Lake Merritt: Best of the Best around the Lake

Lake Merritt

The Jewel of Oakland, Lake Merritt, encompasses 155 acres of land with a circumference of 3.4 miles. It’s clear to most locals that Lake Merritt is so much more than an estuary, but a:

  • Gorgeous area for events
  • Excellent spot for photography
  • Enjoyable destination for exercise.

Besides these outstanding points, Lake Merritt provides close proximity to a number of delectable restaurants, outstanding bars and other local entertainment.

Where is Lake Merritt?

Lake Merritt has a wide reach as its boundaries stretch to multiple areas of Oakland. Multiple sections of the lake are connected to different parts of Oakland. 

Some are just a few blocks from uptown, whereas others are just around the block from Chinatown. It’s position is favorable if you want to head North, South, East or West.

Need inspiration to check out the surroundings of the lake? Watch the Drone Video below

Lake Merritt Restaurants and Food

  • Lake Chalet – A classic upscale Lake Merritt spot provides restaurant goers with a lakeside retreat and some delicious offerings. For those on the lower end of the budget, hit this spot up on a Taco Tuesday for Happy Hour from 4 to close for excellent taco and drink prices.

  • Burma Superstar – Burma Superstar has really exploded in recent years as its original location has expanded into 4 different locations around the Bay. Luckily enough there is one in close proximity to the lake providing locals the opportunity to savor some Burmese cuisine. Insider tip –> Order the Tea Leaf Salad. I rarely eat salads but this is class.

  • Arizmendi  – Grab a slice of pie or joe and post outside. A local favorite for the masses. This CO-Op serves up a different locally sourced pizza of the day and also whips up some delectable pastries. Limited outdoor seating is available or you can bring your food with you too the lake.

  • Mad Oak – Outdoor patio, rooftop bar, and an extensive draft list. The Mad Oak is a hard spot to beat, especially when surrounded by friends and animals. Yes, pet friendly. Cheaper options are around but the vibe and setting is definitely worth a stop in. Mad Oak also has numerous televisions so game day options are no problem here.

  • Athletic Club – One of Oakland’s newest Bar, The Athletic Club, is one for those who want a good dosage of viewing options to take in any sport offered that day. With a plethora of TVs, 10+ beers on tap and variety of food options, The AC is a solid spot for your drinking pleasures. The original AC started in SF’s Lower Pac Heights but has done so well, expansion was necessary. If you go with enough people, and or thirsty enough, order a Bathtub of beer. Yes, a BATHTUB.

Other Lake Merritt Activities

Grand Lake Theatre

This is THE SPOT near the lake. With a history that stretches back almost 45 years, the Theatre has been awarded the best place to see a movie in the Bay Area for 3 years running. $5 movies all day Tuesday. Read all about the Theatre here: Bay Area Drone – Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre

The list goes on for days but who has time to read all that without missing the beauty of being there. If I missed anything comment below so I can add it. I know I missed a lot but the full guide will be updated as we go.

Whole Foods

The reason why so many picnics flourish at Grand Lake. Only two blocks from the lake and with more options than The Cheesecake Factory menu, Whole Foods has got you covered for any of your picnic by the lake days.

Bay Area Photographer for Hire

Is there anything else that should be included on the Lake Merritt best of the best list? I love Lake Merritt and I hope you will too. 

Ask me any questions you might have if anything comes up! 

If you want to book me for any photo or video services, click on my Bay Area Photographer page . I would love to capture your moment and help bring your vision to life.

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