Oaklandish has become an Oakland institution since its inception as a renegade street art campaign in 2002. Starting with their iconic oak tree with roots logo, they eventually progressed to making apparel with this and other Oakland-centric designs and selling them from booths at street fairs and farmers markets. Booths gave way to a truck, and in 2011 they opened their own store front. The clothing has come a long way since their single logo, and now savvy shoppers can pick up shirts, sweatshirts, hats and more in a variety of clever, stylish and just plain cool colors, designs and logos.
The Oaktown Spice Shop, right next to Lake Merritt, is a dream for people who love to cook. The interior is designed to look a bit like an old fashioned general store, with wooden barrels serving as tables, and of course walls lined with clear jars full of fragrant spices. You can find almost any spice you're looking for, and will probably discover some new ones in the process! They also sell gift boxes with several different complimentary or themed spices that come with several recipes utilizing them.
Dr. Comics & Mr. Games has been delighting kids and adults since 1988. Fans of comic books delight in the huge, organized selection of comics, ranging from classics to new and everything in between. The manga section gets particular rave reviews. In addition to the comics, they also have a selection of puzzles and games.
On sunny East Bay Saturdays, and even the cloudy ones, residents take a trip to this farmers' market, set in a charming part of downtown Oakland near Lake Merritt and the Grand Lake Theatre. It is an ongoing market and offers the chance to buy seasonal and organic produce, homemade baked goods, large farm eggs, and more. You will enjoy the opportunity of buying such items as fresh-cut sunflowers and ripe cherries direct from local growers. Admission is free. Some vendors may take credit cards.
Located in North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, Masse's has provided Berkeley residents and visitors with the most tasty and beautiful tartes, cakes, macarons, and more. Their delicate morsels are crafted lovingly and stylishly, and often look far too pretty to eat. Luckily, their traditional and seasonal offerings taste just as good as they look. Pair your dessert with a fresh cup of coffee, and take a seat inside the tiny bakery, or at one of the sidewalk tables.
If you like wine tasting but want to try something new, head over to Takara Sake USA near the Fourth Street Shopping District. Don't be fooled by Takara's looks, although the outside appears quite industrial, the tasting room is pleasant, airy, and elegant. Try a flight of sake and learn about the brewing and production of this flavorful, Japanese brew by peering through a factory window, viewing an informative movie, or exploring Takara's very own sake museum exhibiting antique sake-making tools. Don't like sake? Lucky for you, Takara also sells plum wines, shochu, cooking sake, malt beverages, Japanese vodka, and of course, souvenirs.
This place is like heaven for chocolate lovers. Located in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, this café offers an extensive list of chocolate drinks and delicacies. You can choose from over 150 chocolate bars from around the world, and indulge in European hot chocolate, American hot chocolate, spicy hot chocolate with a hint of cayenne pepper, chocolate Thai iced tea, cookies, brownies, macaroons and muffins.