A Day in Oakland’s Temescal Neighborhood

Photo of Aubrey Douglass
7 January 2017

Located in North Oakland, the urban neighborhood of Temescal is one of the oldest districts in the city. Although primarily residential, its commercial heart has grown substantially on Telegraph Avenue and 40th Street attracting visitors from all over the Bay Area.

Temescal | © pengrin/Flickr

Temescal’s boundaries have ebbed and flowed throughout the years, but it is roughly located between Broadway and Martin Luther King Jr. Way as well as between 55th and 40th streets. Named after the once visible Temescal Creek, this Oakland neighborhood is characterized by its low slung bungalows and its central district on Telegraph Avenue.

The neighborhood is easy to explore on foot or by bike and is located in close proximity to both MacArthur and Rockridge BART stations. These factors along with its central location have made Temescal a much-desired part of Oakland to live in and explore. With its many commercial streets this neighborhood has it all from interesting shops to breakfast and dinner.

Check out restaurants such as Café Underwood, a newly established restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. This eatery located on 41st Street right off of Broadway serves American style locally sourced meals, snacks as well as coffee and is the perfect place to grab a morning bite while catching up on some work. With free wifi and a laptop friendly atmosphere, this place is perfect to start your day whether for work or pleasure.

Underwood Cafe | ©navarrd/flickr

However if you’re just craving a sweet morning bite, Doughnut Dolly is the place for you. Located in one of Temescal’s pedestrian walkways, Alley 49, Doughnut Dolly serves hand filled delicious doughnuts customized to the customers’ liking. The quaint eatery offers two types of doughnuts, granulated sugar and powdered sugar, as well as four types of crème. Grab a seat outside or take it to go as you walk along the unusual alley.

Located off of Telegraph Avenue, Temescal is home to two pedestrian alleys lined with small locally owned stores and artisan workshops. Temescal Alley and Alley 49 are comprised of eighteen specialty shops. These picturesque walkways contain architecture from the early 20th century, with some renovated structures that formerly served as horse stalls. This community of small businesses has become an artsy destination where customers can stroll along and pop in for unique items.

Temescal Alley | © Susie Wyshak/flickr

Explore Temescal Alley on a sunny afternoon and check out unique stores such as Ali Golden, a boutique selling handmade clothes from the Bay Area, and Crimson Hort, a store specializing in horticulture. This walkway is also home to the Temescal Alley Barbershop if you’re so inclined to get a quick trim. It’s walk-ins only so stopping in on a whim is highly encouraged. Lastly grab a coffee from the Cro Café, which serves espresso and handmade drip coffee.

Once the sun starts to go down, head to Telegraph Avenue to choose amongst your dinner options. This restaurant destination of Oakland has been said to rival Berkeley’s well-known Gourmet Ghetto. One of the first and most notable restaurants located on this stretch is Doña Tomas, which serves colorful Mexican cuisine with a modern twist complete with outdoor seating in courtyard-like patio. A second and equally praised eatery along Telegraph Avenue is Pizzaiolo. This wood fired pizza spot serves thin crust with an ever-changing menu. Complete with its wooden decor and high ceilings, this restaurant is both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing.

Done Tomas | © _e.t./Flickr

Finally to cap off a night, head to the edge of this Oakland neighborhood along 40th Street to The Hog’s Apothecary for a modern beer hall experience. This new spot is a great place to enjoy local craft beer and maybe even enjoy a second dinner. Serving dinner until 10pm everyday and 27 pints on draft, this American beer hall is the perfect end to your day in trendy Temescal.

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