“A lot about this neighborhood is hidden from view,” says Sal Bednarz, owner of the Actual Café and Victory Burger, on the corner of Alcatraz and San Pablo Avenues in North Oakland.
Here are three reasons to visit this up-and-coming part of Oakland:
- The food: If you like to make your way through a neighborhood on your stomach, you might want to start with Victory Burger’s artisanal meats and deep-fried pickled vegetables, but you won’t want to stop there. Tribu Café and the Actual Café provide café life and full menus. If you don’t have time to sit and sip, you can grab a slice from Red Door Pizza. When you are ready for a little sweetness, try a cupcake from James and the Giant Cupcake or a donut from Pepple’s Donuts, which also offers vegan lunch or brunch.
- The art and the craft of it all: Art openings abound at local cafés and galleries such as Compound Gallery, Grease Diner, Pallet Space and Ogaard Textile Work. If you want to do more than just admire the art, many of the galleries offer classes as well: learn screen-printing at the Grease Diner; try out letterpress at Compound Gallery; make something you can wear at one of A Verb for Keeping Warm’s many sewing, needlework or dyeing workshops; or get your hands dirty at Create in Clay.
- Second Saturday festivities: Purdey Darrow, proprietor of Pallet Space, promises that, if you visit his shop on a second Saturday, “Random things will happen throughout the day,” followed by a musical performance starting at about 6:30. Bednarz sees a neighborhood Second Saturday event as a “way to get people in the neighborhood out on the street.” Look for more daytime happenings in the new year – perhaps even an Oaklavia on San Pablo!
Look for in 2014: an Oaklavia? On San Pablo? Stay tuned!
Purdey Darrow and Mara the dog in front of Pallet Space.
See a related story about the Golden Gate here: New destinations, part one: Golden Gate merchants reflect their eclectic neighborhood
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This story is part of a series funded by a generous grant from Oaklandish to Oakland Local.