Courtesy of Slainte
With portraits of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde adorning the walls, this cozy Irish pub inspires pleasure and profundity alike—take your pick. If it’s pleasure, we recommend the crispy local fish and chips followed by a game of darts and a shamrock shake (soft-serve ice cream, crème de menthe, whiskey, and Fernet). Philosophers might fare better with a veggie-heavy but satisfying shepherd’s pie and a heady pint of Guinness. Located in Jack London Square, Sláinte’s exposed brick, worn wood, classic pub fixtures, and cathedral-style windows create a remarkable space. A traditional Irish breakfast is available all day—a good option for all bleary-eyed risers—and don’t leave without a piece of Guinness ginger cake, which comes spiked with whiskey cream. While sports fans are welcome, Sláinte (which means “cheers” in Irish Gaelic) clearly has a soft spot for intellectuals.
131 Broadway, (510) 823-2644, slainteoakland.com. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.