36 minutes in Fruitvale

BART Station:

Fruitvale (Oakland)

A flower from the Magnolia Champaca tree. Photo courtesy of Pacific Horticulture Society.

Fragrant flowers, a good lunch spot, and hot beignets await just outside the Fruitvale BART Station. There is a lot to see and do, and only 36 minutes to spare, so let's get to it.

Editor's Note: Please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or at an in-person event or location. Before you travel on BART, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. See BART's 15-step plan to safely welcome back riders here.

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In the summer, riders to and from Fruitvale are treated to a pleasant fragrance that emanates from the trees surrounding the station. This wonderful aroma comes from several Magnolia Champaca trees growing in the Fruitvale Village right next to the trackway. They're so close you can almost touch them from the northbound train platform.

To see the trees and flowers in person, exit the station and walk north along Avenida de la Fuente and look for the trees on your left. The flowers that fall from the trees don't last long -- those in the know always pick them up and take them home for their scent.

Several Magnolia Champaca trees grow on the north side of the Fruitvale BART Station. Photo courtesy of Google.

Once you've satisfied your nose, it's time to satisfy your stomach with yummy food in Fruitvale Village -- one of the first transit-oriented development projects in the Bay Area.

Your trip to Fruitvale won't be complete without sampling the local cuisine, so we recommend fulfilling this duty at Mexican restaurant, Obelisco. Located within the Village, Obelisco proudly serves fresh, mouthwatering works of art made from responsibly sourced, high quality ingredients. Everything at Obelisco is good, but regulars love the chicken mole plate, burritos, pozole and dairy-free/gluten-free coconut flan.

Enjoy patio seating at Obelisco. Photo courtesy of Meow M.

If you're looking for a treat to bring home to family and friends, head a few businesses down to Powderface. At Powderface, you will find upscale New Orleans French donuts called beignets, made to order, where you can watch the entire process from start to finish. Sink your teeth into a hot, crispy beignet, fresh from the fryer. Here, you call the powder (dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon). Add chocolate or caramel as well for the finale.

Beignets are made to order at Powderface. Photo courtesy of Fotos by Flee.

Let's talk for a minute. 

What's your favorite Fruitvale Village spot? Have a suggestion for our next 36 minutes feature? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay. 

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