Last month I announced I am highlight a new city each month in my column, Travel Like a Local. I kicked it off with Joanna Hawley of Jojotastic’s and her top Seattle picks. Today I am excited to share fashion blogger Laura Moussa of The Fashion Tub‘s favorite spots in Oakland, CA. Laura has fantastic style and can rock vintage clothing and red lipstick like nobody’s business!
Keep on reading to find out Laura’s favorite Oakland haunts!
Laura’s Oakland Favorites:
Coffee shop – Sweet Bar Bakery. Coming from Europe, coffee places around the Bay offer a much different experience because they serve as workplaces for many. The Sweet Bar Bakery is an industrial space with big windows, lots of natural sunlight, good music and a diversified crowd. People go there to grab brunch with family, enjoy coffee with a friend or work on their laptops. The food and coffee selections is amazing, influenced by French boulangeries with a lot of Oakland character!
Brunch spot – When it comes to brunch, there are several good options, but my favorite is the most authentic and predictable option, Oakland Grill. A lot of people don’t know the place, but if you are a local, you know is the best Oakland Grill is the place. Near Jack London Square , the Port of Oakland, Oakland Grill is hidden in the industrial area among big warehouses. The food is delicious and generous! My favorites are the crab omelet, eggs benedict and French toast.
Dinner – Ozumo is my favorite place for dinner! It is definitely on the fancy side, but is less pretentious than other fancy restaurant-bars I have been too. The food is Japanese and is extremely delicious. Extraordinary ingredient combinations, the best cocktails, lounge ambience and the perfect music!
Place to grab a cocktail – Café Van Kleef is undoubtedly my go to for drinks. This hole -in-the-wall is a very old bar located in artsy uptown. The whole concept of the place is surreal and it attracts the most interesting people that you wouldn’t find in an ordinary bar. They are so authentic that they don’t even have a website! You must try their signature Greyhound cocktails!
Place to shop – Oakland has several nice boutiques and a lot of local fashion designers. My favorite boutique is Spoiled Boutique. There I find the most colorful and feminine clothes. It’s like stepping in my dream wardrobe!
What is your favorite way to spend a day in Oakland?
On a prefect day I take a morning walk around Lake Merritt, then grab some Vietnamese coffee from the Vietnamese neighborhood on 12th street and watch people walk by at the lake. I always like getting tacos from nearby Tacos Mi Rancho. There is even a little picnic under a tree by the lake. Later, I like to go to Van Kleefs for a Greyhound and some good music. Last, I stop at Everett and Jones at Jack London Square to listen to some live RnB music and dive into BBQ ribs!
What would you consider Oakland ‘s hidden gem?
TheNewParkWay Theatre. This is a thematically decorated small cooperative theatre where you can actually order food while watching a movie. They play several European movies as well as soccer games!
Why do you love your city?
What I love about Oakland is its diversity, the strong African American culture, the laid back vide, and that people are down to earth.
Other Oakland Must-sees
Brotzeit LoKal – German Restaurant by the water
Halmoni Vintage – My favorite Vintage store (shown above)
Regional Redwood forest
Piedmont Avenue – Great food and shopping
Art Murmur Festival