All Posts

Spend the Day at Lake Merritt

A woman crossing the street with a shopping bag

The Oakland neighborhood is loved by many for a variety of reasons, but Lake Merritt continues to be its crown jewel. This unique fresh and salt-water lake is the largest to be found in any urban area across the country. As impressive as that is, the community surrounding the lake is what draws visitors and residents alike to the area.

Those living on Fourth Street East, Oakland, are right next door to this communal oasis. Here’s how to make the most of a day off on the lake.

Getting to Know the Area

The neighborhood surrounding Lake Merritt is highly diverse in both culture and lifestyle. On any given day, you can find those who enjoy both the leisurely and active amenities the lake offers. Families pack supplies for sunny picnics, rowing crew teams forge across the waters, and others enjoy the shopping and dining found in the surrounding area.

Despite being so diverse, the residents of Oakland form a tight knit community. This is an area where sharing barbeque sauce in the grilling area is an afterthought, and strangers politely greet one another while passing by. Altogether, this identity lends itself to the vibrancy of Lake Merritt’s surrounding amenities.

Fueling Up on Caffeine

California and quality coffee are inseparable. As you might expect, there are dozens of fantastic outlets to grab a piping hot cup of joe. In particular, there are two places that anyone new to the area should try first.

Haddon Hill Café comes complete with small business charm and a laid-back atmosphere. The shop is owned by two brothers, each of whom knows how to make a guest feel welcomed. This is an excellent spot to start your day off slowly, taking time to enjoy the culture that Oakland offers.

Arizmendi is the second location, which doubles as a bakery and happens to be a Bay Area favorite. They feature a pizza of the day along with a variety of outstanding baked goods to complement their out-of-this-world coffee selection. If you stop in on a Sunday, make sure to try their fresh frosted cinnamon rolls.

Activities, Events, and Shops

Like most Oaklanders, the weekend is a reprieve from a hectic work week. That’s why every Saturday you can find farmer’s markets lining the streets. This is where you can stock up on fresh, local produce while mingling with residents in the area. Thanks to the ample amount of food trucks, you can also grab a bite to eat while basking in the sun by the lake.

If Friday is you fun-day, then head to Off the Grid. This food truck event takes place at the Oakland Museum of California every Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy your dinner with live music, dancing, and half-off entrance to the museum galleries.

Ultimate shopping stops include Urban Indigo, Walden Pond Bookstore, and Halmoni Vintage. Halmoni features a variety of vintage stylings and hosts body-positive events where women in the area come together for a good time and clothing swaps. Urban Indigo is where you can find jewelry, home good, and more from independent designers.

Walden Pond Bookstore has been here since the 1970’s, and still draws in crowds of all ages. They feature a massive selection of new and used books, which you can either purchase or read in the gathering area.

Last, but not least, there’s the Grand Lake Theater. Often considered the “crown jewel” of the lake, this building boasts its original design from the 1930’s for a time travel-like experience when catching the latest flick. Its décor includes old-school movie cameras alongside classic reels that add to the experience.

Food and Drink

While you can always pack a picnic or grill on the open green spaces, there are numerous places to satisfy both your thirst and appetite around the lake. Boot & Shoe Service remains one of the most popular dinner spots in all of Oakland thanks to its inviting atmosphere and unique pizza menu.

Once the home of a shoe cobbler, the interior now features candlelit tables and an open kitchen where cooks churn out artisan pizzas like their popular sausage and arugula pie. They also feature a fantastic drink menu with perfectly blended cocktails. If you plan on eating here, make sure to arrive early. There are no reservations, and the dinner rush is massive.

House of Curries is another popular eatery, featuring authentic Indian cuisines and amazing chai. For Mediterranean inspired dishes, check out the Sidebar. They serve the area’s best seafood and masterfully crafted cocktails from their copper bar.

For a mid-day meal, give Portal a try. This beer garden on 2nd Avenue offers patrons a gorgeous patio to enjoy the California sunshine, mini-burgers, and interesting eats like fried brussels sprouts. There’s also a giant game of Jenga set up in the middle of the patio.

Finally, there’s the New Easy. While it might look like a dive bar from the outside, the interior is a fully furnished sports bar with modern finishes. You can order a number of local favorites here, but the gin and tonics are a crowd pleaser.

Fourth Street East, Oakland

All of these fantastic amenities comprise the Lake Merritt area, making a day spent here one of the highlights of living in Oakland. From your home on Fourth Street East, the lake is just a short walk away through this vibrant neighborhood.

These apartment homes place the excitement of downtown and the serenity of a waterfront neighborhood right outside your door. Located in a premier Bay Area destination, residents are minutes away from Lake Merritt as well as the Ferry Terminal and BART for easy access across the bay to San Francisco.

Fourth Street East serves as your middle ground between work and play while offering the comforts of modern living when at home. A host of amenities cater to a variety of lifestyles, while modern furnishings leave residents wanting for nothing. We invite you to experience the best that the Bay Area has to offer in homes that redefine luxury living. Welcome to Fourth Street East.