G. Garvin's Oakland Travel Tips

By: G. Garvin

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Oakland, Calif., is an incredible city that keeps growing by the year. Numbers of young professionals are heading to this part of the bay, giving reason to great restaurants popping up. If you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to check out Jack London Square for great places to eat.

Souley Vegan

When most people think of soul food, they definitely don’t think vegan. That’s what I love about this place. It delivers great Southern classics like black-eyed peas and fried okra, but it's the Southern fried tofu sandwich that gives this spot a unique twist. You may even find a celebrity strolling in to grab lunch.


If you’re up town, Picán is a great stop for some extravagant Southern food. All of the meat and fish is cooked to perfection, and the atmosphere makes it a great date spot. For the full Southern experience, order a drink off of the large bourbon menu.

The Alley

When I visit a city, I love to find the spots where the locals hang out. The Alley is a piano bar with a lot of personality, where the crowds sing along to the music. It’s a great place to meet interesting people.

Pietisserie (pictured above)

I just had to share Jaynelle St. Jean’s pie spot with everyone because she’s doing something far more unique and special than your typical cupcakes. Her pies are made completely from scratch and change with the seasons. If you’re in Jack London Square, make sure you hit up her bakery . If you’re on the go, try one of her two-bite pies.

Chop Bar

I loved the neighborhood feel of Chop Bar. It opens early to serve breakfast and coffee, and it closes late, after serving up some wine on tap. It’s the perfect place for both locals and visitors alike to come together and eat some great American classics.

Savor Oakland Food Tours

Food tours are a great way to get a feel of a city. Carlo and his wife, Geneva, showed me a great time by taking me to Bocanova, Home of Chicken & Waffles, and Urban Legend Cellars. I’d recommend the tour to anyone looking for a taste of the diversity in the up-and-coming Jack London Square in Oakland.

Tune in to a new episode of Road Trip with G. Garvin G. Garvin tonight at 9pm | 8c to watch G. hit the best Southern food in Oakland.

Recipes in this episode:


So Much Pretty Food Here