10 Ways to Meet Singles in Oakland, CA (Dating Guide)

Oakland, CA

10 Ways to Meet Singles in Oakland, CA (Dating Guide)

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
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When Travelbee233 was preparing to move to the Bay Area, she posted in a local discussion forum looking for suggestions on how to meet people. “Although I have a few friends and acquaintances in the area, will probably be spending a lot of time alone,” she wrote.

A few people replied to share their experiences and give advice. “It really depends on your scene,” one East Bay resident wrote. “In general, I find that people are friendlier and more laid-back in Oakland.”

Singles in Oakland may be surrounded by friendly folks, but narrowing a city’s worth of date prospects to a few viable candidates can still be a challenge. Fortunately, there are places you can go and resources you can use to help you find attractive locals to talk to, flirt with, and see where things go. We’ve listed the best ways to meet singles in Oakland to help you get started mixing and mingling.

1

Oakland Dating Sites

First up, we have online dating. Have you heard of it? Of course, you have. That’s because it’s an incredibly popular way to expand your social circle and date prospects within a few clicks. I wasn’t always the biggest fan of online dating, but a few months of chatting turned me into a believer. I don’t know of any easier way to fill my calendar with dates. Sure, it takes time to sort through your likes and develop matches into conversations that lead to dates, but it’s a lot easier than approaching randos on the bus.

Best Singles Site

Match.com is the dating site for relationship-minded singles. It has spent over two decades honing its match algorithm and adding members to its database. Today, the site claims responsibility for pairing up more relationships and marriages than any other dating site in existence.

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Best Site for Professionals

Oakland is one of the most well-educated cities with some of most concentrated wealth in the US. Nearly 38% of residents over 25 have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. If you live in one of the elite ZIP codes in Oakland, you may want to consider joining EliteSingles to meet singles of the same caliber.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Elite Singles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Over 50 & Senior Sites

Once you reach a certain age, general dating sites may not cut it for you anymore. Too many young bucks running around, and not enough age-appropriate matches. Singles over 50 may want to consider joining OurTime. This senior dating site specializes in connecting singles who are close in age and live near one another.

★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is well-known in the over-50 dating crowd, particularly because it has a ton of helpful search features and an easy layout...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

For Black Men & Women Only

In the 1990s, black people made up the majority of Oakland’s population. By 2010, though, only 28% of residents identified as black or African-American. As a result, today’s black singles may have a harder time finding love in O-Town. But BlackPeopleMeet can solve that problem. This niche dating site has the largest network of black and biracial singles in the US.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Hookup & Sex Site

Some singles just aren’t the commitment type. They’re not looking to walk down the aisle or even stay for breakfast. They just want straight-up, no-strings-attached sex. These singles often aren’t satisfied by a general dating site where clingy or desperate singles try to trap them into a relationship. So they rely on sex-oriented dating sites like Adult Friend Finder to hook them up with willing partners.

★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn't about making friends, it's about short-term "hookups" and affairs only. Note that a basic account costs $14.95/month, but it's well worth it if casual sex is your goal...”

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2

Popular Dating Apps

Dating apps allow you to carry the global network of a dating site in your pocket. That’s just plain cool. Wherever you go, you can stay connected to date opportunities thanks to your trusty dating app. Thanks to simple matching systems and location-based date recommendations, mobile dating has become a go-to solution for singles hoping to meet someone in real time. Check out our reviews on our three favorite dating apps for Oakland singles.

Zoosk

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Zoosk

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Search for and receive matches
  • About the App: Zoosk is the number one app for finding dates, and if you sync up your Google+ or Facebook account, you can have a profile in seconds. The app has 38 million members and will deliver matches to your inbox on a daily basis based on your behavior such as who you search for, like or don't like, and message. The Carousel is another section for matching (tap the heart if it's a yes and the X if it's a no).
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Match.com

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Match.com

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by location, age, interest, and more
  • About the App: Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Elite Singles

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Elite Singles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Deep Relationships
  • Match System: Search by education, lifestyle habits, age
  • About the App: Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with Elite Singles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. Elite Singles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now
3

Oakland Singles Bars

If you’re not into technology and prefer old-fashioned face-to-face wooing methods, the bar scene is probably your best bet. Singles frequent bars because they want to mingle, so they’re often open to starting a conversation over a few drinks. You have the chance to meet people in a casual environment where there’s little expectation and zero commitment. Oakland has quite a few singles-friendly bars, and we’ve reviewed some of our favorites for you.

1

Hopscotch

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
1915 San Pablo Ave • Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 788-6217 Visit Website
Hopscotch

Any place that serves a bucket of chicken automatically goes to the top of my list of places I want to visit. Hopscotch deserves its #1 spot on this list for its creative fusion of beloved American and Japanese dishes. This upscale diner and bar uses seasonal ingredients to wow patrons with fresh starters, flavorful cocktails, and mouth-watering main courses. You can try the bar's signature Hops & Scotch pairings or decadent homemade donuts for brunch, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack. This retro spot closes early at 11 p.m., so be sure to grab a stool before last call.

2

Heinold's First and Last Chance

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
48 Webster St • Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 839-6761 Visit Website
Heinold's First and Last Chance

Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon is an old-fashioned pub with a rich history. The building was built in 1880 out of remnants of a whaling ship. In 1883, Johnny Heinold opened it as a 'last chance saloon' meaning it was the last chance to have a drink before entering dry country. The popular pub later became known as Jack London's Rendezvous because the American author spent so much time there talking to seafarers about their travels. Today, this historic bar has survived earthquakes, heat waves, and the hipster crowd to remain a beloved staple in Oakland.

3

Plum Cocktail Bar

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
2216 Broadway • Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 444-7586 Visit Website
Plum Cocktail Bar

Many Oakland locals know and love the Plum Cocktail Bar, which adjoins the Plum restaurant. The bar serves innovative cocktails with flavors enhanced by lavender, ginger, lime, cucumber, mint, and bitters. Whether you're in the mood for something sweet (Huckleberry Hound) or strong (Barrel-Aged Manhattan), the bar is sure to have something to satisfy. "Awesome place, super-friendly staff, and the drinks are exceptional," wrote Amir Adibi in a Google review.

4

Penelope

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
555 12th St • Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 834-0404 Visit Website
Penelope

Located in downtown Oakland, Penelope serves some of the most amazing cocktails in the city. Whether you're in the mood for something fruity, tangy, sour, or strong, the mixologists behind the bar can hook you up. You can often find the owner, Johnny Navarro, mingling in the crowd, working as a bartender, or recommending drinks to patrons. The friendly atmosphere makes it ideal for daters hoping to meet someone. "I've made friends with many of their regulars," said Jennifer B. in a Yelp review. "They all collectively make sure you feel welcome here."

5

Mad Oak Bar

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
135 12th St • Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 924-2047 Visit Website
Mad Oak Bar

This place is so California. From the rooftop deck to the beer garden, the Mad Oak Bar is just a really fun spot to hang out with good friends. You'd have to be mad not to enjoy the spacious area and extensive, food truck menu. Everyone is welcome here — even dogs. You can chow down on a burger and play trivia on Tuesday evenings, or you can brave the happy hour crowds Monday through Friday to enjoy discounted drinks and plenty of good company.

6

Ramen Shop

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
5812 College Ave • Oakland, CA (510) 788-6370 Visit Website
Ramen Shop

Open for brunch, dinner, and late-night drinks, the Ramen Shop is a perfect place to stop and savor the good things in life. Starting with ramen. These scrumptious bowls include generous portions of noodles, meat, eggs, and veggies, so you'll never leave hungry. The bar's specialty cocktails include the Southern Pearl, which has gin, basil, lemon, lime, and simply syrup, and the Old Flame, which has bourbon, grapefruit and lime juice, and passion fruit, sprinkled with brown sugar and toasted cinnamon. Be sure to save room for the burnt honey cake or black sesame ice cream for dessert.

7

Make Westing

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0
1741 Telegraph Ave. • Oakland CA, 94612 (510) 251-1400 Visit Website
Make Westing

Make Westing is an affordable, low-key, and contemporary bar conveniently located on Telegraph Avenue. Its craft cocktails and elevated bar bites keep patrons happy as they relax during a weekday or weekend evening. The bar stays opens from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the servers have a friendly and welcoming vibe. You can play bocce ball with someone you met at the bar and see where the night leads.

8

The Trappist

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0
460 8th St • Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 238-8900 Visit Website
The Trappist

The Trappist is a well-known Victorian-style bar and eatery in Oakland. People may come for the Belgian and specialty beer, but they stay for the gooey grilled cheese and shareable boards of meats and cheeses. The kitchen uses local, seasonal products, so the menu is constantly changing to offer something new and delicious. Plus, every Thursday the bar hosts free live trivia starting at 7 p.m. on the dot. You can grab a pint and hang out at the bar or the back patio to meet people with fine taste.

4

Oakland Speed Dating

Oakland Speed Dating

If you’ve never been speed dating, you’re missing out because it’s a total blast. You get an adrenaline rush from meeting so many interesting, odd, and attractive people at once, and you simply don’t have time to be bored. Speed dating events give you all the excitement of a first date and all the time-saving satisfaction of swiping. My Cheeky Date organizes frequent speed dating events in Oakland. These events usually cater to singles in their late 20s or 30s.

5

Oakland Singles Events

Oakland Singles Events

The Bright Side of the Bay always has something going on, and that’s great news for singles in the area. You can easily find a singles event to liven up your evenings and kick-start your love life. Just search Eventbrite with the keyword “singles,” and you’ll find wine tastings, weekend celebrations, dance parties, and other opportunities to mix and mingle with the city’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

6

Oakland Singles Clubs

Oakland Singles Clubs

In 2012, Forbes called Oakland a “New Sin City” because of its relaxed cabaret laws. The city has a thriving nightlife full of jazz lounges and trend-setting night clubs. Singles can dance the night away at a club and see if they’re drawn to a partner on the dance floor. The club scene is a fantastic place to establish chemistry and win someone over with your smooth moves.

7

Oakland Chat Rooms

You’ve got to play to your strengths when looking to meet someone special in your area. Maybe you clam up in person, but have a lot to say when you’re in front of a keyboard. In that case, local chat rooms are going to be right up your alley. You don’t have to create an in-depth profile or post a picture of yourself to join these online free-for-alls. Just enter your email address, choose a password, and you’re good to go. You can make friends and attract potential dates by becoming a regular in Oakland’s most popular chat rooms, listed below.

8

Oakland Personals

Dating personals are basically no-muss, no-fuss dating sites. You don’t have to undergo a psychological evaluation to set up a profile, and it doesn’t connect to your social media accounts. It’s just an advertisement for dates. It can be as brief as, “I’m single, live in Oakland, and want to meet new people.” Though we’d recommend getting a little more specific about who you are and what you want so you turn some heads online. You can join the following dating personal sites for free and make headway in the local dating scene.

9

Take Advantage of Volunteer Opportunities

The North Oakland Village listed “meet interesting people” and “make new friends” as one of the chief benefits of volunteering with them. We’d add, “potentially find a date” to that list. When you volunteer in the community, you meet fellow volunteers who share your interests, passions, and values, and that’s a great foundation for any relationship.

The North Oakland Village supports an aging-friendly community where seniors can stay active by taking part in social activities and events. Volunteer teams work together to ensure the senior population has everything they need to live out their golden years in style.

Whatever cause is close to your heart, we recommend getting involved and working to make the world a better place while you meet new people. You can volunteer with any nonprofit or charitable organization in the area to widen your social circle and increase your likelihood of meeting a compatible and compassionate date.

10

Join a Co-Ed Sports Team

Sports has a magical way of bringing people together — especially if you’re on the same team. Athletic singles can show their competitive side and meet outgoing people by joining an adult sports team. Oakland has many co-ed teams, including volleyball, softball, and bowling that help straight singles have fun and start relationships.

Photo of Oakland's Office of Parks & Recreation logo

The OPR has over 66 sports fields where adults play like kids at heart.

The Oakland Parks and Recreation’s Adult Sports division offers leagues for people of all skill levels, so you don’t have to be Ricky Henderson to play ball.

Whether you enjoy playing soccer or basketball, you can find a team of new friends by registering for a sports league in Oakland.

It doesn’t even have to be sports. You can join all sorts of outdoorsy groups in Oakland. The Sleep Late and Hike Meetup has over 10,000 members, making it the most popular hiking group in the Bay Area. If you join them on one of their weekend excursions through the trails, you’ll find yourself surrounded by friendly folks.

Get Out of Your Dating Slump in Bump City

Whether you’re new to Oakland or have lived here your entire life, it can never hurt to explore the city and expand your social circle. Who knows? You may meet your special someone at the bar, or on a dating site, or during a volunteer event. It’s up to you to figure out what dating environments appeal to you. You have the ideas, now all you need is the courage and persistence to put yourself out there and find hot dates in Oakland.

As someone told Travelbee23, “There are nice people scattered throughout all three cities, so you should check them all out and see for yourself.”