Oakland Day Trip: San Francisco's Newest Shopping Destination
Hipsters, artists, and too-cool tech workers are lapping up property in Oakland like it’s nitro coffee. Located in the East Bay, near Berkeley, Alameda, and other gorgeous cities, you can get in on this buzzy ’burb by hopping a BART train from San Francisco across the Bay. We think the best spots to score unique deals in Oakland are in the emerging shopping neighborhoods of Rockridge and Temescal. There you’ll find everything from one-of-a-kind artifacts (like the fossils and shark teeth at Esqueleto) to the largest selection of Japanese beers in the country at Umami Mart.
But before you shop, be sure to get your caffeine fix at Trouble Coffee. The Oakland location offers the same, famous toasts as its original S.F. digs (we recommend the peanut butter and honey toast) but with a more minimalist aesthetic. And after your hard day scoring only-in-Oakland deals, put your name in at Ramen Shop, one of the few ramen houses to offer a truly amazing, umami-licious vegetarian bowl. We promise, it’s worth the wait.
Next up? Treat yourself to an after-dinner treat by popping into Smitten Ice Cream next door. Smitten’s scoops are churned-to-order using liquid nitrogen and seasonal ingredients from Northern California’s organic farms (try inspired summer flavors like strawberry white balsamic). Then head back to S.F. just in time for cocktail hour. It’s a perfect way to spend a day shopping and eating like a local across the Bay Area. Below, find four of our favorite shops for baubles, beauty, gifts, and more.
FOR ONE-OF-A-KIND JEWELRY: ESQUELETO
Layer on owner Lauren Wolf’s own line of contemporary-cool, celeb-loved jewelry pieces, plus find unusual objet d’art (bronze beetle sculptures), natural specimens (shark teeth, fossils), and more in this desert-inspired, gallery-like boutique.
482 A 49th St.; 510-629-6216; shopesqueleto.com
FOR SIGNATURE OAKLAND: ATOMIC GARDEN
A North Oakland go-to, this 1,000-square-foot shop features an impressive selection of locally-made textiles, cards and other goods fit for a proper Bay Area lifestyle (from sage bundles to hand-carved coffee scoops). Everyone will ask where you found those hand-dyed napkins at your next dinner party.
5453 College Ave.; 510-923-0543; atomicgardenoakland.com
FOR ORGANIC SKINCARE: EARTHSHIP
Earth Tu Face products line the chic shelves of numerous bloggers and tastemakers. Visit the brand’s first apothecary for its full sensory experience—lavender and rose waft through the shop where medicinal plants and tinctures are used to handcraft its signature serums and masks. While you’re there, pick up other unique accessories and decor objects in its gift shop to round out your beauty finds.
4609 Shattuck Ave.; 510-922-1768; earthtuface.com
FOR JAPANESE BARWARE: UMAMI MART
Score professional tools and bar cart beauties (gold cocktail shakers, etched crystal mixing glasses), at this Japanese kitchen and barware emporium beloved by restaurant owners. Plus, pick out your next pint from the largest selection of Japanese beer in the U.S. or find rare imported sakes.
815 Broadway; 510-250-9559; umamimart.com