Christopher Danesi at RE/MAX Accord

News > 4 Reasons to Live in Downtown Oakland

Living in a downtown Oakland condo puts you at the center of a vibrant, diverse, sunny, and highly walkable city. The downtown area is comprised of many pocket neighborhoods, so you’re sure to find the spot that feels right to you.

In the mood for some Dim Sum? If you live at Pacific Renaissance, just walk out of your condo and into the attached plaza, where you’ll find multiple options to satisfy your craving. There’s also a public library, shops, and banks here, right in the building. Or venture out into the streets of Oakland’s thriving Chinatown, where you’ll find Asian markets, karaoke bars, bubble tea cafes, and even vegan Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants nearby.

Just across 880 is Jack London Square, a waterfront pocket neighborhood that feels like a cross between a hip urban artists’ enclave and a small town within the city of Oakland. From the artisanal Blue Bottle Coffee and Authentic Bagel Company, to Beer Revolution’s brewery and Ceruti Cellars’ urban winery, whatever your dining or drinking pleasure, you’ll find it here. You can also enjoy movies, farmers’ markets, bowling, craft fairs, walk/bike paths, and even boating all right in the neighborhood. Jack London Square is home to lofts and condos of all stripes: from the luxury high rise Ellington with its world class views of the San Francisco Bay, to the Portico Lofts live/work spaces converted from a 1929 plumbing company office. No matter what type of condo suits your lifestyle, be sure to grab a drink at Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, the bar Jack London himself frequented in his seafaring days. You’ll definitely befriend your neighbors in this cozy establishment, where the slanted floors tell the story of how the building survived the 1906 earthquake.

Downtown Oakland has always been a nightlife hotspot, anchored by concert venues the Fox and Paramount Theaters, and the Uptown area has held the First Friday Art Murmur since 2006. So many great bars and restaurants have opened in Oakland in the last decade, mixing with the classic favorites. If proximity to nightlife is what you seek, a great home base for you could be the modern and amenity-rich Market Square Homes on 9th Street. Walk three blocks to the Trappist specialty beer café, with its rotating variety of artisanal brews on draft, including Belgians and sours. Or if you feel like dancing, head to the Layover, where dj's pack the room most every night and a nook of cozy couches line the wall. An old favorite is the cavernous and eclectic Café Van Kleef, renowned for its fresh squeezed Greyhound cocktails, and for live jazz, blues, and funk several nights a week.


Maybe you want walkability and amenities, but need nature to be a part of your daily life as well. If that’s the case, check out the Essex, a luxury high rise with great views located right on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Lake Merritt is a favorite for walkers, joggers, sunbathers, and boaters, and is home to magical Children’s Fairyland as well as the iconic Lake Chalet restaurant and bar. It also has its own shopping and dining districts, so living here will give you great access both to downtown and to smaller pocket neighborhoods.

Finding your downtown Oakland condo is about knowing what neighborhood best suits your lifestyle. You’ve got choices when it comes to living in the heart of this beautiful city. Contact us and we can help you figure it out.


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. The information being provided is for consumer's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information, including square footage, while not guaranteed, has been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

Last Updated: 2024-07-16