Uptown Oakland’s charming Hopscotch is a cozy restaurant with a tiny bar in a retro diner space, turning out heartwarming American dishes with Japanese influence from chef Kyle Itani (who had a stint on the Esquire TV show Knife Fight). Cocktails have long been a strength here, thanks to co-owner Jenny Schwarz. Pull up to swiveling, vinyl chairs at the chrome-lined bar for one of her creations, which sometimes showcase local vodkas.
THE DRINK TO DRINK Your Cheatin’ Heart shows off nearby St. George’s Green Chile Vodka. Its green, vegetal notes are brightened with blood orange juice and a welcome contrast of smoked salt.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
There are daily happy hour specials from 3 to 5 p.m., best enjoyed at outside tables on a sunny East Bay day.