Sites and Bites

Photography and writing by Sites and Bites contributor Eva Kolenko


The weather has been amazing lately! When the sun is out, dining outdoors is in. Luck for us Oakland has a good number of restaurants that offer patio seating, and Toast on College Ave is one of them. It was easy to convince my sister to join the baby and I for a little lunch bite while soaking in some spring sun.


The name Toast might throw you off for a moment since there are more than one restaurant in the Bay Area sharing the same name, but this Toast is not of the diner or breakfast variety. Instead, here you can nibble on things like cheese and charcuterie for lunch or dinner.


I’ve been to Toast several times, but for this lunch we ordered a salad of blood orange and avocado, the salami plate, a deviled egg salad sandwich, a lemon chicken kale sandwich and we shared it all.

Toast6Everything was really tasty. The citrus avocado paring in the salad was perfectly refreshing, and salami of course is always good! I had tried the egg sandwich before, and it still proved to be a favorite of mine.


Another bonus to patio dinning is it tends to be very kid friendly. If you have a little one like my four month old Parker, there is plenty of room to park a stroller, plus sound dispersed outdoors is much more forgiving for those moment when they get a little fussy.

 Keep reading for our next stop, Hawthorn…


Just a couple steps away from Toast is a beautiful women’s boutique called Hawthorn. The space is lovely, very open, and minimal but warm and welcoming at the same time. This is probably a direct refection of the ladies behind the business. Laura and Laurie (the shop owner) are so friendly! We have developed a little instagram friendship over the past couple months.  I definitely recommend giving them a follow @hawthornshop.

hawthorn7 There is a lot to love here, dresses, killer jeans, shoes jewelry, but my favorite thing about Hawthorn Boutique is their passion for local and sustainable design. With labels like The Podolls, Ali Golden and Tradlands gracing their racks, Hawthorn truly practices what they preach.


Shopping here can really give you a sense of pride for living in the bay area. It’s just so inspiring to see all these lovely things that are made here, right in our own backyards.

hawthorn2 I was wearing Parker in her baby bjorn this trip leaving my hands fee to shoot, so it wasn’t possible for me to try on and leave with any goodies, but I plan on making a trip back soon to do some legit shopping.  I am mad obsessed with these floral printed jeans by mother denim!



I love Hawthorn! Laurie and Laura are positively lovely. I need to check out Toast, have yet to try.

I love this series and these pictures are beautiful!

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