Saturday, July 30, 2011

OAKLAND

(includes Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville & Rockridge)

BAKERIES, COFFEE, ICE CREAM, JUICE & TEA
Beauty’s Bagel Shop – 3838 Telegraph Avenue; 510-629-1569; beautysbagelshop.com; Montreal-style bagels.
Cole Coffee – 3179 College Avenue (Berkeley); 510-985-1958; colecoffee.com; consistently rated as best East Bay Area coffee.
Cole Coffee – 307 63rd Street; 510-653-5458; colecoffee.com.
Cole Coffee – 6255 College Avenue; 510-724-0700; colecoffee.com.
Doughnut Dolly – 482B 49th Street; 510-338-6738; doughnutdolly.com; try Naughty Cream (fried puff filled with creme fruit and vanilla bean pastry cream).
La Farine Bakery – 6323 College Avenue; 510-654-0338; lafarine.com; bakery; try triple (candied, fresh, and ground) ginger cookie.
La Farine French Bakery – 3411 Fruitvale Avenue; 510-531-7750; lafarine.com.
La Farine Bakery – 1820 Solano Avenue; 510-528-2208; lafarine.com.
Ici Ice Cream – 2948 College Avenue (Berkeley); 510-665-6054; ici-icecream.com; hazelnut ice cream is famous.
Scream Sorbet – 5030 Telegraph Avenue (Temescal District); 510-394-5030; screamsorbet.com; try almond pink peppercorn.
Smitten – 5800 College Avenue (Rockridge, between Oak Grove Avenue & Birch Court in North Oakland); 510-594-7630; smittenicecream.com; uses liquid nitrogen to freeze, which makes crystals smaller and so ice cream is much smoother; try brown butter & cookie.
Starter Bakery – 1552 Beach Street; 510-547-6400; starterbakery.com; ask for kouign-amann (like croissant but more buttery).
Subrosa – 419 40th Street; 510-740-8020; subrosacoffee.com; coffee.
Tian Jin Dumplings – 989 Franklin Street; 510-459-6265; facebook.com/pages/Tian-Jin-Dumplings/278567152286168; best breakfast item before 11:00 am in city is their donut-stuffed dumpling.



BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
Adesso – 4395 Piedmont Avenue; 510-601-0305; dopoadesso.com; good bar food.
Blake’s on Telegraph – 2367 Telegraph Avenue (Berkeley); 510-848-0886; blakesontelegraph.com; venue founded in 1940, when Berkeley still known for jazz, not acid rock; live music performances are eclectic, with genres as diverse as jazz, punk, and ska; make sure it’s not fraternity night.
Cafe Van Kleef – 1621 Telegraph Avenue; 510-763-7711; eastbayexpress.com/oakland/cafe-van-kleef/Location?oid=1109377; hipster watering hole offering craft cocktails & live music in digs packed with funky art & knickknacks.
Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge – 1304 Lincoln Avenue (Alameda); 510-749-0332; forbiddenislandalameda.com; old-fashioned Tiki lounge.
Haven – 44 Webster Street (Jack London Square); 510-663-4440; havenoakland.com; by chef from Coi in San Francisco.
Heinhold’s 1st & Last Chance – 48 Webster Street (Jack London Square); 510-839-6761; heinoldsfirstandlastchance.com; open since 1883; built from old whaling ship timbers, extending over water in dock area; during 1920s, ferry that ran between Alameda and Oakland stopped next to Heinold’s (Alameda was dry and bar was commuters’ 1st & last chance for refreshment); inordinate number of adventurers, politicians, and writers are patrons; as schoolboy, Jack London studied at same tables used today; wrote notes for Sea Wolf and Call of Wild on-site; at age 17, London confided to owner, John Heinold, ambition was to go to University of California and become writer; Heinold lent London money; in London’s novel, John Barleycorn, 1st & Last Chance Saloon and Heinhold referenced 17 times; Robert Louis Stevenson spent time here while waiting for ship to be outfitted for final cruise to Samoa; other notables to sit at bar include Ambrose Bierce, Rex Beach, Erskine Caldwell, Earle Gardner, Charles E. Markham, Joaquin Miller, and Robert Service.
Hopscotch – 1915 San Pablo Avenue; 510-788-6217; hopscotchoakland.com; cocktails in retro diner atmosphere.
Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill – 1520 Lakeside Drive; 510-208-5253; thelakechalet.com; stunning surroundings and uneven fare; $22M renovation of former municipal building with outdoor dining and fireplace in main structure; try Black Diamond cocktail (gin, lime, Pernod, and blackberries).
Ordinaire – 3354 Grand Avenue; 510-629-3944; ordinairewine.com; wine.
Plum – 2216 Broadway; 510-444-7586; plumoakland.com; next door to Plum Restaurant.
St. George’s Spirits – 2601 Monarch Street (Alameda, on former Alameda Naval Air Station grounds); 510-769-1601; stgeorgespirits.com; free distillery tours weekends at 1; tasting room open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-7, and Sundays noon-6; 1 of few American absinthe manufacturers.



HOTELS
Berkeley City Club – 2315 Durant Avenue (Berkeley); 510-848-7800; berkeleycityclub.com; designed by Julia Morgan, who designed Hearst Castle.
Claremont Resort & Spa – 41 Tunnel Road (Berkeley); 510-843-3000 or 800-551-7266; claremontresort.com; built in 1915.
Rose Garden Inn – 2740 Telegraph Avenue (Berkeley); 510-549-2145 or 800-992-9005; rosegardeninn.com; housed in 5 buildings and decorated with every tchotchke imaginable.
Shattuck Plaza Hotel – 2086 Allston Way; 510-845-7300 or 866-466-9199; hotelshattuckplaza.com; lovely and reasonably priced.



RESTAURANTS
Adesso – 4395 Piedmont Avenue; 510-601-0305; dopoadesso.com; laid-back Italian wine bar; happy hour crammed with free food; try arancini and/or salumi misti.
Bakesale Betty’s – 5098 Telegraph Avenue (Berkeley); 510-985-1213; bakesalebetty.com; fried chicken sandwich is famous (they sell as many as 1K in afternoon); brisket also good; long waits standing in line; must have strawberry shortcake, too.
Bocanova – 55 Webster Street; 510-444-1233; bocanova.com; 1 of new restaurants in Jack London Square; South American home-cooking; try deviled eggs with Dungeness crab and chipotle aioli.
Boot & Shoe Service – 3308 Grand Avenue; 510-763-2668; bootandshoeservice.com; excellent pizza & other outstanding dishes.
Brown Sugar Kitchen – 2534 Mandela Parkway; 510-839-7685; brownsugarkitchen.com; excellent cornmeal waffles.
Cafe Gratitude – 1730 Shattuck Ave (Berkeley, at Virginia Street); 510-725-4418; cafegratitude.com; vegan but fussy.
Camino Restaurant – 3917 Grand Avenue; 510-547-5035; caminorestaurant.com; chef from Chez Panisse; seasonal, simple, and straightforward dishes, man made in enormous camino (Italian fireplace); everything made with top-notch ingredients, including local sardines, grilled lamb and sausage with shell beans, and grilled white sea bass with green beans and new potatoes; menu of approximately 8 dishes rotates nightly, with vegetarian options (eggplant gratin); decorated in craftsman-meets-refectory style, with brick walls and 2 long redwood communal tables filled with East Bay couples and friends; seasonally inspired cocktails from small bar are not to be missed (gin-based drink with house-made cherry and hibiscus bitters notably delicious).
Commis – 3859 Piedmont Avenue; 510-653-3902; commisrestaurant.com; chef has trained at El Bulli; name means “apprentice chef” in French; floor-to-ceiling façade; spare, 30-seat dining room; 3-course dinner reasonably priced ($60); modern; Michelin star.
Digs Bistro – 1453 Dwight Way (at Sacramento Street); 510-548-2322; digsbistro.com; teensy eatery; innovative, talent incubator.
Doña Tomas – 5004 Telegraph Avenue (Berkeley, between 49th & 51st Streets); 510-450-0522; donatomas.com; gentrifying, old school, long-time resident restaurant; carne asada especially good; skip dessert.
Dopo – 4293 Piedmont Avenue; 510-652-3676; dopoadesso.com.
El Huarache Azteca – 3842 International Boulevard (Berkeley); 510-533-2395; elhuaracheaztec.com; among most authentic Mexican restaurants in area; specialties include moles, marinated cactus, tortas, and even huitlacoche.
Haven – 44 Webster Street (Jack London Square); 510-663-4440; havenoakland.com; by chef from Coi in San Francisco.
Hawker Fare – 2300 Webster Street (between 24th & 23rd Streets); 510-832-8896; hawkerfare.com; Asian street fare by chef that runs Commis.
Hopscotch – 1915 San Pablo Avenue; 510-788-6217; hopscotchoakland.com; try fried chicken at this retro diner.
KronnerBurger – 4063 Piedmont Avenue; 510-823-2371; kronnerburger.com; burgers, fries, marrow & other gourmet eats in casual-chic, marble-lined space.
Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill – 1520 Lakeside Drive; 510-208-5253; thelakechalet.com; stunning surroundings and uneven fare; $22M renovation of former municipal building with outdoor dining and fireplace in main structure.
Levende East – 827 Washington Street; 510-835-5585; levende.com; bar and excellent dinner; old warehouse setting with high ceilings and windows; mojitos excellent, as is Jamaican Jerk Chicken with plantains.
Luka’s Taproom & Lounge – 2221 Broadway; 510-451-4677; lukasoakland.com; sports bar with East Bay’s best burgers.
Nido – 444 Oak Street (between 5th & 4th Streets); 510-444-6436; nidooakland.com; Mexican bar and restaurant in Jack London district.
Noodle Theory – 6099 Claremont Avenue; 510-595-6988; noodletheory.com; cheap & excellent.
O Chame – 1830 4th Street (Berkeley); 510-841-8783; ochame.com; Japanese soba noodles; gentle, quiet atmosphere.
Oliveto – 5555 College Avenue (at Shafter Avenue); oliveto.com; 510-547-5356; Sicilian-style Italian.
Pizzaiolo – 5008 Telegraph Avenue; 510-652-4888; pizzaiolooakland.com; easygoing dining establishment; some of best desserts in bay area; good breakfasts; pizza; patio dining.
Plum – 2214 Broadway; 510-444-7586; plumoakland.com; by chef from Coi, in San Francisco.
Ramen Shop – 5812 College Avenue; 510-788-6370; ramenshop.com; not only is ramen stellar, but appetizers like squid & pork fried rice & halibut tartare are phenomenal.
Riva Cucina – 800 Heinz Avenue (Berkeley, at 7th Street); 510-841-7482; rivacucina.com; somewhat remote; Italian food “soulfully” prepared and presented.
Sketch – 1809A 4th Street (Berkeley); 510-665-5650; sketchicecream.com; best ice cream in Bay area except, maybe, for Ici Ice Cream.
Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto – 1919 4th Street (Berkeley); 510-845-7771; themenupage.com/spengers.html; fresh fish supplier to McCormick & Schmidts; old school ambience, huge setting; good, reliable seafood.
Tamarindo Antojeria – 468 8th Street; 510-444-1944; tamarindoantojeria.com; tacos and tortas.
Wood Tavern – 6317 College Avenue; 510-654-6607; woodtavern.net; high-end home cooking.



SERVICES
Berkeley Path Wanderers Association – 1442A Walnut Street (Berkeley); 510-848-2944; berkeleypaths.org; organization dedicated to creation, preservation, and restoration of public paths, steps, and walkways in Berkeley; all pathways photographed and available for viewing on website; also, path video on YouTube; approximately 140 paths owned by Berkeley, most in good condition with minimal difficulties for walkers; 6 locator maps available; number of pathways are, at this time, unimproved, and shown on BPWA map as dotted lines; see section on Self-Guided Walks.
Great White Adventures – 3310 Powell Street (Emeryville); 510-808-4499; greatwhiteadventures.com; elephant seals attract great white sharks close enough to shore for commercial diving services to offer trips out to see them (28 miles off coast).
Temescal Alley Barber Shop – 470-B 49th Street (Temescal District); temescalalleybarbershop.tumblr.com; retro-style barbershop.



SHOPPING
Book/Shop – 482D 49th Street (Temescal District); 510-907-9649; shopbookshop.com; 1st editions at sleek bookshop-slash-gallery.
Esqueleto – 482A 49th Street (Temescal District); 510-629-6216; shopesqueleto.com; nature-inspired jewelry.
Homestead Apothecary – 486 49sup>th Street (Temescal District); 510-541-5225; homesteadapothecary.com; wide array local goods including tinctures, body care, flower essences, teas, gems & herbalism books.
Lot 49 – 470 49th Street (Temescal District); 415-328-4756; lot-49.com; mid-century modern, vintage furniture and home accessories.
Moe’s Books – 2476 Telegraph Avenue (Berkeley); 510-849-2087; moesbooks.com.
Ordinaire – 3354 Grand Avenue; 510-629-3944; ordinairewine.com; wine.
Swan’s Market – 538 9th Street; 510-287-5353; ebaldc.org/property/swans-market; food market hall, restaurants, street-oriented retail, commercial office space, etc.; make sure to try Tomales Bay oysters with glass rose at Cook & Her Farmer, split pea fritters (foulard) at Miss Ollie’s; shrimp tacos at Cosecha, and/or matcha affogato at B-Dama.



SIGHTS & SITES
East Bay Vivarium – 1827-C 5th Street (Berkeley); 510-841-1400; eastbayvivarium.com; lots of snakes; are 11-7 Monday to Friday and 11-6 on Saturday and Sunday.
Fox Theater – 1807 Telegraph Avenue; 510-548-3010; thefoxoakland.com; among Bay area’s top live music venues.
Pacific Film Archive – 2625 Durant Avenue (Berkeley); 510-642-0808 or 510-642-1124; bampfa.berkeley.edu; quirky film festivals; UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive is visual arts center; art and film programs, collections, and research resources; 1 of largest university art museums in USA, with more than 16K objects and 14K films and videos.
Pacific Pinball Museum – 1510 Webster Street (Alameda); 510-769-1349; pacificpinball.org.
Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve – 6800 Skyline Boulevard (in Berkeley Hills just east of city); 510-881-1833 or 888-327-2757 (preferred); ebparks.org/parks/sibley; straddles Alameda & Contra Costa Counties; can be entered from Oakland on Skyline Boulevard or from Contra Costa County on Old Tunnel Road; among 1st 3 parks established by East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) in 1936; originally named Round Top Regional Park, Round Top being extinct volcano in Berkeley Hills; home to several stone labyrinths of recent origin.
Tilden Park – entrances off Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Wildcat Canyon Road (Berkeley); 510-562-7275; ebparks.org/parks/tilden; 1 of East Bay Regional Park District’s 3 oldest parks; called system’s jewel; from carousel ride and picnic to swim at Lake Anza and stroll through Botanic Garden, variety to delight everyone; plenty of quiet places in Tilden’s 2,079 acres to shelter wildlife and preserve natural beauty.
University of California Botanical Garden – 200 Centennial Drive (Berkeley); 510-643-2755; botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu.

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