20 Best Bars in Oakland


best bars in Oakland

Oakland is a city on the eastside of San Francisco Bay, California. Most times, you want to relax at a cool bar with a good drink. Other times, you want to have a classy night out in town. Whatever is your mood, or choice of poison, these are 20 places where you should be drinking in Oak Town.

Chop Bar

Chop Bar is located in the Jack London Square neighborhood. They offer some of the best quality wine at affordable prices in a blend of casual and classy ambience. This is your coffee shot during the morning and a bar during the night.

The beer list, although not extensive, is still great. The cocktails are inventive and creative. They have outside dining and are open to delivery and takeout.

Chop bar will cater to your dining requirements whether you stop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. They are open from 12 pm to 8 pm. And while here, they take all precautions to keep the guests safe, so you can have a peaceful dining experience.

190 4th St
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t Madison St & Jackson St
(510) 834-2467
oaklandchopbar.com

Drake’s Dealership

Drake’s Dealership is in a classic brick building that was once the sales department of an old Dodge Dealership and hence the name. They have left much of the old elements intact.

You can enjoy great beer from a rotating tap of 32 beers and wood-fired pizza. Pizza and beer is a combination made in heaven! The drink menu has a good selection of wine too. You can either dine inside or out at the beer garden and enjoy the fresh air, fire bits and comfortable Adirondack seating. The patio is dog-friendly, and they are welcoming of kids too. here are TVs for you to watch the game

Drake’s has all the protocols and safety measures in place, so you can feel safe dining there. It is a great spot for a date night, especially with the patio seating.

2325 Broadway Auto Row
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 568-2739
drinkdrakes.com/places/dealership

The Trappist

If a part of your soul is craving for authentic Belgian beer and dining experience, the Trappist will not disappoint you. Set in an 1870 Victorian building, the interiors are designed like the cozy pubs you will find in Belgium or the Netherlands.

The Trappist Drink menu features 19 draft beers in the front bar and 15 in the back bar. All of the selections are Belgian, Dutch or Scandinavian, along with some local beers.

If you want to just unwind with a good beer after a long day and enjoy some good conversations with your friends or family, you need to head over to the Trappist! The vibe and beer will keep you coming back for more.

460 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t Broadway & Washington St
Old Oakland
(510) 238-8900
thetrappist.com

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine

Spice is an important aspect of Thai cuisine, and at the Farmhouse you get a delicious dose of that. “My goal is to make sure people get enough spice”, says the owner. If you are craving for true Thai street food and comfort country cuisine in Oakland, check out the Farmhouse.

The foods are delicious, flavorful, aesthetically pleasing and of course, SPICY! The dock view from the restaurant is truly spectacular, and while it can get a little pricey, it is absolutely worth it! The specialty cocktails here are just as spectacular as the food, the ambience and the Jack London location.

They take Covid precautions very seriously, so you can have a peaceful dining experience. Experience a piece of Thailand here at Oakland by dining at the Farmhouse!

336 Water St
Oakland, CA 94607
Jack London Square
(510) 419-0541
farmhousethai.com/oakland

The Fat Lady

The Fat Lady was formerly a notorious spot, but today it is anything but! They strive to provide a warm, welcoming and initiate atmosphere where guests are treated like family and feel right at home!

The drink menu features signature cocktails and more than 50 varieties of wine. The outdoor seating area is gorgeous, and they offer delivery and takeout as well.

The lamb options here are all equally delicious, you could try a few of those while here. The Fat Lady doesn’t sing, but you will love her for sure!

201 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607
at 2nd St
Jack London Square
(510) 465-4996
thefatladyrestaurant.com

Blind Tiger

The Blind Tiger has Tapas done right! Plus, they offer authentic Asian fusion food. What’s not to love about that!

The Blind Tiger specializes in hand-crafted cocktails and offers 20 beers on tap. The ambience is hipster, trendy and casual. Lovely lights, heat lamps, tented converse, and great music come together to give a great dining experience at the outdoor space.

The food is exquisitely presented and offers a feast for the eyes as well as your mouth. For my artistic readers: there is a beautiful mural as you walk in painted by Ernest Doty. You can’t miss it!

2600 Telegraph Ave
Ste B
Oakland, CA 94612
b/t 26th St & 27th St
(510) 899-9694
blindtigeroakland.com

Cafe Van Kleef

Can you imagine dining at a place where bohemians, politicians, artists, entrepreneurs and professionals of all categories? This lively cafe located in Oakland’s Oaksterdam district draws a vibrant crowd of all calls!

The Cafe Van Kleef is an art gallery turned into a coffee bar turned into a full-service bar!

This is a jazz bar with a classy yet casual ambience. The decors are so interesting, and you will love looking at all the items and collectibles around the bar. The Greyhound is the iconic drink that you simply MUST have when you visit. It is simply vodka and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice accompanied by a grapefruit wedge.

The live music is enjoyable and adds to the fun. After a long work week, you deserve all the fun and experience that the Cafe Van Kleef has to offer!

1621 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94620
Uptown
(510) 763-7711
cafevankleef.com

Shakewell

At Shakewell, you get something not available anywhere else – Spanish Mediterranean cuisine with influences and inspiration from around the globe. The food here will keep you coming back.

The classic Paella, Fried Chicken, Jamon croquetas, Churros are all to DIE FOR!

The drink menu features more than a dozen wines, delicious and unique cocktails, beer and liquors. The ambience is trendy and classy, and the prices can be a bit steep, but it is totally worth it.

If you have a friend or relative coming from out of town and want to show them a wonderful time in Oakland, take them to Shakewell. They will love it!

3407 Lakeshore Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
b/t Longridge Rd & Trestle Glen Rd
Lakeshore, Lower Hills
(510) 251-0329
shakewelloakland.com

District Oakland

The food and drink menu here are thoughtfully curated to offer a great experience for you in this classy and trendy ambience.  District Oak has an extensive selection of wine and whiskey, and the food menu consists of tapas-style small, shareable plates, pizza and in-house charcuterie.

There are around 40 finest wines from around the globe, and 60 premium whiskeys Kentucky to Scotland to Japan and beyond. The wine and whiskeys take center stage here, but there are around 9 cocktails as well for those who are into that.

The service is top-notch. There is always old classic music playing in the background, and TVs to watch the game. They are open to delivery and takeout.

827 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t 9th St & 8th St
Old Oakland
(510) 272-9110
districtoak.com

Millennium

If you are a Vegetarian, have you dreamed of eating out at the Number 1 vegetarian restaurant in the world? Well, this Michelin star restaurant has been named by the Daily Meal as the Number 1 Vegetarian Restaurant in the World! So, if you’re in Oakland, there is no excuse to not visit the Millenium, is there?

Beyond the delectable vegetarian fare, this place serves cocktails that are popping, a wide array of wines, and an extensive selection of wine and craft beer in a trendy and classy atmosphere. Even non-vegetarians will find the food here delectable.

They offer delivery and takeout and are open from 4 pm to 8 pm. If an important or special occasion is coming up, it is best celebrated at the Millenium.

5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
b/t Harwood Ave & Chabot Rd
Rockridge, North Oakland
(510) 735-9459
millenniumrestaurant.com

Grand Tavern

The Grand Tavern is THE place to enjoy delicious food, drinks and great company. Isn’t that what a tavern is all about! The drink menu has hand-crafted cocktails and a good selection of beer and wine. The food is traditional American comfort food that will keep your tummy singing.

The ambience is classy yet casual. The outside seating is perfect for relaxing, enjoying a few conversations and people watching. They are open for delivery and takeout. During Happy Hours, you get $2 off drinks. Their choice liquors and prohibition-era drinks are also amazing!

The Grand Tavern is a family-friendly venue. So, just go with your family, pick a seat and chill with the family. If you find yourself in the East Bay for whatever reason, and looking for a great place for brunch, check in to the Grand Tavern.

3601 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
b/t Weldon Ave & Davidson Way
Grand Lake, Lower Hills
(510) 444-4644
grandtavern.net

Mad Oak

The Mad Oak is a hipster and trendy bar, with over 40 beers on tap. The cocktails here are good, and there are some wines as well. Different local food vendors are brought in as pop up restaurants out of their kitchens.

The ambience here is a mix of classy and casual, and they are one of the few restaurants that can accommodate large groups.

They have an outdoor patio and a roof deck that is perfect for large parties. TVs all over the bar permit you to watch football, basketball and other sports.

Note that they do take Covid precautions quite seriously, and you are allowed only 2 hours to drink and dine.

135 12th St
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t Madison St & Oak St
Lake Merritt
(510) 843-7416
madoakbar.com

Cato’s Ale House

Cato’s Drink menu features around two dozen craft beers on tap and around a dozen wines on rotation. You can dine outside or opt for delivery or takeout. Four TVs, Trivia and live music adds to the entertainment.

The ambience is classy, casual and kids are welcome here. The food here is definitely comforting food, with burgers, sandwiches and pizza on the menu.

So go to Cato’s and hang out with friends and some locals once the world returns to a semblance of the normalcy of course.

3891 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611
b/t Rio Vista Ave & Montell St
Piedmont Ave, North Oakland
(510) 655-3349
catosalehouse.com

Belotti Ristorante E Bottega

This is an Italian bar with an extensive list of the finest wines and specialty curated cocktails. The Italian dishes on the menu are amazing. You can order pasta, spaghetti, Gnocchi, Tortelloni or Agnolotti – they are all mouth-watering and decadent.

The place is an intimate, dimly lit spot, and great for a date night. Make a move to Belotti to get a little slice of Italy in Oakland.

5403 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
b/t Hudson St & Kales Ave
North Oakland
(510) 788-7890
belottirb.com

Kona Club

Kona club is a Tiki lover’s heaven and a tropical paradise! Bamboo walls, pufferfish lanterns, a life-sized Hula girl and many such Tiki decors will take you right to the Islands!

The Tiki-themed cocktails here are delicious and super affordable. There are plenty of beer selections too. You can play some pool, watch TV, or simply sit around in this classy yet unpretentious locale and savour your cocktail as your eyes rove over and take in all the Tiki decor.

4401 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611
b/t Pleasant Valley Ave & Ramona Ave
Piedmont Ave, North Oakland
(510) 654-7100
konaclub.net

Make Westing

This is a Sports bar and events venues spot ideal for a whole host of events like banquets, birthday parties, corporate events, holiday and private parties, weddings, sporting events, meetings and more.

The cocktails here are incredible. The ambience is hipster and classy, and it can get pretty darn loud with all the music. The bartenders are incredibly skilled and can make a mean drink you will love.

Outside seating is available, and they have a bocce ball court and TVs to watch the game. Flatbread, popcorn, sandwiches, charcuterie are some of the best-selling bar grub here.

They are open from 4 pm and go well into the night till 2 am!

1741 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
b/t 18th St & 17th St
Uptown
(510) 251-1400
makewesting.com

Heinold’s First And Last Chance Saloon

The only difference between them and the Titanic is that the Titanic had a band is what the amusing sign at this place proclaims about their sloped floor!

Opened by Johnny Heinold on June 1, 1884! This is one of Jack London’s iconic watering holes. The building is the same, the slanted floor from the 1906 earthquake is left intact, cool antiques and mementos from a bygone era everywhere – all of it add to make this a place where you can see and smell the history!

Savour your cold beer, soak in the history and listen to the bartenders tell a tale or two about this place.

48 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607
Jack London Square
(510) 839-6761

Somar Bar

Somar bar is nestled in the heart of the art district of Oakland just a block away from Fox Theatre. They serve select wines, beer, signature cocktails and quality liquor.

There are almost a dozen cocktails, all of them tasty, but the Somar Fizz is a MUST HAVE! Refreshing is the only word for it, unbelievably so!

Vibrant and energetic, the Somar bar features local DJs, bands and artists. This is a great place to shake a leg on the dance floor. So break it!

1727 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
b/t 18th St & 17th St
Uptown
somarbar.wordpress.com

Marzano

This is an Italian bar, so that means pizza! Chicken All’Arrabbiata, pepperoni pizza and the grilled artichoke pizza are just some delicious options, there are many more for you to try. Wash it down with a wine or cocktail from the drink menu.

The ambience is classy and casual. They are open for takeout and delivery. The kiddo and the dog-friendly atmosphere is something to cheer about for those with kids and fur babies.

Enjoy a taste of Italy in Oakland at the Marzano!

4214 Park Blvd
Oakland, CA 94602
b/t Edgewood Ave & Hampel St
Glenview, Lower Hills
(510) 479-1448
marzanorestaurant.com

Room 389

The vibe at Room 389 is cool, laid back and casual. The cocktails are incredible here! There’s a cute patio where you can chill and forget the worries of the mundane everyday life for a little while.

Room 389 draws an eclectic and diverse crowd. This is also a coffee shop, so don’t be too surprised if you see some people on their laptops working away during the day. As the evening progresses, this low-key coffee cafe transforms into a full bar.

This is a great place for socializing. This is a great first date spot or just a cool hangout with friends.

389 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
b/t Staten Ave & Ellita Ave
(510) 936-6389
room389oakland.com

If you have gone through this list, you will know that Oakland has so much to offer on the drinking scenes, and there are bars with so much character and history, and then there are the fun and cool bars which have their own share of spunk and unique vibes. Check them out, you won’t regret it!

Ren

Ren is the Editorial Director here at BARPX. She loves writing, running, hanging out, and enjoying her free time with friends and family. Got a new idea for an article? Hit her up at ren [at] barpx.com.

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