Jack London Square in Oakland, California, is a public waterfront and marina area known for its recreation, dining, social events, and entertainment opportunities that tourists and locals alike can enjoy. Whether you have a day to explore or are looking for a fun way to spend a date night, you can find something to enjoy in this cultural hub. Check out our list of places to eat, drink, and be merry.
Since 2013, The Forge has emphasized high-quality ingredients and an inviting atmosphere that creates a mouth-watering dining experience. It’s a casual dining experience with an outdoor option where you can enjoy the beautiful Bay Area weather. It’s even dog friendly, so you don’t have to leave your four-legged friend at home.
Initially known for its wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, The Forge has established itself as a local staple. However, it’s also known for its delicious smoked chicken wings and hot fried chicken sandwiches that can feed all your comfort food cravings. If you don’t want to stop by their 66 Franklin Street location, you can also find the same delicious authentic pizza in their traveling pizza truck.
Chop Bar is a roadside bar and restaurant serving West African food for brunch, lunch, and dinner. It offers affordable drinks, wine on tap, and local beer offerings. The menu, combined with a casual and comfortable atmosphere, makes a perfect community meeting place for friends and family.
Chop Bar is also dedicated to an eco-friendly business model. They use ingredients found in the Bay area. Their innovative wine-on-tap system produces less waste, which improves their environmental impact while also lowering the price for patrons. Their interior is also designed using reclaimed, recycled, and reused materials, making the space eco-friendly and inviting. See yourself at 247 4th Street.
Craving Mexican food? On the Southern edge of the Jack London district, you can find a unique and inviting Mexican restaurant that serves farm-to-table entrees and delicious margaritas. Share your authentic Mexican food with friends in Nido’s colorful sunny outdoor space, made from repurposed shipping containers. It’s the perfect summer meeting place for friends and family members of all ages. You can even bring dogs.
Nido offers Mexican staples you may recognize, like burritos and Ceasar salads. They also specialize in unique offerings to sate your taste buds, like the churro waffle or the taco kit, perfect for a date night. You can find this delicious and authentic experience at 444 Oak St.
California Canoe and Kayak
Beyond just eating, Jack London Square offers endless activities to keep you entertained all day. You can stop by the Brooklyn Basin on the waterfront to rent a canoe or kayak into the Oakland Estuary or San Francisco Bay. California Canoe and Kayak have provided rental services in the area for over 50 years. With their boating equipment and safety accessories, like helmets and personal flotation devices, you have everything you need for a day trip on the water.
You can begin your boating adventure at 288 9th Ave., Suite C, anytime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. between Wednesday and Sunday. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the city, take guided tours, or ask about lessons to improve your overall paddling skills. The California Canoe and Kayak also offers moonlight tours, where you can take the boats out at night and follow the city’s lights on a tour.
Plank is one of those bars with everything you need for a good time, with plenty of games, drinks, and space to invite all your friends. This giant playground for grownups has over 50,000 square feet of space, filled with a bowling alley, a bocce ball court, and an arcade. After your team establishes its dominance at various bar games, you can take a break in their open-air beer garden, sporting the longest bar in Oakland.
This space has everything you need for a day of fun and games in the beautiful Bay Area sun. When the day is over, you can stay for the party after 8 p.m., when plank becomes a 21 and over the bar. You can enjoy over 48 beers on tap, with the communal setting providing an open and friendly atmosphere for all patrons. Get your game face on and stop by plank at 98 Broadway.
Oakland Urban Wine Trail
Oakland Urban Wine Trail is an opportunity to find out the best of what the Oakland local wine scene offers. You can learn about Oakland’s Urban wineries, some of which are in renovated warehouse spaces. They source grapes from all over the state, taking advantage of the quality available in California wine country.
The breadth of wineries available in the area allows you to enjoy craft wines with various palates to satisfy even the most discerning sommelier. After checking out award-winning wineries like Brooklyn West Winery, you can stop at the different wine bars that sell Oakland’s best local wine, like Minimo Wine.
The Waterfront Hotel is the only hotel in Jack London Square. It’s a nautical-themed hotel on the waterfront, appreciating the San Francisco skyline in style. You can also sit by the pool and enjoy the beautiful weather or go out and enjoy the nearby attractions of Jack London Square. It’s centrally located in Oakland if you want to explore the city more. The San Francisco ferry is right next door, too, so you can easily trip into the nearby city for even more sites to see.
You can also enjoy some top-notch amenities without leaving the hotel, with a popular coffee bar, fitness center, and in-lounge fireplace to dry off after a beautiful day by the marina.
There is more than enough food, wine, and fun in Jack London Square to entertain any tourists or stay-cationers. These are the spots those of us at De Castroverde can recommend, but if we’ve left off your favorite local haunt, send us a message to let us know what we missed.