Oakland City Guide

Thank you for letting me be apart of your week this week! I absolutely loved being here. Before I leave you, I wanted to take some time to introduce you the town that I call home – the sunny side of the Bay: Oakland, California. Oakland always seems to get a bad rap in the news, but it is also home to a ton of incredible, often overlooked treasures that make it a truly beautiful city. These are a few of my favorite places around the city to eat, drink, and play. –Kim from Bright Room Studio

Oakland City Guide by Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

And while these are a few favorite spots that I like to visit, there are hundreds (thousands?) I left off the list! 


Oakland is  a hot spot for amazing food.
1. Cholita Linda: I love tacos, especially fish tacos, and these are my favorite. The tacos are served in an awesome casual space with bright colors and cool, Mexican antiques.
2. Toast: A great place to grab a glass of wine (see below!) but I really love their food too. They make a fantastic white bean spread, amazing meatballs and a flourless chocolate cake that is to die for.
3. Geta Sushi: A total hole in the wall of a space, but the sushi is awesome and super reasonable.
4. Boot and Shoe Service: One of many great places for some gourmet pizza. The others are all good too 🙂
5. Mua: A huge warehouse space with bumping music and crazy art…and awesome food. The cheese-less Mac and Cheese is insane. 


1. Toast: Like I mentioned, the food is great, but is also a fantastic place to have a glass of rosé on a warm afternoon or pinot on a cool evening. They have a dog-friendly patio with umbrellas for warm days and heaters and blankets for cooler ones.
2. Bica Coffee: My personal favorite coffee shop. Perfectly hipster and the lattes are divine.
3. Blue Bottle Coffee: Their production facility is in Oakland, which is cool to see, plus their coffee is delish. I’m looking forward to doing a tasting or tour here sometime soon.
4. Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon: Also known as “Jack London’s Rendezvous,” this place is full of history. Right on the water with a beautiful view of the boats of Jack London Square, this use to be the first and last place to get a drink before going to dry Alameda. The inside is amazing, with a crazy slanted floor thanks for the 1906 earthquake and gas lighting. Check it out for the history, have a beer and enjoy the view.


1. College and Piedmont Avenue Shopping: There are tons of adorable shops on these two streets where you’ll find perfect gifts, decor, and things you didn’t know you needed. I love Nathan and Co., Maison d’Etra, Bella Vita, Atomic Garden and Neighbor, among others.
2. Lake Merritt: An icon of Oakland and a great place to walk your dog, people watch, or even take a gondola ride!
3. Jack London Square: One of my favorite place to go on a nice day. There are tons of food and drink options, almost all of which are dog friendly. They also have tons of great craft fairs and famers markets throughout the year.
4. Knowland Park: A new discovery, this park has incredible views of Oakland and all the way out to San Francisco. Another great place for a hike with the pup.

These spots aren’t technically in Oakland, but thanks to Oakland’s central location in the Bay Area, we get to take advantage of the beautiful surrounding areas too.
1. Point Isabel Dog Park: Actually in Richmond, but a spectacular dog park with miles of off leash space, an adorable cafe, and sweeping city views.
2. Alameda Antique Faire: Fantastic and HUGE antique faire that takes place the first Sunday of each month. You’re guaranteed to find something awesome.
3. Pippa and Co.: The cutest party supply shop you ever did see. Oh, and (shameless plug!) I teach watercolor classes there.