If Temescal is where twentysomething hipsters live and play, nearby Rockridge is where they go to have kids. Of course, you have to be fairly affluent to raise your kids in Rockridge, with its picturesque craftsman homes and leafy, tree-lined streets. College Avenue is the main drag, and it's got everything you could need: a Trader Joe's, boutiques, gourmet restaurants, antique shops, toy stores, wine bars, and cafes galore — plus the infamous (and perennially popular) Zachary's Chicago Pizza.
Not to be confused with Piedmont, the small, affluent town surrounded by Oakland, Piedmont Avenue is a street in Oakland that's one of the city's main shopping destinations. There are a ton of great restaurants, boutiques, cafes, a well-curated movie theater, and a grocery store.
Thanks to significant redevelopment money, the area (which is just north of Oakland's downtown) has seen the reopening of the historic Fox Theater (now a major concert venue) and an explosion of restaurants and bars. During the Art Murmur art walk, held every first Friday of the month, this place is packed.
Now that a sizable chunk of what used to be considered Downtown is called Uptown, "Downtown Oakland" refers to the area around City Hall, at Broadway and 14th Street. Mostly the domain of city and federal workers (and thus home to a fair amount of lunch spots and bars), it's close to Chinatown, Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, and, of course, Uptown.
Chinatown doesn't just exist in San Francisco. Less touristy and picturesque than its West Bay counterpart, Oakland's Chinatown, located east of Broadway between 6th and 12th streets, is a true ethnic neighborhood — full of restaurants, markets, and other businesses catering to the Chinese-American community. But don't let language barriers deter you from exploring: There are some true hidden gems to be found here.
Jack London District
So-called because its namesake used to hang out in the area (most notably at the saloon Heinold's First and Last Chance, which still operates), the Jack London District is Oakland's waterfront neighborhood, which sits at the south end of Broadway. Though the location is ideal, the district has faced some stumbling blocks in its goal of becoming a tourist destination. Still, though, it's home to some excellent new restaurants and bars, Yoshi's jazz club, and a popular weekly farmers' market.
Grand Lake/Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt is known as Oakland's "crown jewel." The park area surrounding this large tidal lagoon is a popular place for Oaklanders to exercise, picnic, and hang out, and even spy a turtle or two. It's also home to Children's Fairyland (Disneyland's precursor), the famed Grand Lake Theater (which features a live Wurlitzer organ concert before Friday- and Saturday-night screenings), a huge weekly farmers' market, shopping, and a lot more.
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