GenZe e-bikes are BART and bike-lane friendly–opening up a world of new neighborhoods, secret spots, and scenic vistas. In our BARTable series, we’ll hone in on specific BART stations throughout the Bay area, and show you cool rides, must-try coffee shops and restaurants, and other notable points of interest to check out on your journey. This week, we explored West Oakland: the final stop in the East Bay before heading across (well, under) the water to the City.
With its eclectic style and expansive industrial space, riding around West Oakland feels almost post-apocalyptic; like the last place standing. Having an e-bike to roll with makes seeing this historic neighborhood a lot easier.
In the scorching 90 degree weather, the throttle was clutch for riding around town. I stayed dry and happy as so many other riders pedaled by exhausted. If it wasn’t for all that extra energy, I probably wouldn’t have felt up to stuffing my face at one of West Oakland’s most popular restaurants – Brown Sugar Kitchen.
Brown Sugar Kitchen
Chef Tanya Holland has worked some serious, sweet magic on this place. Brown Sugar Kitchen takes soul-food to a whole new level. With a menu highlighting cheese grits, egg sandwiches, and the king of chicken and waffles, I almost forgot about the heat I rode through in order to eat. BSK is home on a plate. You will see for yourself when your order the chicken and waffles.
American Steel Studios
It’s always nice to feast your eyes on some art after feasting your stomach on some grub. It’s a quick ride to American Steel Studios from the West Oakland BART station or BSK. Founded in 2006 by Karen Cusolito, this versatile space has become the go-to spot for Oakland artists and makers. The gallery area showcases work from an array of local artists, and they open up the workshop spaces for special events and Oakland Art Murmur.
A key point of interest are the giant metal sculptures surrounding the building. If you get a Burning Man vibe from the location, you’re not far off. Many of the festival’s most popular pieces and art cars have been created right here. Take a peek at American Steel’s events if you’re interested in making a day of it. They also offer amazing Ethiopian cooking classes in Bay 6.
Trouble Coffee Company
For a pick me up and some peace of mind, swing by Trouble Coffee Company. With its all-white ultra modern design and no-devices-allowed policy, this buzz-worthy destination is a great place to unwind. If you’re still hungry after Brown Sugar Kitchen, go for the cinnamon toast! A nice cup of joe and a quick recharge will get you back on the road in no time.
The Bay Bridge
The best ride in West Oakland has to be the Bay Bridge. While it’s a bit of a jaunt (the e-bike makes it MUCH easier), you’ll get one of the best views in the East Bay, and experience the bridge in a whole new way. The trip was so memorable, we wrote an entire post about it (coming next week!). But the long and short of it is: find the trail to the bridge (it’s near the Ikea store), cruise the ~2 miles to the bridge itself (again, easier on an e-bike), and then take your time crossing the Bay (you can only go half-way right now….and we agree that seems silly).
Enjoy the ride!