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Battle Of The Bay: San Francisco VS. Oakland

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The San Francisco Bay Area is a big place. Its home to nine counties, includes far too many cities to name, and while San Jose is technically the biggest city in the Bay Area. The region is undeniably defined by San Francisco and Oakland.  Which ultimately begs the question. Which is city is better… and why?

We’re going to break this down into 5 different categories: Weather, Culture, Beauty, Food and Safety.

Who do you think is gonna win? The City or The Town?


Both San Francisco and Oakland have great weather. The Bay Area is located in coastal California and good weather is kinda our thing. Some people complain about San Francisco’s overcast and mild summers, while others find the fog charming. I’m one of the people that find San Francisco’s foggy weather charming. That’s not to say Oakland doesn’t have its fair share of overcast, it does. San Franciscans sometimes fetishize Oakland’s somewhat sunnier climate by almost describing it like it’s equivalent to Southern California, it’s not. Oakland on average is about 5 degrees warmer than San Francisco and its share of the fog burns off faster as Oakland is further from the ocean. If you were to force me to choose between the two, it’d be hard, but I have to give the nod to Oakland. While I like San Francisco’s weather a bit better, from a general point of view, most would prefer Oakland’s climate.

Winner: Oakland (but not by much)


San Francisco is a world renown city, and one of things San Francisco is known for is its culture, but anyone from the Bay knows Oakland is far ahead of SF culturally. The real divide in terms of culture between SF and Oakland is based primarily on the class divide and your own personal preference. If you’re a wealthy traveler looking for museums. San Francisco is better than Oakland. But if you looking for something more community driven and less pretention, Oakland is way ahead and everyone knows it. That’s not to say they’re isn’t cool shit happening SF, there’s just more of it in Oakland.

Winner: Oakland


This one isn’t even fair. San Francisco is far ahead of Oakland in terms of beauty. Oakland is a beautiful city, but San Francisco is fucking art. Everything from the architecture to the ocean, San Francisco can’t be fucked with. Oakland is nice and all, but if you say otherwise, you’re full of shit. I’m from the East Bay, but this is just a fact.

Winner: San Francisco (by a fucking landslide)


San Francisco and Oakland both have fantastic food scenes. but once again, the difference is based in class. SF has better fine dining. Do you wanna eat caviar with Gavin Newsom? Then San Francisco is probably better to you. Do you want to eat a burrito from a taco truck that will change your life? Then come to fucking Oakland. That’s not to say the Mission doesn’t have good street food. it does, but Fruitvale is still better. It honestly depends on what you’re looking for.

Winner: Tie


You think I’m gonna trash Oakland for being unsafe aren’t you? Well, not really. While, yes, Oakland does have a higher crime rate than San Francisco on paper, you see more crazy shit in San Francisco than Oakland. In both cities practicing awareness is key to not being fucked with. Don’t leave shit in your car, don’t juggle 3 iPhones in the air while talking about how high your tech salary is in West Oakland or the Mission District. Just don’t be a fucking idiot and you should be alright. So…

Winner: Tie

Conclusion: WHO WINS?

Who gives a fuck. If you can afford to live in San Francisco or Oakland, you’ve already won…





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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is an Oakland-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!