A surprising number of people have been reaching my blog in the past few days by searching for “oakland holiday gift guide” or something similar to that. The problem is that all the events in my Oakland holiday shopping guide have now ended, and it’s clear many people are still looking to shop locally.
At this point, you might just be tempted to do all your shopping online or head down to a big box store, but there are still many opportunities to finish (or start) your holiday shopping in Oakland. Here are a few of the places I recommend.
Last year, I didn’t manage to write about Rockridge Home until after the holiday season, which I regretted because it’s my favorite place to buy presents. As I wrote last year:
And soon I realized Rockridge Home was one of the best places in Oakland to go gift shopping. They have a little bit of everything there – art, kitchen tools, books, music, toys, and all sorts of random fun things that you really want to buy for yourself but can’t justify spending the money on. Whether your budget is $5 or $500, you’ll be able to find something that’s just right. You can feel good about spending money there, as they recently became a Certified Green Business.
So whatever you’re looking for and whomever you’re looking to gift to, chances are that you’ll find something at Rockridge Home. And gift wrapping is free so you don’t need to worry about having time to do that yourself.
5418 College Avenue, Oakland
Open 11am-8pm everyday
Accessible by Rockridge BART or the 51 bus
There are tons of incredible Oakland-focused t-shirt artists, but only one of them is setting its truck up this Tuesday and Wednesday to help you finish your last-minute shopping. You can buy t-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags that celebrate Oakland for people of any age and size – from infant to adult. Head down to their truck tomorrow or Wednesday to support local artists while completing your shopping.
Piedmont & Pleasant Valley
Tuesday & Wednesday from 12-7
Awaken Cafe is not just a great place to get a cup of coffee or an excellent chai, but also a perfect place to snag a few gifts for that coffee-lover in your life. Swing buy for an Awaken Cafe t-shirt or travel mug, coffee-brewing supplies, coffee beans in gift boxes, and more. While you’re there, drink a cup of coffee to fuel the rest of your holiday shopping.
414 14th Street (between Broadway & Franklin)
Monday through Friday: 7 am to 6 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8 am to 5 pm
Accessible by 12th Street BART station or many AC Transit buses
Gift Certificates to Oakland Stores & Restaurants
If you struggle with ideas for gift-giving, gift certificates are a great option. Just call your favorite Oakland store or restaurant and ask if they have gift certificates available. You’ll be supporting an Oakland business and could introduce someone you know to one of the great places Oakland has to offer. My favorite place to buy gift certificates is Piedmont Springs, since most anyone would appreciate an hour in an outdoor hot tub, a massage, or skin care treatments.
Telegraph Holiday Street Fair
This isn’t in Oakland, so I didn’t mention it in my last post, but the Telegraph Holiday Street Fair in Berkeley does feature many Oakland artists. If you can brave the crowds, you’ll find plenty of jewelery, glass art, clothing, ceramics, metal-work, and just about anything you can imagine. And this is one of the few places where you can buy gifts on Christmas eve, so if you’re a super-last minute shopper, this just might be the best solution for you.
Telegraph, between Dwight & Bancroft in Berkeley
December 23rd & 24th from 11am-6pm
Accessible by the 1/1R bus lines