Photography By: Christopher Stites

Here’s 9 Reasons Y Millennials Are Flocking to Downtown Oakland

You Don’t Know the Bay Until You’ve Crossed These Off Your List

Written By: Michelle Jaco
Photography Provided By: Marc Szabo Studios, Inc.

No generation has seemingly been studied quite as much as millennials—and understandably so. Complex, expressive, social, connected—these are only some of the characteristics of the average Gen Y’er. And true to form, when it comes to unity, millennials gravitate toward the concept. So, it would only be fitting that where they choose to take up residency exemplifies just that—a sense of community.

After undergoing a newfound cultural renaissance, Downtown Oakland is now home to creatives and visionaries alike, encompassed by vibrant venues and unique eateries. Joining the eclectic mix, 19th & Harrison (opening in May) is the latest addition to the lively East Bay scene. Located just a few minutes away from beautiful Lake Merritt, 19th & Harrison apartments offer residents easy access to Michelin-starred restaurants, funky boutiques, plenty of artistic scenery and hip workspaces. Other notable amenities include, a rooftop lounge with a BBQ and outdoor TV, a “DIY” maker space to meet the needs of crafters and artists and a dog spa with wash bays, blow dryers and grooming stations!

So whether you’re in the market to relocate or simply want to venture out into a new neck of the woods, we have a preview of what a day in the life of Downtown Oakland would entail.

7:30 a.m. | Morning Coffee Run From Slojoy Coffee Roasters

Kick-start your morning with a cup of locally roasted coffee. Operating from a single walk-up window and complemented by decorative wall murals, this quaint coffee shop serves delicious java that is served with handwritten notes on the paper cups. “Live with hope” or “Take a chance today” are some examples of the words of encouragement that adorn the adorable cups.

Slojoy Coffee Roasters
1528 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94612

8:30 a.m. | Get a Stretch in With Barefoot Movement Yoga

Stimulate your mind and relax your senses in this light-filled urban nest overlooking the beautiful city. Known to promote flexibility and build strength while also working as a natural energy booster, Barefoot’s yoga classes are tailored for all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Barefoot Movement Yoga
1635 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

11:00 a.m. | Take in Some Culture at the Oakland Museum of California

In an effort to celebrate the many facets of California through art, history and natural sciences, OMCA is comprised of more than 1.9 million objects, including seminal artworks, historical artifacts, ethnographic objects, natural specimens and photographs. Here, you will discover California’s past, experience the present and forecast its future.

Native Knowledge: OMCA nurtures its deep ties to the community by offering educational and outreach programs like the All In! campaign

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St
Oakland, CA 94607


1:00 p.m. | Break for Lunch at Homeroom What to Do Downtown Oakland

With over 15 different types of mac and cheese to choose from, such as the wildly favorite Garlic Gilroy (prepared with creamy gouda, salty Italian pecorino cheese and topped with the perfect amount of garlic), you can’t go wrong at Homeroom for lunch. It’s comfort food 101.

Native Knowledge: Before founding Homeroom, owner Erin Wade found inspiration for the mac and cheese concept when she got a craving one evening and couldn’t find a local spot that served her beloved childhood dish.

400 40th St
Oakland, CA 94609


2:30 p.m. | Quick Pitstop at Drake’s Dealership What to Do Downtown Oakland

Located on Oakland’s historic Broadway Auto Row, Drake’s occupies a former Dodge dealership. The classic building, comprised of repurposed wood and steel from its existing structure, comes fully equipped with a beer garden, serving 32 fresh beers on tap, as well as a full-service restaurant that features locally sourced and farm-fresh ingredients.

Native Knowledge: Drake’s offers guided tours, educating visitors on the history of the brewery and the production process by trained Beer Educators. Tours are available on Saturdays by appointment only. Email [email protected] to book your spot.

Drake’s Dealership
2325 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612


4:00 p.m. | Walk It Off in the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

Discover this hidden horticultural gem in the heart of the city. Spanning seven plush acres, the Gardens serve as a place of tranquility for patrons to take a nice afternoon stroll.

Native Knowledge: Most locals may be familiar with the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) but have yet to give this speedy form of transportation a try. Well, the BART is the perfect solution for traveling in and around the whole San Francisco Bay Area—downtown offices, shopping centers, attractions and entertainment venues—you name it. 

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt
666 Bellevue Ave
Oakland, CA 94610


5:00 p.m. | Pregame at District Oak What to Do Downtown Oakland

Serving one of Oakland’s most extensive wine and whiskey selections, District offers a unique tasting experience that can be enjoyed in a lively and communal setting. With 60 premium whiskeys and 40 wines by the glass to choose from, the drink selection consists of high-quality and unique worldly labels. District also offers a broad selection of other libations and beers. For the best experience, take advantage of happy hour from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5-7 p.m. on Saturday.

827 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607


7:00 p.m. | Dine in at Forge Pizza What to Do Downtown Oakland

With locally sourced and organic-based ingredients of the highest quality, Forge is known for some of the best Neapolitan-style pizza in the city.  Stacked with cheesy goodness and surrounded in savory flavor atop a perfectly charred crust, Forge makes a pizza like no other. Their imported Italian Valoriani wood-fired oven is the secret weapon, and the proof is in the taste.

66 Franklin St, Ste 100
Oakland, CA 94607


9:00 p.m. | Showtime at the Fox Theatre What to Do Downtown Oakland

Since undergoing $75 million in renovations, this 1928 landmark is now a desired destination for touring musical artists. Not only is this architectural masterpiece a great spot for a show (its state-of-the-art Meyer sound system makes the experience ever so sonically pleasing to the ears), but it’s a wonderful place for an all-around good time. Enjoy gourmet food and specialty cocktails in the theater’s premier lounge, The Den.

Native knowledge: The Fox Theatre is proud to support the arts movement by working as a permanent home for the Oakland School of the Arts—ranked among the top five of public secondary performing schools in Oakland.

Fox Theatre
1807 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612

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