1936. It served in that role until his death in 1945. In 1941, a fishing trip on the Potomac served as a cover story for Roosevelt's secret meeting with Churchill in Newfoundland waters; this meeting led to the Allied partnership during World War II and eventually to the formation of the United Nations. Dockside tours $10, $8 seniors, free for children 12 and under.
Parks & gardens
Public parks are a very common sight no matter what part of Oakland you are in. From green gardens to athletic fields and playgrounds to the massive open space of the Oakland Hills, if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle for a breath of fresh air or the like, there are plenty of places to relax in. A more complete list of the city's parks may be found at the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation
- 11 Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park (Redwood Regional Park), 7867 Redwood Rd (take Redwood Road north from Skyline Blvd.), toll-free: (option 3 extension 4553). Daily 5AM-10PM unless otherwise posted or permitted. The hills behind the Mormon Temple and to the east of Oakland's bustling streets are home to this, where redwood groves and trees and trails and wildlife help even the most weary traveler forget that a city lies at the elbow of the wilderness. Redwood is just one of a string or regional parks running along the crest of the Oakland Hills. To the north are Huckleberry Botanical Preserve and Sibley Volcanic Regional Park while to the south is Anthony Chabot Regional Park. All have trails that interconnect with Redwood. Renamed in 2019.
- 12 The Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate (The Dunsmuir House), 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct (take I580, exit at Foothill from either direction, take 106th under the freeway, and take a right on Peralta Oaks), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 11AM-4PM. An out of the way large mansion and grounds dating to the sunset of the 19th century, the Dunsmuir House is home to a variety of events year-round, from classic car shows to Scottish Games. Open from March-September. Adults $10, seniors $8, children $6.
- 13 Joaquin Miller Park, Joaquin Miller Rd (entrance about 1 mile from Hwy 13). A beautiful park in the Oakland hills, made up in part of "The Hights", the old estate of California poet Joaquin Miller. The park has some of the few remaining old-growth redwood groves in the East Bay. Lots of hiking and bike-riding opportunities. Free.
- 14 Lake Merritt, East of Downtown (Lake Merritt BART, also easy access from I-880 from the south or I-580 from the north). A large tidal lagoon that is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. A popular 3.1-mile (5-km) walking and jogging path runs along its perimeter. It is historically significant as the United States' first official wildlife refuge, designated in 1870.
- 15 Morcom Rose Garden, 700 Jean St (one block from Grand Ave.). A peaceful and picturesque oasis of color, near Grand Lake, often a site for weddings. Seven acres of roses, a few benches and quiet, nestled into a residential area. The garden may be reserved after Mother's Day through October 31. Reservations are booked on a first come first serve basis.
- 16 Preservation Park, 1233 Preservation Park Way (two blocks between Castro and MLK, 12th St. and 14th St.), ☏ , fax: . A preserved and gated Victorian neighborhood and gardens open to the public (on foot). Popular spot for weddings. Office space available.
News on many of Oakland's fine arts exhibitions can be found at Oakland Art Murmur.
- 17 E14 Gallery, 472 9th St (Old Oakland, between Washington St and Broadway), ☏ . Tu-F noon-6PM, Sa-Su noon-5PM. A modest art gallery focused on the local art, crafts and artists of Oakland, the focus primarily being the urban consciousness of the city.
- 18 Johansson Projects, 2300 Telegraph Ave (at 23rd Ave.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Th-Sa 1PM-5PM, and by appointment.
- 19 The Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th St (14th and Franklin, 1 block east of Frank Ogawa Plaza), ☏ , ✉ info@JoyceGordonGallery.com. W-F 11AM-5PM, Sa 1PM-5PM. A commercial fine art gallery that showcases the Bay Area's cultural and social diversity. Also hosts artistic events.
- 20 Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (BART: 19th St; at Oakland Art Gallery), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-F noon-6PM. Special events on weekends. Free.
- 21 SLATE Contemporary Gallery (Formerly Vessel Gallery), 473 25th St (Between Telegraph Ave and Broadway), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa noon-5PM, First Fridays 10AM-9PM and by appointment. As the name says, exhibitions from all over the country and the world, focusing on contemporary art.
- 22 Transmission Gallery, 770 West Grand Ave (at West St, near San Pablo Ave), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-F noon-6PM, Sa 11AM-5PM, first Fridays noon-9PM, and by appointment. Large venue that has exhibitions from many local artists.
Oakland is a city of passionate interests - among the strongest of them are the love of the performing arts. Theater, live DJs, nightclubs, concerts, dance and even more unusual avant-garde activities are common sights and experiences in the city. Not just the obvious locations like the convention center or the Oracle Arena are home to the passion of performance. The Fox and Paramount Theaters host live concerts; the Paramount in particular is home to Oakland's East Bay Symphony, but that is by no means the end of the list. The nightlife of Oakland swings to the beat too, with popular spots like the Uptown and Yoshi's (Found in the Bar/Nightclub section under Drink) keep the music moving far into the evening hours. And that is only the beginning.
- 1 Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave (Near Telegraph and 19th, Uptown), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A former movie theatre, the Fox was built in 1928. It closed its doors in 1970 and stood empty until 2009, when it reopened as a 1,500-2,800 seat music venue, following a two-year, $75-million renovation. One block from the 19th St BART stop, it is in the heart of Oakland's Uptown neighborhood, which is also being re-named the Arts and Entertainment district.
- 2 The New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave (At 18th St), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Live performing artists, DJs and readings abound at this venue a stone's throw away from the Financial District.
- 3 The Oakland Symphony, 1440 Broadway, Suite 405 (12th St. BART; Above Oaklandish), ☏ , fax: . Check website for performance dates, venues and tickets.
- Oakland Gay Men's Chorus, 360 Grand Ave PMB 103, toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Oakland Symphony Chorus, 1440 Broadway, Suite 405 (12th St. BART; Above Oaklandish), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Oakland Youth Orchestra, 1440 Broadway, Suite 405 (12th St. BART), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 Pan Theater, 120 Frank Ogawa Plaza (across the Plaza from City Hall, behind Laurel Books). An improv theater that offers acting classes as well as live comedy performances, $15 door, $14 online.
- 5 Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway (Uptown, 19th St BART), ☏ . This gorgeous Depression-era theater, completed in 1931, has been completely restored and is maintained in almost mint condition. It's worth just looking at the sculpture, the paintings, even the carpets. Shows include classic movies, concerts, and other live performances.
Oakland is an amazingly diverse city, with roots in a range of cultures and traditions. Reflecting this, many annual events are held in Oakland usually but not always centered around Downtown.
- Eat Real Fest, Jack London Square, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Second weekend in September. A celebration of food and food culture, especially locally-grown ingredients. A combination county fair, food festival and block party, by their own admission. Entry is free, no food item over $5.
- Halloween On Piedmont, Piedmont Ave. Last Saturday in October. The entire length of Piedmont Avenue from West MacArthur Blvd. to Pleasant Valley Ave. including Mountain View Cemetery participates in this event. Trick-or-treating is allowed at many of the stores, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, special movies at Piedmont Theater and so on. Security handled by a local biker group.
- Oakland Art and Soul Weekend, Downtown Oakland. Third weekend in August. Four stages worth of live music, in a city with a long history in the arts. Blues, Jazz, Rap, R&B and Indie performances abound. $50-60 at the gate.
- Oakland Chinatown Streetfest, Oakland Chinatown, ☏ , fax: , ✉ oaklandCTchamber@aol.com. Last weekend of August. A celebration of many cultures. Local bands, singers, demonstrations by local acrobats and even the Shao Lin monks, Taiko drumming, Polynesian dance, all reflecting the amazing diversity of Oakland. Free.
- Oaktoberfest, MacArthur and Fruitvale (see website for directions), ✉ email@example.com. Last weekend of September. The Dimond District's answer to Oktoberfest; biergartens, stuff from local breweries and even a root biergarten for those who want to celebrate without alcohol. $20 and up - see website.
- Off the Grid, 1000 Oak St (outside the Oakland Museum of California, 10th St. between Oak St. and Fallon St.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. F 5PM-10PM. The Oakland branch of a food festival with food trucks and live music, held at various locations throughout the Bay Area. $20-40 depending on the truck.
Recreation and film
- Oakland Athletics (MLB) (A's), Rickey Henderson Field, Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way. With nine trophies to their name, four since relocating to Oakland, they are one of the most successful franchises in baseball. The A's also have the best deal in baseball: $2 tickets and $1 hot dogs for nearly every Wednesday game. The cheap tickets sell out quick, so buy a day or two in advance. Rickey Henderson Field (the official name of the playing surface of the Coliseum since 2017) has the odd distinction of having the most foul territory of any MLB field, and by a large margin.
- 6 Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Ave (corner of Grand Ave. and Lake Park Ave. near I-580). This beautiful Art Deco theater (built in 1926) shows first-run movies. It has a spectacular neon sign that is lit on weekends, and is famous for the ultra-liberal (and sometimes conspiracy-minded) weekly sign proclamations from the theater owner. At Friday and Saturday evening shows, an organist plays standards in the main theater.
- 7 The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St (one block west of Broadway), ☏ . A second-run movie theater, the Parkway does not have screens in the traditional sense. Movies are projected at the flat white concrete walls, with large comfy couches to sit on. Best of all, they serve pizza, salads, and beer that you can eat and drink while you watch a movie.
- 8 Piedmont Theatre, 4186 Piedmont Ave (north end of Piedmont Avenue, at Linda), ☏ . The oldest still-operating theater in Oakland (built in 1917), completely restored and renovated in 2010 shows first-run movies. Saturdays are frequently marked by the showing of art-house and independent films.
- 9 Regal Jack London Stadium 9, 100 Washington St (one block north of Jack London Square), ☏ . Very large theater that shows first run movies, and usually has weekly rebate days that tend to lead to the place being full of kids.
Just for the kids
- 10 Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave (enter via Grand Ave near Lake Merritt), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Mixed seasonal hours, almost always open on weekends. Amazing, dynamic playground and destination for children, right on Lake Merritt. Please note that only adults with children can enter. Make sure you get a Magic Key.
- Museum of Children's Arts (MOCHA), 1221 Broadway LL-49 (Lower level of Oakland City Center Plaza, below the Clorox building), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-F 10AM-1PM, Sa Su private events only. A hands-on art workshop aimed at kids ages 6-15, covering topics like illustration and architecture and sculpture and even DIY art to wear!
- 1 California College of the Arts, 5212 Broadway (at College Ave.), ☏ , toll-free: . As the name implies, a large art college with a variety of disciplines. One caveat - the school is split into two locations, this listing is for the Oakland campus. The other is in San Francisco.
- 2 The Crucible, 1260 7th St (at Union St., two blocks from West Oakland BART), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. (Office) M-Th 10AM-6PM, F 10AM-2PM (Studio), M-F 10AM-10PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. An industrial arts collaborative offering classes in everything from blacksmithing to welding.
- 3 Laney College, 900 Fallon St (between E 8th St. and 10th St.), ☏ . South of Lake Merritt, one of the city's two community colleges through the Peralta Community College District.
- 4 Lincoln University, 401 15th St (at Franklin St.), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A private university primarily focused on business, offering a modest variety of minors.
- 5 Merritt College, 12500 Campus Dr (off of Redwood Rd.), ☏ . It's high in the Oakland Hills. Merritt is the other Peralta community college in Oakland.
- 6 Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd (near Pierson St.), ☏ . An all-women's liberal arts college.
Bike shops are a reasonably easy find in Oakland - used as an alternative means of transportation, to say nothing of exercise, throughout the city.
- 1 Lakeview Bicycle, 622 Grand Ave (between El Embarcadero and MacArthur Blvd.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. Locally owned, friendly no-attitude service and reasonable prices.
- 2 Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe, 302 12th St (near corner of 12th St and Harrison St), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 8AM-7PM. Friendly, hip spot to get parts for your ride or grab an inexpensive sandwich and tea.
- 3 Manifesto Bicycles, 421 40th St (between Shafter Ave. and Webster St.), ☏ . M-Tu Th-Su 11AM-6PM. Though their inventory is dominated by single-gear bikes, they offer full and quite friendly repair services.
- 4 Pioneer Bike Shop, 11 Rio Vista Ave (between Fairmount Ave. and Piedmont Ave.), ☏ . Tu-W F-Sa 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-6PM. A friendly little shop near the bustle of Piedmont Ave, that offers full repair service, regardless of how old your bike is, or how much work it needs.
- 5 Spokeland, 813 37th St. (near West St., 1 block south of West MacArthur), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Su 1PM-6PM, Tu Th 6PM-9PM. A not-for-profit DIY bike workshop that also offers classes and programs for cyclists of any level of experience.
- 6 Tip Top Bike Shop, 4800A Telegraph Ave (corner of Telegraph Ave. and 48th St.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Friendly full service bike store and repair shop. Service estimates free, appointments available by phone or email. No weekend appointments.
- 7 Bibliomania, 1816 Telegraph Ave (at 19th St.), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 11AM-5PM. Old-fashioned cluttered and friendly bookstore near the heart of Uptown.
- 8 Black Swan Books, 4236 Piedmont Ave (between Entrada Ave. and Glenwood Ave.), ☏ . M-Tu Th-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su noon-6PM. Used bookstore with a Victorian look and shelves full of vintage (and spendy) volumes frequently from the 1930s and earlier.
- 9 The Bookmark Bookstore, 721 Washington St (Near 8th St.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:30AM-5:30PM, Sa 10:30AM-3:30PM, Su 10:30AM-2PM. A nice not-for-profit used bookstore associated with the Oakland Public Library.
- 10 East Bay Booksellers (Formerly Diesel), 5433 College Ave (at Kales Ave.), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM. A spacious and clean spot that hosts many writers' events from near and abroad.
- 11 European Book Company, 6600 Shattuck Ave (at 66th St.), ☏ . M Tu appt only, W Th noon-5PM, F Sa 10AM-5PM. Specialists in books in languages other than English, predominantly French, German and Spanish; selections from many nations.
- 12 A Great Good Place for Books, 6120 La Salle Ave (Halfway between Mountain and Moraga), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th, Sa 9AM-6PM, F 9:30AM-7PM, Su 9AM-5PM. Extremely friendly little bookstore in the suburbs of the Oakland Hills.
- 13 Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr Way (At 39th St.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-4PM. A branch of the nation's oldest black-owned bookstore, this continues the long-standing tradition. Shelves full of excellent works from authors of color, posters and a consciousness of black history in both Oakland and the country.
- Owl and Company Bookshop, 3941 Piedmont Ave (Between Montell St. and Monte Vista Ave.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Su-Th 11AM-8PM, F Sa 11AM-9PM. A used bookstore with a somewhat Victorian look, and a focus primarily but not exclusively on psychology, philosophy and the occult.
- Pegasus Books (Formerly Pendragon Books), 5560 College Ave, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-10PM. Once a friendly neighborhood used book store, now a trendy hipster chain used book store.
- Spectator Bookstore, 4163 Piedmont Ave (Near Linda Ave.), ☏ . Daily 11AM-9PM. A small but well-organized used book store that has a variety of subjects available and even sells used DVDs and VHS tapes.
- Walden Pond Books, 3316 Grand Ave (Near Elwood Ave.), ☏ . Su-Th 10AM-9PM, F Sa 10AM-10PM. A large used book store with friendly staff and an absolutely amazing selection.
- 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, 420 40th St. Ste 5 (Between Webster Ave. and Shafter Ave.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily noon-8PM. Friendly little store with a wide variety of new vinyl.
- Groove Yard, 5555 Claremont Ave. (Near Forest & Colby), ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Old-fashioned record and CD nook - stacked high with boxes of LPs
- Stranded Records, 14 Glen Ave. (Near Piedmont Ave.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily noon-7PM. Neat hole in the wall store with a surprisingly wide selection of vinyl and nothing else.
- Vamp Vintage Art & Music for the People, 331 19th St (Between Webster St. and Harrison St.), ☏ . Tu-Th noon-6:30PM, F noon-7:30PM, Sa Su noon-6PM. Equal parts vintage art and music store, showing many classics and obscure LP covers as well as clothing and household items from the 1960s and 70s.
Though once a common sight in Oakland, with Eastmont Mall (the last operating fully enclosed mall) being used almost exclusively for other services, large enclosed malls are a thing of the past in Oakland. There are however a few open-air spots.
- 14 Jack London Square, 466 Water St (The very end of Broadway at the waterfront), ☏ . JLS's mix of gentrification, working warehouses, and tourism make it a place to find pricey and stylish restaurants that give San Francisco a run for its money. You'll also find some off beat and interesting fusion restaurants, too.
- Pacific Renaissance Plaza (Main entrance on 9th, between Webster and Franklin). An apartment complex and shopping center at the heart of Chinatown.
- Rockridge Shopping Center, 5108 Broadway (At Pleasant Valley Ave.). Home to the area's largest Safeway, this shopping center is about halfway between Rockridge and Piedmont Ave. and is frequented by residents from both. Half of the shopping center is under heavy construction, though the half that contains a renovated Safeway among others is open and fully functional.
- Temescal Plaza, Corner of 51st St. and Telegraph Ave (Entrance on Telegraph). A friendly little strip-mall that makes a good starting point for those exploring or navigating the neighborhood.
The third great passion after art and music that is shared by residents and visitors to Oakland alike is food. Oakland is foodie country. No matter what your budget is - if you want to find something to eat from a hamburger to a full-course meal, you're going to find both and just about everything in between. Though any city would look spartan and lackluster next to San Francisco, Oakland is not found wanting.
- Ahn's Quarter Pound Burger, 439 Grand Ave (corner of Bellevue and Grand), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 8AM-8PM. Very no-frills burger stop that has all the basics and its own parking lot. Under $10.
- Bacheeso's, 246 Grand Ave (at Park View Terrace), ☏ . M-F 8AM-3PM, Sa-Su 8AM-4PM. A cozy atmospheric spot whose biggest draw are the impressively large lunch buffets and weekend brunches, though they do an early evening weekday "hummus hour" as well.
- Enssaro, 357A Grand Ave (between Elita and Perkins), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Su M W-Th Su 11:30AM-10PM, F Sa 11:30AM-11PM. Come for the Wot and Ye Tibs, stay for the honey wine. Try the combo platters. Vegetarian-friendly. Online ordering. Delivery available. $10-20.
- Jong Ga House, 372 Grand Ave (north of junction with Elita Ave), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-11PM. A large menu and excellent service, good if you want noodles or marinated meat or want to do all you can eat. Online reservations. Local parking problematic. $15-30.
- 1 Sidebar, 542 Grand Ave (across from Lake Merritt Columns, where Grand Ave becomes divided), ☏ . W-F 4PM-8PM. A sizable hip restaurant that serves old favorites in new and interesting ways. Come for the Niman Ranch burgers and paprika fries and bring friends along for the cocktails. $15-30.
- Golden Lotus Vegan Restaurant, 1301 Franklin St (corner of 13th St. and Franklin St.), ☏ , ✉ Goldenlotusvegan@gmail.com. Tu-Sun 11AM-8PM. A Vietnamese restaurant that does its best to serve 100% vegan and organically-grown dishes on a budget. Under $20.
- New Gold Medal, 389 8th St (between Webster St & Franklin St), ☏ . Daily 9AM-3AM. Decent to great Cantonese food with fast service, open late. A reasonable option after a late show or club night if you're already downtown. If you like duck, make sure to get some roast duck, and their BBQ pork is equally good. Excellent lobster, too. Seasonal pricing - check menu.
- Shandong Restaurant, 328 10th St (between Harrison St. and Webster St.), ☏ , fax: . Sa-Th 11AM-3PM, 4PM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-3PM, 4PM-9:30PM. Although California Governor Jerry Brown visited this place during his term as Mayor of Oakland (a framed picture of him and the restaurant owner is proudly displayed), this restaurant has the characteristics of a local, "dirty but delicious" gem. Noodles are made fresh, right in the restaurant. Often crowded with local Chinese, and so when busy one may have to wait a while to get a table. $15-30.
- Vien Huong Restaurant, 712 Franklin St (between 7th St. and 8th St.), ☏ . Daily 7:30AM-3PM. This is the best restaurant in Chinatown for a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Be sure to order a noodle soup and fish cake(with a sweet and sour salad). Under $15.
- Battambang Restaurant, 850 Broadway (between 8th St. and 9th St.), ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-8PM. Delicious Cambodian food in a quiet, clean, casual with white tablecloth environment. $15-30.
- Spices 3!, 369 12th St (Between Webster St. and Franklin St.), ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-11PM. Just as the name implies, spicy Szechuan food and hot pot, home of the Gangsta Casserole. Online ordering. Delivery. $11-30.
- Ly Luck, 3537 Fruitvale Ave (across the street from Safeway), ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-8PM. Big portions, low prices.
- Shaan Indian Cuisine, 3434 Fruitvale Ave (between MacArthur and Bienati), ☏ . Check website. A small Indian restaurant that delivers. Online ordering. Usually under $15 per meal.
- Taqueria Los Comales, 2105 MacArthur Blvd (near Dimond Ave), ☏ . M-F 10AM-8:30PM. Small taqueria with low prices and large portions. Try the wet burritos. Under $10.
- Tu Tai 3, 2141 MacArthur Blvd (near the corner of MacArthur Blvd and Fruitvale Ave), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM. A small, clean and inexpensive Vietnamese restaurant with good noodle dishes and sandwiches. Vegetarian-friendly. Under $10.
- La Farine Bakery, 3411 Fruitvale Ave (across from Farmer Joe's), ☏ . Daily 7AM-6PM. A classic French bakery, La Farine is rich in crusty sourdough, flavorful sweet bread, tarts and numerous sweet treats. The sour batard, rustic baguette and morning buns are highly recommended for a first survey of their offerings.
- Nama, 3400 Fruitvale Ave (streetside, completely enclosed by Farmer Joe's parking lot), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11:30AM-3PM, 4:30PM-9:30PM; Sa Su noon-9:30PM. A full service Japanese restaurant and sushi bar that is a frequent stop for shoppers at Farmer Joe's. $15-30.
- Southern Cafe, 2000 MacArthur Blvd (corner of MacArthur Blvd and Canon Ave), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 1PM-8PM. An up-market soul food spot that serves all the favorites, from fried chicken to chitlins. Live jazz and buffet Sundays. $11-30.
- Los Cocos Salvadorean Restaurant, 1449 Fruitvale Ave (between E 15th and Farnham), ☏ . Tu-Th 10:30AM-7PM, F-Su 10:30AM-8PM. A little hole-in-the-wall that serves up authentic Salvadorean food at excellent prices. Under $10.
- Mariscos La Costa, 3625 International Blvd (corner of International Blvd and 37th Ave), ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. A small, outdoor patio restaurant that features seafood but has the regular fare of typical Mexican restaurants. Authentically spicy, so make sure you request no salsa or jalapeños if that is your preference. A former burger joint turned-taqueria, this eatery is good for lunch and best enjoyed in fair weather with a refreshing agua fresca, as tables are exclusively on the outdoor patio. $5 or less.
- Tacos El Gordo, 4201 International Blvd (Corner of International Blvd and 42nd Ave). M 10AM-2:30AM, Tu W 6PM-2:30AM, Th 6PM-3AM, F 6PM-3:30AM, Sa 10AM-3:30AM, Su 10AM-3AM. Could be considered the best taco truck in Oakland, with fare that by far surpasses most restaurants. Their burritos are over 12" and unbeatable. Contrary to popular belief, taco trucks (especially this one) are sanitary and often have food as good or better than what one can find in standard restaurants. As there is no place to sit, people eat standing up next to the taco truck, or in their cars. There is a parking lot with free parking.
- Taqueria San Jose, 3433 International Blvd (Corner of International Blvd and 35th Ave). Authentic Mexican food, best known for its tacos, salsa bar and low prices. Under $10.
- Two Mammas' Vegan Kitchen, 3700 E 12th St Ste 1D (near 37th, across from Ascend), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Th-Su 10AM-3PM. A friendly little vegan/vegetarian spot for breakfast, lunch or brunch. Full catering, no take-out. Under $15.
- 2 Guadalajara, 1001 Fruitvale Ave., ☏ , fax: . Su-Th 7AM-1AM, F Sa 7AM-2AM. This Fruitvale landmark is a full-service Mexican spot that serves from a gigantic menu that covers everything from simple salads to large seafood platters. There is on-site parking, a full tequila bar, vegetarian-friendly dishes and they even cater. If visiting during the later hours, be judicious. $10-25.
Grand Lake / Lakeshore
- Arizmendi, 3265 Lakeshore Ave (across from Peet's and Trader Joe's), ☏ . Tu-Su 7AM-8PM. A worker-owned bakery well-known for cheap and delicious baked goods and pizza. Under $15.
- Mijori, 3260 Grand Ave (halfway between Lake Park Ave. and Elwood), ☏ . Lunch: M-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM; dinner: M-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F 5PM-10PM, Sa 5PM-9PM. One of the best Japanese restaurants in the Bay Area. Usually a long wait for a table on the weekend.
- Miss Saigon, 3345 Grand Ave (near Elwood), ☏ . M-Tu Th-Su 11AM-11PM. Great family-run Vietnamese restaurant with good food at good prices, and a ridiculously good beer selection. Local delivery, but it's always better fresh out of the kitchen. Online ordering.
- Boot and Shoe Service, 3308 Grand Ave (halfway between Lake Park Ave. and Elwood Ave.), ☏ . Tu-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM, Su 5:30PM-9:30PM. Friendly hipster Italian and pizza restaurant that serves a variety of cocktails, and tends to be packed on the weekends.
- Lin Jia Asian Kitchen, 3437 Lakeshore Ave. (corner of Lakeshore and Mandana), ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-9:30PM. A nice, well-decorated little Chinese spot that's good for lunch or dinner. Online ordering. $10-20.
- Michael Mischer Chocolates, 3352 Grand Ave (near Elwood Ave.), ☏ . M-Sa noon-9PM, Su noon-7PM. Incredible gourmet chocolate and gelato.
- Neecha Thai, 3236 Grand Ave (near Lake Park Ave and Santa Clara Ave), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 11AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM, Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11:30AM-9:30PM. A spacious, quiet spot with low lights and good service. Vegetarian-friendly. Catering. No substitutions. Online reservations. $11-30.
Jack London Square
- Home of Chicken and Waffles, 444 Embarcadero West (between Broadway & Franklin, on the corner), ☏ . M-W 10AM-midnight, Th 10AM-1AM, F Sa 10AM-4AM, Su 9AM-midnight. The best chicken and waffles in the Bay Area. Cheap, open late, good drink specials (though the beer & wine is pretty standard, nothing to get excited about), it's a local institution. A diner style decor, lots of televisions (some tables even have televisions), and wonderful, attentive service. Full catering. $10-20.
- Chop Bar, 247 4th Street #111 (at 4th & Alice), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 8AM-10PM, F 8PM-11PM, Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 9PM-10PM. A gathering spot for meat-eaters, based on a West African concept of the same name - it is a bit pricey for what is offered, but the quality of the meat is excellent. Full catering menu. $20-40.
- Dyafa, 44 Webster St (Corner of Webster and Water, next to Heinold's), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, Sa-Su 11AM-2:30PM, Tu-Sa 5:30PM-10PM, Su-M 5:30PM-9PM. A friendly, picturesque spot with fine geometric tiles and a menu from the Middle East and a touch of North Africa. $20-40.
- Forge Pizza, 66 Franklin St #100 (Corner of Franklin and Water), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9PM. A vision of bare hardwoods and a menu of neopolitan features both with meat and without as well as a respectable list of sandwiches and salads. $20-40.
- Plank, 98 Broadway (Large building at N end of the Square), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11AM-midnight (Age 21+ after 9PM). An unusual mixture of bowling alley, bocce court, pizza and sandwich restaurant and cocktail bar, all rolled into one. $30-40.
- Kincaid's Bay House, 1 Franklin St (south edge of Jack London Square), ☏ . M-F 11AM-2:30PM, M-Th 3PM-9:30PM, F Sa 3PM-10PM, Su 3PM-9PM; Lounge Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. The east bay location of this national chain of seafood and steakhouses. A nice dining room that makes Scott's Seafood look old and stuffy. They also have a great happy hour where frugal foodies can pig out on seafood and finger foods every evening in the bar. Online reservations. Virtual tour. $25-65.
- Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar, 2 Broadway (south of main entrance to Jack London Square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 10AM-9PM. Large, upscale, seafood restaurant on the waterfront, frequented for wedding receptions and business luncheons. They have a decent happy hour. Old school surf and turf. Full catering. Online reservations. Private space available. Full florist service. $40 and up.
- Caffè 817, 817 Washington St (inside the Ratto & Co. Building), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 7:30AM-5:30PM, Sa Su 8:30AM-3PM. Stylish Italian caffè where patrons line up patiently for capuccini, chorizo & eggs, polenta, fresh fruit granola, panini sandwiches & salads. Online ordering. Delivery. Under $10.
- The Fat Lady, 201 Washington St (corner of Washington & 2nd St.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 9AM-3PM. Victoriana themed restaurant that has been open since 1970. Fine art lines the walls, yet it's casual and fun for a nice dinner out. House made cocktails are delicious, a great wine list. They also have brunch. Banquet services available. $20-40.
- Le Cheval, 1007 Clay St (between 10th and 11th Streets), ☏ , fax: . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-9:30PM, Su 4PM-9PM. Asian fusion cuisine spot. Online reservations. $15-30.
- Seison Restaurant & Lounge, 495 10th St (inside the Washington Inn Hotel), ☏ , fax: . M-F 5:30PM-9PM. Seafood, some American standards and a full bar, very atmospheric. Private events space available. Reservations available. $20-40.
- 3 Delage, 536 9th St (corner of Clay and 9th), ☏ . Tu-Su 5:30PM-9:30PM. A small Japanese spot that does nightly omakase (chef's choice) with seasonal local ingredients. Reservations recommended. Online reservations. $70 prix fixe.
- Simply Greek, 4060 Piedmont Ave. (between Glen Ave. and the 41st St. junction), ☏ . M-Th 11AM-8PM, F Sa 11AM-9PM. A small gyro and souvlaki spot with very large portions and a flavorful menu. Try any of the gyros, and bring your appetite, especially when ordering the aptly-named Titan. Free Wi-Fi. Catering services available. Under $10.
- Baja Taqueria, 4070 Piedmont Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11:30AM-10PM. An avenue institution with lines sometimes out the doors for their great and innovative Baja style seafood and other Mexican food. The fish tacos are legendary and the lobster burritos hit home like nothing else. The portions are big and the prices are reasonable. Try the agua frescas too. $15-30.
- Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers, 4162 Piedmont Ave (between 41st St. and Linda), ☏ . Seasonal hours, see website. Barney's is a restaurant specializing in every kind of burger, from the simple to the exotic. They have more than just the simple neapolitan trio of flavors for shakes as well, and the same can be said of their fries. Vegetarian, too! Catering services available. Online ordering. $15-25.
- 4 Fentons Creamery and Restaurant, 4226 Piedmont Ave, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. This hundred-year-old ice cream parlor is a cornerstone of Oakland culture—one of those places that East Bay folks point to as making the region special. The parlor is mentioned in the 2009 Pixar film Up. Huge bowls of ice cream and sundaes of various sorts are served in this always-crowded eatery. Sugar-amped kids roam the aisles all day and into the evening, and although the place attracts a cannabis-enhanced college crowd towards the end of the night, it always has a sweet and wholesome atmosphere. An expensive treat, but the servings are huge. Online reservations. Private parties and full catering available. $5-15 large sundae or entree.
- Judoku Sushi, 3314 Piedmont Ave (near Broadway, not far from Pill Hill), ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM; Sa-Su noon-10PM. A small, simple venue with dim lights and exceptionally friendly and attentive service. Look for the daily specials on sushi and drinks. $30-50.
- La Farine Bakery, 4094 Piedmont Ave, ☏ . Daily 7AM-6PM. A classic French bakery, La Farine is rich in crusty sourdough, flavorful sweet bread, tarts and numerous sweet treats. The sour batard, rustic baguette and morning buns are highly recommended for a first survey of their offerings.
- Shimizu Sushi, 4290 Piedmont Ave (between Glenwood Ave & Echo Ave), ☏ . M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9:30PM; F 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM; Sa noon-10PM; Su noon-9:30PM. A small sushi house with a wide range of choices for specialty sushi, as well as more standard Japanese fare. Popular with locals, family friendly, and laid back.
- Xyclo, 4218 Piedmont Ave (at Entrada Ave.), ☏ . Daily noon-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM. Trendy Southeast Asian fusion restaurant. $25-30.
- Commis, 3859 Piedmont Ave (near Piedmont Ave and Rio Vista Ave), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Sa 5:30PM-9:30PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Swanky, cramped spot well-known for their sommelier service and often-incredible combination of flavors. Online reservations. $60 and up.
- The Wolf (Formerly Bay Wolf), 3853 Piedmont Ave (Near Rio Vista and Piedmont - 2 doors NE of Kaiser's parking lot), ☏ . M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. A cozy and well-lit and ventilated place for French-American haute cuisine. $50 and up.
- À Côté, 5478 College Ave, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F Sa 5:30PM-11PM. Charming small portion French meals in great ambiance. Online reservations. Private event space available.
- Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers, 5819 College Ave (near Chabot Rd.), ☏ . Seasonal hours, see website. Barney's is a restaurant specializing in every kind of burger, from the simple to the exotic. They have more than just the simple neapolitan trio of flavors for shakes as well, and the same can be said of their fries. Vegetarian, too!
- Cactus Taqueria, 5642 College Ave (between Ocean View Dr. & Shafter Ave.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. A family-friendly Mexican restaurant dedicated to freshness and sustainability while maintaining traditional flavors. Everything at Cactus Taqueria is made from scratch with no artificial ingredients or fillers. Top your taco, burrito, quesadilla, or enchilada with one of the multiple house-made salsas, and cool your mouth with a delicious glass of horchata.
- The Chocolate Dragon Bittersweet Cafe & Bakery, 5427 College Ave (near Kales Ave.), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Su-M 8:30AM-6:30PM, Tu-Th 8AM-8PM, F 8AM-9:30PM, Sa 8:30AM-9:30PM. A small cafe that specializes in all things chocolate. Relaxing atmosphere.
- La Farine Bakery, 6323 College Ave (between Alcatraz and 63rd St.), ☏ . Daily 7:30AM–7PM. A classic French bakery, La Farine is rich in crusty sourdough, flavorful sweet bread, tarts and numerous sweet treats. The sour batard, rustic baguette and morning buns are highly recommended for a first survey of their offerings.
- Noodle Theory, 6099 Claremont Ave (corner of Claremont and College Aves), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9:30PM. Asian fusion food is a must-see for the trendiest in California cuisine.
- Ramen Shop, 5812 College Avenue, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 5pm-10:30pm F 5pm-Midnight Sa 11am-3pm 4-Midnight Su 11am-3pm 4pm-10:30pm. Well-crafted Ramen bowls with flavorful broth. Typically includes at least one vegetarian option. Excellent cocktail bar. Can be crowded during evenings. $20 per person without drinks..
- Soi4: Bangkok Eatery, 5421 College Ave (between Kales Ave. and Manila Ave.), ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa Su 5:30PM-10PM. Expansive selection of dishes at affordable prices especially given prompt service, simple and pleasant ambiance, solid wine by the glass list. A weeknight favorite. Seafood items among strongest on menu. Online reservations. Space for large groups.
- Zachary's Chicago Pizza, 5801 College Ave (CORNER of College Ave. and Oak Grove Ave.), ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-10:30PM. No one will dispute that Zachary's biggest fans come for their Windy City deep dish pizza (thin crust is also available). Not to be confused with "Sicilian" style, "Stuffed Crust" or other "deep dish" pizzas, Zachary's stuffed pizza starts with a thin layer of fresh made-from-scratch dough in a deep pan filled with a blend of quality cheeses and any combination of fresh ingredients. Another thin layer of dough is then added to cover the filling. The pizza is then topped with a mildly spicy, tangy tomato sauce and is cooked in an oven. This is one of the most popular spots in Oakland, so if you visit on a weekend, be prepared for a long wait. The best way around the crowd, if you aren't planning to dine in, is to call considerably ahead of time and place a take-out order and a window of time for pickup. Online ordering. Third-party online delivery. $.
- Cholita Linda, 4923 Telegraph Ave. (across from Temescal Plaza), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11AM-10PM. Friendly little place well-known for their fish tacos and mix and match frescas. Under $15.
- Monster Pho, 3905 Broadway (Broadway @ 40th St), ☏ . Wed-Sun 12 – 7 pm (closed on Mon & Tue). Delicious and affordable Vietnamese cuisine.
- Pizza Nation, 4919 Telegraph Ave (near 49th Street), ☏ . Daily 11AM-10:30PM. Cheap pizza that boasts a delivery area that includes Oakland, Alameda, Emeryville and Albany. Online ordering and delivery. Usually under $25.
- Bowl'd BBQ (Bowl'd BBQ Korean Stone Grill), 4869 Telegraph Ave. (near 48th St. and Telegraph Ave.), ☏ . Daily 11AM-10PM. Nice, modern Korean barbecue, best remembered for their bibimbop and fried chicken. $15-30.
- Burma Superstar, 4721 Telegraph Ave. (between 47th St. and 48th St.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 11:30AM-3PM, Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-10:30PM. A cozy restaurant that does proper Burmese cuisine, as well as several Chinese and Thai dishes. Vegetarian-friendly, no reservations. Catering available. $11-30.
- Doña Tomás (Restaurante Doña Tomás), 5004 Telegraph Ave (near 51st St. and Temescal Plaza), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM; F 5:30PM-10PM; Sa 9:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10PM; Su 9:30AM-2:30PM. A rare Mexican restaurant that serves brunch, and authentic mole sauce and huitlacoche. Online reservations.
- Kansai, 4345 Telegraph Ave (between 44th St & 43rd St), ☏ . M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su 11:30AM-midnight. Extensive sushi menu and good service. Has their own private parking lot - a rare sight in Oakland.
- Mai Banh Mi, 6601 Telegraph Ave (corner of Telegraph and 66th), ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-7PM. A friendly Vietnamese place that specializes in banh mi - Vietnamese sandwiches, as well as some light standard entrees. Online ordering for pickup. Under $10.
- Cafe Colucci, 6427 Telegraph Ave (between Alcatraz Ave. and 65th St.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 8AM-10PM. Ethiopian food served traditionally on injera, with an excellent selection of vegetarian dishes, friendly wait staff and excellent decor. Try the mitten shuro. Full catering services available. Online ordering. Third party online delivery. $15-30.
- Nude Sushi, 6228 Telegraph Ave (between 62nd and 63rd), ☏ . M-Sa 5PM-3AM. This small dinner Japanese place does delivery only until 3AM, six days of the week. $15-30.
- Saysetha Thai Cuisine, 6230 Telegraph Ave (South of Alcatraz Ave. near 63rd), ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-3PM, 5PM-10:30PM. A small Thai restaurant with simple decor, low prices and a massive menu. Take-out orders welcome. $10-20.
- Lotus Falafel & Shawerma, 377 19th St (near 19th St. and Franklin St.), ☏ , ✉ Lotus.firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:30AM-3PM. A friendly place specializing in shawerma and Middle-Eastern food. Full catering menu. Under $15.
- The Lunch Box, 1720 Franklin St (between 19th St and 17th St), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10AM-3:30PM. A little lunch spot not far from the Financial District that does salads, sandwiches and wraps on the cheap. Catering available. Under $10.
- Suya African-Caribbean Grill, 408 22nd St (between Broadway & Webster St.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 11AM-4PM. A small spot specializing in soul food skewers. Wi-Fi available. Many items halal-friendly. Under $10.
- Taiwan Bento, 412 22nd St (near Franklin St curve), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10AM-8PM. Comfy spot that does Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine in bento boxes, also noodles. Online ordering. Delivery by third party. Catering. Under $15.
- Brown Sugar Kitchen, 2295 Broadway (Near corner of 23rd and Broadway), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Sa 7AM-2PM, Su 8AM-2PM. Once the pride of West Oakland, now located at the edge of Uptown with the same soul food specialties that they served for a decade prior to their move. $20-35.
- Flora, 1900 Telegraph Ave (at 19th), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10PM (Dinner), Sa (Bar) 2:30PM-5:30PM (Brunch), Sa-Su 10AM-2:30PM. Expensive upscale art deco restaurant with an impressive cocktail and wine list. It's named Flora because it used to be a flower shop. Have a pre-dinner cocktail at their bar next door, Fauna. They also offer a vegetarian special (Flora) and a meat based special (Fauna), eat evening. $20-40.
- Luka's Taproom & Lounge, 2221 Broadway (at W. Grand Ave.), ☏ . Su-W 11:30AM-midnight, Th-Sa 11:30AM-2AM. Excellent food with a great selection of Belgian Ales, a small dance floor in a separate room, and a pool table in the back. Popular for lunch and happy hour during the work week, and brunch on the weekend. Space for private events. $20-35.
- 10th & Wood (corner of 10th St and Wood St), ☏ . M-F 7AM-4PM, Sa Su 8:30AM-4PM. A cozy little cafe that offers New American breakfast and lunch fare all day. Full catering menu. Phone ordering. Under $15.
- Pretty Lady, 1733 Peralta St (between 17th St & 18th St), ☏ . M-Sa 7AM-2PM. Go for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Korean American diner with a friendly staff. Old-fashioned U-shaped counter and bar stools. Under $15.
- Champa Garden, 2102 8th Ave (between 21st St & 10th St), ☏ . Lunch 11AM-3:30PM daily; dinner M-Th Su 5PM-9PM, F Sa 5PM-10PM. It's in a residential neighborhood. This cozy restaurant that has a flair of Southern Asia flavors. The mix of Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Mien cuisine makes this restaurant a unique one. Make sure to get an order of Pad Thai.
- Lake Chalet, 1520 Lakeside Dr (between 14th and 17th), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM. Fantastic seafood and steaks in an elegant dining room overlooking Lake Merritt. When the weather is warm you can have lunch or happy hour outside on the pier. While lunch can be casual, they have decent seafood. The wine list is rather generic, but they do have their own local beer. You can also take a gondola ride around the lake. Online reservations. Space for private parties. $15-35.
- Mua, 2442a Webster St (at Broadway, near 25th St.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 5:30PM-11PM, F 11:30-3PM, 5:30-midnight, Sa 5:30PM-midnight, Su 5PM-10:30PM. A restaurant to see and be seen. In an old warehouse, it's decorated in funky contemporary art and features a live DJ performing while you enjoy dinner on the weekends. Make a reservation, this place gets out of control busy on the weekends. A mix of small and large plates. Highlights include the ahi tuna sashimi and their house made veggie burger. Online reservations. Space for large parties. Note - due to heavy construction in the area, parking is more difficult than usual.
- Pho 84, 354 17th St (Near corner of 17th and Webster), ☏ . M-Th 11AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM; F 11AM-3PM, 5:30PM-10PM; Sa 12PM-3PM, 5:30PM-9:30PM. Some of the best Vietnamese food in town, served in a subdued atmosphere. The pho bo and carpaccio are definitely worth trying. Moderately priced..
- Quinn's Lighthouse Restaurant & Pub, 1951 Embarcadero East (in Embarcadero Cove Marina), ☏ , fax: , ✉ Quinns@QuinnsLighthouse.com. M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM; F 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM; Sa 11:30AM-10PM; Su 11AM-9PM. A nautically-themed restaurant offering a variety of dishes ranging from meat and pasta to fresh seafood in a rebuilt lighthouse dating to the earliest days of the 20th century. Drinks served at the attached pub upstairs. Online reservations. $20-40 per meal.
- Souley Vegan, 301 Broadway (corner of Broadway & 3rd), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Th 11AM-10:30PM, F Sa 11AM-11:30PM, Su 10AM-3PM. A famous foodie spot, it's one of the only vegan soul food restaurants in the country. Yes, that's right - vegan soul food! Popular with locals, they serve local beer on tap, have a full bar, and play soul music as you enjoy your eats. The lentils are delicious and the tofu BBQ, too! Full catering available. $10-15.
- Ben and Nick's Bar & Grill, 5612 College Ave (between Keith Ave & Ocean View Dr), ☏ . Bar: 11:30AM-2AM daily; kitchen: Sa-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F 11:30AM-11PM. Often-visited for their considerable beer list and well-stocked menu. $15-30.
- Cato's Ale House, 3891 Piedmont Ave (near Montel St), ☏ . Bar: M-Th,Sa 11:30AM-midnight, F 11:30AM-1AM, Su 11:30AM-10PM; kitchen: Sa-W 11:30AM-10PM, Th-F 11:30AM-11PM. A local pub that would look at home in nearly any century, with a long list of both local brews and quality imports. $10-30.
- Commonwealth Cafe & Pub, 2882 Telegraph Ave (Telegraph and 29th St.), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 10AM-9PM. Good pub food with a fresh twist, microbrew beers on tap, and cafe. Soccer matches broadcast. $15-30.
- The District, 827 Washington St (between 8th Street and 9th Street), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 4PM-close, Sa 5PM-close; brunch: Sa-Su 11AM-2:30PM. A friendly pub that serves brunch and dinner, in addition to cheese, wine and whiskey. $20-40.
- Luka's Taproom & Lounge, 2221 Broadway (at W. Grand Ave.), ☏ . Su-W 11:30AM-midnight, Th-Sa 11:30AM-2AM. Excellent food with a great selection of Belgian Ales, a small dance floor in a separate room, and a pool table in the back. Check website for daily specials. $20-40.
- McNally's Irish Pub, 5352 College Ave (between Bryant Ave & Manila Ave), ☏ . Su-Tu 2PM-2AM, W-Sa noon-2AM. A standard Irish Pub in Rockridge. Under $15.
- The Trappist, 460 8th St (half a block from Broadway, in Old Oakland), ☏ , ✉ info@TheTrappist.com. Su-Th noon-12:30AM, F-Sa noon-1:30AM. Large selection of both Belgian-style and local beers. Knowledgeable staff and good bottle selections for the road.
Bars and nightclubs
- The Alley, 3325 Grand Ave (between Lake Park Ave & Santa Clara Ave), ☏ . Su-M 6PM-midnight, Tu-Sa 4PM-2AM. Sing along with pianist Rod Dibble as he plays the oldies. One of the last piano bars in town.
- Bar Three Fifty-Five, 355 19th St (between Franklin and Webster), ☏ . M-Sa 4pm-2AM, Su 8PM-2AM. Prohibition-era atmosphere bar with early-20s clientele, reasonable prices.
- Cafe Van Kleef, 1621 Telegraph Ave (between 16th and 17th), ☏ . M 4PM-2AM, Tu-F noon-2AM, Sa-Su 6PM-2AM. Artsy bar with live music. Greyhounds are the house drink--their margaritas are good too. Vodka Greyhounds are the default; if you want gin, you must specify.
- George Kaye's, 4044 Broadway (at 41st), ☏ . M-F 2PM-midnight, Sa-Su 2PM-1AM. A neighborhood dive, full of interesting characters behind and above the bar. Allows dogs and food from the outside. $.
- 1 Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon, 48 Webster St (Near Jack London Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M 3PM-11PM, Tu-Th Su noon-11PM, F-Sa noon-1AM. An old-fashioned saloon, dating all the way to the 1880s, purported to have been a frequent stop for a young Jack London.
- Kona Club, 4401 Piedmont Ave (at Pleasant Valley Ave.), ☏ . 2AM-2PM daily. Enjoy a tropical drink in this tiki bar, and lift up the grass skirt on the anatomically correct hula girl statue. $15-30.
- The Layover (The Layover Music Bar & Lounge), 1517 Franklin St (between 15th and 17th), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 5PM-1:45AM, Sa 8PM-1:45AM, Su special events only. A small, cozy lounge with frequent live music and a variety of mixed drinks.
- The Libertine, 3332 Grand Ave, ☏ . M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa-Su 2PM-2AM. Low lights and interesting art compliment the wide drinks selection at this spot opened in 2016. $15-25.
- Radio, 435 13th St (three doors from Tribune Tower), ☏ . Daily 4PM-2AM. A small hipster bar with a cool DJ. Shares an all-red lighting scheme (and an owner) with the Ruby Room. House cocktails are considerably more complex than you would expect, including early 20th century drinks, and most are worth trying.
- Ruby Room, 132 14th St (between Madison & Jefferson, across from Central Library), ☏ . 4PM-2AM daily. A larger bar with a similar ambiance to the Radio Bar (with which it shares an owner), this includes a pool (billiards) room.
- White Horse Bar, 6551 Telegraph Ave (two blocks north of Alcatraz, at 66th Street), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 3PM-2AM, Sa-Su 1PM-2AM. Friendly gay bar in North Oakland, beware of the $25 minimum charge when paying with a credit card. Frequent stop for karaoke and live music.
- 2 Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West (around the corner from Regal Jack London), ☏ . Dinner: M-W 5:30PM-9PM, Th-Sa 5:30PM-9:30PM, Su 5PM-9PM; happy hour: M-Sa 4:30PM-6PM. Though they serve sushi and drinks, the real draw is the music - Yoshi's is among the most well-known jazz clubs on the West Coast. Online ticketing available for events.
Coffee, tea and chocolate
- Caffè Chiave, 4045 Piedmont Ave (between 40th St & Glen Ave.), ☏ . Daily 7AM-7:30PM. An old-school Italian coffeehouse that does all-day breakfast and desserts right from the old country. Meals can be a little above average, especially dinner. $15-30.
- The Coffee Mill, 3363 Grand Ave (corner of Grand and Elwood), ☏ . 7AM-3PM daily. A nice, friendly little coffee shop and bakery that is in a good spot for having breakfast or lunch inside or outside, depending on the weather. Also has live jazz on Sunday evenings. $15-30.
- Hive The Place To Be, 2139 MacArthur Blvd (near Fruitvale Ave), ☏ . M-F 7AM-2PM, Sa-Su 8AM-2PM. A smart little breakfast and sandwich shop with many gluten-free options. Free wifi. Under $10.
- Peet's Coffee (Formerly Peet's Coffee and Tea). Based in nearby Berkeley, Peet's is an East Bay favorite for coffee, tea and pastries.
- Peet's Financial District, 1111 Broadway, ☏ . Daily 6AM-4PM.
- Peet's Dimond, 3401 Fruitvale Ave, ☏ . M-F 5:30AM-6PM, Sa-Su 6AM-6PM.
- Peet's Lakeshore, 3258 Lakeshore Ave, ☏ . M-F 5AM-7PM, Sa-Su 6AM-7PM.
- Peet's Montclair, 2066 Antioch Ct, ☏ . M-F 5:30AM-6PM, Sa-Su 6AM.
- Peet's Piedmont Ave., 4050 Piedmont Ave, ☏ . M 7AM-5PM, Tu-Su 6AM-5PM.
- Peet's Temescal, 5095 Telegraph Ave. Suite #1, ☏ . Daily 7AM-2:30PM.
- Perch (Formerly Grand Lake Coffee House), 440 Grand Ave (near the corner of Grand and Bellevue), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 7:30AM-4PM, Sa-Su 8AM-4PM. A friendly little coffeehouse, complete with hand-painted shades and a play area for kids. Under $15.
- Timeless Coffee, 4252 Piedmont Ave (near Glenwood Ave), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa-Su 8AM-7PM. An upscale coffeehouse and bakery known best for brunches and hand-made vegan pastries. $11-30.
- The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room, 2523 Broadway (Single origin coffees prepared well.), ☏ .
- The CRO Café, 470 49th Street (Espresso drinks in a cozy alley.).
- 1 Bay Breeze Inn, 4919 Coliseum Way (near 50th Ave.), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. No frills. Around $80/night.
- 2 Best Western Airport Inn and Suites, 170 Hegenberger Loop (near Edgewater Dr.), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. In an industrial neighborhood. Free breakfasts. Very clean and professional. $120-170.
- 3 Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, 10 Hegenberger Rd (near Doolittle Dr.), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. High-speed Internet, continental breakfast and pool on a budget. Free shuttle to and from Oakland Airport. $80-100.
- 4 Motel 6 - Embarcadero, 1801 Embarcadero (near 16th Ave.), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Surprisingly pricey for a budget motel chain. $80-110.
- 5 Quality Inn Oakland Airport, 8471 Enterprise Way (near 85th Ave.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Free buffet breakfast and coffee, pool and hot tub. $100-120.
- 6 Courtyard Oakland Airport, 350 Hegenberger Rd, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The hotel offers airport shuttle service for easy access to and from the Oakland International Airport. Free Internet available throughout the lobby and in all guest rooms. The Bistro serves breakfast, dinner, cocktails and Starbucks coffee. $220-260/night.
- 7 Courtyard Oakland Downtown, 998 Broadway (at 9th St.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Steps from BART subway, traveling to San Fran in minutes. Property offers: outdoor pool, fitness center, & 3 meeting rooms. $200-250.
- 8 Executive Inn & Suites, 1755 Embarcadero (south of I-880, near Embarcadero Cove), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Waterfront-side executive-class hotel, as the name implies. Choice of waterfront or city view. Complimentary breakfasts and Wi-fi. Full space for meetings and banquets. Free shuttle service to Jack London Square and Oakland Airport. Outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzi with waterfront view. $220-275.
- 9 Hilton Oakland Airport, 1 Hegenberger Rd (at Doolittle Dr., near Oakland Airport), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Parking is $11.75, no valet. Full access to computers, fax and copiers 24 hours daily. Attached sports bar with 13 HDTVs. Fitness center, heated outdoor pool. Breakfast buffet. Shuttle service to Oakland Airport as well as the Coliseum and the Oracle Arena for sports or performance events. Frequent rebates depending on date of stay - book online to check. $200-250 per night.
- 10 Holiday Inn & Suites - Oakland Airport, 77 Hegenberger Rd (near Airport Access Rd.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Airport shuttle service and a swimming pool. $200-220.
- 11 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 66 Airport Access Rd (at Doolittle Dr.), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ GM@Oaklandhiexpress.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Good, nice business-class hotel with a lot of amenities. $180-220.
- 12 The Washington Inn, 495 10th St (corner of Washington and 10th St.), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Old-fashioned-looking hotel and restaurant near Old Oakland. Self parking with fee. Business center and complimentary newspapers. Cable TV, complimentary wifi. $150/night and up.
- 13 Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel, 1717 Embarcadero (south of I-880, near 16th Ave.), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Waterfront view. $250-310.
- 14 Homewood Suites by Hilton Oakland-Waterfront, 1103 Embarcadero (near 10th Ave.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. An all-suite, extended stay hotel with fully-equipped kitchens. Complimentary hot breakfast daily, dinner with beer and wine M-Th, and high-speed Internet. Pets allowed, with fee. $280-420.
- 15 Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway (at 11th St.), ☏ , fax: . Central location. Onsite restaurant, fitness center and heated swimming pool. Access to downtown shuttle system. $300-400.
- 16 The Waterfront Hotel, 10 Washington St (facing the main entrance to Jack London Square), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Large hotel with a nautical theme, swimming pool and enclosed restaurant. $400 and up.
Oakland has some problems with both property and violent crime, especially toward the eastern part of the city. The parts of the city with the most serious crime problems are unlikely to be interesting to tourists, but be careful when you venture into areas where there are not many people on the streets, keep your wits about yourself, and be aware of where you are at all times. At the same time, there is no reason to be paranoid, just judicious. The hills of Oakland are safe when it comes to violent crime but there is still property crime there. Think twice about going to West or East Oakland at night.
The area code for Oakland is 510. You only need to dial the seven-digit phone number for calls within the city. For calls within the US or Canada, dial 1+area code+number, and for international calls, dial 011+country code+city code(if applicable)+number. Pay phones are getting less and less common with the increasing popularity of mobile phones. Unfortunately, broken phones and empty phone booths are also a common sight. When you do find one, keep in mind that they only take coins and phone cards with a dial-to-use number. Local calls start at $0.50.
Internet access is available for free or with a fee in cafes and coffeehouses in several neighborhoods throughout the city, most notably the Financial District, Piedmont Avenue and Rockridge. Internet cafes, though once a common sight in Oakland, have dwindled down to nothing. The best bet for finding free Wi-fi Internet is to find one of the larger hotels, one of the branches of the Oakland Public Library, or one of the more well-known coffeehouses especially Starbucks or Peet's.
Parks are a common sight in Oakland, ranging from the small green with attached baseball field to the large wilderness of Redwood or Joaquin Miller in the hills. They are therefore easy to find, and if one needs some time away from the hustle and bustle of city streets and traffic, especially in the case of Lake Merritt, they may be a short walk away.
- The Catholic Voice. A newspaper, as the name implies, aimed at the city's Catholic residents.
- De Lauer's Super News Stand, 1310 Broadway (between 13th St. & 14th St.), ☏ . Daily 5AM-11PM. Downtown's source for publications from around the world.
- The East Bay Express. A free newspaper distributed throughout the East Bay, as the title implies.
- The East Bay Times. A newspaper consolidated from the Oakland Tribune, the Daily Review of Hayward, the Contra Costa Times and the Fremont Argus.
- Issues, 644 40th St #102 (MacArthur Annex, between MacArthur BART and MLK), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11AM-8PM, Sa-Su 10AM-7PM. A magazine store that covers just about everything that can be imagined in magazine form.
- The Joint Forces Journal. A privately produced newspaper primarily with the armed forces in mind. $13/6 months, $25/year.
- The Montclarion. A free newspaper associated dominantly with Montclair and Piedmont Ave.
- Oakland Post. "The largest African American weekly newspaper in Northern California" is one of a group of minority-run professional newspapers in the region. Free.
As with the rest of California, tobacco-friendly venues are very rare in Oakland. State labor laws prohibit smoking in places of employment with only a few exceptions. Hotel lobbies may have a smoking section, and many hotels and motels have rooms and areas specifically for smokers. There are a handful of tobacco shops in the city, and the laws permit smoking in places such as privately-owned casinos and bingo halls and such, but by and large, smoking in public is very rarely permitted.
- The Piedmont Tobacconist, 17 Glen Ave (near Piedmont Ave.), ☏ . Tu-Th 10AM-6PM, F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. A rare sight in the Bay Area, a full-service tobacconist. Very friendly service, and a large range of choices of cigars and pipes, and will even show you how to roll your own cigarettes.
- 19th Street Station, 339 19th Street (near 19th Street BART), ☏ . M-F noon-8PM. A rare sight in the Bay Area, a bar that allows smoking. Limited hours.
- San Francisco. Oakland's neighbor across the Bay. Take BART, or the ferry for some great views. (NOTE: Bridge tolls are paid crossing into San Francisco, not exiting it.)
- Berkeley. Eclectic, political and always interesting neighbor to the north.
- San Leandro. Oakland's quieter suburban neighbor to the south, home to worldwide firms, malls, regional parks and shorelines.
- Alameda. Oakland's sleepy island suburb to the west, home to the former Alameda Naval Air Station, and miles of pretty beaches and Victorian houses.
- Emeryville. Home of Pixar and several major animation schools, as well as plenty of shopping and industry.
|Routes through Oakland|
|San Francisco ←||W N||→ Emeryville → Sacramento|
|San Rafael ← Emeryville ←||N S||→ Piedmont → Livermore|
|END ←||N S||→ San Leandro → San Jose|
|END ←||W E||→ Orinda → Walnut Creek|
|Richmond ← Emeryville ←||N S||→ END|
|Millbrae/SFO ← San Francisco ←||W NE||→ Orinda → Antioch|
|Richmond ← Berkeley ←||N S||→ San Leandro → Warm Springs/South Fremont|
|Daly City ← San Francisco ←||W SE||→ San Leandro → Dublin/Pleasanton|
|Sacramento ← Emeryville ←||N S||→ Hayward → San Jose|
|Bakersfield ← Emeryville ←||N S||→ END|