Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon

7 Of The Best Bars In Oakland

Much like its big-city neighbour to the west, there’s a wealth of fantastic cocktail bars in Oakland. Find a bar that fits the mood you’re in and settle in for the evening with a few of your favourite libations.

Here are the seven best bars in Oakland.

The Best Bars in OaklandHow do these rankings work?

1. The Alley

The Alley has been playing and serving the hits since 1933. You’ll often hear the loud sounds of a piano and a singer belting out the hits the moment you walk through the door. You’ll grab your cocktail and then settle in to any one of their laid-back booths and enjoy your evening to some music and drinks.

Join the more than 50,000 people to have left their business cards on this bar’s walls and leave yours too!

The Alley Oakland

2. Drexl

Drexl is a modern bar decorated in dark wood tones to give this bar a very elegant old-school feel to it. The cocktails are excellently made here and the bartenders are friendly and are accommodating of the more unusual cocktail requests.

At this classy bar, get a classy cocktail and enjoy the relaxing vibes of this hip bar.

Drexl Oakland

3. Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon

Perhaps the bar that is most full of charm and character is Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. The exterior of the bar is a beauty and looks like it belongs in the days of the Wild West. This shack-looking bar has been in business since 1883 and serves up all the drinks you’d find at any regular bar.

If you have to visit just one bar in Oakland, treat yourself to a visit to Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon.

Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon

4. Cafe Van Kleef

Cafe Van Kleef is one of the more interesting dive bars in Oakland. There really is just so much to see in this bar that you wouldn’t see upon first glance. It’s not until you’ve ordered a few cocktails here when you start to notice random relics tucked away or a painting hidden off in the corner.

You’ll fit right in by ordering a Greyhound here, a mix of vodka and grapefruit juice.

Cafe Van Kleef Oakland

5. Fauna

Fauna is the little sister of next door restaurant, Flora, but this joint is all about the drinks. It might feel a bit weird to sip on a few cocktails while a few taxidermied animal heads stare directly at you, but it really just adds to the charm of this place.

Enjoy your favourite cocktail here and maybe don’t make eye contact with that deer head…

Fauna Oakland

6. Dogwood

Dogwood is a cozy bar where you’ll easily be able to chat it up with the locals that frequent this place. It can get a wee bit busy here and there are no reservations here so it’s first come, first serve. But, if a bit of crowded bar is your appetite, you’ll enjoy the lively atmosphere at Dogwood.

Come here with a few mates and enjoy a few beverages in this fun and vibrant bar in Oakland.

Dogwood Oakland

7. Plum Bar

Plum Bar brings the sophistication to this cozy bar with their vast array of classic poems splattered all over their walls. Aside from the literary-heavy decor, they make some fantastic cocktails here that will satisfy any and all libation cravings.

If you’re hungry too, try their Happy Meal, and while it doesn’t come with a cheap plastic toy, you get to choose from a few beers or bourbons instead!

Plum Bar

James Wan

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, James has always had an inquisitive nature and traveling is now his biggest passion. His biggest thrills are visiting places he's never been to and exploring different cultures. James counts Athens, Tokyo, and Rome as the top three places he's visited.

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