Bay seniors can do away with the designated driver rule while bar hopping in downtown Oakland, drinking in the wild concoctions of artistically ambitious baristas. With two nearby BART stations you can leave your car at home and prowl amidst the young hipsters who’ve given up finding parking places in San Francisco. Van Kleef was here first with easily the wildest, most motley décor and the freshest greyhound. Make Westing, named after a Jack London short story, comes with its own bocce court. Dogwood even offers a menu of cured meats. Flora, housed in one of the city’s most classic tiled deco buildings is a popular restaurant but its cocktail list is lengthy and startlingly original, and its sound level not even close to deafening.

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