Just the facts
Main strip: Broadway and Telegraph (between 17th and 25th streets) >> Who dwells here: hipsters, techies, student-artists, empty nesters >> Population: Exceeds 21,533, including neighboring areas >> Founded: 1900s >> Main architecture: Early to mid 1900s, with loads of Art Deco masterpieces >> Neighborhood giants: Paramount and Fox theaters >> Best burger: Plum >> Where to mingle with locals: Sweet Bar Bakery, the Bodega at Duende, Dogwood
Once a shopping district in the early 20th century, Uptown is the hottest neighborhood in Oakland. A new restaurant, indie boutique, or bar seemingly opens every other week, with nearly 125 opened in the past decade. Billed as the arts and entertainment district of Oakland, it fulfills its promise, particularly during the boisterous Art Murmur on First Fridays. But the prettiest art may be the Art Deco buildings themselves, with the crown jewels being the show stopping Fox and the Paramount theaters. The former is mostly a live music venue; the latter channels its inner flapper often (classic movies with a live organ player). Art galleries, run by the artists or by volunteers, are opening in brick warehouses. Down side streets are scenes of the start-up, DIY revolution with co-ops, an urban winery, entrepreneur hubs, and creative centers.
The inside inside scoop
Because you know you want to learn about history while drinking cocktails, we’ve got just the cure: Art Deco Cocktail tour led by Localite. It’s a cocktail hop, with cheesy snacks and architecture trivia.
If you only have three hours
The drink to order at Cafe Van Kleef is the Greyhound. Yes, we know that sounds boring but there’s nothing ordinary about this beachy honky tonk bar, one of the original bars on Telegraph Avenue. The drink comes with a quarter of a grapefruit plunked in it. The decor is, um, mesmerizing.
Atop a five-story garage that’s part of the Kaiser Center is three acres of greenery and a reflecting pond. It’s a nice place to take in the sunny Oakland weather.
To avoid Art Murmur crowds, do the self-guided Saturday Stroll to many galleries, including 25th Street Collective, Creative Growth Art Center, Manna Gallery, PHOTO, and Vessel Gallery.
How to get here
Freeway exit: From 1-80 E, take I-880 S and continue on W Grand Ave; from 1-880 S, head north and take ramp right for Broadway toward Downtown, turning right onto Broadway.
Bart stop: 19th Street
Bus lines: 11, 51A, 672, 682, 688, 696