Located in downtown Oakland, this is a serviceable cafe for a bite on the run or a pleasant lunch break in the courtyard outside. If you have a sweet tooth, try a slice of rich, frosting-laden cake, a pastry, or a sugar-bomb cereal such as Fruit Loops and Coco Puffs. There’s also a decent salad bar to offset the guilt of indulgence, as well as pre-packaged wraps and salads. The fair trade and organic-certified coffee is roasted locally by the McLaughlin Coffee Company in Emeryville.
Cousin to the nearby Bench and Bar, Club 21 attracts regulars from around the Bay Area with its embrace of everything gay and south of the border. Its capacious dance parlor is home to the annual Gay Vaquero pageant, and "La Bota Loca," a Saturday-night Mexican cowboy fiesta. Don't be surprised to see straight couples sharing the dance floor too, drawn to the live fifteen-piece brass band. Pool tables, free wi-fi, Latin karaoke on Wednesdays, and Thursday and Friday happy hours round out the attractions.
Ahna Adair co-owns the CommonWealth with her brother Pete Jeffryes and her husband Ross Adair, a Scot who learned to appreciate traditional cooking in his grandmother's kitchen. He prepares it here in the form of English-style breakfasts and pub grub with a California twist: Steel-cut oats, beans and toast, egg-and-chutney sandwiches, and the like augment an impressive selection of beers from the UK, the East Bay, and a few locales in between.
This bar is located adjacent to the historic Fox Theater, and the decor shares the same bold patterns and color. The Den isn’t just a watering hole for Fox patrons; it wants to be a destination in its own right. Graze on food from the limited-but-gourmet menu, and peruse the Den’s list of specialty cocktails. The lights are low, and the feel is sophisticated though there’s no dress code. Trivia on Tuesday nights is getting good reviews, and there’s a rotation of DJs spinning on Fridays and Saturday nights.
This sleek Old Oakland wine-and-whiskey bar boasts gorgeous design, a mind-bogglingly huge menu, and some of the best bar food around.
A soon-to-be-open craft-beer bar with brew-on-premises equipment, which will allow individuals to brew their own beer on-site.
This ritzy Spanish restaurant from former Oliveto chef Paul Canales is nothing if not ambitious: a 4,000-square-foot multi-use space that includes a high-end coffee shop, a wine and olive-oil retailer, an art gallery, and a performance venue for experimental jazz.
The atmosphere at Era is upscale, the decor is decadent, and the popular bar attracts a diverse crowd. DJs spin everything from cumbia to reggae, hip-hop, and rock music. There’s a dress code, sometimes a cover charge, and on busy nights there may be a line to get in the door. There are two lounges, strong drinks, and exhibitions of original artwork.
A more drinks-oriented, offshoot of next-door neighbor Flora, Fauna is, much like its forebear, well-appointed, art deco-inspired, and committed to using fresh ingredients in interesting ways — though in this case, in a slightly more casual, though no less attractive, setting.
This downtown Oakland club boasts DJs, live music, and comedy in addition to a food menu and full bar.
The sports bar comes equipped with a handful of flatscreen TVs throughout its interior, bolstered by a domestic and imported beer selection and the usual bar food fare like a meat lovers' pizza and chicken wings.
This sleek, dark sports bar has an expectably huge number of TVs, an extensive bar menu, a pool table, and plenty of seating.
This place is primarily a restaurant, but its full bar, dirt-cheap cocktails, and position as a repository for all sorts of strangeness also make it a superlative place to drink.
This Jack London Square club used to be a hot spot for salsa, but these days it attracts a well-heeled, mature African-American crowd. The huge, open-aired, barnlike venue has two sides: one is a sports bar and billiards hall; the other is a nightclub, karaoke, and comedy club. In both cases, be prepared to adhere to the club's dress-code policy of hard-soled shoes and no T-shirts or sportswear for men, and "sexy attire" for ladies. DJs spin hip-hop and R&B on Friday nights, while Saturday night specifically caters to an older clientele.
Kim's is your classic dive bar — complete with several TVS, kitschy Raiders decor, and an outdoor smoker's patio — except for its namesake Korean-American owner, who's become something of a folk hero among regulars.