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How to kill a Sunday afternoon in Oakland?
July 7, 2005 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Heading to Oakland, CA for business and will arrive on Sunday in the early afternoon. Looking for something to keep me entertained for the afternoon/evening.

Any suggestions to kill the rest of my day? I'll be staying between Oakland and San Leandro, but will have a car, so heading towards Berkeley would be ok, too. Not interested in heading over to SF, as I've been there a million times, but have never stayed on this side. Markets, quirky shopping areas, special events, etc. would be good. No bars, clubs or that type of thing since work starts pretty early the next morning. (Oh, side question: recommendations for a great Indian restaurant in the area would be fantastic!) Thanks!
posted by cyniczny to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Vik's Chaat Corner, 726 Allston Way in West Berkeley is where my South Indian friends go for homestyle cooking. Ain't nothing fancy, just a warehouse front, and it's only open for lunch, but oh, the food: wow! Best mango lassi I have ever tasted, just for starters!

Very typical rave (note that he'd eaten at French Laundry the night before!)
posted by rdc at 5:53 PM on July 7, 2005


Great bookstores on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, fun to walk along College Avenue in Oakland. Great dinner at Chez Panisse upstairs cafe on North Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Call for reservations. Good Indian restaurant in Berkeley called Pasand on Shattuck Ave. Go to Black Oak Bookstore next to Chez Panisse afer dinner.
posted by madstop1 at 5:57 PM on July 7, 2005


UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, in the hills above the campus. Very nice view from the hills. The bookstores on Telegraph are open late, Cody's (for books) and try Amoeba Records directly across the street. The town of Crockett, which is about twenty minutes north on highway 80 is supposed to be cool. It's at the foot of the Carquinez Straight bridge.
posted by slimslowslider at 6:17 PM on July 7, 2005


If you like dim sum, Jade Villa in Oakland (800 Broadway) is most excellent. I love wandering the Chinatown in Oakland - less touristy than SF's Chinatown.

Seconding Telegraph Avenue, except the favorite in my household for Indian food in Berkeley is Ajanta on Solano Avenue. On Telegraph Ave, too, there is a lovely Ethiopian restaurant, Blue Nile (2525 Telegraph Ave).
posted by cajo at 8:20 PM on July 7, 2005


Check out the East Bay Express and take your pick of current happenings this weekend. My recommendation is to head out of the big city and enjoy the parks in the East Bay Hills- stretch your legs after that plane flight. Redwood Park, Chabot Observatory, Coyote Hills are all nice.

Oh, and Khana Peena (sic) on Solano in Berkeley is my favorite Indian restaurant.
posted by pgoes at 8:30 PM on July 7, 2005


Please don't go to Pasand, the owner and his son had underage sex slaves, and the only reason they were caught was because they were trying to hide a body after one of them died. Go to Vik's instead. Vik's is especially fun to go to one the weekend, as the menu is very different then. There are tons of good Indian places in the area. If you want a different style of Indian than you are probably used to, try Udupi Palace on University and MLK in Berkeley. There's a pretty good Pakistani place on University and San Pablo as well, but I forget the name. Starts with a C.
posted by aspo at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2005


Vik's is great for chaat, but Breads of India at Sacramento and Dwight edges it out for my favorite Indian restaurant in Berkeley. I'm not wild for Ajanta. Obviously, mileage varies.

For quirky shopping areas, Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley is the obvious choice: bookstores, CD stores, sidewalk vendors, and, if you're lucky, people ranting on street corners. (Doesn't happen so much when school's out, though.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2005


STAY AWAY FROM JADE VILLA IN OAKLAND. Consistently HORRIBLE ratings for the kitchen - I've seen mice and roaches and had a huge unidentifiable smething in my pork bao that was, I am sure, insectoid. My wife had to be hospitalized for 4 days at Alta Bates after a meal there. There are GREAT dim sum places in Oakland Chinatown (for example, Restaurant Peony, with its haughty waiters but great food) and even Tin's isn't bad. Jade Villa is beyond evil, although I do agree that it used to be pretty darn good, but that was 15 years ago.

Khana Peena and the other restaurants on Solano are wonderful... Cesar is great, as is Fonda on Solano, and Raj at the bottom of SOlano is sublime. Great Indian and Thai all over Berkeley, pretty much whatever kind of ethnic you like you'll find a good example of it in this town. Walk around on the campus, visit some of the great Maybeck and John Galen Howard homes and the Greene & Greene Thorsen House (sometimes the fraternity boys who live there will let you come in and see if you're polite to them and they're not hungover or busy), check out 4th Street if you like overpriced yuppie goodness (and the East Bay Vivarium is fun if you like exotic animals), the bookstores on Telly, Rockridge, Homemade Café on Sacramento for breakfast... So much to do!
posted by luriete at 10:49 PM on July 7, 2005


I think the pakistani place aspo is referring to is Kabana. even though its pakistani it is actually punjabi food. my parents-in-law swear by it.

also i have to second Vik's, its really great. it used to be a WHOLE lot more dive-like. and typically hardcore indian. once my boss (who is himself indian) complained to the owner that the tables were always so dirty. her response? "my customers are so stupid! they don't know how to clean up after themselves!" ...just like being in india!

also, you didnt mention pizza, but zachary's on college (in rockridge, near the bart station) or in berkeley (up on solano) has some of the best chicago style pizza on the planet.
posted by joeblough at 11:24 PM on July 7, 2005


oh yeah, just to be thorough about it... Vik's is closed on monday. sounds like you will only be around on sunday, but i thought i'd mention it.

also... Udupi palace is totally vegetarian. its south indian food so everything is either made out of rice, rice flower, lentils, or cream of wheat. great for me but some people aren't into it.

finally, zachary's is super, super crowded for dinner. expect to wait 40+ minutes for a table in the 7-9pm window. the pizza itself takes 40 minutes to cook but they make your pizza while you are waiting for a table.
posted by joeblough at 11:34 PM on July 7, 2005


Go hang out in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto. Have some Cheese Board Pizza. Mmmmm.
posted by grouse at 1:32 AM on July 8, 2005


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