[spotlight series. lauren geremia]
What Brooklyn is to New York City, Oakland is to San Francisco. Still gritty in parts, but rich in culture, diversity and history. Cheaper living and constant growth has made it appealing to many finding it hard to cope with crazy rents in the city. We only had a day to explore this side of the bridge, but we loved what we saw (thanks to some awesome local lowdown from friends in SF) and we found lots of fun things to share. There were also a bunch of other recos that we didnt manage to get to, but we decided to include them below in case you might have more time. We know we will back there soon. The Oakland seed has been planted, and we want to see it grow.
Blue Bottle: our favorite of all the Blue Bottles we have found so far. Housed in the old WC Morse building, there are more beautiful big windows here than you could possibly imagine. A light, bright and happy space - the coffee, as is always the case with Blue Bottle - will not disappoint.
Bicycle Coffee: there is nowhere to sit or hang out, but the coffee is good (in the less pretty/more industrial part of town).
Bakesale Bettys: an Oakland institution. You come here for a fried chicken sandwich, and you come here bang on 11am (because they are only open from 11am-2pm, and they sell out everyday). Founded by a fellow Australian - Alison Barakat - these sandwiches mean business. A must when in Oakland.
Curbside Creamery: for ice cream in the Temescal Alley. Quality, artisanal scoops - both dairy and (amazing) cashew-based vegan.
Ramen shop: a purveyor of artistic, organic, and sustainable ramen. A must.
Temescal Alley: a cute little alleyway filled with bright boutiques and friendly faces. A barbershop, a florist, clothing, jewelery, ice cream, and more. We especially like:
Ali Golden: beautiful airy dresses, and other goodies, all handmade locally.
Crimson Hort: the most gorgeous plant store, for all things hoticultural.
Neigbor: a gorgeous home and garden shop with artisan and vintage pieces for home decor, gifts and interior design.
Cruise along Piedmont Avenue, check out these:
Good stock: for gifts and accessories.
Mercy vintage now: for awesome vintage and consignment.
Book a tour of St George Spirits, a Gin Distillery - their bottles are stunning. Im obsessed.
We ran out of time to check out these awesome recos (shout out to Timmy Crosland, Lauren Geremia, Ali Hall) - so if you go, let us know what you think! Need to get back there, stat…
Pizzaiolo. For pizza, obviously. Awesome wood-fired pizza. A neighborhood favorite. Get there early.
Chez Panisse, Berkeley. Enough said. If you are lucky enough to get a table, that is.
Ippuku: Japanese Izakaya style dining bar.
Penrose: for dinner.
Boot and shoe service: busy pizzeria.
Brunch outside at the colorful, Doña Tomás.
Kronnerburger: seriously recommended.
Real Miss Ollies: for Caribbean soul food.
Donut dolly: the daughter of chez panisse pastry chef, Hannah Hoffman now applies the same Alice Water’s simple, thoughtful cooking policy to her doughnuts. Amazingly interesting flavors.
Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar: for toast and coffee: great after a hike in Berkeley Hills.
Camino: a rustic Californian eatery, very photo-worthy (we hear).
Starline Social: a very new and eclectic restaurant, bar, and performance space on the edge of Uptown Oakland. Opened in April 2015.
Prizefighter: cocktails and patio.
Cafe van Cleef: for craft cocktails.
Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon: a super old, circa-1883 bar featuring cocktails & draft brews. And patio.
Erica Tanov (Berkeley): for soft, beautiful, clean and pure women’s wear and home wear collections.
Tokyo Fish Market (Berkeley): Japanese grocery store, also carrying many household items.
Atelier Dion: for small scale, custom ceramics.