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Best Cocktail 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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Dogwood

Dogwood is located in Oakland's Uptown district. This cozy bar is decorated with sophistication, featuring dark polished wood, leather upholstered bar-stools and a couple of exposed brick walls, but still maintains a warm and comfortable atmosphere. As far as the offerings go, Dogwood has created a delicious and unique cocktail menu, and also specializes in charcuterie along with cheese plates and small bites like their popular grilled cheese sandwich.

Oakland, CA, United States
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SomaR

SomaR is a trendy bar and lounge located in Uptown Oakland. SomaR serves up all kinds of specialty cocktails, using fresh ingredients like mint, cucumber and basil. In addition to all the tasty beverages, SomaR is a very popular venue for all kinds of private parties, and weekends the DJ attracts everyone to the dance floor. SomaR is a great option for a night out in Oakland if you feel like classing it up a little.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Penelope

Penelope may be a small little bar, but its drinks sure do pack a punch! Make sure to try one of their specialty cocktails, Penelope makes sure to only use fresh ingredients, so you'll find no sweet and sour mix here. In addition to their selection of liquor, wine and beer, Penelope also serves up a small selection of gourmet appetizers and sandwiches.

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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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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Starline Social Club

The iconic three story Victorian building at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and West Grand Avenue is home to a modern bar and performance venue. The Starline Social Club offers a small menu of snacks and bites, and the use of locally harvested and sustainable food sources guarantees freshness and helps encourage small business. Accentuating the delicate flavors of the food are creative offerings of a fully stocked bar. Wooden booths, tin-ceilings and vintage fixtures complete the sophisticated settings of the bar. The spacious upstairs ballroom, perfect for hosting private parties and corporate events, is open to renting. With occasional live-music events, the club offers serves as an ideal spot for a fun night out.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Double Standard

Down Telegraph Avenue, the Double Standard bar makes a mark with its dive bar-esque exteriors. Once inside, the decor of this place cajoles you into admitting that this is somewhat more upscale than it actually appears, with its swank settings. An absolute must-see is the back patio that surrounds three redwood trees, with string lights and picnic tables. Come here for the fabulous craft cocktails on tap, the most striking one being the special Curry Shot.

Oakland, CA, United States
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The Lodge

Set in a quirky, rustic space, The Lodge has a ski-lodge themed interior with wooden walls and furniture, plenty of stuffed animals and even bear fur mounted on the walls. If you would rather skip the sight of the stuffed animals, the patio seating is filled with picnic tables and chairs, perfect for a few hearty conversations with friends over local beers and other spirits. For those who begin to feel the hunger pangs, the bar has an extensive menu of sandwiches, sausages and the like along with a limited number of vegetarian dishes. If you are looking for a laid-back place to spend the evening, The Lodge is great for those interested in taxidermy, meaty delights and cocktails.

Oakland, CA, United States
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Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

Established in 2006 by the Thanos brothers, Mano and Michael, Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge offers visitors a tropical haven on this Californian island of Alameda. Professional bartenders ensure that guests are served only the best. Choose from classic tiki mixes like Painkiller, Banana Mamacow, Fog Cutter, Leilani Volcano and Hurricane, or Forbidden Island originals like China Clipper, Fugu for Two, Neptune’s Garden and the eponymous drink Forbidden Island. If it is your birthday, you can savor an Island Mai Tai, completely on the house!

Alameda, CA, United States
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