We are excited to tell you that This is Oakland — a gorgeous loveletter of a book to our East Bay metropolis — is now available for purchase. We want to thank co-creator Melissa Davis for sharing her favorites with us today. Melissa lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and three-year-old son, and runs the Oakland-based public relations agency Ruby Press.
Oakland has so many awesome places to take the kiddies. I'm going to guess you already know that Homeroom has the most insane mac-n-cheese EVER, that Children's Fairyland is the most magical, charming spot to play with your kids for hours, and that Fenton's Creamery has the BEST ice cream (which is made fresh, on the premises, right behind a glass wall, for the kids to see)?
Here are a couple of places you may not know of, that I hope you enjoy!
Slicer satisfies the kids and the parents. Piedmont Ave's Slicer sells pizza by the slice (duh!) or full pies, and these are East Bay style- meaning owner Colin Etezadi uses only humanely raised meats and seasonal, organic produce on his pizzas. Grab a plain cheese pizza and a few “Early Girl Tomato and Pancetta” slices and make everyone happy.
Find it: 4395 A Piedmont Avenue, Oakland or call 510-808-5424 | slicerpizzeria.com
Save the airfare and take your family on an authentic gondola ride- on Oakland's Lake Merritt! Gondola Servizio operates authentic Venetian gondolas and is sure to impress even the most jaded child. (Or adult.) Bonus: Age 5 and under ride free!
Find it: 1520 Lakeside Drive, Oakland or call 510-663-6603 | gondolaservizio.com?
We love Uptown's Donut Savant's donut holes. Bite size – or child size- and they come in a myriad of scrumptious flavors. Think “Oreo” and “Chocolate Dust” for the kids and “Thai Dust” or “Chocolate Bomb” (a chocolate donut hole filed with Irish whisky ganache topped with a Guinness and Bailey's glaze) for the over-21 crowd.
Find it: 1934 Broadway, Oakland or call 510-972-8268 | donutsavant.com
Oakland Museum of California
The perfect family “date night” in my eyes is Friday Nights at OMCA. Half price admission for adults, free for kids, and an evening of kid crafts, special programs, music, dancing, and food trucks. I've never been to a museum that manages to be this engaging, fun, and interesting for both kids and adults alike. (TIP: Plan to get to the food trucks right at 5:00 to beat the lines!)
Find it: 1000 Oak Street, Oakland or call 510-318-8400 | museumca.org
Beauty's Bagel Shop
I love that their bagel's aren't all pumped up on steroids- these are bagels the way they should be…bagel-sized, crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. But I'll be honest, there's something that my family craves even more then the bagels- it's their chocolate chip cookies! Trust me on this, we think they're the best in the city.
Find it: 3838 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland or call 510-788-6098 | beautysbagelshop.com
[Photos by Kristen Loken. All photos appear in the book and were provided by Melissa, all rights reserved]