While more mature diners will savor the many innovative menus that
the city has to offer, there are plenty of dishes to please youthful
food critics as well. If you need a coffee buzz before embarking
on your family adventure, head to Perch Coffee House near Lake
Merritt where you can sip a macchiato and nibble a scone while the
little ones take advantage of the dedicated play area. For a meal
with more heft, order up mac and cheese at Homeroom in Temescal.
You’ll find the classic childhood treat (elevated by sharp cheddar and
pecorino) as well as more adventurous variations made with spicy
crab, chorizo or smoky bacon. Also worth a stop: Arthur Mac’s Tap
and Snack, located steps from the MacArthur BART station. The
family-friendly pizza joint has plenty of outdoor seating and offers
chicken wings, fries and soft-serve ice cream in addition to its pies.
Forge in Jack London Square and Zachary’s Chicago Pizza in
Rockridge are additional mainstays for pizza lovers young and old. If
you are looking for a sugar rush, Piedmont Avenue ice cream parlor
Fentons Creamery and Restaurant scoops up frozen treats with a
side of nostalgia, or head to James and the Giant Cupcake in North
and Downtown Oakland for colorful baked goods (look for the
Boston Cream Pie cupcake).
Kids far from home (and some grown-ups, too) often find comfort in
touring toy shops. The family-owned Montclair Toyhouse has been
catering to area children for more than 40 years, with a lovingly
curated selection of educational and creative products. Adventure
Toys and Learning Center on Lakeshore Avenue is cozy, but it has an
impressive inventory of playful objects. The geeks shall inherit the
earth at Dr. Comics & Mr. Games on Piedmont Avenue, thanks to its
extensive collection of comics, graphic novels and board games.
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TOP T O BOT TOM: F EN TON S C R E AME RY A N D R E S TAU R A N T, V I S I T OA K L A N D
Fentons Creamery and Restaurant
T h i n g s t o D o FAMILY