An Item for Every Whimsy 

You don't need to cross the bridge to find what you're looking for, whether it's an antique lamp, designer shoe, or thrift-store bargain.

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Retro-Fit Vintage (910 Valencia St., San Francisco, 415-550-1530)

Rockridge Rags (5711 College Ave, Oakland, 510-655-2289) is a somewhat conservative consignment boutique.

Schauplatz (791 Valencia St., San Francisco, 415-864-5665)

Thrift Town (16160 E. 14th St., San Leandro, 510-278-1766; 3645 San Pablo Dam Rd., El Sobrante, 510-222-8696; 41200 Blacow Rd. #E., Fremont, 510-661-9150) specializes in $10-and-under, neatly organized, and clean wares, with designer labels represented and 1960s and 1970s items totally findable.

Twisters Vintage (2445 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-548-9478) offers a wide selection of vintage menswear, glamorous jewelry, and cocktail dresses at the midrange prices.

Food & Drink

99 Ranch (3288 Pierce St., Richmond, 510-558-210) is an Asian-foods supermarket with (live) fish, tofu, and meat sections, and specialties like bitter-melon and mochi ice cream.

AG Ferrari (2905 College Ave., Berkeley, 510-849-2701) is a squeaky-clean establishment where you can stock up on salads, sandwiches, and all the makings for a perfect picnic.

Alameda Natural Grocery (1650 Park St., Alameda, 510-865-1500) is an emporium of natural meats, bulk items, and organic produce, and it has its own roomy parking lot.

Alameda Wine Co. (2315 Central Ave., Alameda, 510-523-9463) gets points for good prices and friendly service.

Bakesale Betty (5098 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-985-1213) attracts long lines during lunch for its famous fried-chicken sandwiches.

Baron's Meat & Poultry (1650 Park St., Alameda, 510-864-1915) serves fresh and marinated meats, fish, and more.

Berkeley Bowl (2020 Oregon St., Berkeley, 510-843-6929; 920 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, 510-898-9555, features the nation's most expansive produce section, with an in-house restaurant at the opposite end.

Berkeley Farmers' Markets (Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Center St. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley; Tuesdays, 2 p.m-7 p.m., Derby St. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley; Thursdays, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Shattuck Ave. at Rose St., Berkeley, features super fresh seasonal produce, along with breads, oils, other organic foods — and samples.

Bittersweet Chocolate Café (5427 College Ave., Oakland, 510-654-7159) proffers drinks, pastries, and bars from chocolate dulce de leche pudding to chocolate Thai iced tea.

Blacksmith Cellars (2301 Monarch St., Ste. 300, Alameda, 510-917-0537) was named the area's best winery by East Bay Express readers.

Cheese Board Collective (1504 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-549-3183) lets you choose from a world's worth of cheese; it's picnic central, and the breads are often still warm from the oven.

Crixa Cakes (2748 Adeline St., Berkeley, 510-548-0421), like an old-fashioned Eastern European bakery, has everything from chocolate-cherry mousse cake to Fatima's Thighs.

Du Vin Fine Wines (2526 A Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, 510-769-9463) also includes affordable selections spanning the globe, from Argentina to New Zealand.

El Cerrito Plaza Farmers' Market (Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. year round, 510-528-7992) features super fresh seasonal produce, along with breads, oils, other organic foods — and samples.

Farmer Joe's (3501 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, 510-482-8178), not to be confused with Trader Joe's, is a natural grocery with friendly staff and an ample selection of organic packaged goods, baked goods, produce, and more.

Farmstead Cheeses & Wines (6218 La Salle Ave., Oakland, 510-864-9463) restores dignity to a perfect pairing with well over one hundred types of cheese and a calendar of events for new vinophiles.

Feel Good Bakery (1650 Park St., Alameda, 510-864-2733) reminds you why bread is called the staff of life.

Genova (5095 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-652-7401) evokes Italian-American delis of yore; folks line up for large sandwiches stacked with cold cuts and more at this Oakland favorite.

Grand Bakery (3264 Grand Ave., Oakland, 510-465-1110), the only kosher bakery in Northern California, features delicious challah .

Grand Lake Farmers' Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., year-round, Splash Pad Park, Grand Ave. at Lake Park Ave., Oakland features super-fresh seasonal produce, along with breads, oils, other organic foods — and samples.

Grocery Outlet (2001 Fourth St., Berkeley, 510-845-1771) features name-brand staples and delicacies and lots of wine and beer marked way, way down.

Indus Food Center (1920 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-549-3663) is a thriving part of Berkeley's Middle Eastern food nexus with halvah by the tub, soft flat Afghan bread, and eye-poppingly hot harissa sauce.

Ici (2948 College Ave., Berkeley, 510-665-6054) serves house-made ice cream, from honey-lavender to gingersnap, along with the classics for purists.

It's All Good Bakery (5622 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Oakland, 510-597-9700), run by a rapper turned baker, offers his Southern grandmother's specialties including peach cobbler, sweet-potato pie, and 7-Up Pound Cake.

Kensington Farmers' Market (Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Oak View Ave. at Colusa Circle, Kensington, features super fresh seasonal produce, along with breads, oils, other organic foods — and samples.

Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (1605 San Pablo, Berkeley, 510-524-1524) features French and Italian sippables spanning a wide range of prices.

La Farine (6323 College Ave., Oakland, 510-654-0338) is a French bakery offering rich galettes, brioches, and croissants — the latter sold plain or laced with chocolate, fruits, and nuts.

Masse's Pastries (1469 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-649-1004), run by Paul Masse, a former pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton, blends the breathtaking with the traditional.

Nabolom Bakery (2708 Russell St., Berkeley, 510-845-2253) is a worker-owned, vegan-friendly cafe serving baked goods like the Infinite Twist, a brown-sugar-topped carbo-rush.

Old Oakland Farmers' Market (Fridays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. year round, 9th St. between Broadway and Clay, Oakland, features super fresh seasonal produce, along with breads, oils, other organic foods — and samples.


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