This is where nightlife and cutting-edge art happens in Oakland, along the formerly gritty, currently crazy-cool Telegraph Avenue/Broadway corridor north of downtown. Dozens of galleries cluster around Telegraph, showing everything from photography and video installations to glasswork and textile arts. On the first Friday of the month, thousands descend for the neighborhood's biggest happening, the gallery walk Art Murmur (oaklandartmurmur.org). In addition
to galleries open late, Art Murmur has expanded into First Friday, a veritable festival featuring food trucks, street vendors, and live music along Telegraph Avenue. Less raucous and more intimate is the Saturday Stroll, with 17 galleries and eight mixed-use venues open on Saturday from 1 to 5, often with special events.
Lively restaurants with a distinctly urban vibe make the neighborhood a dining destination; favorites include friendly Luka's Taproom and Lounge (2221 Broadway); beautiful art-deco Flora (1900 Telegraph Ave.), one of the best brunch places in town; trendy, graffiti-walled Hawker Fare (2300 Webster St.), serving Asian street food; elegant Picán (2295 Broadway), for upscale Southern comfort food; and the sophisticated Plum (2214 Broadway) and its attached bar, just to name a few.
Toss in the bevy of bars, and there's plenty within walking distance to keep you busy for an entire evening: Cafe Van Kleef (1621 Telegraph Ave.), the friendly jumble that started it all Uptown; Bar Three Fifty-Five (355 19th St.), a house of great cocktails; strikingly beautiful but low-key Dogwood (1644 Telegraph Ave.), which has tasty nibbles; and Somar (1727 Telegraph Ave.), a bar, music lounge, and gallery in one. Uptown's shopping element hasn't yet gelled, making this more of an evening destination. The Paramount Theatre, the Fox Theater, and other late-art-deco architectural gems distinguish this neighborhood.
Telegraph Ave. and Broadway from 16th to 26th Sts., Oakland, California, 94612, United States