Food & Drink

The Official Unofficial Oakland Drinking Guide

Published On 03/28/2014 Published On 03/28/2014
Joe Starkey
McNally's Irish Pub
Cafe Van Kleef
Grant Marek
Ramen Shop
Linden St Brewery
Facebook/Jack London
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1. McNally's Irish Pub 5352 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

There’s nothing fancy about this place: no craft cocktails, Edison bulbs, or gatropub fare. What it does have is pints, shots, bumper pool, and a great jukebox. Sit next to the glowing fireplace if you want to get comfortable/your body temperature runs lower than most people.

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2. Picán 2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

For a little bit of Kentucky in Oakland, go to Pican. The upscale Southern dining room has more than 100 bourbons in its collection, and perhaps the best way for the uninitiated to get their toes wet is with one of the bourbon flights. As for food, the menu features the best of Low Country cuisine with entrees like jambalaya, crawfish mac & cheese, and rabbit meatballs.

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3. Cafe Van Kleef 1621 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

This quirky Oakland watering hole, covered from floor to ceiling with knickknacks galore, serves fresh fruit cocktails and other bespoke libations among a friendly, hip crowd. Come for the eclectic decor and strong drinks, stay for local live music (bands play most nights of the week) and a chance to hobnob with locals who've been hanging around since its heyday.

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4. Plum Bar 2216 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

A Professor-friendly cocktail-ery located next door to sister restaurant Plum, Plum Bar joins the Uptown Oakland revival this Friday courtesy of Daniel "Kobe Stopper" Patterson, who's decked out the 1500sqft space with exposed rafters, a back-bar curio shoppe, walls plastered with over 1500 classic American poems (ripped from Norton anthologies), and copious candle chandeliers, which is a way more elaborate murder weapon than just a single stick.

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5. Hopscotch Restaurant & Bar 1915 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

An upscale diner serving Japanese-American fusion cuisine, Hopscotch is a standout restaurant in Uptown Oakland. You could order anything and be totally satisfied, but the perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside buttermilk fried chicken is one of the best dishes on the menu, especially when paired with a sweet & smoke Maple Old Fashioned. Did we mention the delightfully unusual menu includes homemade donuts and custard cream?

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6. Ramen Shop 5812 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

This evening-only ramen resto (opening at 5pm on most days) serves up seriously slurp-worthy dishes, like their mushroom ramen with miso, garlic, ground pork, a whole egg, and snow peas.

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7. Heinold's First and Last Chance 48 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Heinold's is unique in its name, history-soaked walls, and slanted floor and bar -- plus they've got decent prices, a great outdoor space, and they're dog friendly.

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8. Adesso 4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

This Italian aperitivo bar in North Oakland specializes in house-cured salumi, thin-crust Roman-style pizza, and artisanal cocktails. The plates are a feast for the senses and a natural fit for the luxe, bustling locale. Bring a date, or stop by late night (Adesso's open til 1am on Fridays and Saturday) for salumi misti charcuterie or rye-soaked libations.

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9. Boot & Shoe Service 3308 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

This Oakland restaurant is functions as a cafe during the day, and a pizza place and full-service bar at night.

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10. Linden Street Brewery 95 Linden St, Oakland, CA 94607

This brewery opens their doors on Saturdays and Sundays for tours and tastings, giving you a chance to sample their great beers from the source.