Oakland city guide: what to see and a best bars, hotels and restaurants

Oakland is changing fast. Once famous merely as San Francisco’s rough-and-tough neighbour – a hearth of a Black Panther transformation and home of a Hell’s Angels – it is fast apropos a many select place in northern California. Those who can’t means a tech-boom prices opposite a Bay are creation their home in a city and, greeted by an array of new restaurants and bars, a abounding humanities scene, and a clever clarity of appetite and community. Gertrude Stein competence have pronounced about her childhood hometown that “There is no there there”, but, these days, Oakland’s residents and visitors are some-more expected to scream “Come here here!”

Oakland map

Unlike 21st-century San Francisco, Oakland hasn’t been emptied of a essence by income and gentrification. It’s valued for a informative and category farrago – 150 languages are oral within a borders – and a locals’ honour in their city is infectious. There’s lots to gloat about: as good as charity a sparkling sea and smashing Redwood timberland hikes, and a object is mostly resplendent here even as a chill haze rolls in over San Francisco.

Starting 12 May, there are direct, inexpensive flights to Oakland from London Gatwick with Norwegian that make a outing to a “Brooklyn by a Bay” easier. And, should we have some-more time, there’s always that other flattering good city to revisit 30 mins away, opposite a bridge.


Magnificent art deco film palaces

Photograph: Thomas Winz/Getty Images

Oakland has some-more than a satisfactory share of cinemas in a poetic “moderne” style, with bright, winding neon signs. At a Grand Lake Theater (3200 Grand Ave) on Friday and Saturday evenings, an aged Wurlitzer rises to chaperon in a films. Almost anything can be seen during a pretentious early-30s 3,000-seater Paramount (2025 Broadway) – from exemplary music, jazz and stand-up comedy, to golden-age film faves like The Wizard of Oz. Downtown, a ornate, ancestral Fox Theater (1807 Telegraph Ave) has come out of a 40-year hibernation to turn a much-loved song venue.

Hit a shops in Temescal Alley

Shops in Oakland’s Temescal neighbourhood. Photograph: Alamy

In a hip (and still a bit gritty) Temescal community are dual walking streets that will prove many cravings for things handmade or vintage. Standouts are Esqueleto for jewellery, Book/Shop for trinket treasures and Ali Golden, a studio-store, with a sewing appurtenance during a centre, offered bespoke designs. Those in need of a hipster brave trim will find a distinguished coiffeur emporium there right adult their alley (off 49th Street).

Piedmont Avenue and a categorical highway of Rockridge are congested with good shops, while usually down a highway into Berkeley, Oakland’s other famous beside city, Berkeley Bowl (2020 Oregon St) is – interjection to a range, peculiarity and impression – one of a best food shops anywhere. Special discuss should be done of Oaklandish (1444 Broadway), a store that promotes county honour in a specifically done garments and accessories.

Old-school fun

The Queen of Hearts obstruction during Fairyland. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Fairyland ($10), that takes adult 10 acres on a shores of Lake Merritt, is a oldest themed entertainment park in a US and was a impulse for Disneyland. Aimed during immature children, a play-sets and peaceful rides are formed on Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit and so on; there’s a puppet show, too. While frequency state-of-the-art, it’s a desirable space. My kids also favourite grabbing a square of card and shimmying down a weed slopes during a centre.

Photograph: Richard Cummins/Getty Images

The Oakland museum (pictured) exhibiting all things Californian, is a low-rise, modernist pleasure with a laid-back vibe: when we was final there, we didn’t get past a panning for gold, sauce adult and scuttling turtles in a garden.

The city also has a possess glorious zoo (adults $17.75, children over dual $13.75), that sits adult in a hills and has a sky-ride that offers noted views over a Bay towards a Golden Gate Bridge and a San Francisco skyline, and down during a giraffes and lions below.

Go Warriors!

Fans applaud as a Warriors win during Oracle Arena. Photograph: Alamy

Oakland is home of a stream NBA champions, a Golden State Warriors. And this season, as they go into a play-offs, they are personification even better, carrying usually damaged a record (held by Michael Jordan’s strong Chicago Bulls) for many wins in a unchanging basketball season. The internal fad surrounding what’s going on is immense. Play-off tickets will be roughly unfit to come by, though if you’re here subsequent deteriorate (from October-April 2017) beg, buy or take a sheet for a diversion during a 20,000-seat Oracle Arena (from $70), nicknamed a “Roaracle” given of a fan noise: it will be unforgettable.

Celebration of a arts

For 10 years, on a initial Friday of any month, Oakland’s galleries have organized an art travel to showcase a creativity of a city. Now called a Art Murmur , it takes in over 40 locations, and alongside it has developed a renouned travel festival – First Fridays (oaklandfirstfridays.org) – that facilities performances, food trucks and pop-up installations. Essentially, it’s a monthly celebration with a different throng stuffing a five-block widen of Telegraph Avenue, listening to hip-hop (which has low roots in Oakland), a coronet band, drums or whatever is going down.


Brown Sugar Kitchen

Its rather dour industrial West Oakland plcae seems rarely unlikely, though afterwards we see a prolonged queue. This soul-food grill has turn a city landmark; during weekends, there’s a piano actor outward to perform a inspired business watchful for a breakfasts and lunches (no dusk dishes are served). Its classical plate is buttermilk boiled duck and cornmeal waffles with apple-cider syrup – cider definition extract – though it’s also eminent for down-home grill shrimp and poached eggs with grits.
Chicken and waffles $18, 2534 Mandela Parkwy, +1 510 839 7685, brownsugarkitchen.com


All a food in this “Cali-Med-Asian” (read anything goes) investiture is baked by timber glow in a open kitchen. It has few frills and is relaxed, with community tables and no tips, though a dishes (conceived by a cook who worked for 20 years during Berkeley’s world-famous Chez Panisse) now have a inhabitant reputation. we chose smoked black cod, oyster and green-garlic meal with creme fraiche; wood-oven roasted whole rockfish with kale; and fig-leaf ice-cream – though a menu changes constantly.
Mains from $30, 3917 Grand Ave, +1 510 547 5035, caminorestaurant.com

Fentons Creamery

Others swear by Tara’s Organic Ice-Cream (4731 Telegraph Ave) and Ici Ice Cream usually over in Berkeley (2948 College Ave), though usually Fentons on Piedmont Avenue has featured in a tract of a Pixar film Up (the executive and author live nearby, and Pixar has a HQ 4 blocks divided from a Oakland border). Fenton’s has been a tie given 1894 and is famous for a sundaes. It has a sit-down restaurant, though I’ve always stranded to a alarmingly sized ice-cream creations (“HUGE scoops,” a menu boasts, “and we meant HUGE”): maybe try a Berry Go Round or a Saddleback Brownie, or maybe a coffee cookie dream milkshake.
4226 Piedmont Ave, +1 510 658 7000, fentonscreamery.com

Itani Ramen

Photograph: Handout

New restaurants are opening all a time in Oakland. Japanese food is implausible here, as it is via a Bay Area, and a city is also famous for a many Ethiopian restaurants, particularly Ensarro (357 Grand Ave). The glorious Burma Superstar (4721 Telegraph Ave) is a favourite with a Warriors players and other admirers of Burmese cuisine, and Soi Four (5421 College Ave), portion Thai food, was my initial ambience of a wonders of a Oakland grill scene. The newest of them all is Itani Ramen, that serves tasty variations of a voguish Japanese broth, all with house-made noodles.
Bowl from $14, 1736 Telegraph Ave, +1 510 788 7489, itaniramen.com


Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon

Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

This shack-like place nearby a waterfront non-stop on 1883, and was a unchanging hangout of author Jack London. Its name comes from being a first-and-last possibility for packet passengers to squeeze a drink. The building is slanted during a steepish angle, interjection to a 1906 earthquake, so don’t immediately assume you’ve had one too many. It’s on Jack London Square, one of a many spruced-up districts of a city, with bars and eateries, as good as a farmer’s market, outside cinema and kayaking in a Bay.
48 Webster St, jacklondonsquare.com

Plum Bar

Not for zero were a cocktails during this uptown investiture voted a best in a East Bay (last year, in a East Bay Express). An instance of their fare: a John Chapman, done with bourbon, apple juice, ginger and pear eau de vie. The bar food is rarely praised, too. For cocktails, Make Westing bar also deserves a discuss (1741 Telegraph Ave), as does Mua (2442a Webster St), that is good for dancing.
2216 Broadway, plumbaroakland.com

Cafe Van Kleef

This individualist investiture was around prolonged before a rebirth of Oakland’s uptown, and stays a favourite, with an atmosphere described as a “carnivalesque utopia”. The taste facilities swords, coronet sculptures, art deco artefacts, a bell from a fighting ring and a frigid bear’s conduct – though a drinks make some-more sense, and there’s late-night music, too.
1621 Telegraph Ave, cafevankleef.com


Waterfront Hotel

Photograph: Alamy

Oakland’s hotels (aside from a Marriott and a ilk) are skinny on a ground, maybe given airbnb dominates a accommodation scene. The city’s renovation has coincided with arise of Airbnb, that was founded opposite a H2O reduction than a decade ago. But a three-star Waterfront, nearby Jack London Square, is dolled-up with some nautical charm, and has an outside pool for those balmy Oakland days. It’s partial of a “boutique” hotel chain.
Doubles from $209 a night, +1 888 842 5333, jdvhotels.com

A Bed and Breakfast on Fairmount

A Bed and Breakfast on Fairmount, Oakland, California. from http://www.abedandbreakfastonfairmount.com

This three-bedroom bolthole in an humanities and crafts-style residence comes with hill-top views. It’s tough to disagree with a accessible welcome, uninformed eggs for breakfast from a hens in a garden, a good garden and a porch.
Doubles from $120 BB, +1 510 653 7726, abedandbreakfastonfairmount.com

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