Local Must

Local MustErica Perez, co-owner of Oaktown Spice Shop, shares the story of how she got her start, her advice for others, and her favorite places to eat, drink and hike in Oakland, California as part of the Dirt Road Travels city travel guide for Oakland.

Oakland, California

Oaktown Spice Shop

"All the world's flavors."

Recommendations:
Sequoia Diner
Aburaya
Camino
Fentons Creamery

Oaktown Spice Shop

"All the world's flavors."

Recommended by:
  
Recommended in:
Oakland, California

Our Story

"I was a journalist before not doing anything food related. My husband (John) was the one with the food background. He grew up in the Midwest in Milwaukee, and his first job in high school was working at a neighborhood spice shop, and he kind of learned everything about spices in the summers, in the random little jobs that he had in the summers and between semesters working there.

John, Co-Owner of Oaktown Spice Shop

That got him interested in food, but his career took him in a different direction and he worked at a bunch of other places.

Then when we moved out to the Bay Area together for my job, he couldn't find work because it was during the recession. We were walking around Lake Merritt one day and talking about other things that he might want to do, and he said he thought it might always be fun to open up a spice shop.

I really latched onto that idea because it just sounded like so much fun! And Oakland is such a food-focused place, but it didn't have a spice shop, so people didn't know what they were missing. I didn't dream as a child of opening up a shop, but it turns out that it's the most fun job I've ever had. I love it."

What I Love Most

My Oakland Musts

"I would say for a breakfast spot, Sequoia Diner. Then walk around Lake Merritt, and head to a little pop-up called Aburaya, which is Japanese fried chicken that's so delicious. In the afternoon, head to a beer garden like Brotzeit Lokal or Lost & Found. Our favorite dinner spot is Camino and you can finish-up with ice cream from Fenton's."

More from Oaktown Spice Shop

Oaktown Spice Shop

Links:

WebsiteSocialYelp
Oaktown Spice Shop
 Location
Erica Perez
Oaktown Spice Shop
Oakland
 Map
Sequoia Diner
"The breakfast spot everyone recommends."
-122.19920839999997
37.79183
Aburaya
"Those guys don't fuck around."
-122.26759149999998
37.8060199
Camino
"A delicious restaurant in Oakland."
-122.24520440000003
37.8184112
Fentons Creamery
"You've got to finish off your day with ice cream at Fentons!"
-122.25009290000003
37.8280397
Oaktown Spice Shop
"All the world's flavors."
-122.25058849999999
37.8089798

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