Shop, Play, and Eat on and off Telegraph
Find local themed brews, antiques, African and spiritual curio shops, and more along this Telegraph Avenue corridor in Oakland.
Find interesting items at Mixed Pickles Antiques.
Photo by Lance Yamamoto
Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue attracts multi-ethnic families, hipsters, and tourists alike who come to the popular area for newly inked tattoos, glamorous nails and hairdos, delicious eats and drinks, shopping — or just plain hanging out. While the area’s Temescal Alley is a well-documented attraction, visitors on and off this stretch of Telegraph can find African textiles, family-friendly brewpubs, herbal tinctures, sage, crystals, and books on mysticism and Eastern philosophy.
Near Alcatraz and Telegraph, this area houses an Ethiopian concentration of eateries and shops. Affordable African-themed Albo African Gift Shop offers great deals on authentic shea butter, textiles, Ethiopian-themed coffee sets, assorted beaded bracelets, hand-carved African figurines, and colorful full-body dresses and pants. 6421 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-428-2526.
Stop at Mixed Pickles Antiques to suss out rare and ever-changing sets of odds and ends for your curio shelf. It’s a great place to buy gifts for pals who have everything. A sampling ranges from mini-shot glasses at $5 to tiny matchboxes, teeny Bibles, razor cases, dolls, glass ware, necklaces, paintings, and extremely vintage clothing. 6395 Telegraph Ave., 510-541-169, MixedPicklesVintage.blogspot.com, MixedPicklesHome.com.
Sagrada Sacred Arts is a spiritual curio shop in which seekers can explore religious tchotchkes and Eastern philosophy books on Buddhism, Taoism, or the Dalai Lama while stocking up on sage ($6), palo santo ($11.95 for seven sticks), crystals, and healing stones. Other treasures include an onyx raven ($35) and ceremonial rattles from Peru, a Mexican abalone shell ($14.95) for holding sage, and beautiful blessing feathers for rituals or prayers at home. 4926 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-653-7196, Sagrada.com.
Homestead Apothecary specializes in herbal medicine, but this delightful store could become your new staple for colorful chest-warming teas as well as lung- and allergy-healing tinctures. Not only does the shop carry beautiful, Oakland-curated teas, including “Unwind the Mind” (skullcap, nettle, lemon balm), “Sweet Dreams” (California poppy, hops, mugwort, lavender, rose) and “Stress Finesse” (rose petals, lemon balm, and peppermint) for $9.50 a bottle, it also offers indie teas from North Ashland such as “Peace Cloud” and “Psychic Eye” for channeling dream visions. Bulk herbs — such as licorice, lavender, or smoking mullein mixes — can be purchased by the ounce to create combos. Homestead also sells cookbooks, mushroom mixes, stones, and gift cards. 486 49th St., #C, Oakland, 510-541-522, HomesteadApothecary.com.
If you’re tired of the same old mani, book something new and exciting at Fig & Clover. If you’re into super-cute nail extensions — including hand-selected unique nail art your friends, family, and co-workers will ooh and aah over — without the fingernail ruin, this cozy, private space feels like a friend’s living room. The menu can be a bit cumbersome, so keep it simple with the Gel X from Apres durable extensions at $65 for 90 minutes, advertised to last two to four weeks. When you book, add an hour of nail art so that you can individualize with press-on cat stickers, sparkle magic, multi-colored nails, shattered glass, or even unicorn themes. Check out ideas on Instagram for inspiration, or work it out with your stylist who will help you figure out what matches your ensemble, necklace, party, or new daring look. You do you! (Nail tech Melody Sage and her co-workers fill up, so book available slots quickly.) 4928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-788-6378, FigAndClover.com.
Interface Art Gallery is a local indie art gallery where proceeds from each show directly support the artists. Showings are created from local, national, and international artists. The gallery regularly offers financial support to emerging artists and produces interdisciplinary programming to create artistic dialogue in the community. February features mixed-media work by Norway’s Prosjektrom Normanns Gallery. 486 49th St., Oakland, 415-990-8028, InterfaceArtGallery.com.
In a storefront walk-up, you’ll find a tiny black sign with white lettering for Square One Yoga Collective, which has been serving the Bay Area with sliding-scale community-centered yoga classes since the first storefront in Emeryville was opened by owner Katy Cryer. The Temescal location is committed to making yoga accessible to the community by keeping prices low, offering work-trade scholarships, and maintaining a healthy, unpretentious environment. An offer of $39 for 30 days is suggested for new students, so without cost guilt, newbies can sample the available classes held almost every day of the week. Classes focus on mindful, meditative, moderate, and kundalini flows to help you get centered. 4689 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, SquareOneYoga.com.
Temescal boasts two newish brewpubs, each with its own flavor and spirit. At Temescal Brewing Company, a large outdoor seating area with heat lamps for cold February nights makes it an ideal place for a large group. Order a la carte first at the bar, choosing from a selection of self-made brews including the Temescal Pils or the 11:59, a bubbly fruity brut IPA; a few kombuchas are available on tap, too. Bring in your own outside food, the entire family, even your well-behaved dog. In the evenings, different local street food and pop-ups serve items. 4115 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, 510-899-5628, TemescalBrewing.com.
Roses’ Taproom, a cozy place founded by NYC transplants and husband-and-wife team, Luke Janson and Hillary Rose Huffard. Sit inside at the cozy blue-tiled bar and snack on small plates of tinned Spanish and Portuguese sardines in olive oil or tomato sauce with lemon and Aleppo pepper ($10/$11), marinated Castelvetrano and Cerignola olives ($4), and Marcona almonds ($4). Try authentic brews, such as the dry bitter Hell Cat West Coast IPA with hints of pineapple, sage, ruby red grapefruit, and candied orange peel, or go for the clean-yet-bitter Blonde Sapphire tasting of honeyed green tea and lemongrass. 4930 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-858-3969, RosesTaproom.com.
For something entirely exciting, pop into Seoul Gomtang for authentic Korean barbecue that tastes like what you would get in Seoul. Try the jin man doo steamed dumpling ($7.95) as an appetizer followed by the gimchee soon doo bu, a mild-hot soup brimming with soft tofu and kimchee ($8.95), or perhaps bi bim bap ($8.95). 3801 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-597-9989, Seoul-Gomtang.com.