The Oaktown Spice Shop, right next to Lake Merritt, is a dream for people who love to cook. The interior is designed to look a bit like an old fashioned general store, with wooden barrels serving as tables, and of course walls lined with clear jars full of fragrant spices. You can find almost any spice you're looking for, and will probably discover some new ones in the process! They also sell gift boxes with several different complimentary or themed spices that come with several recipes utilizing them.
Nathan & Co. is a top destination for all things fun and quirky. This cute boutique stocks everything from scarves and jewelry to cookbooks, crazy card games, lamps, funny books and everything in between. If you're looking for the perfect gift for someone or just looking for fun things to stock your home with, Nathan & Co. should be on your list.
On sunny East Bay Saturdays, and even the cloudy ones, residents take a trip to this farmers' market, set in a charming part of downtown Oakland near Lake Merritt and the Grand Lake Theatre. It is an ongoing market and offers the chance to buy seasonal and organic produce, homemade baked goods, large farm eggs, and more. You will enjoy the opportunity of buying such items as fresh-cut sunflowers and ripe cherries direct from local growers. Admission is free. Some vendors may take credit cards.
This store is not just a record store, but also has its own record label. The store and label specialize in punk rock and indie rock, and fans of these genres and the sound of vinyl will feel as if they're in heaven. They also buy used records, and pride themselves in paying more for them than any other store in the area. They also host in-store performances and art shows.
Veteran purveyors of extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar, Amphora Nueva is dedicated to bringing healthy oil options to the people of Berkeley. This family business prides itself on its specialty gourmet oils, a few of which are available on tap for tasting. Olive oil connoisseurs will be thrilled at the range of olive oils, from Organic California Arbequina to Tunisian Baklouti or Green Chilli Oil. Amphora Nueva also stocks Italian-designed pourers and pour sprouts.
If you like wine tasting but want to try something new, head over to Takara Sake USA near the Fourth Street Shopping District. Don't be fooled by Takara's looks, although the outside appears quite industrial, the tasting room is pleasant, airy, and elegant. Try a flight of sake and learn about the brewing and production of this flavorful, Japanese brew by peering through a factory window, viewing an informative movie, or exploring Takara's very own sake museum exhibiting antique sake-making tools. Don't like sake? Lucky for you, Takara also sells plum wines, shochu, cooking sake, malt beverages, Japanese vodka, and of course, souvenirs.
Bulo Shoes specializes in fine Italian leather shoes in chic, contemporary styles that complement an urban lifestyle. The wide assortment of footwear includes boots, heels, mules, slides, and loafers. The management stands behind the quality of the designers, and are extremely knowledgeable about the durability and craftsmanship of every shoe. If you are lucky, you will arrive during one of the store's famous sales, which are not uncommon toward the end of a particular season. Bulo also stocks up on accessories for women.
Owned and run by a close knit family with an aim and sole focus to retain loyal customers with ever innovative designs and funky clothing, M.A.C (Modern Appealing Clothing) is a real gem on Hayes Valley. Armed with an unmatched fashion know-how, the team's magnificent creations for men and women are purely irresistible. Stunning beauties from Belgian designers Dries van Noten and Martin Marjiela and Japanese designer Yoshi Kondo hang alongside local talents, spanning the versatile apparel collection. This high end boutique will surely lighten your pockets, but definitely worth a visit for that unique touch of glamor!
While digital cameras have taken the world by storm, offering an almost endless array of easy-to-use options to help customize your clicks, images captured on photographic film still boast a charm and effect that simply cannot be replicated by the cameras of today. Glass Key Photo is a haven for those who subscribe to the old-school style of photography. With an inventory that includes photographic film of every imaginable kind, darkroom paper, analog cameras, lenses, the usual and unusual chemicals for development, stop baths and alternative processes, and, oddly enough, root beer, this store will set you up with everything you need to capture the world as you see it on film. Fuji, Rollei, Kodak, Leica, Polaroid and Hasselblad are just a few of the brands whose wares can be found at Glass Key Photo.
For over two decades, The Jewelry Exchange Company has provided the finest quality jewelry at an outstanding value. They specialize in stylish engagement rings, exquisitely designed diamond and color-stone jewelry. They also provide full custom design services to create a truly unique piece of jewelry.
At Tourneau its understood that a good wrist-watch takes a person long way in life. From keeping a track of the time to making an impression with the right person, the value of a watch is unaccountable. If you can't find the right one for yourself, then walk into Tourneau, where they stock more than 100 brands in just one store. Not just that, the store also sells accessories like cuff links, sun glasses and jewelry. A good place to pick up small things which make big impressions in life.
The Aloha Warehouse is a little slice of Hawaii, tucked away amidst the hustle and bustle of San Francisco's Japantown. Here, you will find a beautiful selection of ukuleles, Hawaiian imports, traditional flower arrangements, apparel, gifts and more. Add a touch of authenticity to your next luau with fresh flower lei and Hawaiian candies from the Aloha Warehouse. While many of us will never make it to the island paradise that is Hawaii, Aloha Warehouse offers a taste of the island's treasures right here in San Francisco. Ukelele workshops and concerts are often hosted here as well.