& Neighborhood Watch: Oakland

4 in the 412: Oakland

Most people hear Oakland and think of California but if you’re a true Pittsburgher or you’ve been to college you’ve ventured into Oakland. At any given time it’s crawling with culture, college students, and great cuisine. Venture far into Oakland and you’ll find yourself wrapped up in the many places. From the atmosphere of Peace, Love & Little Donuts, to the hidden treasures at Culture Shop on South Craig, you’ll discover your new favorite place in Oakland. Here are my favorite four places that give it personality and it wouldn’t be the same without. If the bar that used to be above Qdoba still existed, it would totally be number one of the list but here are four others to enjoy in no particular order.

Four: The Original Hot Dog Shop


The Original Hot Dog Shop is synonymous with Oakland. It’s been around for fifty years and if you’re a native Pittsburgher you know it as just “The Originals” or just “The O.”  Most peeps visit this place after or before partying because their greasy French Fries are heavenly. They’re a close second to Kennywood’s Potatoe Patch. You’ll also get a boatload of them so don’t go ordering separate servings for all your friends. They also have a pretty extensive beer list if beer is your thing.

Three: Hemingways Cafe

Hemingways Cafe [Photo Credit: Hemingways Cafe Facebook]
Hemingways Cafe [Photo 📷  Credit: Hemingways Cafe Facebook]

If I had to describe Hemingways in one word it would be college. From the decor to the music everything about this place screams college bar but there’s nothing wrong with that. They have a crazy cocktail list that will have you confident in your dancing skills by the end of the night and if you’re on a budget you can’t beat their deals.

Two: Gene’s Place

Gene Ney of Gene's Place
Gene Ney of Gene’s Place [Photo 📷  Credit: Gene’s Place Facebook]

Tucked away on a side street, Gene’s Place is a bit of a hidden treasure. So many of my friends didn’t know about this place. It’s pretty divey but also affordable. Last time I visited I was impressed that the bartender could make a variety of shots that all tasted like candy. They have trivia night every Wednesday and wide selection of beer (even local breweries).  I can see why Gene is always making waves and why his place has been around for a while. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve met Gene and he’s as cool as he seems.

One: Dave & Andy’s

Dave and Andy's [Photo Credit: Dave & Andy's Facebook Page]
Dave and Andy’s [Photo 📷  Credit: Dave & Andy’s Facebook Page]

Just walk past this place without at least lingering I dare you! Dave & Andy’s make homemade ice cream cones that you can smell from the outside. Me and my friends have walked in the snow for Dave and Andy’s and it consistently hits the spot. Get a waffle cone and enjoy the candy piece at the bottom of the cone.

Rather you’re a college student or a professional there’s much to enjoy about Oakland. It finds itself changing and rather you’re in the mood for ice cream or bubble tea there’s always something to feed your appetite. What’s your favorite place in Oakland? 

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