Here's one thing less to worry about for your next getaway! This is my personal packing list that i use for a base for all my trips. Of course this will change dependin on your destination. Feel free to use, print and share! Safe travels!
Only a half hour car ride from San Francisco, Uptown is one of Oakland’s coolest neighborhood to explore! We took an Uber across the Bay Bridge and found ourselves in a place that has a great mix of entertainment, shopping and of course restaurants and bars. More and more tech companies are planning to make the move into the district, which will redefine what society thinks of the once dangerous city. Modern restaurants are already popping up and are here to stay. We got to experience Uptown Oakland with help from Edible Excursions. From tasty brews, donut holes and even fried grasshoppers, Oakland’s flavor palette is quite diverse. Here are seven stops we visited while walking through Uptown.
STOP ONE // WOODS BEER CO.
Our meet-up spot was Woods Beer Co., a small brewing company known for their bold craft beer and empanadas. We went around and introduced ourselves as we sat around the fire pit and sipped on our beer. We got to sample two beers, an IPA and an herbal pale. My new favorite drink is now Wood’s Local Honey! It was like aromatherapy in a cup, hints of lavender, eucalyptus, honey and mint made this brew simply amazing. We also got to try a full-size swiss chard empanada, perfectly flaky on the outside.
STOP TWO // ITANI RAMEN
Next, we walked over to Itani Ramen to taste some yummy appetizers. We all cheered with J Pop Grapefruit Sparkling Chu Hi, a malt beverage with about 6% alcohol content. It was refreshing and light! Next, we tried yaki pork and veggie gyozas, cooked to perfection. My favorite part of this stop comes next! We got to make our own spicy tuna hand rolls. Each ingredient was served on one platter, seaweed, nori, spicy tuna, and sushi rice.
STOP THREE // DONUT SAVANT
Time for some sweets! While walking to our next stop we paused in front of Donut Savant. Even though they were closed, our tour guide had a box of donut holes ready for us! This spot is popular in the morning as it’s conveniently located right in front of a BART stop station. We all got to try cinnamon sugar, vanilla glazed, chocolate frosted, and maple pecan donut holes.
STOP FOUR // CALAVERA
Our next stop was Calavera, an upscale Mexican restaurant with beautiful decor and big glass windows. Combined with the rebel spirit of Oakland, Calavera has a menu and various beverage pairings that make this place so unique. Here we got to try chicken tinga tacos, chips and guacamole and washed it down with some refreshing agua fresca. For the brave, adventurous foodies out there, we also got to try fried grasshoppers! The thought of eating it freaked me out, but I held my breath and just pooped it into my mouth. It was surprisingly tasty and crunchy like a sunflower seed.
STOP FIVE // SWEET BAR BAKERY
Next, we stopped by Sweet Bar Bakery, a flourishing bakery and cafe in the historic MacFarlane’s Candy and Ice Cream building. We got to meet Mani the baker and owner and listened to him talk about his shop and how it came to be in Uptown Oakland. We got to sip on local;y brewed coffee and taste one of their famous Sweet Bars.
STOP SIX // TWO MILE WINE
We walked over to Two Mile Wine after our coffee break. This cozy spot is shared with a print shop and art gallery. Our group got to taste three different wines and then one of their spirits. This spot had artsy decor like a vintage van and a floral print couch. It looks like a cool place to sip wine and catch up with friends!
STOP SEVEN // PLUM BAR
Our last stop was a Plum Bar, a small, sophisticated restaurant with ambient lighting and amazing drinks. If you take a moment to look around, you’ll notice that the wallpaper is made up of pages from a novel! Our first taste was a fruit infused vodka drink, a perfect way to cheers to our amazing Oakland tour. Next, we shared smoked deviled eggs and a spicy tofu rice bowl.
Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto is your one-stop for quality eats and local favorites. The area is pleasant to walk around, with lots of outdoor seating to enjoy your meals. Food is what the Gourmet Ghetto is all about, here farm-to-table philosophy shines! This area is known for sourcing their ingredients from local farms and keeping sustainable practices top priority. Come with me on Edible Excursions Gourmet Ghetto walking food tour. We got to try some sandwiches, cheers with some coffee and wine, taste some chocolate and many more! We were so full after, yes there are nine different stops.
STOP ONE // SAUL’S DELI
We gathered in one of the few Berkeley parklets in front of Saul’s Deli. Here we got to taste half of a pastrami sandwich and three different types of crunchy pickles! Our tour guide talked about the Jewish cuisine and we got to sip on refreshing celery soda, the perfect pairing to our yummy sandwiches! We also learned that they use Acme bread, a local favorite in the bay area.
STOP TWO // JUICE BAR COLLECTIVE
Our next stop was Juice Bar Collective, a tiny juice and baked goods shop that used to be the home of the famous Cheeseboard Collective. Our tour guide used to work there so she was very knowledgeable and passionate about the place. Here we got to taste their green juice which had organic kale, apple, banana and orange juice! A super healthy way to start the tour. This place is mainly a take-out since the storefront is small, but the juices and smoothies are perfect to take while you’re on the go! Other guests on the tour vouched for their amazing pies too!
STOP THREE // PEET’S COFFEE
It’s interesting that one of our stops is actually a chain. What makes this Peet’s special though is that it’s the very first establishment! It was built in 1966 and all the other stores were modeled after it. In the back area, they have a small museum showing Peet’s products throughout the years. Here we got to taste some dark roast coffee from a french press and chocolate covered cherries! There was also a large map showing where coffee beans come from.
STOP FOUR // SOOP
Our next stop was set in a little food court with a zen garden in the back. We stopped by Soop, a place that serves artisan soup and changes their menu weekly! We got to try a cup of vegan red lentil coconut and lemongrass soup while talking to the head chef. It’s perfect for the cold weather in NorCal.
STOP FIVE // ALEGIO CHOCOLATE
We walked over to Alegio for a chocolate tasting! We learned about the process of harvesting cocoa beans and making chocolate. We then got to taste different level of cocoa in chocolate. They advised not to chew the pieces, but to slowly let it melt in your mouth so you can taste all the flavor profiles and bitterness. There was a good amount of sampling and we left with great information about chocolate! They also have packaged chocolates that would make perfect gifts for family and friends.
STOP SIX // GREGOIRE’S
Next, we walked over to Gregoire’s, a converted garage known for their yummy potato puffs! There is limited seating inside on a bar facing the kitchen, it’s very welcoming and feels very homey. We got a full order of potato puffs for the group with aioli dipping sauce, they were so addicting, one was definitely not enough. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, absolutely magical.
STOP SEVEN // THE LOCAL BUTCHER SHOP
Our next stop was The Local Butcher Shop. Here they sell top quality, fresh, and local meat. We all got to taste half of their Sando of the Day which was Magruder Ranch Roast Beef with roast onion, pickled mushrooms, arugula, pecorino crisps, aioli, and of course, Acme bread. It was absolutely delicious bite after bite. One of the owners came out to talk about their company and what their meat is all about!
STOP EIGHT // CHEESEBOARD PIZZERIA
One of the most popular eateries in Gourmet Ghetto is Cheeseboard Pizzeria. The line was out the door! They change their pizza daily so when you visit you can only try one flavor. The best part is that they only create vegetarian pizzas, so it caters to everyone. We ordered a whole corn pizza for our tour group. The thin crust was perfect! Who knew corn and cheese was such an amazing combo.
STOP NINE // VINTAGE BERKELEY
Our last stop was a little wine shop. Here we got to taste some wine and browse their bottles for sale. Each wine had tags where you can read about where the wine came from and other information. The wine was crisp and refreshing a perfect way to end the tour. We all cheered and said our goodbyes.