Bay Area Shopping Guide

Updated on Mar 12, 2010
blue UO hat - purple vintage shoes - gold H&M scarf - blue vintage bally bag
46 votes
6 favorites
Speedbump 's Thoughts:

Though I live in Berkeley, I definitely do a lot of my shopping in SF, Oakland, and Emeryville. Hence, a Bay Area Shopping guide with some of my top picks for smaller boutiques. And just for fun, I added one place to eat while you’re at each of the boutiques, since shopping on an empty stomach is definitely not the way to go.

Gimme Shoes – This Hayes Valley shoe boutique has a great selection of designer shoes of the more esoteric persuasion, with Repetto, Rachel Comey, and Dries Van Noten being some of the stars. The staff is super friendly, and the service is superb. For those who are intimidated by stark white and immaculate boutiques (or is that just me?), Gimme Shoes has a really earthy and homey interior, so you’ll feel totally at ease.

Paulette- While you’re in the area, stroll a few block and you’ll come to Paulette Macarons, which of course sells colorful and delicate French macarons. There are so many tasty flavors like Sicilian pistachio and passion fruit that you’ll want one of each!

Sharks- Like many other stores close to UC Berkeley Campus, this vintage store is admittedly pretty picked over. However, it is priced by the pound, so there are amazing deals to be found! There are also vintage curtains for those of you who decorate or sew!

Bongo Burger- While you’re visiting Sharks, make sure to go to Bongo Burger, which is just around the corner. Probably one of the best burgers in Berkeley, and super veg-friendly. I love the mushroom and cheese sandwich with the fries, which are nice and crispy.

Pretty Penny- This very well-curated vintage store in Oakland has some amazing and on-trend finds, which are surprisingly wallet-friendly. They also buy vintage from you on the weekends, so if there’s anything you want off your hands, take it here for some other lucky lady to find. Has a great selection of menswear too, which I’m sure my bf would appreciate if he would ever come shopping with me… AHEM!

Ici- And if you’re in the area anyways, head north for a little while and look out for the long, long line to your left. That’s sure to be Ici, one of the most popular (and delicious) places to get ice cream in the Bay Area. Unique flavors, cute, modern décor, and tons and tons of hype make this one of the longest waits around. But once you finally get your ice cream cone, it’s soooo worthwhile.

Mercy Vintage Now – Squeezed in a nice shopping area in Oakland is this super well-curated vintage store. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but the selection is amazing. Mostly 70s or older, and tons of dreamy 40s and 50s dresses. Staff is also very friendly and helpful as well.

Fenton’s Creamery- You saw it in the movie Up!, but did you know that Fenton’s is an actual place? Another of the Bay Area’s legends, it’s THE place to be if you love mounds of ice cream made the old fashioned way on the premises. Unlike Ici, which serves up tiny elegant portions, Fenton’s is where you go to get quantity without skimping on quality. I highly recommend their marshmallow sauce on a sundae. For a marshmallow lover, it’s absolute bliss.

And just for kicks, random favorite places to eat (this is clearly devolving into a “where to stuff your face” list):
Arizmendi’s Bakery & Pizzeria- Arizmendi’s is, in my opinion, the best pizza in the Bay Area (and no, Zachary’s doesn’t come close!!) It’s similar to the famous Cheeseboard in that there’s only one pizza flavor per day, made of gourmet, vegetarian ingredients and covered in olive oil. Even you meat-loving folks won’t care, I promise! The only reason I choose Arizmendi’s over Cheeseboard is that their crust is a little bit heftier and crunchier, which is a definite plus for a crust connoisseur like myself. Their 3 locations in Emeryville, Oakland, and SF make it easily accessible to all Bay Area-ers.

Nation’s- This burger and breakfast joint near the Berkeley marina will not disappoint. For veggie folks like myself, their veggie burger is one of the best I have ever had (make sure to get grilled onions!), and their pies are all-American good — a must-order. Their meaty burgers are pretty great too, from what I hear, and though their fries are sadly only mediocre, their breakfast menu is excellent, and served all day long for anyone who craves a nocturnal pancake fix.

House of Curries- Located under the Beau Sky Hotel, House of Curries is innocuous, but their dishes certainly aren’t. If you are familiar with Indian cuisine at all, you’ll know that it’s nearly impossible to leave without downing several pitchers of water to douse your flaming tongue. While I’m not a fan of spicy food in general, Indian food is different and is unappealing without the burning-mouth feel. Other curry places I’ve tried don’t dish out quite enough spice, but House of Curries will definitely force you to drink your daily dose of H2O. Make sure you take advantage of the free hot chai tea while you wait for your order—you won’t want to be drinking anything hot after you start eating.

Comments (49)

CarefreeContessa on October 20
nice casual mix!
anonymours on June 27
cute cute
girlvsglobe on October 13
Love this :)) I hope you don't mind me saying this: I Just registered myself on Chictopia, I'd appreciate some beginning support :))
KaylaMeow on August 09
really cute blouse
secondhandnews on May 05
ladidadi on May 03
I love that scarf!
GlammcouturE on April 06
:D soo cute
tanyabell on April 02
AMAZING outfit and guide...too bad I live in Florida! haha
zeezai on March 27
You look super cute! I love every bit of this ensemble. :)
kellyshoestrings on March 23
love that hat and those shoes are amazing
Cynicalwanderer on March 17
love this look!
twin on March 15
love this look <3
lizzlexsizzle on March 15
very different, very cute
RazzleDazzleMe on March 14
All those stores and food places really sound amazing. I'm dying to visit the Bay Area. It sounds so cool.
queenelizabeth on March 14
Wow this is pretty comprehensive, it makes me want to visit the bay area! and i love that hat on you, it's just perfect :)
sointou on March 14
i want your hat haha
BadTasteToast on March 14
I love this!!
JusticePirate on March 14
What a gorgeously put together outfit! I love it. My congratulations to your style.
pink_lace on March 14
You look so lovely!! That top is so cute, love the skirt and the scarf too. Chic :)
y0m1ndeeezy on March 14
adorable outfit! and i love your shoes
Lailaox on March 14
amazing . love the skirt
arainymelody on March 14
I love your scarf!
lalalena on March 13
very cute!! love the hat!
melephant13 on March 13
Cute hat! I'll have to check out some of these places, I don't think I've been to any of them!
lydia on March 13
I got a pair of shoes from ModCloth that look very similar to your vintage ones! San Fran sounds amazing, I'd love to visit it's sunny skies :D
Speedbump on March 13
Ha! It's actually super cold most of the time, and it's been rainy!! This is an older photo from a while back, so that's why it looks so nice, hehe.
spandexpony on March 13
those shoes are unspeakably adorable.
architect96 on March 13
Love your hat and shoes....and the whole look lol :)
awaveringheart on March 13
Really cute!
daydreaming on March 13
you always look adorableee! : )
In_Harmony on March 13
Very Cute
QueenBB on March 13
love your shoes!
zeynokiz on March 13
Super cute outfit!
November15th on March 13
deathbyplatforms on March 13
so cute!!!! love the hat!
enes on March 13
cuteee! you look adorable dear =))
ouais on March 12
too cute; I love how you put this whole outfit together; everything just goes with each piece. I love it.
KierrynG on March 12
Love your outfit, very cute
augustaLOLITA on March 12
adorable!! love your shoes!!
nennen35 on March 12
cute outfit! love the color!
sakki89 on March 12
libys11 on March 12
oh so adorable!! :D
lissakahayon on March 12
Love the hat!!!
TheFashionJunkie on March 12
I LOVE your blouse and hat! So cute.
wwwardrobe on March 12
looks like a perfect outfit for the upcoming spring!
LA_Chica on March 12
very chic look <3
TheFashionFreak on March 12
gorgeous outfit
SimplyHope on March 12
This is Too Flippin Adorable! Love your shoes:D
4everUSMC on March 12
So nice!
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