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Best Bars in Oakland

By: Cityseeker
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The Layover

The Layover is a bar, lounge and gallery all in one. The decor is very bohemian and ethnic, with dark wood, beautiful pillows and cushions, and of course being an art gallery, interesting art covering the walls. The bar features an interesting collection of gourmet cocktails as well as a good selection of beer. Often The Layover boasts live bands or DJs to keep things moving on the dance floor.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Cafe Van Kleef

Cafe Van Kleef is located right in the heart of Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. The theme of Van Kleef is unconventional and all about the quirky artwork everywhere. The specialty at Van Kleef's is their Greyhound - a drink of vodka with grapefruit juice, which you can watch them squeezing fresh at almost any given point during the night. On most nights in the week, the bar plays live jazz music. Certain nights come with a cover charge so be sure to check details before you head here.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Make Westing

Make Westing is located right in the thick of all Uptown Oakland's thriving nightlife scene. Named after a short story by Oakland's beloved Jack London, Make Westing is a great space for almost any kind of night out, with its sparse yet sophisticated (and on theme) decor. The most special part of this bar, however, are the indoor bocce ball courts, Oakland's first. The owners are both born and raised in Oakland, so you know that Make Westing will always be an authentic hometown spot.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Bar 355

Bar 355, so creatively named after its address on Uptown Oakland's 19th Street, has been a neighborhood, and indeed city-wide, favorite since it opened. 355's bartender's serve up a plethora of delicious cocktails, while the decidedly hipster atmosphere always provides entertainment. The DJ is always playing fun tunes.

Oakland, CA, United States
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The Trappist

In a cave-like historic space in the heart of Old Oakland, the Trappist packs 'em in. There are 15 imported or specialty beers on draft at any given time, and more than 100 more in the bottle -- and this place has proper glassware for most. All members of the staff have commanding knowledge of the world of beer. They'll elucidate the trappings of the Trappist tradition, and they'll turn you on to the most creative local up-and-comers -- all in this humble, crowded little speakeasy. If you get hungry, they always have a choice of excellent cheese plates (hard or soft) and other snacks on offer.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Lost and Found

Lost and Found is an amiable spot in Oakland's busy Uptown neighborhood offering a fine selection of craft beers and savory bites. The beer garden incorporates a sprawling patio, which is an idyllic joint to gulp down those chilled brews. Guzzlers are impressed with more than 20 on-tap beers, while it also offers an exciting changing menu of globally-inspired light grub. The large outdoor space has plenty to do, including sets for playing cornhole and ping pong tables.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Mad Oak

A beautiful setting welcomes you at Mad Oak. Owned and operated by Benjamin and Daniel Cukierman, the bar opened its doors in May 2015. In a short span of time, it gained much popularity among the locals. The interiors are an elegant affair with the use of woods and thoughtful lighting accents. The wooden top bar counter, two-floored patio space and a rooftop garden make this place quite happening for a casual hangout. The menu features about 40 varieties of tap beers and crafty cocktails. To accompany your tipples, they offer light American fare. This is a good bar to catch up on your favorite game- there are two flat-screens in the interior area.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Beer Revolution

This unique drinking establishment boasts itself to be a "beer tasting room". Beer Revolution always features somewhere around 20 different artisan brews on tap, as well as an impressive collection of bottled beer, which visitors are welcome to drink in the store or buy to bring home. Beer Rev, as it's known among locals, is also a very popular place on nice days due to its large outdoor patio. Pull up a stool to the beer-barrel tables, pop open a cold one, and enjoy the Revolution.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Drake's Dealership

Drake's Dealership is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and bar located in Uptown, Oakland. Set in a large and spacious former warehouse that is reminiscent of a green-house, this eatery is child-friendly until 9pm. Exposed brick-walls, lantern-lit trees, small tables and fire pits under an open sky give this bar the perfect ambiance for an intimate date night. Enjoy a wide range of cold local craft-beers on tap along with tasty food dishes like wood-fired New Haven-style pizzas, fish & chips, Roy's rib basket or BBQ pork sandwich. The perfect trendy, relaxed and laid-back ambiance here will make you want to visit and again!

Oakland, CA, United States
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Heinold's First & Last Chance Saloon

This historic bar is full of stories, character, and charm. Once a place Jack London himself would frequent to drink and write, the story is that the famous author borrowed his college entrance fee from the bar's proprietor. The small bar still features a slanted wooden floor and charred walls leftover from the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which took its toll elsewhere in the Bay Area, too. Its name derives from the old days when it was the only bar at the port of Oakland. Each day as laborers would take the ferry to San Francisco and back again, this was the first and last chance for the working man to grab a drink. The bar serves only beverages and distributes literature on its history.

Oakland, CA, United States
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