The hustle and bustle of Oakland’s Chinatown features a wonderful mix of tastes and smells, languages and unique goods. Local merchants are the driving force but picking a favorite restaurant can be difficult. Whether your tastes run to Shanghai street food or classic duck, you’ve got choices in Chinatown.

Also along this stretch of the route are the Oakland Museum of California, home to everything from fossils to art, and the campus of Laney College where about 14,000 students are enrolled in variety of disciplines.


Opportunity awaits at Laney College

Whether you’re interested in obtaining your associate’s degree, starting down the road toward transferring to a four-year college or university, or you just want to take a class to stay busy or learn something new, Laney College is at your service.

More than 14,000 students attend classes in everything from chemistry to journalism, culinary arts to mathematics, machine technology to ethnic studies. The atmosphere and energy of its campus provides a nurturing environment for its diverse audience.

Getting to campus is convenient and easy—just ride the East Bay BRT to get to your classes all year round. Laney College is the largest of the four Peralta Community Colleges that offer academic and enrichment programs. Its campus is located just a few blocks from Chinatown.

Laney College’s opportunities and curriculum are geared to the socioeconomic and cultural needs of the Bay Area.  With a mission to enrich the education of every individual in the community, its faculty and staff can help students work toward college readiness and career technical skills.

Every Laney College student also has access to a career center, counseling services, support services and financial aid. An expansive Technology Center with over 100 computer workstations provides students with access to the Internet and state-of-the-art tools.

Students can enroll for spring, summer and fall sessions. View the current catalog here.

Tracing California’s history

For more than 40 years, the Oakland Museum of California has showcased its vibrant and aggressive approach to displaying art, history, and natural sciences to the community.

The critically acclaimed 300,000-square-foot museum houses more than 1.9 million items. And its diverse programs run the gamut from art seminars to hands on activities to collaborative events that are fun for all ages, races, cultures, and backgrounds.

OMCA (1000 Oak St. at 10th Street) has deep ties to the community and to keep up with the fast-growing neighborhoods, a mobile museum called the “rover car” has been added. It goes to events and partnering locations to provide art and crafts, activities, and fun on-site.

“I love the idea of seeing BRT come through our area because it will connect us with our community engagement work,” said Cynthia Taylor, assistant director of public programs. “Everyone is welcome at OMCA and especially on Friday nights where you can have a good dinner, hear music of your neighbors, and explore the museum of California.”

Since 2013, the weekly night series — Friday Nights at OMCA — has gained in popularity. In partnership with Off The Grid, Friday Nights @ OMCA features special in-gallery programming from 5-9 p.m., live music, food trucks, hands-on workshops, family friendly activities, and more. East Bay BRT riders have the opportunity to experience a night out with enjoy half-price admission.

“It’s really an honor to serve the community on Friday nights,” said Taylor.  “We know Oakland is working hard and if the community is going to spend time with their families, OMCA is going to give them an affordable, safe environment, and educational opportunity to do so.”

Chinatown is alive, diverse

Oakland’s Chinatown is a sight to see.

It is rich with history and pride. And it just steps away from East Bay BRT.

On any given day the streets are bustling with people going in and out of the restaurants, businesses and attractions that reflect the region’s vibrant Chinese culture.

Whether your tastes run to Shanghai street cuisine or fine carved jade, this neighborhood provides an authentic experience in the heart of the city.

The whole family can enjoy a variety of Chinese cuisine. Pass by a dozen storefronts and you will see live seafood, fresh produce and meats hanging in the windows. Walk into almost any shop to find the best herbs and imported teas from China and Hong Kong.

Traditional attire is displayed alongside ancient artifacts and toys as you stroll through the market. Fine china is a particular delight in Chinatown retail stores.

Visitors, businesses and residents feel welcomed and at home, with the wealth of community services also available in the area, from healthcare to banking.

The area hosts events year-round focused on ancient traditions and the tastes of China.  Every August, the streets shut down and come alive for the two-day Oakland Chinatown StreetFest. Entertainment becomes the spotlight and attracts thousands of people from all over the Bay Area.

Beat the traffic by taking East Bay BRT to the festival for an easy way to experience a full day of fun.