last week you all enjoyed the post on umami mart in oakland that sfgirlbybay assistant editor rachelle dunn put together, we thought it might be about time to share more of oakland — also fondly referred to as oaktown. and right in the nick of time, maia mcdonald of the awesome blog conundrum, über pinner and art director at rue magazine offered to show us around oakland with her own little guide to the best of east bay, including where to dine. so, without further ado, i give you maia’s most excellent guide to oaktown!
Since moving to Oakland almost 2 years ago I’ve become a tad obsessed with my new home. People always rave about San Francisco, but little do they know that it’s slightly grittier neighbor to the east has some pretty amazing things going on. Don’t just take my word for it, not only was it ranked in the Top 5 Places to Visit by the New York Times last year, it also got top honors for the Best Climate, boasting more sunny days than Orange county. I could probably go on forever about everything I love about Oakland, from the breathtaking views when hiking in the hills, to the vibrant First Friday art and music scene. But for the purposes of this post I’ll stick to the revitalized restaurant and shopping scene. Below are just a few of my favorites in both categories and many of them are within walking distance of the Bart for those of you who are venturing over from San Francisco without a car.
2214 broadway • oakland
A local favorite helmed by executive chef Manfred Wrembel. You can’t go wrong with their deliciously modern take on California Cuisine.
5812 College Avenue • Oakland
Don’t miss the newly opened Ramen Shop in Rockridge, but get there early because there is always a crowd! Created by Jerry Jaksich, Rayneil De Guzman and Sam White, formerly of Chez Panisse, they’ve taken the classic ramen to the next level with a menu that changes weekly featuring interesting flavors such as Meyer lemon and maitake mushroom.
2442 Webster Street • Oakland
Mua’s large cavernous industrial space in uptown Oakland is perfect for large groups. With great art, loud music, superb drinks and even better food, I find myself going back again and again.
146 Grand Avenue • Oakland
True Burger takes a fast food burger to the next level. Specializing in house-ground beef patties served on homemade toasted egg buns, each bite is simple perfection!
247 4th Street • Oakland
A great brunch option just a short ferry ride away from San Francisco.
6317 College Avenue • Oakland
A really great neighborhood spot serving up consistently delicious locally sourced California Cuisine in a comfy environment.
482 B 49th Street • Oakland
It really doesn’t get more indulgent than the fried treats at Donut Dolly. These donuts don’t have holes but instead are filled by hand with custom, seasonal flavors, such as raspberry jelly, salted mexican chocolate and lemon curd. To-die-for!
Beauty’s Bagel Shop
3838 Telegraph Avenue • Oakland
Beauty’s takes their bagel making seriously. Done in a traditional Montreal style, which includes hand-rolling them before boiling them in honey water and baking in a wood-fired oven. All I can say is the outcome is mind-blowing!
Boot & Shoe Service
3308 Grand Avenue • Oakland
Scrumptious wood oven pizza and a killer brunch spot on weekends.
Brown Sugar Kitchen
2534 Mandela Parkway • Oakland
What can I say about Brown Sugar Kitchen that hasn’t already been said? It’s classic chicken and waffles. They are heavenly! Go now! Just make sure to get there early.
5453 College Avenue • Oakland
Atomic garden is a elegantly curated shop with everything from French stoneware to beautiful Turkish towels to some of my favorite stationery finds. I can always find the perfect gift for a friend here.
815 Broadway • Oakland
Specializing in Japanese kitchenware, Umami Mart has the most stunning items for the modern kitchen. An added bonus, they host a Ramen pop-up on First Fridays and carry bento box lunches on Tuesday/Thursdays.
Crown Nine Jewelry
461 A 9th Street • Oakland
Opened by local artisan Kate Ellen, Crown Nine specializes in the most beautiful handmade jewelry, not only by Kate herself but also by other local jewelry makers.
Marion and Rose’s Workshop
461 9th Street • Oakland
A quirky little shop featuring art, jewelry and other odds & ends that I always find irresistible.
482 49th Street, Suite A • Oakland
Another great jewelry store featuring amazing pieces by some of my favorite local artisans.
Crimson Horticulture Rarities
470 A 49th Street • Oakland
I could probably spend hours in this tiny store in Temescal Alley. With unique botanicals and everything you need to create your perfect terrarium or succulent garden, it’s awe-inspiring.
1235 Grand Avenue • Piedmont
You no longer need to venture into the city for your high end fashion fix. With brands like Carven and Jenni Kayne, you can find that special piece that you’ll love forever.