You don't have to travel to the Deep South to experience a culinary tradition that is rarely reproduced elsewhere. Perhaps for good reason. Dubbed, the best place for eating beanie weenies while listening to deep house by Rolling Stone magazine, this strange creation serves microwaved trailer trash food (Mac'n'Cheese, fries, TV dinners, etc) from an actual trailer to crowds of hipsters and clubkids. Nightly DJs and a full bar add music and mayhem to the nuke-food energy, keeping Butter's atmosphere radiant.
Oakland United Beerworks makes hand-crafted beers using locally grown ingredients, creating a product that is very impressive. Formerly called the Linden Street Brewery, this brewery makes small-batches to ensure that each keg is up to their high standards. Their beers are available at local watering holes, but they're best sampled right here at the brewery.
Unlike the other piano bars that closed down, The Alley continues to stand in Oakland's neighborhood. On the outs it appears like a run-down bar but as you set foot inside, history begins to unravel. Rod Dibble has a long association to The Alley and has been playing piano here since a long time. The walls inside are plastered with business cards of all those who have visited over the years, adding more to its historic charm. Reasonable drinks and great food is what you get here. One can enjoy their drinks with live piano and people singing, creating a jovial and comfortable atmosphere.
The Albatross Pub is one of the oldest and most loved bars in Berkeley. The bar is known for is relatively cheap drinks and its impressive collection of board games. Play a game of Yahtzee or Backgammon with your friends. If you're not a fan of board games, play a round of pool or darts. You are also welcome to bring in your own board games.
Hidden away in Emeryville amongst office buildings and warehouses lies the little gem of Prizefighter. The bar prides itself in their special artisan cocktails, made with ingredients and mixers prepared fresh every day. They also have a staggeringly impressive spirits list that will boggle your mind in more than one way. Prizefighter also has a great outdoor area, perfect for soaking up the afternoon sun.
Bender's is a Mission District legend. Firebombed into oblivion in 2006, its valiant founders rallied the troops, and with a cavalcade of community support, reopened just a year and half later, bigger and better than ever. Some choice burnt-to-a-crisp fire wreckage are kept around as "trophies" of the place's victory over tragedy, you will love watching it. Comfy booths surround the pool table and the grill, which is operated by the folks at Weird Fish.
With an ambiance that hovers between the classiness of an upscale bar and the comfort of a cozy dive, the Golden Bull, in its new avatar, is a fine place to enjoy a drink and some great music. The elongated space is dominated by a bar bedecked in dark wood, and backed by a wall of glistening bottles. A pool table and jukebox offer entertainment, while the bar tenders will delight you with their charm and wit. Live band performances, drink specials and friendly faces are some of the other treats to be had here. While you are likely to want to stay on your feet and groove along to the jukebox's tunes, limited seating is available along the wall and at the bar.
The Grand Oaks Restaurant & Sports Lounge is a bit deceiving. The large awning outside makes it seem like it would be an old-fashioned early bird restaurant, but once you step inside you'll feel the excitement and energy in the air. Grand Oaks is one of the best places to go if you're looking to watch the game with some beers among other sports fanatics. During playoffs of any sport, Grand Oaks is practically exploding with competitive team spirit. In addition to pints and pitchers of draft brew, they have a limited menu of bar foods like burgers, wings and pizza.
Set in a building that dates back to 1926, Townhouse Bar & Grill has undergone many changes over the years. Under owner and Executive Chef Ellen Hope Rosenberg's care, however, it has transformed into a neighborhood gem that people in the know can't stop raving about. Don't be deceived by the appearance; this seemingly small restaurant can accommodate as many as 160 people between the main dining room and flowery patio. When here, the coconut BBQ sauce baby back ribs, grilled pork porterhouse and smoked chicken risotto are some of the dishes you must try. A selection of wines and draft beers is on offer, and you can even bring your own for a corkage fee.