Local Flavor: Temescal Alley/Oakland

TemescalAlleyOaklandThis past Saturday, I begged my husband to drive me to Oakland for a taste of delicious donuts from Doughnut Dolly. Ever since I discovered these light fluffy  spheres hand-filled with seasonal creams, I am willing to travel far to satisfy my sweet tooth. These doughnuts are worth it – I promise!


This weekend I had a few hours to spare and got to look around Temescal Alley a bit more. The area where Doughnut Dolly makes its home is a pocket of two traffic-free alleys off of Telegraph and 49th Avenue. The alley is filled with retailers, cafes and galleries converted from former horse stables and turned into compact carriage houses. I found the selection of retailers to be unique and indie-designer based. For example, Esqueleto is a shop featuring curated selection of fine jewelry and artwork from local and international brands, ceramicists and fine artists. The jewelry is definitely a big draw with hundreds of designs collected under one roof. Whether you are a fan of decadent art-deco pieces, gothic-looking earrings, hip stacking rings or everyday braided leather bracelets – you are sure to find something cool. I walked away with a pair of AILI 4-black diamond square studs. These earrings (in slightly different variation at #5 below), measuring only 5mm, are so darling that I’ve decided to pierce my ears again to accommodate another pair! I think I will do it in the next few months 🙂  I am drooling over Satomi Kawakita Twin Pearl Studs to pair with my recent purchase.


1) Vintage Partridge Ring; 2) Vintage Diamond and Pearl Quadrefoil Ring; 3) Lauren Wolf Jewelry Stingray Goddess Necklace; 4) Silver Victoria Ring by Daisy San Luis / Gold & Black Rhodium Band by Satomi Kawakita / Gold Feather Diamond Solitaire by Sarah Swell / Medium Gold Braid Ring by Katrina LaPenne / Point-Up Black Diamond Eternity Band by Lauren Wolf Jewelry; 5) AILI Square Earrings with Black Diamonds


Book/Shop is another store that caught my eye. It is one of those places where you can easily spend hours browsing through a collection of rare vintage books, independent magazines and small accessories like a brass and leather bookmark. The store is not as much a store as a philosophy of appreciating books and not their online renderings. As shop’s owner, Erik Heywood, would insist: “We are not a bookstore, that’s not really what we’re doing. We’re here to encourage people to go to bookstores, visit libraries and live with books.” Pretty cool concept 😉

What else is there to see? Plenty:

  • Temescal Alley Barbershop – traditional barbering with straight razor shaves in an old-school setting that your handsome will appreciate.
  • Homestead Apothecary – good relaxing vibes and locally sourced healing herbs, oils, soaps and formulas.
  • Minds Eye Vintage – curated collection of vintage clothing and accessories
  • The CRO Cafe – flavorful drip coffees and espresso drinks.
  • Standard & Strange – collection of men’s fashion from hard to find brands like Rogue Territory, Joshu+Vela and Indigofera.
  • Crimson Horticultural Rarities – space filled with succulents, plants, jars and terrarium supplies to make all your garden-hobbyists’ heads spin
  • Marisa Mason – tiny shop, packed with gorgeous jewelry and owned by the designer herself, who sits at her workbench, creating new pieces while chatting with the customers.
  • Walrus – upcycled treasures for home, restored vintage furniture, decor and art. The owners, Wendy and Camille, are also available for interior decorating gigs and custom refurbishing of vintage pieces.
  • Bounty & Feast – wonderfully selected collection of home gifts, such as table linens, ceramics, small artwork and candles.

By now you can see that this one alleyway is a hotbed of creativity and chic and an ideal place to venture out of SF to explore Oakland. Browsing eclectic mix of unique goods, grabbing a donut and sipping coffee is a weekend activity I will choose any day!

TEMESCAL ALLEY: 49th Street between Clarke St & Telegraph Ave in Temescal, Oakland, CA 94609