north light  \ ˈnȯrth līt \
1. the ideal light by which to create art; indirect light
2. the friendliest all-day bar and kitchen, with a specially curated book and record shop, in Oakland, CA


Located in the heart of Temescal, North Light is a cozy all-day spot. Whether you want a place to work, get some lunch, meet a friend for an afternoon drink, write the next great American novel, have a date night, sit alone in a corner with a book and a cocktail, meet a stranger, throw a birthday party, or eat a meal at any time of day, North Light is your joint. We have an all-weather back patio, free wifi, and a special book and record shop curated by some of the best living writers, musicians, and artists. We look forward to seeing you soon


Weekdays, 11am to midnight
Weekends, 9am to midnight
Closed Mondays


4915 Telegraph, Oakland 94609




For North Light’s bookshop, we asked some of our favorite writers, musicians, and artists to select the inventory. Special shelves have been curated by Patti Smith, Michael Chabon, George Saunders, Samin Nosrat, Rebecca Solnit, Tobias Wolff, Maureen Corrigan, Robert Pinsky, Ayelet Waldman, Daniel Handler, Lisa Brown, Michael Pollan, Pico Iyer, Greil Marcus, Dana Gioia, Michael Ondaatje, Jim White, and we’re adding new curators regularly.

Our record store is organized into 9 drawers, each focused on a different artist and 3 degrees of their connections, collaborations, and influences. For example, 3 degrees of The Beatles, which includes 50 or so records of pop and rock by various artists, as seen through the lens of The Beatles. Other drawers are focused on the worlds of Aretha Franklin, Grandmaster Flash, Robert Johnson, Patti Smith, Dolly Parton, Duke Ellington, and Rogue Wave.


We do not accept reservations, however we do have one booth on our patio that can seat 8 or even 10 (snugly). If you’re interested in reserving this—for 6 or more people—please email us at as far in advance as possible, and we’ll do what we can to save it for you.
Our patio is available for parties. It seats 32; more for a standing affair. We can work with you on a special menu and playlist for your party—birthdays, holidays, book releases, record releases, rehearsal dinners, small weddings, anniversaries, whatever. It’s also possible to do a full-venue buyout for your event.


If there’s something you like or don’t like, or something you wish we had, give us a shout at We’re all about communication. We live in the neighborhood and love our community and want everyone to be happy, or at least to pursue happiness.


Many talented and lovely people helped us create North Light. Here are some of them:

Jessica Hische, identity and design
Brandon Herring, logo concept
The Savage Bureau, website
Stephen Swinstrom & Lugstar Industries, casework & built-ins
Said-Jon Eghbal, architect
Jill Rosenthal, designer
Pat Spurgeon, record shop guru
Alexandra Posey, bookshop commandant
Carolyn Tawasha, attorney
Laurie Aaronson, consultant
Carrie Peters, ABC License Company