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Leila Seppa

Where to Eat and Drink Near Jack London Square

The Oakland neighborhood is packed with restaurants, breweries, wineries, and more

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Not too long ago, Jack London Square was full of chains like T.G.I. Friday’s and Old Spaghetti Factory. Slowly, the neighborhood has undergone a massive transformation. Exciting, destination-worthy restaurants like Noka Ramen and Hesher’s Pizza have recently moved in alongside a slew of urban wineries and breweries. At last, the Jack London district — with its history and waterfront location — is one of Oakland’s top places to eat and drink. Here are 16 great restaurants, bars, cafes, wineries, and breweries in the neighborhood.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Sláinte

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Traditional Irish food — including breakfast served until 3 p.m. — meets classic cocktails and a cozy, warm atmosphere at Sláinte. This is a contemporary yet charmingly old-school Irish pub with brick walls, a fireplace, darts, and Guinness always on tap.

Peter Lyons

Souley Vegan

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Before vegan diets swept the Bay Area, Souley Vegan was introducing plant-based versions of soul food staples to Oakland in 2006. Now, the restaurant’s Southern-fried tofu burger feels like a Town classic. First-time visitors can’t go wrong with the sampler plate, piled high with greens, yams, barbecued tofu, mac n cheese, cornbread, and more.

Everett & Jones BBQ

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An Oakland institution since 1973, Everett & Jones is still serving ribs, brisket, and most famously, beef links. Sadly, the restaurant’s matriarch and owner, Dorothy King, died in March 2021, but granddaughter Dorcia White is maintaining her legacy with the family’s three locations across Oakland and Berkeley.

La Santa Torta

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At La Santa Torta, one of the first taco trucks to popularize beef birria tacos in the Bay Area, friends Leo Oblea and Victor Guzman offer cheesy, juicy, “red tacos” made with Jalisco-style beef birria (see how they do it here). Check Instagram for the trucks’ daily schedule, but this Jack London spot is fairly consistent.

La Santa Torta

Hesher's Pizza

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Customers have come to know Hesher’s Pizza through its time at Crooked City Cider Tap House throughout 2022, but with the news that the tap house was sold comes the announcement that Hesher’s is fully taking over the space at 206 Broadway. The menu — and sense of humor — is eccentric and music-themed; order the Canadian Tuxedo with blueberries, bleu cheese, and bacon, or try the Zorba, with feta cheese, garlic, tomato, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and basil.

Understory Oakland

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Understory opened in early 2021 as a worker-led restaurant and bar serving food inspired by the backgrounds of the workers running the kitchen, leading to a win for the Emerging Leadership award from the James Beard Foundation in 2022. Moroccan, Filipino, and Mexican influences can be found in the form of snacks like ukoy fritters, small plates like breakfast tacos, and sliders with fillings like kefta beef. There are a few cocktails on offer, as well as dessert.

Noka Ramen

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Noka Ramen is known both for its Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen and a viral Twitter thread two months into the restaurant’s run, which detailed how Noka staffers helped save a woman from an attacker — all while dressed up as characters from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for Halloween. Heroics aside, ramen is the thing to get, although there are certainly other tempting dishes to order, such as a lobster shio ramen and the Noka Burger, which comes with a wagyu beef patty and chashu. The cocktails are also worth a spin, with some fun, over-the-top options such as the Noka Ranger, which is (appropriately) served in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-like tiki mugs.

Drinks shaped like Power Rangers. Noka Ramen

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine

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The Oakland location of the popular Mission district restaurant is full of flowers, pink, and festive fun. The attractively designed restaurant also dishes out excellent Thai dishes, including Volcano Cup Noodles, mammoth beef short rib with Panang curry, or a spicy papaya salad. Fair warning: The spicy dishes truly pack a punch.

Farmhouse Kitchen [Official Photo]

This adorable wine shop focuses on natural wines produced by independent small producers. Folks can drink any bottle at the shop’s long communal table. Minimo also offers thematic wine tastings and wine flight specials, bottle service in the courtyard, and a reasonably-priced wine club.

Left Bank Jack London Square

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Chef Roland Passot brings the latest outpost of his Left Bank Brasserie mini-chain to Jack London Square, with some new dishes to set apart this waterfront location. For the seafood-inclined, there’s the Petite Plateau with a selection of raw and prepared seafood items; there’s even a fried chicken option that’s special to this location, an ode to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in New York.

Leila Seppa

Seabreeze on the Dock

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The still-new Seabreeze on the Dock is all about seafood — lobster, Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, shrimp, crawfish, and oysters in all forms. Get them in boils, baskets, platters, and po’boys to enjoy on the cozy little waterfront patio at sunset.

Seabreeze on the Dock

Belladi Kitchen

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Belladi Kitchen opened in July 2022, serving Yemen-inspired bowls, pitas, and salads on Embarcadero West. Try the halal lamb bowl, which comes over a serving of basmati rice, ginger carrot lentils, eggplant, and cauliflower. Or, go for the falafel pita, which is split in half and stuffed with falafel, cucumber salad, tahini, and a touch of hot sauce.

Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon

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Oakland’s oldest bar, Heinold’s was built in 1883 and has remained a historic landmark in Jack London Square. The tiny, single-story shack is made of remnants of an old whaling ship, and the flooring remains steeply slanted after the 1906 earthquake. Most of the seating is outside, surrounded by palm trees.

Bicycle Coffee

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Bicycle Coffee can now be found in a few locations in Oakland, including the Grand Lake Farmers Market, but this is the company’s first stand-alone cafe. It’s funky and warehouse-y with a real family-friendly, community vibe, amplified by the fact that a portion of sales go to World Bicycle Relief.

Original Pattern Brewing Company

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After opening in 2018, this brewery quickly established itself as one to watch in the East Bay. The emphasis is on Belgian and German styles, including saisons, sours, lagers, dubbels, and kolsch beers. But with its historic brick home, string lights, and comfy seating, it’s also a lovely place to just hang out and check out the food pop-ups taking up residency at the brewery.

Brooklyn West Winery

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This neighborhood is urban winery central. Try Brooklyn West Winery for an ever-changing portfolio of small-batch, award-winning wines from Barbera to Zinfandel to Riesling. The industrial tasting room is a sleek, attractive place to sample a few wines — tastings are a reasonable $20 per person for a flight of four wines.

Sláinte

Traditional Irish food — including breakfast served until 3 p.m. — meets classic cocktails and a cozy, warm atmosphere at Sláinte. This is a contemporary yet charmingly old-school Irish pub with brick walls, a fireplace, darts, and Guinness always on tap.

Peter Lyons

Souley Vegan

Before vegan diets swept the Bay Area, Souley Vegan was introducing plant-based versions of soul food staples to Oakland in 2006. Now, the restaurant’s Southern-fried tofu burger feels like a Town classic. First-time visitors can’t go wrong with the sampler plate, piled high with greens, yams, barbecued tofu, mac n cheese, cornbread, and more.

Everett & Jones BBQ

An Oakland institution since 1973, Everett & Jones is still serving ribs, brisket, and most famously, beef links. Sadly, the restaurant’s matriarch and owner, Dorothy King, died in March 2021, but granddaughter Dorcia White is maintaining her legacy with the family’s three locations across Oakland and Berkeley.

La Santa Torta

At La Santa Torta, one of the first taco trucks to popularize beef birria tacos in the Bay Area, friends Leo Oblea and Victor Guzman offer cheesy, juicy, “red tacos” made with Jalisco-style beef birria (see how they do it here). Check Instagram for the trucks’ daily schedule, but this Jack London spot is fairly consistent.

La Santa Torta

Hesher's Pizza

Customers have come to know Hesher’s Pizza through its time at Crooked City Cider Tap House throughout 2022, but with the news that the tap house was sold comes the announcement that Hesher’s is fully taking over the space at 206 Broadway. The menu — and sense of humor — is eccentric and music-themed; order the Canadian Tuxedo with blueberries, bleu cheese, and bacon, or try the Zorba, with feta cheese, garlic, tomato, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and basil.

Understory Oakland

Understory opened in early 2021 as a worker-led restaurant and bar serving food inspired by the backgrounds of the workers running the kitchen, leading to a win for the Emerging Leadership award from the James Beard Foundation in 2022. Moroccan, Filipino, and Mexican influences can be found in the form of snacks like ukoy fritters, small plates like breakfast tacos, and sliders with fillings like kefta beef. There are a few cocktails on offer, as well as dessert.

Noka Ramen

Noka Ramen is known both for its Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen and a viral Twitter thread two months into the restaurant’s run, which detailed how Noka staffers helped save a woman from an attacker — all while dressed up as characters from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for Halloween. Heroics aside, ramen is the thing to get, although there are certainly other tempting dishes to order, such as a lobster shio ramen and the Noka Burger, which comes with a wagyu beef patty and chashu. The cocktails are also worth a spin, with some fun, over-the-top options such as the Noka Ranger, which is (appropriately) served in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-like tiki mugs.

Drinks shaped like Power Rangers. Noka Ramen

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine

The Oakland location of the popular Mission district restaurant is full of flowers, pink, and festive fun. The attractively designed restaurant also dishes out excellent Thai dishes, including Volcano Cup Noodles, mammoth beef short rib with Panang curry, or a spicy papaya salad. Fair warning: The spicy dishes truly pack a punch.

Farmhouse Kitchen [Official Photo]

Minimo

This adorable wine shop focuses on natural wines produced by independent small producers. Folks can drink any bottle at the shop’s long communal table. Minimo also offers thematic wine tastings and wine flight specials, bottle service in the courtyard, and a reasonably-priced wine club.

Left Bank Jack London Square

Chef Roland Passot brings the latest outpost of his Left Bank Brasserie mini-chain to Jack London Square, with some new dishes to set apart this waterfront location. For the seafood-inclined, there’s the Petite Plateau with a selection of raw and prepared seafood items; there’s even a fried chicken option that’s special to this location, an ode to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in New York.

Leila Seppa

Seabreeze on the Dock

The still-new Seabreeze on the Dock is all about seafood — lobster, Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, shrimp, crawfish, and oysters in all forms. Get them in boils, baskets, platters, and po’boys to enjoy on the cozy little waterfront patio at sunset.

Seabreeze on the Dock

Belladi Kitchen

Belladi Kitchen opened in July 2022, serving Yemen-inspired bowls, pitas, and salads on Embarcadero West. Try the halal lamb bowl, which comes over a serving of basmati rice, ginger carrot lentils, eggplant, and cauliflower. Or, go for the falafel pita, which is split in half and stuffed with falafel, cucumber salad, tahini, and a touch of hot sauce.

Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon

Oakland’s oldest bar, Heinold’s was built in 1883 and has remained a historic landmark in Jack London Square. The tiny, single-story shack is made of remnants of an old whaling ship, and the flooring remains steeply slanted after the 1906 earthquake. Most of the seating is outside, surrounded by palm trees.

Bicycle Coffee

Bicycle Coffee can now be found in a few locations in Oakland, including the Grand Lake Farmers Market, but this is the company’s first stand-alone cafe. It’s funky and warehouse-y with a real family-friendly, community vibe, amplified by the fact that a portion of sales go to World Bicycle Relief.

Original Pattern Brewing Company

After opening in 2018, this brewery quickly established itself as one to watch in the East Bay. The emphasis is on Belgian and German styles, including saisons, sours, lagers, dubbels, and kolsch beers. But with its historic brick home, string lights, and comfy seating, it’s also a lovely place to just hang out and check out the food pop-ups taking up residency at the brewery.

Related Maps

Brooklyn West Winery

This neighborhood is urban winery central. Try Brooklyn West Winery for an ever-changing portfolio of small-batch, award-winning wines from Barbera to Zinfandel to Riesling. The industrial tasting room is a sleek, attractive place to sample a few wines — tastings are a reasonable $20 per person for a flight of four wines.

Related Maps