Monday, April 20, 2015

Jack London Square


If you haven't noticed already, I am big fan of great coffee and craft beer. So whenever I have the opportunity to roll those two things into a day out with the family, it is sure to be a hit. Our recent trip to Jack London Square on the Oakland waterfront was no exception. From train watching and artisan candy to craft beer and locally roasted coffee, there was something for everyone in the family.

Our first stop of the morning was Bicycle Coffee Company. This eco-friendly small batch coffee roaster not only serves up delicious organic coffee (at a reasonable price I might add!), they also deliver to all their customers via bicycle! Their roastery is located just a block from the heart of Jack London Square, making it the perfect starting point for the day.

I love how the bottom of the custom pour-over cups are shaped like bicycle gears.


Another option for your morning caffeine fix is the well known Blue Bottle Coffee, which also started in Oakland and is located just a block away on the corner of 3rd and Webster. Between the two of these roasters, you really can't go wrong!


With our coffee in hand, we headed to Jack London Square to explore the Jack of All Trades Market, which takes place the second Saturday of every month. It's a relatively small market, but there was still a nice assortment of artisans and antique vendors as well as a handful of food trucks. This was our second time coming to Jack London Square during an event (the first was for their Sunday Farmer's Market) and it felt so lively with the added foot traffic that the market brought. It was crowded without being overwhelming and still easy to maneuver with kids.







After letting the kids run around, we made a quick stop at Miette for a treat! Named one of the top ten pastry shops in the world by Conde Nast, this is a must stop for those with a sweet tooth! We opted for a small bag of their mint chocolates which were amazingly delicious, and I have no doubt the rest of their selection is just as wonderful.


For lunch, there are a number of very enticing dining patios that run along the waterfront, but my favorite place to eat in the area is Chop Bar, which is located just a couple short blocks away. This is one of my favorite burgers ever! It's pretty pricey ($15 if you add cheese), but it comes with bacon on it and a mixed green salad with avocado. We got our order to go and headed back down to the Amtrak station to eat our food while we watched the trains go by. If your kids like trains, then they will love getting to see them up close!




Our last stop of the day was the much anticipated Independent Brewing Company. The tasting room is situated in an old warehouse next to the freeway, and kind of feels like you're drinking in someones living room. The beers were fantastic (we had the Strawberry Blonde and the Double IPA), and the atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming. They even had a couple of boxes of toys for the kids, which kept them happily entertained while we enjoyed our drinks. Definitely a place we will return to.




If you head down to the area, don't forget to stray from the shops at Jack London Square. The surrounding streets have a number of great restaurants and boutique shops, not to mention tons of beautiful buildings!




The details: Jack London Square is located along Oakland's waterfront and is easily accessed by Ferry if you are coming from San Francisco.  Independent Brewing Company has limited hours (check their yelp page for hours). Admission to the Jack of all Trades Market is free. There are parking garages and lots in the area that charge a fee. We found free street parking a few blocks away near Independent Brewing.

The facts: Mint Chocolates at Miette: $4.50, Burger and Home Fries at Chop Bar: $22 (yes...we split one because they are pricey!), 2-10oz beers at Independent Brewing: $10. We brought food for the kids from home.

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