When visiting San Francisco use this Travel Guide to find your way to these awesome bars in nearby Oakland. Go pub crawling or just pick one and enjoy some authentic atmosphere.
1. Heinhold's First and Last Chance
Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon opened in July of 1884, and is located in Jack London Square, Oakland California. Since then, patrons from all walks of life have been enjoying our spirits and tastefully abrasive atmosphere.
The Saloon’s interior, itself a montage of America’s past, reflects events from Vietnam, World War Two, Prohibition, and even World War One. The cozy inside-seating and bar is complimented by a lovely outdoor patio with more seating for patrons. You can enjoy your drinks in the sun while watching the boats go up and down the estuary.
2. Ye Olde Hut
The Tudor-looking bar on College Avenue in Rockridge exudes charm – assuming you’d count cheap beer, ping-pong tables, and poorly placed restrooms among your preferred items list. Not much is known about the Hut’s history beyond its previous incarnation as a meeting hall around the turn of the century. Built around 1912 by Morris & Muller Company. Nothing of the original façade is visible, but patrons can see the initial building’s framing inside.
Link to Ye Olde Hut and location: 5515 College Ave, Oakland
3. The Kingfish Pub & Cafe
opened in 1922 as a bait shop for fishermen heading to the delta, and was one of the few bars outside a dry zone near UC Berkeley. Not much has changed at the Fish since, beyond the price of drinks (and those remain very reasonable). Try to snag a table or a bench – which were reclaimed from Memorial Stadium during renovations in 1923 – and spend the afternoon watching the A’s or Warriors. If sports aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of free popcorn, shuffleboard, a dangerous fish punch, and enough beer to make you rally for the home team. A battle to demolish the Fish has gone on for years, but its owners are now attempting to move the historic building a few blocks away to make room for condominiums.
4. The Alley Piano Bar & Restaurant
Walk past the chichi bars and restaurants on Grand Avenue and take a step back in time at the Alley, one of Oakland’s few remaining piano bars (don’t you wish you lived in a time where there were a plethora of piano bars?). Established in 1933, the bar looks like a Disney shantytown with exposed wooden beams, clotheslines, and business cards strewn all over. While all bars have regulars, no one comes as often as Rod Dibble – the octogenarian who has been tickling the ivories and singing at the Alley for more than 50 years.
5. The White Horse Bar
An otherwise unassuming bar, the White Horse holds the honor of being the oldest gay bar in the nation with 81 years of continuous operation. Unlike other Bay Area LGBT bars that were regularly shut down through 1971, the White Horse was never raided. To this day the bar has a good mix of men and women with a low-key vibe that isn’t raunchy or heavy on the cruising (though babes abound). There’s usually dancing or a performance in the back room, which boasts its own bar, and a couple nights of karaoke.
Link to White Horse and location: 6551 Telegraph Ave., Oakland