Oakland offers you some cool bars to grab drinks at, along with some yummy dishes that can be paired with these drinks. We know work sometimes gets tiring, so fret not; we have just the right places for you to drop by! With unmatched aesthetics and quirks that will bring a smile to your face, the list of bars we have compiled for you is a must-visit!
5. Bar Shiru Oakland
Inspired by the bars in Tokyo, Bar Shiru is a ‘jazz kissa’ bar, where people come to listen to the music rather than the drinks that accompany it. The two owners were connected to music in their previous jobs, and Tokyo left an impression on them, which resulted in them starting their venture. Such bars were a norm during WW2 and later converted into today’s bars. With jazz, soul, and afro-beat music playing here only, one can talk to one another over the music easily.
This is where you sit by and appreciate music in all its glory. There is limited seating so that the experience is not ruined for anyone. Each album is played entirely by one of the owners each day. The music sets the mood with the hi-fi sound system installed all around the space. Even though it’s an industrial-looking space, it has character for sure. One wall, 15 feet high, is filled with vinyl collections. A smaller lounge space is adjacent to the main room with fantastic speakers. They’re even in the restrooms so that you don’t miss out! Wooden screens separate different zones and have printed portraits of famous artists on acoustic fabric. It acts as decor and is functional as well.
One side has huge windows that let the light in, and low lights hang from the ceiling. The bar is on one side, with lights behind the shelves illuminating the glass bottles. Here they offer you all sorts of tasty cocktails and Japanese whiskey, sake, beer, wine, and many more options. Keep in mind that there is no food offered here. The place is open all days except Mondays and offers seating for less than six people. Get a reservation if you’re a bigger group.
4. Drake’s Dealership Bar Oakland
A 10,000 square foot space with seating for about 350 people at a time, Drake’s Dealership has brick oven pizza along with 30 beers on tap. There’s the main dining room, a beer garden, and event space. This would be a great place to host a birthday party or celebration. There’s a fireplace in the main room with communal tables, while the garden has Adirondack booths and firepits. There’s also a stage for live performances. With the two brick oven pizzas constantly churning out some delicious cheesy pizzas, your party will be a hit!
The menu has pizza flavors ranging from the classic margarita to Lori’s, which has prosciutto, figs, and goat cheese toppings. Suppose you want to ‘get it Draked’ then ass on a poached duck egg on the pizza. You can also get sandwiches, salads, and some specialties here if you want to pair your beer with food. Their pretzels are fresh out of the oven, and the dipping sauce they come with is fantastic! Some beer flavors stay all year long, like Oaklander Wiesse, while others like ‘Aroma Coma’ are limited releases. The ‘Aroma Coma’ offers subtle notes of pineapple and blood orange spiced up by rye malt. You can also get ‘Aroma Paloma,’ ‘Aroma Prieta,’ and ‘Aroma Therapy’, which are a part of the limited edition flavors that the owner, John Martin, takes pride in.
The place is open all seven days of the week, and with different timings, every few days, so do check before you visit. The name pays homage to the car dealerships it is between, so that is an exciting choice. After your drinks, the firepits are a cozy spot to sit around and chat with your company.
3. Belotti Ristorante e Bottega Bar Oakland
You will find all pasta aficionados and wine lovers here at Belotti Ristorante e Bottega. The place offers authentic Piemonte cuisines, and many regulars drop by to chat with the owner in Italian while they eat. This place offers Italian food classics like agnolotti and pappardelle, which are must-haves if you do drop by. The seating is for 40 to 50 people, and the owner aims to make this place a laboratory for pasta where you get to see what is being cooked.
Try out some pasta from their custom pasta tasting menu. You can get uncooked pasta and sauce, which you can then take home and cook according to the chef’s instructions. It sounds like such a fun date idea! Try the heirloom grain spaghettini in a tomato sauce with creamy burrata, a fantastic combination of flavors. Although there are many other Italian places in the area, they claim to stand out, and you can check them out if you want to take their word for it.
Come here to relax after a hectic day. Just grab a glass of wine or a cocktail and sit back cause you’re not cooking tonight. They have a long list of beers to choose from, like Birra Bionda, premium lager, Guinness, and many more. Other drink options include all sorts of wines, from sparkling to rose to reds and whites. There are all sorts of Italian specialties available here as well. So bring your friends and grab a glass of your favorite drink with some pasta.
2. The Fat Lady Bar Oakland
An old-school-looking classic bar, The Fat Lady, is the place if you’re looking for a dark and intimate vibe. A wooden theme is followed by the place, dark wooden bar with black leather stools, doorways covered with curtains, dim lamps all across the place to give it a warm and cozy style, old school type furniture and beautiful art and stained glass on different parts look a final touch. The place is known amongst the locals as a hidden gem so make sure you visit it.
They start with classic aperitifs if you like them at the start, including the ‘Frisco 75’, ‘French Lane’ and the ‘Discreet Charm’. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can order from one of their house specialties, signature cocktails like ‘The Earl Of Somerset’, ‘The Bee’s Knees’, ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, or the ‘Silk Stocking’. The bartenders are known to make a mean cocktail, so make sure you try one. If you’re more of a wine person, choose from their white, red, and sparkling wines, which have plenty of options to pick from, like ‘Sauvignon Blanc’, ‘Pinot Noir’ and the ‘Franciacorta’. They also have a range of whiskey, gin, vodka, and tequila behind the bar for you to choose from. If you’re in for a full meal, then look no further. Choose from their range of appetizers like fried zucchini, pancetta wrapped prawns, Greco lamb chops, or steamed manilla clams to start your meals. Then pick from the entree section, such as a Risotto, Chicken Mediterranean, or Linguini, or go for one from the Off The Grill section. You can get a ‘Grilled Organic Salmon, ‘Ribeye Steak, or a ‘Grecian Lamb’. If the mood is for a casual, lighter meal, then you can select one from their salads, soups, and sandwiches section, where you will find one for your liking. Pair it up with chilled beer to make it even better. To end it all on a sweet note, order yourself a ‘Tiramisu, ‘Coconut Pecan Torte, or the ‘Warm Cinnamon Bread Pudding’.
You’ll always have a good time whenever you stop by The Fat Lady. The ambiance, food, and drinks will lift your mood and make sure that your day goes on better.
1. Heinold’s first and last chance saloon Bar Oakland
Built from the leftovers of a whaling vessel, Heinold’s first and last chance saloon opened way back in 1883. It was a fantastic place even before we knew what that meant. It is the most original dive bar you will come across, and it does look like one. The shack still stands tall even though the floor is all messed up on the inside due to an earthquake. No one has ever thought of fixing it because that would mean they would have to close the bar, and this bar doesn’t stop serving.
Many people prefer to grab a drink and miss out on the world inside this bar. A deer head on one side gets decorated with election pins during the season. There are coca cola tin airplanes on a shelf, a gun, Nazi medals, war helmets, and Eisenhower portraits. Look around you and find the story behind a few of these items. Then order your drink. It is named first and last chance, near the docks where the sailors would come and go.
The bar stools sit at an angle, and so will your drinks as they are served to you. There’s a moving picture movie at the back which you can play. You can get draft beers, ciders, wines, bottled beer, or a soda of your choice, which you can enjoy on the patio on a sunny day. You can also order any classic cocktail, and the bartender will whip it up.
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You might be more of a cocktail person than a beer one. These bars offer you the best of both amongst many other options. Italian options and bars focus more on the music than what you pair it with. We have some cool jazz tunes for all the music lovers, while others have live performers on certain days of the week. We promise you won’t regret whatever place you choose for tonight!