Dive bars can run the gamut from grimy to homey, from imposing to welcoming. Baggy's by the Lake certainly lands on the friendly side of the continuum, but its charms never threaten its dive-bar cred. Twentysomethings and old-timers rub elbows enthusiastically at this Eastlake joint, where the drinks are cheap, the decor is as classy as it is gaudy, and the bartenders (and fellow customers) are just friends you haven't met yet.
In English, it's called The Black Cat. Inside, you'll find a blaring jukebox, a primarily young Latino crowd, and drinks like the Michelada, a Mexican mixed drink made with beer and tomato juice.
A bar that lives up to its name, the Lakeside Lounge is a chill spot to lounge around, shoot some pool, throw back some strong, reasonably priced drinks, and dance to some R&B jams if you feel so inclined. Patrons tend toward the 30 and up crowd, which is perhaps why the bar's website declares it the space "where o'l school is cool!!"
The flat-screen TVs at this laid back Laurel District bar are sure to be on during game day, but patrons can play their own games of pool and darts, or throw some coins in the jukebox for a wide selection of tunes.
Lounge 3411 transmits some Uptown flavor to the lower hills, with a mix of reggae DJs, comedy nights, and local bands. There's also a sizable stripper pole-equipped dance floor.
The dimly lit dive bar has 17 beers on tap and scores of specialty drinks. It's a cool place to play pool or fool around on one of the bar's multiple video game machines.
Veggie-centric small plates, microbrews, and gorgeous lake views rule at this new beer garden and restaurant, located along the southeast side of Lake Merritt.
Stage Left Cellars, based in Oakland, specializes in Rhône varietals. The winery sources their grapes from vineyards all over the West Coast. Stage Left bottles Paso Robles-grown Viognier, Grenache, Syrah, in addition to Pinot Noir (and more Grenache) grown in than Santa Maria Valley, and more Syrah from the Santa Ynez Valley and from the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon.
Housed in the Oakland International Airport, Vino Volo attempts to pull the airport drinking experience up from the depths of plastic chairs/warm beer mediocrity — and does so winningly, with an expansive, international wine list, well-trained staff, and sleek design.