This post was written by Faustina Ngo, Business Outreach Intern and Oakland resident.
Oakland is a city with many hidden gems that reflect the colorful and community-oriented mindset of the residents here. In the blog post below, we’ve listed several local businesses in the Dimond District that are major local favorites and socially responsible spaces that we believe you should visit if you’re around the area. Have fun shopping local!
Breakfast and Coffee
Since 1995, Dimond Cafe has been serving classic American breakfast and lunch items to the local community. Their most popular items include loaded potatoes, beef burgers, and crispy fries. Diamond Cafe caters to a wide range of audiences–offering a variety of vegetarian items on their menu. They open as early as 6:30AM on some business days, so if you’re an early bird, this is the place for you!
Coffee and Work
Hive, The Place to Bee is another great location to be if you like coffee or tea, and enjoy brunch options along with a quiet work environment. Their company’s mission is to engage the local community and be environmentally sustainable. They partner with local or Oakland-based businesses to source their products such as coffee, tea, bread, among other items. Their store also has amenities like a kid’s play corner, outdoor seating, and free WiFi, which shows the store’s focus on providing a community gathering place.
2 Star Market is known as a community staple in the Dimond District since they speak three languages (Spanish, Arabic, English), and they are open 7 days a week from 9am-2am. Established for over 35 years, they are family-owned and play a large role in the Diamond neighborhood–most well-known for their annual Thanksgiving event. Furthermore, they carry a huge range of items, including groceries, liquor, and houseware. 2 Star Market also offers ample parking spaces if you visit their store in person and also an delivery service if you shop from them online at this link.
Craving some Chinese cuisine? Jade Palace has you covered! Since 1945, their menu has been presenting a diversity of many items from chop suey to seafood to your classic chow mein. They are open 6 days a week from 11AM to 10PM, closed on Mondays. Jade Palace also offers a delivery service if you do not go in-person to their storefront on MacArthur Blvd. This is the classic Chinese food restaurant to go, whether you are there on a late night out or want to order steaming hot takeout for a night in watching Netflix.
Galeria Beso Maya is an art gallery with the mission to unite communities of color by showcasing pieces from aspiring and established artists in a working class neighborhood. The gallery hosts many unique workshops and classes, the most popular being “paint & sip,” where people can come enjoy wine and relax while creating art. Galeria Beso Maya does not only offer workshops and classes with adults, they also cater to children and speak both Spanish and English. They’re a very welcoming and safe space–come visit them on Thursdays through Saturdays!
For dinner, we recommend La Hacienda Restaurant. They serve authentic Mexican cuisine, menu items vary from tacos and burritos to carne asada plates and grilled fish fillet. Not only that, they also have beer and wine that’ll please everyone in your group! They’re open 7 days a week, and even offer catering. Be sure to check them out if you’re near the Dimond District.
Artvale Gallery is another great space for everything related to art. They are not only an art supply store, school, gallery, and rental space–they have a mission to offer resources and supplies to areas that are lacking access to the arts. They are open 5 days a week and even host a free art program for local K-12 students. Along with this, Artvale aims to be affordable and offers classes and workshops for all ages at reasonable prices. They are truly an organization that aspires to bridge the access gap in the art community, and we believe they are worth your visit.
Tell us your personal favorite places in the Dimond District on social media @shopoaklandnow! Click here to find more small businesses in the Dimond District.