Shayla is the ultimate vibe, and her soul is all Oakland love. A born-and-raised local of The Town, and founder of SoOakland, she has her pulse on all the great spots to check out. Want to see Oakland from her side? Check out her top picks.  

  1. Shopping
  2. Food & Drink
  3. Nightlife
  4. Experiences


Taylor Jay
2355 Broadway, Suite 1
Taylor Jay, located in Uptown, has one of the cutest women's boutiques in Oakland. All of her items are locally made, comfy, fly, and top-tier quality. Her store is amazing because you are not only supporting an Oakland native, you are walking into the true essence and vibes of Town beauty: eccentric trinkets, accessories, hella cute clothes, and more. 

This needs to be one of the MUST stop shops when making your way through Oakland.  

Food & Drinks

Rush Bowls
350 17th Street
If you are an acai smoothie or bowl lover like Shayla, then you gotta stop by Rush Bowls in Uptown. They have absolutely all the variety and selections of bowls and smoothies that you may want, and this business is also owned by Bay Area natives (notice a trend here 😉). Shayla loves to support all local businesses, but when they are native to Oakland or the Bay Area, she wants to show some extra love.  

Her favorite bowl is the Chai's Mystique, which includes: bananas, almonds, cinnamon, honey, milk (which you can substitute for any non-dairy alternative) froyo, granola, honey, and a topper – it's hella good!  

So, if you need a refreshing snack while enjoying the beautiful Bay Area weather, pull up on Rush Bowls! 

Smokin’ Woods BBQ
4307 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland has always had classic BBQ restaurants that definitely made a long-lasting impression, and although there aren’t as many as there used to be, James Woods, a small food truck vendor that sold out at all local festivals, opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant and has been Shayla’s go-to place for years after.  

His BBQ is tender, smokey, juicy, and well worth the wait; you can tell he loves what he does. Not only is Smokin Woods BBQ a restaurant, but the beautiful rustic decor, huge televisions, and outside patio has also made it a premier place to watch sports games, chill with friends, listen to music, and have good drinks  

Shayla’s tip: You MUST try the’s so gooooood.  


811 Parliament
811 Washington Street
In the heart of Old Oakland/Downtown, Parliament gives you all the best party vibes for a true feel of Oakland. Offering different themes throughout the week, from RnB 90's and Hip hop, salsa, Afro beats, Paint parties, Top 40s, to even one of the most lit Sunday day parties around. You can find a diverse set of top Bay Area DJs spinning at this place. Whatever your music needs are, Parliament is going to give you what you want, all in one. 

A true traveler who is trying to have a cool, fun night out on the town with a nice turn-up and good drinks... this is your place. 

P.S. The owners are so sweet! Tell them Jason from SoOakland and ShaylaBang sent you. 😉  


SoOakland events always bring a really cool authentic feel. A few in the works are: SoOakland Fest 2022 and SoOakland Adult Prom.  

Black Joy Parade
Black Joy Parade takes place in February and is a beautiful event that brings close to 15,000 people to the streets of Oakland, to celebrate Black joy, love, pride, and everything in between. 

Movie Night At The Lake
Movie Night at the Lake is a cool thing to do with friends, on a date or solo. Grab your blanket, snacks, and head to the lake to catch some cool old-school films.  

Experience the 90s
Bringing you all the way back to your childhood (maybe 😊), it’s one of Shayla’s favorite places to go to remind her how carefree life was back then.  

So bassssssically, Shayla things you won’t be disappointed while visiting Oakland! Follow local organizations like SoOakland (and Visit Oakland, wink wink) on social to keep you in the loop on all the things to do in Oakland. 

Welcome to The Town, once you visit you might not want to go home. 😉