Just steps from Piedmont Avenue, Oakmont gives you easy access to this vibrant Oakland neighborhood, with its popular restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, theaters, and eclectic shops.
Not far off by foot, bike or bus, College, Grand and Lakeshore Avenues and beautiful Lake Merritt provide even more options to explore. And should you need to commute, the express bus to San Francisco leaves right from your corner. The MacArthur and Rockridge BART stations are each just a mile away in different directions.
Downtown Oakland, with its Uptown District, offers some of the hippest and most talked-about dining and nightlife in the Bay Area. Don’t miss the popular “First Fridays Art Stroll.”
And for a bit of peace or recreation, simply stroll, jog, or walk your dog through the gates of the historic Frederick Law Olmstead’s Mountain View and St. Mary’s cemeteries at the end of the block. You’ll be surrounded by green space and enjoy some of the best views in the Bay Area from the top of the hill.
Café Chiave: This East Bay outpost of San Francisco’s North Beach bohemian cafe is an efficient, clean and reasonable place to catch a casual breakfast, lunch or supper. Casual outdoor seating.
Cato’s Ale House: A favorite of educators, families and just about everybody in the area, popular Cato’s offers dozens of beers for discriminating quaffers, plus delicious burgers and sandwiches. Good place to watch the game.
Cesar’s: This cousin to the Berkeley and Albany restaurants offers a tapas menu and full bar where you can watch the world stroll by through large open windows. Casual and easy with outdoor seating in the back.
Commis: Awarded a coveted star by the prestigious Michelin guide, Commis is one of a kind. Small and intimate, this is the place to celebrate an important milestone or bring someone special. According to Zagat, devotees “always aim to dine at the chef’s counter to witness the chef’s ‘passion’ in action.”
Dopo: A casual and reasonably priced trattoria with sidewalk seating and lovely rear patio offers a modest, but well-conceived, prepared and presented menu.
Little Shin Shin: This is a perennial “best of” Chinese restaurant. Try the sizzling rice soup.
Homestead: This farm to table restaurant is sure to delight with an evolving menu and rustic, yet intimate atmosphere.
La Farine Bakery: This not-to-miss bakery has been serving up the finest French pastries, tarts, cakes, cookies and bread since it opened its first store in 1977. It now has three locations in vibrant Oakland neighborhoods including the one on Piedmont Avenue.
Piedmont Grocery: Established in the 1890s, this small but complete specialty grocery store has served a clientele that appreciates quality and is willing to pay a bit more for it. Piedmont Grocery is known for its meat, cheese, produce and wine departments and the friendly demeanor of its stable and appreciated staff.
Wine on Piedmont: Owned by a sommelier, Oakland’s newest locally owned wine store carries a great selection of local and imported wines, artisanal spirits and microbrews. Try before you buy at their tasting bar or attend one of their weekend tasting events.
Philippa Roberts: A great local place for one-of-a-kind silver jewelry or having your jewelry repaired, Philippa Roberts jewelry is carried in specialty shops around the world. Her Piedmont Avenue shop carries her own lines as well as pieces by her favorite designers, home accessories and gifts.
Rare Bird: Find new, vintage and handcrafted clothing, jewelry and artwork and be inspired at this fun and creative store.
Spectator Books: Staffed by an intelligent, knowledgeable and informed staff, Spectator Books offers a broad range of new and used books in a comfortable space where you can browse for hours. Stop in before or after a movie at the nearby Piedmont Theater.
Chapel of the Chimes: Just a block away from Oakmont, this beautiful Julia Morgandesigned building is a favorite destination for jazz lovers drawn to its Jazz at the Chimes concerts. The chapel also provides healing workshops for the entire community.
Historic Mountain View Cemetery: Designed by famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (Golden Gate Park, Central Park in NYC and hundreds of others), Mountain View Cemetery was created in the late 1800s as a place to enjoy the natural environment in quiet contemplation. Popular as a place to stroll, jog or walk your dog, this cemetery is the resting place of some of the Bay Area’s most notable pioneers and leading business magnates. The vivid tulip festival in early spring is widely celebrated by area residents. Docents lead history tours each weekend. Enjoy the best vista in the Bay Area from the top of the cemetery.
Piedmont Theatre: Part of the Landmark Theatre chain offering independent and foreign films on 3 screens.
Bake Sale Betty’s: Hailing from Adelaide Australia, Alison Barakat came to California in 2000 and began her local career working as a line cook at Chez Panisse and selling her baked goods at the Danville Farmers’ Market. She opened her first retail shop in the Temescal District in 2005 and more recently expanded to Downtown Oakland. Although her scones, rhubarb pie and chicken potpie are astounding, it was the fried chicken sandwich that really put her on the map. People start lining up before their 11:30 opening and within 10 minutes there are DOZENS of people eagerly and silently munching on these incredible, crispy, just right sandwiches on ironing boards that serve as tables strung along the sidewalk.
Burma Superstar: Located on Telegraph at 44th street, this East Bay cousin to the SF original features an eclectic menu of Southeast Asian fare. Don’t’ miss the tealeaf salad. Great for lunch or dinner.
Dona Tomas: Here you’ll find Central Mexican mole-inspired dishes with the best thirst quenching, hand squeezed margaritas you’ve ever tasted. The rear patio is wonderful place to enjoy an un-typical, creative menu that includes goat cheese and mushroom quesadillas; crab tacos and chiles stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach and butternut squash.
Homeroom Café: The whole family will love this Mac and Cheese Mecca. With eight different ways you can have it, this comfort food emporium of rib stickin’ goodness will have you joining the gym as soon as you leave. Delicious.
Pizzaola: Next door to Dona Tomas, Pizzaola was opened by Charlie Hallowell after working at Chez Panisse for eight years. With constant line out the door, this restaurant specializes in award-winning pizza cooked in its own wood oven. Enjoy outdoor dining on the rear patio and work in a game of bocce ball while you’re it. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Grand Lake Farmers Market: After a Saturday morning jog or stroll around the 3.5-mile trail along Lake Merritt, pick up some groceries, flowers, breakfast or lunch as you listen to live music at this fun and plentiful farmers’ market.
Market Hall: Located adjacent to Rockridge BART, Market Hall opened several decades ago to provide local residents a European-style market place. Market Hall is a food lovers paradise where you can shop in individually owned and operated purveyors present the very best produce, cheese, meat, fish, deli, bakery, coffee and wine you can find anywhere in the world. Here you’ll also find Oliveto, with casual dining downstairs in the tapa café and more elegant dining upstairs in the restaurant.
Gourmet Ghetto: On Shattuck Avenue, just steps from the University, this selection of independently owned stores gives an incredible selection of fresh food items. Yasai Produce, Ver Brugge Meat-Fish Poultry, La Farine bakery and Cole Coffee make this a foodie’s paradise.
Temescal District: Bounded by 51st street, the 580 Freeway, Broadway and the 24 Freeway, is considered one of Oakland’s hippest up-and-coming walkable neighborhoods, with its single story bungalows, eclectic collection of artisan shops and services and Sunday farmers’ market. Temescal (an Ohlone Indian word for the sweathouses that were located along the creek is conveniently located between MacArthur and Rockridge BART stations.
East Bay Regional Parks: Oakland and the SF Bay area is the beneficiary of some very forward thinking preservationists of the 1920s who set aside huge tracts of land, which later became the East Bay Regional Parks. These vast and expansive parks along the ridgeline are complemented by dozens of parks throughout the city, connected to hiking trails and offering public swimming pools, nature centers and places to get married or host a special event. Sibley Park, Redwood Park, Lake Temescal, Dimond Park, Mosswood Park and Middle Harbor Park are a few favorites.
Grand Lake Theater: The Grand Lake Theatre has 4 screens and features a tuxedoclad pianist on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ before the show every Friday and Saturday evening. Theater owner, Alan Micheam, decorated each theater in Egyptian and Byzantium themes to honor the pageantry of days gone by.
Oakland Coliseum: Current home to the Oakland Raiders, The Oakland A’s and the Golden State Warriors, the Coliseum complex also hosts outdoor concerts and indoor national touring acts.
Temescal Pool: Located next door to Studio one on 45th Street at the bottom of Lawton Ave, the city of Oakland operates the outdoor Temescal Pool for the benefit of the community. Swim lessons, lockers and changing facilities are available.
Fox Theater: First opened in 1928 as a movie palace and then closed in 1966 for 43 years, the beaux art Fox Theater reopened in 2009 as a state-of-the-art venue for live entertainment. With seating for up to 2,800, the space can be configured for standing or cabaret or standard seating in the orchestra, depending on the act. Before the performance, enjoy cocktails in the lounge or eat at one of the many nearby restaurants.
Paramount Theatre: On the National Register of Histroic places, the Paramount Theatre, designed by noted Art Deco Architect Timothy Phulgler, is a Bay Area treasure. The elegant and stylish interior inspires theatregoers to dress their best while enjoying internationaly recognized artists, theatrical productions and public events. Each year, the Oakland Symphony presents a holiday Nutcracker Suite with members of the Raiders and A’s as toy soldiers.
Studio One Art Center: Opened in 1948 as a place all local residents could enjoy inexpensive studio art classes, Studio One was completely renovated in 2008 as a state-of-the-art facility with low-cost classes. During the summer on weekends, an “Off the Grid” happening occurs where you can buy your dinner from one of the great food trucks while listening to an 18-piece orchestra before enjoying an outdoor family movie after the sun goes down.