In this post we will be breaking down drinking at the best bars in Oakland. Whether you are looking for a tall glass of beer, a shot of vodka, to buy cheaper liquor during drink specials, or just to sing some karaoke hopefully we can assist.
Our first section will cover the best wine and cocktail bars in Oakland. Up next we will get into breweries and sports bars where you can watch the big game or maybe play some pool and throw some darts.
Then we will mention some of the best drink specials near you so you can hit up the right bars at the right times to do your drinking cheaper. After that we will discuss bars with trivia, quiz, and/or game nights in your area.
Lastly we will talk about bars for dancing, karaoke, and to listen to live music. Towards the end there will even be a local bar map that pins all of the spots from our various lists on it.
And if you want to compare the scene here to others cities around the Pacific Northwest you can do so at that link.
Cocktail & Wine Bars
Some of the top cocktail and wine bars in Oakland are:
- District Oakland at 827 Washington St
- The Punchdown at 1737 Bdwy
- Perle Wine Bar & Restaurnat at 2058 Mountain Blvd
- Ordinaire Wine Shop & Wine Bar at 3354 Grand Ave
- Binny’s Cocktail Bar & Restaurant at 532 8th St
- Runway Spirits Cocktail Bar at 2505 Monarch St, Alameda
- The Preacher’s Daughter at 1629 Park St, Alameda
- Swell Bar at 1539 Lincoln Ave, Alameda
- Beta Lounge at 2129 Durant Ave, Berkeley
- Wine So Cru at 800 University Ave, Berkeley
- Branch Line Bar at 5885 Hollis St #25, Emeryville
District Oakland serves handcrafted seasonal cocktails, wine and whiskey selections, and globally inspired shareable plates.
You can visitThe Punchdown from 3pm to 9pm Sunday through Thursday and 12pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday for indoor and outdoor dining as well as retail bottle sales and a special hour pairing that is available until 6pm.
An extensive wine list and French-inspired cuisine can be found at Perle Wine Bar & Restaurant where cocktails and beer are also both served.
Ordinaire is a neighborhood wine shop and wine bar in your area that is open daily from 12pm to 10pm and specializes in natural wines from Europe and California.
Binny’s Cocktail Bar & Restaurant offers a curated menu of original and classic cocktails as well as shareable plates of simple veritable bites.
Unique cocktails like the Ode to Rosé and the Honeycomb Mule are served at Runway Spirits Cocktail Bar in Alameda who also has a bottle shop that sells various vodkas.
The Preacher’s Daughter is a full-service cafe with indoor and outdoor patio seating serving a variety of wine, coffee, and fresh food with local drink specials running on weekdays from 3pm to 6pm.
Swell Bar serves signature cocktails and plenty of beers on tap every day from 2pm to 2am.
Expect to find 8 rotating craft beers, a selection of whiskies, vodkas, tequilas, mescal’s, wines, and cocktails at Beta Lounge who offers happy hours in Berkeley from 3pm to 5:30pm.
Wine So Cru provides a handpicked range of wines by the glass or bottle from all over the world and every Tuesday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm you can save money when they offer $2 off wine by the glass.
A large selection of great food, cocktails, and wine can be enjoyed at Branch Line Bar in Emeryville who has happy hours from 4pm to 6pm.
Oakland Breweries & Sports Bars
Sample new suds and watch the big game with your friends at the best local breweries and sports bars:
- Diamonds Sports Bar & Grill at 77 Hegenberger Rd
- Fort Green at 736 Washington St
- Line 51 Brewing Company at 303 Castro St
- The Athletic Club Oakland at 59 Grand Ave
- Grand Oaks at 3701 Grand Ave
- Faction Brewing at 2501 Monarch St, Alameda
- The Rake at Admiral Maltings at 651A W Tower Ave, Alameda
- Triple Rock Brewing at 1920 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
- Hoi Polloi Brewing Taproom & Beat Lounge at 1763 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley
- Hometown Heroes Sports Bar & Eatery at 4000 Adeline St, Emeryville
- Cafe Rack at 5768 Peladeau St, Emeryville
Diamonds Sports Bar & Grill has multiple 42″ flat screen televisions to watch your favorite team play as well as mouthwatering pub-style offerings and some great drink specials from 4pm to 7pm that includes half off appetizers and draft beers.
Cold draft beer, wine, and rotating signature cocktails as well as a wide range of spirits can be found at Fort Green where you can watch any game on their big screen TV’s or play your own with their many board games, shuffleboard table, and hoops fever.
Line 51 Brewing Company has 12 wonderful draft beers and has been one of the best breweries and sports bars in Oakland for over a decade.
The Athletic Club is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 12am and offers 12 draft beer options as well as a bottle and can selection.
There is a 20-barrel brew house at Faction Brewing which produces a wide variety of lagers, stouts, Belgian style beers, barrel aged beers, and the occasional sour.
The Rake at Admiral Maltings serves 21 draft beers as well as cocktails, wines, and spirits in Alameda.
A wide variety of fresh home brewed beers near you as well as small plates and big bites can be enjoyed at Triple Rock Brewing in Berkeley starting at 12pm every day except on Monday when they are closed.
Hoi Polloi Brewing Taproom & Beat serves high-quality locally brewed craft beer as well as a rotating selection of west coast ciders.
Cafe Rack is a fun sports bar in Emeryville with a pool hall that combines premium beers and shots, good food, team games, major league sports, and a cool vibe with daily alcoholic drink specials from 5pm to 6pm.
Local Drink Specials
Visit these bars with drink specials near you to buy cheaper alcohol and your wallet will thank you:
- Aloha Club at 952 Fruitvale Ave
- The Hatch Oakland at 402 15th St
- Blind Tiger at 2600 Telegraph Ave
- The Double Standard at 2424 Telegraph Ave
- The Libertine at 3332 Grand Ave
- McGee’s at 1645 Park St, Alameda
- Monkey King Pub & Grub at 1315 Park St, Alameda
- Tupper & Reed at 2271 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
- Townhouse at 5862 Doyle St, Emeryville
- The Bureau 510 at 5800 Hollis St, Emeryville
Aloha Club has cold beers, a beautiful outdoor patio, fresh mojitos, TV’s tuned to sports, a jukebox, pool table, and some of the best drink specials in your area every weekday until 7pm.
The Hatch Oakland serves small bites, signature burgers, and sandwiches as well as hatch cocktails, slushes, and beers with daily happy hours from 5pm to 7pm.
A diverse selection of pan-Asian inspired tapas and gastro pub fare is available at Blind Tiger where you can also find daily liquor specials from 5pm to 7pm and again from 11pm to 1am.
The happy hours at Libertine run from 5pm to 7pm Monday through Friday and from 10pm to midnight on Tuesday.
McGee’s in Alameda offers draft beer, cocktails, and pub grub in a casual setting with sports on TV, live local bands, and a patio with alcoholic drink specials near you from 2pm to 6pm every Tuesday through Friday.
Craft cocktails and live music in the center of Berkeley go down at Tupper & Reed where drink specials are available from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesdays through Fridays on a few wines, beers, and signature cocktails.
The Bureau 510 serves the freshest most delectable burgers, sandwiches, salads, and drinks with happy hours in Emeryville from 4:30pm to 6:30pm every Monday through Friday.
Trivia, Quiz & Game Nights
Here is a good list of bars with trivia, quiz, and game nights in your area:
- The Good Hop Bar & Bottle Shop at 2421 Telegraph Ave #102
- Seawolf Public House at 350 4th St
- Ben ‘N Nick’s Bar & Grill at 5612 College Ave
- Wolfhound Bar at 5516 San Pablo Ave
- Mad Oak Bar ‘N’ Yard at 135 12th St
- The Fireside Lounge at 1453 Webster St, Alameda
- Swell Bar at 1539 Lincoln Ave, Alameda
- Gilman Brewing Company at 912 Gilman St, Berkeley
The Good Hop Bar & Bottle Shop has 16 rotating California-focused beers on draft and 500+ bottles and cans plus they host a fun bar trivia night in your area every Tuesday at 7pm.
16 taps, inventive cocktails, and delicious food are available at Seawolf Public House who hosts Wednesday night trivia beginning at 7pm.
Ben ‘N Nick’s Bar & Grill is a good place to find pub food, hard-to-find beers, and well-crafted cocktails that you can enjoy with local bar trivia on Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm and they also have drink specials every Monday through Friday from 2pm to 6pm.
A variety of cocktails, beers, shots, and wine as well as pool, pinball, and trivia nights every Tuesday at 8:30pm are what to expect from Wolfhound Bar.
Mad Oak Bar ‘N’ Yard hosts bar quiz nights near you at 7pm every Tuesday plus they have daily drink specials from 4pm to 6pm.
The Fireside Lounge serves a wide range of local craft beers and cocktails inspired by classic recipes and hosts trivia every Tuesday at 8pm.
In Alameda you can head to Swell Bar which hosts a dart tournament every Tuesday night at 8pm and you can watch college football every Saturday and NFL on Sunday. Monday through Friday from 2pm to 5pm they have happy hours and late night specials are also available every Sunday through Thursday from 11pm to 1am.
More fun bars with trivia or games from different lists include Fort Green and Cafe Rack.
Dance, Karaoke & Live Music
Anyone that wants to dance, listen to live music, and sing karaoke can head to:
- The Legionnaire Saloon at 2272 Telegraph Ave
- Lounge 3411 at 3411 MacArthur Blvd
- Somar Bar & Lounge at 1727 Telegraph Ave
- 1400 Bar & Grill at 1400 Webster St, Alameda
- The Starry Plough Pub at 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
- Jaguar Karaoke Berkeley at 2516 Durant Ave, Berkeley
The Legionnaire Saloon is a friendly neighborhood whiskey and cocktail lounge that offers karaoke every night at 8pm.
Lounge 3411 hosts a live band and open mic every first Wednesday and Oakland bar karaoke nights every Tuesday through Saturday from 9pm to 2am.
There are drink specials every Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 8pm as well as karaoke every Monday at 8pm at Somar Bar & Lounge.
The Starry Plough Pub is a full-service restaurant, pub, and nightclub that host weekly events like Irish music sessions, traditional Irish Ceili dancing, open mic nights, and The Berkeley Poetry Slam.
Jaguar provides a private room karaoke experience in Berkeley where you and your friends can sing and dance every Sunday through Saturday from 6pm to 2am and you can also contact them for karaoke machine rentals.
Other fun bars for music lovers near you from other sections include The Libertine, Ben ‘N Nick’s Bar & Grill, and Tupper & Reed.
You might also want to read our posts on:
- Quiz & Trivia Nights In Stockton & Modesto
- Quiz & Trivia Nights In Sacramento
- Quiz & Trivia Nights In Fresno
Have Fun Drinking At The Best Bars In Oakland
After reading all of that you should have a much better understanding of what is available near you. There are plenty of local wine and cocktail bars, breweries to watch sports at, places with good drink specials to save money, trivia, quiz, and game nights, as well as bars to listen to live music, dance, and sing karaoke in your area.
If you think we got anything incorrect or notice us listing any venues that are no longer open please tell us in the comments so we can keep this info as up to date as possible. Now go have fun drinking at the best bars in Oakland.