The East Bay celebrates SF Cocktail Week on Thursday with the East Bay Showdown at Tessera Gallery in Oakland from 6 to 9 P.M. Bartenders from 10 East Bay bars will compete for your votes in the Wild West themed affair. Tickets are $59 in advance ($65 at the door) and include appetizers, cocktails and entertainment.
If cocktails aren't for you, Solano Cellars joins Little Star Pizza to hold a block party on Solano Avenue at Ordway Street from 5 to 8 P.M. Enjoy a curbside winebar and slices of deep dish pizza.
The big event this weekend is the Eat Real festival at Jack London Square from Friday to Sunday. Forget the cooking demonstrations and preserving competitions, the draw is the vast amounts of street food like 4505 Meats and Chairman Bao. Admission is free with food and drinks under $5 an item. Expect huge crowds, so bring your patience.
Also Friday, Litquake shares the Master Craft stage at Eat Real, holding a preview event of food writers talking about their culinary travels.
Saturday, Berkeley hosts a coffee and tea festival at Hotel Shattuck Plaza from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. The $20 admission includes a mini souvenir coffee mug and free tastings, or $15 if you like the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on Facebook. Aside from tasting, the event will feature panels like how to brew the perfect cup of tea or coffee, and a Japanese tea ceremony demonstration.
Sunday, the 11th annual Crabby Chefs Seafood Festival takes place at Berkeley's Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. Admission is free with food vendors selling crab and other seafood dishes while local chefs compete Iron Chef style. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Cal Recreational Sports Development Fund's camp scholarship program.
St. George Spirits , aka Hangar One, in Alameda holds a gin BBQ party to launch its three new gins. Admission, $38 in advance and $45 at the door, includes cocktails, tours of the distillery and seminars on gin-making. Food tickets can be purchased separately. Round-trip chartered bus transportation to the distillery from West Oakland Bart is $10/person.
1225 A 7th St., Oakland
Solano Block Party
At the intersection of Solano Avenue and Ordway Street
Berkeley Coffee and Tea Festival
2086 Allston Way, Berkeley
Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
1919 Fourth St., Berkeley
St. George's Spirits
2601 Monarch St., Alameda