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Best Bars in Oakland

By: Cityseeker
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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.

1621 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA, United States, 94612
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.

1741 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA, United States, 94612
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.

355 19th Street, Oakland, CA, United States, 94612
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.

135 12th Street, Oakland, CA, United States, 94607
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!

2325 Broadway, Oakland, CA, United States, 94612
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.

48 Webster Street, Oakland, CA, United States, 94607
Heart & Dagger Saloon

This friendly neighborhood saloon is conveniently located right next to Lake Merritt in the Lakeshore district of Oakland. Come and enjoy the casual atmosphere inside and out as Heart & Dagger features a charming garden patio perfect for hanging out with friends on a nice day. Don't forget to take advantage of the jukebox, pool table, tabletop Pacman and several pinball games. The saloon often hosts "theme" nights and features various drink specials throughout the week. Please note Heart & Dagger is cash only.

504 Lake Park Avenue, Oakland, CA, United States, 94610
Kona Club

The Kona Club is located on Oakland's Piedmont Avenue. Kona is your classic tiki bar, complete with wooden tribal masks, dancing hula girl, working volcano and an interior that makes you feel like you're on the inside of a woven hut. A big hut. At Kona you can get everything you would expect from a tiki bar, little paper umbrellas, fruity drinks (a few of them flaming), and of course, the ubiquitous Scorpion Bowl for several people...or one really, really brave one. The bar has a pool table and a spacious back room, so its perfect for any occasion that you feel like making more festive. After all, it is hard to be depressed in a tiki bar.

4401 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA, United States, 94611
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