It’s Friday night and your favorite band is playing a show at downtown Oakland’s historic concert venue, The Fox. However, you forgot one small detail, where should you and your friends meet before the show? Concerts never start on time, ever, and you need a comfortable place to talk before the booming speakers fill your ears. With the plethora of restaurants and bars popping up in Uptown Oakland, it’s hard to figure out which one works for your group or what place impress you date. Here’s my list of restaurants and bars to check out before a show at the Fox:
The walk might not be ideal on a colder night, but it’s well worth it. The atmosphere at Drake’s will get you ready for a night of music – it’s lively, energetic, and hip. With outdoor seating that’s perfect for groups, good beer, and food, you’ll probably want to come back here even when there’s no show on the agenda!
Maybe you’re bringing two groups of friends together that don’t know each other well and you need an activity to break the ice. Make Westing is the perfect place for people to get to know each other over a friendly game of bocce ball and beers. It’s minutes from The Fox, has a great drink selection, happy hour, a variety of gourmet bites, and is open late enough to be a nightcap after the show.
For the person that’s always late and unprepared, check out Xolo before the Fox. It’s quick, only across the street, and the tacos are delicious. If you’re feeling really rock n’ roll, order the “Danger Dog”, a Mexican-style bacon wrapped hotdog. This fast casual “mission-style” taqueria is part of the Dona Tomas group of restaurants, so you know it’ll be tasty.
For the boujee couple looking for a stylish, unique, and tasty cocktail bar, this is your spot. The walls are papered in poppies and the seats are intimate and dark, this bar will impress any inspiring influencer and make sure you are fully hydrated in time for your show.
Shinmai is one of the newer additions to Oakland’s Uptown restaurant scene, and man am I happy they opened. The restaurant serves modern izakaya fare and ramen in a sleek, dark, and minimalist interior with a small bar and lounge area. Shinmai is so chic and exclusive feeling, that it can be hard to find the entrance because of their lack of external signage. If you have time for a nice, sit down dinner before a concert, this place can’t be beat.
For more of the best food in the East Bay follow @eastbayeats on Instagram.
Ollie Ramsey loves to eat. Her passion for food extends into her career as a marketing professional in the packaged food industry. She loves to explore Bay Area restaurants and shares the fruits of her finds on her Instagram account, @EastBayEats.