You hear it all the time: Oakland is the Bay Area’s Brooklyn. Although we think Oakland has very much its own vibe, similar to Brooklyn, it’s a bridge-span away from a denser, more established metropolis. As tech companies have driven up the cost of living in San Francisco, the artists, makers, and creators have found a happy home in Oakland. Compared to San Francisco, Oakland’s culture swings a little more hipster than techie, a little more laid back than frenetic. In a city that’s evolving every day, here are our five favorite things to do right now in Oakland, CA. (See on map.)
It’s hardly ever this easy to find nature while still in city limits. Oakland has lakes for your morning run, hills for your weekend hike, and redwoods that soar as high as the legendary mammoths in Muir Woods.
Best spots for Oakland recreation:
Inspiration Point, Tilden Regional Park, 2501 Grizzly Peak Boulevard
Redwood Regional Park, 7867 Redwood Road
Chabot Lake, 17600 Lake Chabot Road
Explore the Food Scene
Like San Francisco, Oakland has a diverse food scene to explore. Gorge on cuisines spanning the globe — even better, most are even budget friendly.
Best spots for cheap international Oakland eats:
Burmese at Burma Superstar, 4721 Telegraph Avenue
Jamaican at Kingston 11, 2270 Telegraph Avenue
Mexican at Cholita Linda, 4923 Telegraph Avenue
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Oakland has some strong contenders for best Bay Area sweets spots. And in hipster fashion, you can find desserts and pastries that are gluten-free or a celebration of gluten alongside third-wave espresso.
Best spots for Oakland pastries and desserts:
Firebrand Artisan Breads, 2343 Broadway
Curbside Creamery, 482 49th Street
Grand Lake Farmer’s Market, Grand Ave & Lake Park Avenue
Oakland’s relaxed disposition goes hand-in-hand with a vibrant cannabis scene. Great dispensaries and delivery services abound.
Best dispensaries services in Oakland:
C.R.A.F.T. Cannabis Delivery, (855) 563-2738
Yerba Cannabis Delivery, (510) 692-1716
Phytologie Oakland, 8440 Enterprise Way
Go on a Date
Romance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Oakland. But this city is actually primed for it. What more romantic than viewing the cosmos at the space center, after-hours art gallery hopping, or watching indie movies on a couch while eating a burger?
Best date spots in Oakland:
Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard
First Fridays, On Telegraph Ave. from W. Grand to 27th Street, 5:00-9:00pm
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street