Oakland has many wonderful neighborhoods, but the resurgence of the downtown area will stand out as one of the great revivals of all time. This is where you can find shopping and dining among the historic architecture that makes Oakland so special. Old Oakland’s indie boutiques, homegrown shops and vibrant restaurant scene mirror the vibe you’ll see on the street: fun, fresh and fiercely independent.
This indie shop specializes in stocking a well-edited assortment of made in the USA home decor, like wall art, kitchen-wares, throw blankets, planters and more. Stop by and let owner Kerri Johnson help you find colorful inspiration for the home and last-minute house warming gifts for your foodie friends.
Finding a pair of jeans that fit well is worth its weight in gold. Having someone who can help you find them is priceless. Denim specialist Julie Harleman helps customers find the right pair from brands such as Levi's Made & Crafted, James Jeans, Paige Denim and Citizens of Humanity. You’ll also find shirts, dresses and accessories to round out your wardrobe.
If you’re in search of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, this Old Oakland shop founded by Kate Ellen features her own beautiful hand-made creations as well as local artist designs and pieces. In addition to bracelets, necklaces and earrings, you also can work with them to create an amazing wedding ring, engagement ring, custom jewelry and more.
Japanese kitchen and barware shop. A novel concept, executed flawlessly by owners Yoko Kumano and Kayoko Akabori. All manner of jiggers, shakers, bitters and strainers will get your party rocking. They also have a fine assortment of knives, utensils and table top wares just in case you want to serve food with your fabulous drinks. These ladies are also foodies. Keep up with their blog and social media postings for creative adventures in the food scene.
Dining - Before or after your shopping excursion, pull into Swan’s Market (at 9th and Washington Streets). Most of the restaurants are standouts, but here are just a couple places to consider:
Cosecha – The crowds are a real-time review of how wonderful the food is at this authentic Mexican cafe, serving locally sourced tacos, tortas, tamales and quesadillas.
Miss Ollie’s – The roots of America can be tasted in this Afro-Caribbean menu with California sensibilities. The crispy fried chicken, perfectly seasoned and cooked to a beautiful brown hue is not to be missed, along with the Island-style pork. Treat yourself to the traditional Caribbean sides like plantains or the rice & peas.
Deep Roots – If you just want to have a drink and a bite of food, pull up a chair at this wine bar, that also features inventive cocktails and beer too.