The food. Oakland has the fastest growing foodie spot. The food places are usually next to a local lounge where you can pop in and have a few good drinks with local music.
Old Oakland has been that hot spot plus its a few blocks from 12th street bart station. If you go up more - You're in Uptown Oakland - very close to another Bart Station. Another great food and lounge area. I can go on...
I usually tweet about these type of places in Oakland - @mrbardales . Also, I am from San Francisco and now live in Oakland. Its not what they think!