Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood features a welcoming collection of homes and shops. Steps from Lake Merritt, it fits neatly between the 580 Freeway and the intersection of Grand and Lakeshore Avenues in Oakland.

The vibe at Grand Lake is mellow: it’s a great place to window shop, stop into a cafe and catch a movie. An eclectic collection of locals welcomes families and singles alike. Many live in the homes that make up Grand Lake’s real estate, which consists of older condos and single family homes perched on nearby hills.

The two main streets of Grand and Lakeshore have distinct personalities. Grand Avenue feels older and more historic. The centerpiece is the famous Grand Lake Theater. Built in 1926, it was designed by the Reid Brothers, who designed several converted condominium buildings in San Francisco including The Mint Collection, The Garfield and The Montgomery. Many of the original details remain and the owner, Allen Michaan, is well known for his liberal rants on the marquee.

Also along Grand you’ll find unique spots to eat. Favorites include, Oakland’s oldest coffee house The Coffee Mill & Bakery, Di Bartolo Restaurant & Cafe, Side Bar, Milano, Zza's Trattoria & Enoteca, Coach Sushi and Michael Mischer Chocolates. Hit the town and enjoy a few drinks at Heart and Dagger Saloon, Kingman’s Lucky Lounge and The Alley ˜ expect a full house when house piano player, Rod Dibble takes the stage.

Lakeshore Avenue feels a bit newer and buffed than Grand. It’s where you’ll find some of the more casual establishments such as Lakeshore Cafe, Rolling Dunes, Spettro Restaurant, Arizmendi Co-Op Bakery , L’Amyx Tea Bar and even Colonial Donuts. However, don’t be fooled by its laidback demeanor, Lakeshore Avenue knows how to offer a good time. Spice up your dining experience at Mezze, Cafe Cote D’Or, Vine Wine Bar and Flavors of India.

Just over the hill you'll find the welcoming neighborhood of Tresle Glen. It has everything from ubiquitous chains such as Gap, Peet’s, Noah’s and Starbucks to one-of-a-kind shops like Urban Indigo, Maribel, Juniper Tree and Izek Day Spa Salon. Finish off the day at Easy Lounge, a spot known for capturing the best of Oakland nightlife.

If you’d like to get a taste of the neighborhood (literally), stop by the weekly farmer’s market, or attend the annual Lakefest art and wine festival. Either way, it’s a wonderful place to live, stroll and enjoy.

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