In the first of an irregular series, your Bay Area Local Expert profiles a Bay Area neighborhood that’s just off the beaten path.
For this inaugural Neighborhood in Profile, I’ve chosen a neighborhood that really stands out, both for its character and for its accessibility. The Rockridge district of Oakland definitely isn’t on most Bay Area tourists’ radar, but it is convenient to all the things that are. Just take BART to the Rockridge stop in Oakland. Once you hop off, strolling either direction on College Ave leads to blocks of restaurants, bars, clever locally owned boutiques, day spas, salons and other pampering options, and much more all beneath a lovely sun-dappled canopy of oak and redwood trees.
Spread out along College between the California College of the Arts to the south and Alcatraz Avenue to the north, this pleasant street for strolling rewards window shoppers, foodies, and those towing, or pushing, the kids. Local favorites include Soi 4 for delicious upscale Thai food, Child’s Play for a local toy shop with delights for kids of every age (you’ve never seen so many Lego varieties in one shop), and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Parlor for sweet treats right next door to this famous brand’s corporate offices.
For the cream of the Rockridge crop though, stop at Zachary’s Pizza. If you’re from Chicago, and the pizza was the only thing keeping you from finally saying enough to those -10 degree winter days, this place settles it. You’re moving to California. A deep dish pie this good would make Harry Caray weep.
Many more delicious, fun and interesting attractions await in Rockridge. Check it out. It’s only a BART ride away.