4th Street in Berkeley
Every time I go back to visit my family in Alameda, California, I always have to visit one of my favorite local hangout spots in the East Bay at 4th Street in Berkeley. It’s a cool and trendy area of Berkeley fillled with clothing shops and galleries, gorgeous furniture and design boutiques, delicious indoor/outdoor cafes and coffee shops. There is always something new and exciting to see from the design forward shops and entertainment venues.
What’s hip and cool at 4th street in Berkeley
Even for those that are not into shopping, it’s just a fun spot to have some coffee and enjoy the people watching or outdoor entertainment that happens in the area. Shopping itself is a refined art here with very hip clothing shops and specialty boutiques that cater to the hip Bay Area market.
Here are a few of my favorites and new shops that keep popping up along the strip.
The Gardener – a garden, lifestyle and home boutique and gallery
One of my favorite places that combines, garden focused products, books, artwork and just cool gadgets and locally handcrafted art or utilitarian one of a kind work for that special occasion or gift.
Close by is another new eatery that just opened up called Iyasare – contemporary Japanese cuisine with minimal zen appeal.
Spenger’s Fish Grotto
The complete opposite of Iyasare is the old Berkeley seafood institution, Spenger’s Restaurant, which still has these amazing signs out in the front and some really cool retro marine and vintage fishing decor inside. Of course seafood specialties are really good to try at this establishment.
Even the underpasses around 4th Street are colorful with inspiring quotes and written messages from popular artists or writers. On the other side of this underpass is a completely new section of 4th Street with a different set of shops, eateries, a sake factory and even a beer tasting room.
I love this relatively new bakery/ice cream shop in the new section of 4th Street called Sketch Ice Cream. Serving freshly made pastries and ice cream right on the premises. I even love the simple collection of retro ice cream scoopers on the wall – pretty cool right?
If you’re a fan of graphic vintage posters, then the Brandes printing Co carries some of the most gorgeous and colorful printed posters from all around the world. I love just browsing through some of these wonderful vintage designs, but the price tags are just a little too much for me to take some of these home with me.
A relatively new spot to hang out and taste some of the brews made from their brewery in Chico is the Sierra Nevada Brewery. Located in a large modern loft-like building with simple, clean organic details, it’s all about tasting some of the specialties made at Sierra Nevada that are usually only served in Chico bought now available on 4th Street.
Close by is Sho Chiku Bai Sake which set up its American production facility in Berkeley under the Takara Sake operations. There is a museum and tasting room at its Berkeley site where you can try many of their flavored sakes. To visit the tasting room and information on tours, check out their website here.
There are too many other cool shops to visit on 4th street, but if you still want more, there’s also 5th street with even more stylish galleries, boutiques and one of the most unusual shops in the neighborhood called the East Bay Vivarium. And if you don’t know what it is, just take a look at the pictures below and you’ll get it right away.
If snakes, turtles and spiders are not your thing, there are some more refined boutiques and galleries on the street including my favorite gallery which just specializes in art ceramics and jewelry called Shibumi Studio. It’s such a beautiful modern gallery that showcases the ceramics artists work’s so magnificently. They have regular art events at the Shibumi galleries so check out their website here for more information.
There’s so much to see and explore on 4th and 5th streets, it’s such a wonderful area to find some beautiful art, clothing, design inspired home and lifestyle products along with a variety of cafes, markets, bars and restaurants to enjoy a delicious meal. To check out more of the shops and cool galleries in the area, you can visit the 4th Street galleries here, and if you are in the area, this is a fun spot where East locals love to hang out.
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