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Food & Drink
Taste Your Way through Temescal
You’ve just arrived in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. If I’ve guessed anything right, you’re here to eat. What you may or may not know is that in addition to having bomb food, some of the best restaurants in Temescal have beautiful patios and gardens for you to dine in. On this tour, you’ll visit the hidden oasis of North Oakland. Oh, and you’ll eat well, too!
1. Arthur Mac’s
4006 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, CA 94609
If you’ve never walked through the doors of Arthur Mac's, then you would never know the beauty that exists here. Arthur Mac’s is a great beer garden to come and chill at. They also have bomb pizza and the cauliflower wings are hella good. Grab a beer or cider, a seat, and enjoy!
4007 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94609
Recognized as the winner of “Best Parklet in the East Bay” category of The Bold Italic’s 2020 Awards, Homeroom's colorful parklet is one of the most COVID-protected with individual tables separated by corrugated metal walls, giving it a cozy booth feeling. Their famous mac & cheese variations are sure to please your palette. We recommend trying the newest mac winner, Tikka Mac-sala, during your next visit.
3. Temescal Brewing
4115 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Temescal Brewing is a great place to come with friends, and your dog, too. Between the IPAs and Lagers, they’ve probably got a brew for you. More often than not, you’ll be able to compliment your booze with a takeout order from their pop-up vendor. They host everything from queer dance parties to markets featuring local craftsmen and small businesses. Come for the brews, stay for the vibes.
4. Smokin Woods BBQ
4307 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Smokin Woods BBQ parklet is a go-to spot for a party atmosphere any night that they’re open. From beef links to collard greens to lemon pound cake, just thinking about their menu will make your mouth water. Be sure to order online to skip the line and enjoy your meal at this Black-owned restaurant soon.
5. The Avenue Bar
4822 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
The Avenue Bar's outdoor parklet, which is right next to Marufuku's outdoor seating, is the biggest gamechanger to Telegraph - completely changing the focus and energy of the neighborhood. Check it out at night to feel the amazing energy of the community!
6. North Light
4915 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Northlight Bar can easily be missed on the busy block of eateries, tattoo shops, and the like. It must be said that if you miss it, you will regret it. The decor is perfect, the staff is friendly, and the entire space will accommodate your needs. Did I mention their decadent food selection? From brunch on weekends to “thick ass toast” served all day long, you’ll want to order a thing or two from their menu. Bring your laptop and work, grab a book from their curated shelves, or catch up with a friend. Whether day or night, I highly advise that you grab a seat on their outdoor patio. They’ve got plenty of sunshine and heaters to accommodate either mood.
7. Cholita Linda
4923 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Ahh, Cholita Linda - what a vibrant place! Favored by locals and visitors alike, you’ll immediately be greeted by vivid colors, groovy tunes, and yummy food. Their menu offers a wide variety of tacos, sanguches (or sandwiches), and combination plates all inspired by the owner’s Latin American roots. After ordering, you’ll want to walk through the restaurant and out of the back doors to their hidden patio. At a minimum, you’ll want to take an agua fresca and a side of yuca fries with you. You’ll thank us later.
8. Roses’ Taproom
4930 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
A small scale brewery and tasting room, Roses’ Taproom has a beautiful wooden outdoor parklet on Telegraph, in addition to their back patios that open up to Temescal Alley. Ordering is as simple as choosing your favorite drink at their bar and picking it up when ready. We hear the Hitachino Nest White Ale paired with their cheese boards are a perfect match.
5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
The parklet and patio at Pizzaiolo also boasts of creativity and coziness at their spot on Telegraph. This pizza spot proudly serves locally grown, organic, seasonal meat and produce. With a belief that “feeding people is at the core of what it is to be human,” Pizzaiolo practices what they preach with every bite of pizza and friendly staff interaction.
10. Prima Materia
482 #B, 49th St, Oakland, CA 94609
If you pop over to the other side of the alley, you’ll find the Prima Materia tasting room. More often than not, the winemaker will be pouring various bottles of wine made in Lake County alongside cheese plates and seasonal pasta dishes. Prima Materia is one of those tasting rooms where you can work on your laptop, catch up with a friend, or daydream.
11. Curbside Creamery
482 49th St, Oakland, CA 94609
Temescal Alley is one of those places I discovered and said to myself, “If I didn't know it was here, I never would’ve come off of Telegraph Avenue to find it.” The Alley has a plant store, barbershop, vintage store, coffee shop, gallery, and jewelry shop. Don’t forget about the ice cream shop, too. Curbside Creamery offers scoops, soft serve, ice cream sandwiches, and fresh-made waffle cones, all with plant-based options.
12. Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Just across the street from Marufuku and The Avenue Bar, you’ll find the Burma Superstar artistic parklet. The inlaid custom woodwork on the walls is just one part of a magnificent experience at this eatery. With their Burmese food coming from “coastal, forest, tropical, and mountainous cultures within Burma,” their menu will not disappoint. We love the Tea Leaf Salad, Superstar Shrimp, and Sesame Beef dishes!
Share your favorite spots of this tour via Instagram and tag @visitoakland for a chance to be featured in our social media stories.
This experience was crafted by The Cosmopolitan Project (TCP), a division of Made In Color, an Oakland-based creative agency. TCP specializes in building community and amplifying stories that are typically untold, undersold, or marginalized. We connect our clients to the communities they know and love by creating hyperlocal content that is deeply rooted in community, inclusivity, and culture.
Jena Dominique and Brianna Mills, two MIC creatives, created this self-guided itinerary. Jena is a prominent Bay Area voice and tastemaker. Her specialty is producing multimedia content and activations that shift the perspective of Oakland. Jena has been designing and leading experiences in Oakland for the past five years.
Brianna is a copywriter, editor, and strategist that also lends her talents as a professional travel writer and photographer for various publications across the globe. A creative and trained professional, Brianna has several years of experience perfecting her inclusive writing and communications skills while also sharing her knowledge, work, and creative journey through storytelling.
Images for this blog were captured by Alexa “Lexx Marie” Brown, a Bay Area artist whose mediums include photography, henna design, and tattooing. Lexx has been an entrepreneur since 2015 and is the proud owner and curator of Lexx Marie Arts & Photography studio.