Both a record label and a brick-and-mortar record store, 1-2-3-4 Go! carries everything from punk and hardcore to country and soul stuff, hosts shows regularly, and has what's probably the only publicly operating vintage photo booth in the East Bay.
Live jazz music from some of the Bay Area's best artists flows from this North Oakland gallery on the regular. The space hosts rotating artist exhibitions and an ever-growing private collection of jazz- and blues-inspired paintings.
After all these years, Berkeley's famous all-ages punk warehouse still draws crowds of kids to its weekly shows, featuring punk bands (both local and national). But the best thing about this volunteer-run, alcohol- and drug-free venue is its sense of history: The yellowing, graffiti-stained walls have been ragged and tagged by members of now-legendary bands like Screw 32, Green Day, and A.F.I.
This oldest arts & crafts cooperative west of the Mississippi (founded in the mid-1950s) owns its own exhibition space and retail outlet — a handsome, many-windowed brick building in upscale North Berkeley, flanked by high-end restaurants and boutiques. Inside, artworks created by member artists are displayed in rotating shows and events.
At Actual Cafe, it's all about sitting down and enjoying the coffeehouse experience. Get a cup of joe (or tea) served in a real china cup, plop down, and just hang for a while. Actual Cafe boasts comfy furniture and communal seating to encourage actual interaction with actual human life-forms. It's "not just another wi-fi shack." Indoor bike parking and a full menu are also available. Weekends are laptop-free.
The rehabbed 1937 historic theater and megaplex has a certain charm about it, namely owed to its fifty-foot screen, balcony, and Art Deco architecture, courtesy of Timothy Pflueger.
This club, modeled after an Eastern European wooden synagogue, is a Berkeley institution dedicated to dance and music. The nonprofit venue hosts live music nearly every night, and shows are all-ages. Ashkenaz hosts reggae, bluegrass, Balkan, Brazilian, Cajun, and Caribbean bands, just to name a few. Come early for a dance class or on Sunday afternoon for a kids' concert.
This award-winning cafe, tea house, bar, restaurant, venue, and gallery is one of Uptown's most happening spots.
You can dance, drink, and most definitely eat at this German-American restaurant and tavern, where the Wiener Schnitzel comes veggie-optional and live music fills the room every weekend. If the weather's nice, sit out on the cedar patio and sip on Belgium ale and other tasty beer offerings in bottle or on tap.
UC Berkeley’s preeminent museum is a striking modernist structure with a collection of more than 16,000 works of art.
The theatre has kept up such a high standard of excellence on its two stages in recent years that it stands head and shoulders above larger regional rivals.
Despite their sheer numbers, cafes are never unpopular for Berkeleyites wanting to chat with friends over soy cappuccinos or pretending to write a research paper while engaging in some serious people-watching. Apparently, Caffe Triestes location in Berkeleys "West Bank" is the perfect spot for such social anthropological study, as its situated at the corner of busy San Pablo Avenue and Dwight Way, and has the type of baristas who wonder why you havent shown up in the last few weeks. With tiny white lights strung from the ceiling and bottles of Pinot Grigio and Chianti on the counter, this cafes Euro vibe is accentuated with traditional Italian music rotating with Argentine tango every Monday night. If you love Italy but arent in love with Italy, Caffe Trieste also books varying live jazz acts every Tuesday, and a range of other live music on Friday nights.