Best Completely Re-Imagined Neighborhood

The Laurel District

The Laurel District is one of those often-overlooked Oakland neighborhoods just waiting to be noticed. Situated in East Oakland where MacArthur Boulevard intersects High Street and 35th Avenue, the area offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and hangouts. Farmer Joe's anchors the district, and dining highlights include Cambodian fare at Phnom Phen House and Italian cuisine at Trattoria Laurellino. There's Laurel Bookstore, one of the best neighborhood bookshops in the city, and you can also sip on fair trade organic coffee and savor just-pressed panini while surfing the web for free at World Ground Cafe. The Laurel also offers a weekly farmers' market every Saturday, and to top things off, the Laurel District Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes the neighborhood, hosts an annual street fair, where local businesses can give people a taste of all the Laurel District has to offer.

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