ADVENTURE: Going on a bar crawl to the best Oakland beer gardens // EATING: Mac ‘n cheese at Homeroom! // CRAVE: Anything and everything at Drake’s Dealership
I’m going to just say it: Oakland beer gardens are way better than the one’s in San Francisco.
Zeitgesit, and Beirgarten, and The Sycamore are stunners, sure, but Oakland just has amazing spots around every other corner!
Recently I set out to see how many of these Oakland beer gardens I could check out in a day. It turned into quite the adventure and an amazing on-foot bar crawl. Follow my tips (and footsteps!) below for an amazing day of drinking and eating in the East Bay.
Stop #1: Homeroom
Okay, not technically a beer garden, but this restaurant does have an amazing patio! Most everyone has heard about Homeroom and their legendary menu of different mac ‘n cheese dishes. Start with a biscuit, followed by a piping hot dish of mac ‘n cheese for the table (note: get breadcrumbs — always get breadcrumbs). You’ll each want your own, but, trust me, only get one. There is lots more to eat ahead.
Stop #2: Cholita Linda
Backtrack a bit and head north towards Cholita Linda. This spot offers delicious Mexican food, a sunny back patio, and tropical vibes all around.
Snag a fish taco and a drink before heading over to Temescal Alley.
Temescal Alley is a cute shopping street that just screams hipster — but in a good way. Browse the different clothing shops, an apothecary, plant shop, ice cream store, and more.
If you have a little room for food, doesn’t hurt to grab a cream-infused donut from Doughnut Dolly either!
Stop #3: Temescal Brewing
Head south again and you’ll find a relatively new beer garden at Temescal Brewing.
Grab a beer on top from the all-white interior and snuggle into the small essentric, wooden nook across from the bar if you want to stay indoors.
Or, of course, head outside to a glowing beer garden basking in the sun to enjoy your brew.
Stop #5: The Double Standard
Continue your walk south to reach the next of the Oakland beer gardens, The Double Standard. This will be your longest walk yet, but you can do it!
The Double Standard has some great beers along with some fantastic cocktails if you are in the mood to mix it up.
Grab a drink and head to the hidden patio space in the back, filled with large trees and numerous benches in the shade.
Stop #6: Drake’s Dealership
If you’ve never been to Drake’s Dealership, you are in for a treat!
I’d heard of the spot but didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary going in. The place was packed! After turning off the main street, you enter from the side of a large parking lot.
A totally unsuspecting location, you’re met with a huge outdoor beer garden, plus an interior space. Tons of beers and amazing food, this is easily a spot you could hole up at for a whole day.
Stop #7: The Tempest
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! The final stop on your journey is The Tempest. Located downtown, you wouldn’t expect to find one of the larger Oakland beer gardens in the rear of this space. Entering the bar, you are met with an old fashioned feeling bar.
Head out back and you’ll find a ton of tables that are usually packed during the weekdays.
Grab a few drinks and order the amazing grilled cheese to split with a friend — you won’t be disappointed.
Congrats! You’ve explored some of the best Oakland beer gardens, explored Temescal Alley, and made it all the way downtown — you deserve those drinks.
Learn more about each of the bars featured in this pub crawl on their sites below:
- Cholita Lolinda
- Temescal Alley
- Temescal Brewing
- The Double Standard
- Drake’s Dealership
- The Trappist
Want to explore some Oakland bars by bike instead of on foot? Check out my guide to renting bikes and exploring the best outdoor patios and bars around Lake Merrit.