Your Ultimate Guide To Uptown Oakland

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on September 4.]
It’s true: There is no East Bay hood quite as hot as Uptown Oakland. It alone is reason enough to book it across the Bay Bridge, stat. With a growing flurry of top-notch restaurants, shops, and even a noticeable callout from The New York Times, this enclave is seemingly unstoppable. So, we figured we’d stop yapping about it and actually show you the haunts that are making such a major splash.
From Daniel Patterson’s (of Coi fame) swanky restaurant Plum to the brand-new Danish-leaning boutique Owl-N-Wood, tour the joints that have us scurrying over from S.F. in a flash. The most convenient part? They are legitimately a hop and a skip away. So, you can bounce off BART and instantly begin exploring! What are you waiting for? Your across-the-bridge journey awaits.
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Bar 355
While there are plenty of places in Uptown Oakland to get your drink on, Bar 355 is truly a standout, hidden gem of a watering hole that serves up specialty cocktails right. With an extensive selection of rare alcohols, sip on your drink of choice in the dimly lit, luxe-meets-hip decorative space. If your inner dancing machine feels like making an appearance, be sure to boogie on a night that a local DJ is spinning (it’s a must!). Cut a rug on stage, under the gleaming disco ball, cocktail in hand. Either way, heading into Bar 355 won’t disappoint. Cheers!
Bar 355, 355 19th Street (between Webster and Franklin streets), Oakland; 510-451-3355.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Hopscotch
There definitely is no shortage of spankin’-new dining selections in this area, but one you absolutely must hop (har har) to is Hopscotch. Don’t let the diner-esque interior fool you, this place has some of the tastiest eats on the block — that put any greasy spoon to shame. Beyond the vinyl stools and checkered floors are some innovative culinary creations. The fare is American with Asian influence and the menu has everything from a trusty burger (our personal fave) to sweet-potato gnocchi. It may be new to the Uptown Oakland dining circuit, but it’s making a lasting impression, fast.
Hopscotch, 1915 San Pablo Avenue (between William and 19th streets), Oakland; 510-788-6217.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Dogwood
One peek into the sun-soaked booze haven that is Dogwood and you’ll see why we’re so enamored. Tasty drinks, a cured-meat and cheese counter, eclectic beats, rustic decor (we’re talking dark-wood tables, antique lanterns, even taxidermy geese), and friendly bartenders. What more could you ask for? Um, how about easy access from BART? Bam! You got it. This is a definite pit stop when patrolling Uptown Oakland — pen this on your to-do list, stat.
Dogwood, 1644 Telegraph Avenue (between 16th and 17th streets), Oakland; 510-444-6669.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Flora
What can we say — if you’re ready to savor some of the best cocktails in the Bay, come here. Not only is the charming Art Deco building a sight to see, but the sips and the chow are seriously and meticulously crafted (and not to mention lauded). For booze, we’re partial to The Fizz, but you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose to order. It’s a great post-concert stop (it’s across the street from The Fox Theatre), and if you have the time, try the caramel pudding. Nom.
Flora Restaurant And Bar, 1900 Telegraph Avenue (at 19th Street), Oakland; 510-286-0100.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Mua
A lively and lofty spot (literally ... it is situated in a warehouse-type space and has huge elevated ceilings), Mua is a breath of fresh air for the food obsessed. Urban art spans the walls of this large eatery and beats by Oakland DJs provide an up-tempo ambiance. The dishes are creative, and offer somewhat of a Southern flair. It’s a swift stop after Art Murmur, the waits aren’t too bad, and you get to dine in a vivacious (and delicious) setting.
Mua, 2442 Webster Street (between 24th and 25h streets), Oakland; 510-238-1100.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Hawker Fare
Another somewhat-new addition to the Uptown Oakland ‘hood is Hawker Fare. The brainchild of Commis’ James Syhabout, this Southeast Asian street-food spot doesn’t skimp when it comes to deliciousness served with a side of cool. The savory meat dishes like the pork belly or beef rice bowls are top-notch and blistered green beans and green papaya salad are finger-lickin’ good — that's no joke. Be prepared for a bit of a wait though (we suggest ogling the street-influenced wall art over a beer), it doesn’t take reservations and the lines can be sort of lengthy. But we assure you, the wait is well worth it.
Hawker Fare, 2300 Webster Street (between 23rd and 24th streets), Oakland; 510-832-8896.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Stag’s Lunchette
This out-of-the-box lunchtime stop is heating up Uptown Oakland with its impressive bites and woodsy interior. Brought to us by the same peeps that opened up whiskey and meat-centric spot Dogwood, this morning and afternoon refuge in the heart of Uptown is where to wander for a mid-day snack that is anything but subpar. It serves up all types of sammies like pastrami and meatball, coffee, and baked goods (hello, Doughnut Dolly). The warm decor is inviting, outdoorsy, yet unsuspecting. If you’re looking for some good grub and ambiance, don’t pass up this place — you’ll be glad you moseyed over.
Stag's Lunchette, 362 17th Street (between Franklin and Webster streets), Oakland; No phone.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Make Westing
We’ve been obsessed with Make Westing ever since it hit the scene back in 2011. Proof? We even planned a virtual outfit guide on what to wear to the hotspot. And now a year old, we're still smitten with the bocce-ball bar. It’s spacious (hello, there are two lanes for bocce!), a wrap-around bar, plenty of seating, and, of course, a plant-laden interior. Hallmarks of a winning venue! But, don’t come here and think it’s all about the booze and bocce. Nope, give the food a whirl, too. It’s pretty damn tasty, yet an easy-peasy option for when those lines at the surrounding restos get to be unbearable.
Make Westing, 1741 Telegraph Avenue (between 17th and 18th streets), Oakland; 510-251-1400.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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The Fox Theatre
There’s nothing quite like catching one of your fave musicians under the Art Deco canopy of The Fox Theatre. This mid-sized venue boasts captivating and historical architecture, stupendous sounds, and yummy bites and drinks (peep The Den for some pre-show indulgences). There’s really no bad seat in the house. Whether you’re up close and personal, jamming in the pit, or lounging in the plush chairs — you’re almost guaranteed to see and hear the tunes crystal clear. If we could, we’d stroll through this place on the reg for a dose of interior envy, but having some world-class acts perform sweetens the deal ... a lot.
The Fox Theatre, 1807 Telegraph Avenue (between 18th and 19th streets), Oakland; 510-302-2250.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Owl-N-Wood
There’s no denying that Uptown Oakland is rife with must-hit eateries, but its retail scene is definitely still blossoming. Owl-N-Wood, an adorable new boutique (um, it opened three weeks ago!), is certainly here to prove that shopping does exist here. The Danish-inspired spot is sprinkled with gorgeous furniture and murals, and it sells select vintage clothes, clogs, purses, and jewels. If you want to shop off that food coma, we recommend taking a stroll around this fresh addition to the ‘hood.
Owl-N-Wood, 45 Grand Avenue (between Broadway and Webster streets), Oakland; 510-579-1439.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Plum
Chef Daniel Patterson’s casual, East Bay dining endeavor, Plum, is a definite do on our Uptown Oakland guide. The inviting and immaculately designed space is relaxed, the food is progressive, and the staff is receptive and helpful. With a small, plant-centric and ever-changing menu, Plum delights across-the-bridge visitors and hungry Oaklandites alike. If you have time before you’re seated, hit up Plum Bar next door for a sweet libation prior to chowing down.
Plum, 2214 Broadway Street (between Franklin and Grand avenues), Oakland; 510-444-7586.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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