Visitors coming to San Francisco who wish to savor the waterfront without the touristy crowds that cluster around Pier 39 can take a quick trek over to Jack London Square. This year-round hub located in nearby Oakland offers dining, retail, recreational and cultural activities that attract both Bay Area residents and tourists alike.
Those looking for an easy introduction to this area, book the Savor Oakland food tour. During this trek, foodies will be escorted to a range of offerings including Chicken and Waffles: One of Oakland’s top ranked soul-food restaurant, Urban Legend Cellars: “Mom” and “pop” wine-makers with a knack for award winning wine, and Miette: Ranked one of the top pastry shops in the world for its dainty interior and mouth-watering delights. These 3.5 hour tours run from Friday through Sunday and depart at 10:30pm. The tour size is kept to 10 per tour so it feels more like a group of new friends seeking out an adventure than a touristy trek. The tours cost $49 and include enough food and drink samplings for a moderately satisfying lunch.
After taking this tour, one can now feel confident exploring Oakland on their own. A must stop restaurant for locals is Chop Bar, a casual dining restaurant and community hangout serving breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner. As part of their commitment to the local community, they serve locally sourced food offered by area vendors. In particular, be sure to check out their Chop Bar Burger and enjoy their selection of wines on tap.
Take a stroll along the waterfront. On Sundays be sure to stroll around the Farmer's Market. Don't forget to check out the USS Potomac, the “Floating White House” that served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht until his death in 1945. Outdoor enthusiasts can rent a kayak with California Canoe & Kayak and play in the waterfront and then rent a bike courtesy of Bay Area Bikes and cycle along the waterfront.
Conclude the day at Haven, a waterfront restaurant open for happy hour, and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. On April 26, 2014, they will be offering a Saturday brunch as well. Their inviting space creates a warm community feel replete with shareable plates. Enjoy a hand crafted cocktail while savoring their craveable, technique-driven food including whole animal and vegetable preparations.
For more information about booking a trip to Jack London Square, log on to Visit Oakland.