East Bay fun!
May 13, 2010 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Where should I go that's near a BART station not in SF?

I'm looking for places of interest that are within walking distance [ ~1 mile] of BART stations excluding the stations from Embarcadero to 24th Street Mission (ones south of 24th are included even if a few are in SF) and can be visited on weekday nights and/or weekends.

I've spent a little time in Berkeley [around Shattuck between University and Allston], but that's it.

Especially interested in places on the Dublin/Pleasanton line that would be open weekday nights, but I'm quite willing to travel anywhere.

Places of interest include food related ones, and both ones where someone could spend 4 hours and ones where someone could spent 4 minutes.
posted by radicarian to Grab Bag (30 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I used to go to the Berkeley Flea Market. It's right outside Ashby BART station.
posted by willmize at 12:35 PM on May 13, 2010

Lake Merritt in Oakland is a fun place to walk around if the weather's nice, and it's close to the 19th St. station on the Richmond and Pittsburg/Bay Point lines. Also nearby is Oakland Chinatown.
posted by albrecht at 12:39 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Jack London Square in Oakland is an easy walk either from 12th street bart or the Lake Merritt stop, and has hell of good food, drinks, and just good strolling.

Temescal near Macarthur stop has sushi, karaoke, a couple good bars, tapas, other great restaurants and a bakery or three. Piedmont Ave area over on the other side of Temescal (a little more than a mile but still walkable, also there's the AC Transit 57 line) has great bars + restaurants, a tiki bar even, a comic book store, and some good mexican food.

0.8 miles on the other side of Macarthur you have 40th and San Pablo which has some good bars (Andy's Bank Club), restaurants (Rudy's Can't Fail), sushi, a seedy poker room (Oak's card club), and some great food (Wally's and Ms. Wally's, two separate but great restaurants). They're also opening up a Lanesplitter's there which is going to be awesome.

If you're willing to take the Emery-go-round from Macarthur you can get a free ride up to 65th and Hollis area which has a great mexican place with good tamarind margaritas, as well as a great bar for afternoon relaxing / reading with a deck (Kitty's). This itself is less than a mile walking distance from the Emeryville marina, which is just nice to walk around.
posted by doteatop at 12:42 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: Your question is basically the same as "How does doteatop spend all his time?" so if you have any followup questions or anything I am totally here for you.
posted by doteatop at 12:45 PM on May 13, 2010

Cole Coffee near the Rockridge station makes some of the best coffee in the country. Pendragon Books is also nearby, and well worth a stop.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:45 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: In Berkeley, if you haven't been to the Gourmet Ghetto, definitely go. It's not just Chez Panisse, but a whole host of delicious foodie destinations and a nice used bookstore. I would especially recommend Gregoire on Cedar. It's this tiny, tiny, tiny gourmet French take-out place that has these out of this world potato puffs.

Closer to the Downtown Berkeley stop is La Note, one of my favorite breakfast spots in the world. And if you haven't visited the Berkeley campus, check it out some time. It can actually be a very lovely place to visit and just walk around, and they usually also have a ton of events open to the public.
posted by Diagonalize at 12:46 PM on May 13, 2010

Seconding Gregoire. I don't remember it that well, but it's the restaurant that friends of mine took me to one day five years ago when I was visiting. I don't remember what I ate, but I remember the name and the fact that gourmet French take-out is not an oxymoron.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:50 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: Walk from the Glenn Park bart station to Glen Park, its maybe a 10 minute walk and you are then in the middle of the woods by a babling brook. It's a hidden gem. Take a hike or take a book and hang out. You can almost imagine you are in Yosemite. on the way back, get brunch near the Bart station.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 12:58 PM on May 13, 2010

Gregoire is expensive, but charming. It's good to bring somebody if you can, and enjoy the cute takeout boxes filled with yummy food at nearby grassy spots. Also, cheeseboard pizza is phenom.

Seconding Temescal/Piedmont. I lived right off the bart station there for a couple years, so hit me up too if you need recommends on where to go.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:59 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: There is nothing worth seeing in Orinda. OK, the theater is very cool, especially if you're into art deco. Nation's Hamburgers was delightfully awful 20 years ago; I doubt they've improved. Same goes for Hsiangs, a Chinese place on the other side of the BART station. The BevMo didn't card if you gave weed to the cashier, but that was in 1991. Casa Orinda deserves its name. Leo over at Village Barber smokes while he cuts your hair.

He probably doesn't do that anymore, actually.
posted by incessant at 1:01 PM on May 13, 2010

Oh, yeah, definitely seconding Cheeseboard. They set a gold standard for cheap eats. Also, the Berkeley Farmers Market is a nice way to spend a Saturday. It's a bit more low key than the San Francisco one, which I liked.

And I never actually got around to trying this, but the Thai brunch at the temple near the Ashby station is supposed to be fun.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:26 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: OK, as I have said before, I work at BART. I would suggest going to the Destinations Guide on our website as it has great recommendations and you can enter contests to win tickets to BART accessible events, etc.

For my personal East Bay favorites I would say the Oakland Museum of California that just reopened is a great place to check out--it is a few blocks from our Lake Merritt station. Just a few blocks up 8th street in the other direction is Phnom Phen restaurant which is awesome (I love the fish curry). Also near Lake Merritt is Laney College, a community college that has a Culinary Arts training program--the have an onsite bakery the turns out really good and really cheap baked goods.

If you head down to Fruitvale station, there is a terrific taco truck just across the street called El Ojo del Agua--they make their own chorizo--yummmmmmy chorizo torta!
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:29 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Glen Park for Gialina. It's a block away and SO good. Get there early; the place is small and the line is long.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:33 PM on May 13, 2010

The Trappist is walking distance from Oakland City Center station and has some of the best Belgian beer selection in the East Yay.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2010

Once someone mentions The Trappist, I need to also mention the adjacent Tamarindo (mexican tapas-style, great torta ahogado), as well as the nearby bar Levende, which is pricy and not awesome all-around but whose bartender makes a good Sazerac cocktail.

As for Oakland Chinatown, which is worth a whole askme on its own, if you feel like banh mi or pho I love BC Deli.
posted by doteatop at 1:46 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: Go on a tour of the Paramount Theater, across the street from 19th St Oakland station.

It is quite possibly the most amazing art deco interior space in the world and impeccably restored. Just gorgeous x3.

Walk over to Lake Merritt afterward to let your brain recover.
posted by quarterframer at 2:02 PM on May 13, 2010

If you want to get to know the uptown area at night when it's guaranteed to be packed, check out the first-Friday's Oakland Art Murmur.
posted by doteatop at 2:06 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: Seconding the Paramount tour, and Rockridge Station, whichever way you go there are things to see and food--of course you could always go in a circle. And if you're flush, try lunch or dinner (or even breakfast) at Oliveto, diagonally across from the BART exit.

If you walk all the way up (southeast) College Avenue, you will get to the old CCAC (California College of Arts and Crafts), now CCA (California College of the Arts). If you walk north you will get to the Berkeley line, barely discernable except for the sign. Either way, happy wanderings!
posted by emhutchinson at 3:11 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: Near the Ashby BART station: Berkeley Bowl, possibly the country's best supermarket. Great bulk food & store-made food (like fresh soba noodles or ten kinds of granola), a deli with a small seating area, superlatively scarce parking (ah, but you're BARTing!), and -- if I recall correctly -- decent prices. Also nearby: the Starry Plough with its Celtic dance instruction, and David Wexler's book stall at the weekend Ashby BART flea market.

The Millbrae intermodal station and the SFO airport stop are kind of cool to look at in the abstract, and the AirTrain at SFO gives you a great view.

If you can stand to walk a little further: from the Downtown Berkeley stop, walk east till you get to the northern edge of the university's campus. Walk north along Euclid for about twenty or thirty minutes till you arrive at the Berkeley Rose Garden. Arrange to get there around sunset. Watch the sun set over terraces of roses and the Bay.

This NYT "36 hours in Berkeley" is useful. (I now feel homesick.)
posted by brainwane at 4:12 PM on May 13, 2010

I hear the Fruitvale Public Market is worth checking out for lots of delicious, authentic Mexican food and such, especially on Thursday evenings and Sundays, when the farmers market is running.
posted by KatlaDragon at 5:24 PM on May 13, 2010

Cheeseboard is definitely worth a visit. It's action packed on Saturdays (head's up it is closed Sundays), but service is never rushed. An aged gouda, roaring forties blue, and bucheron are my drugs of choice there.

The Berkeley Botanical Gardens is a little outside your walking radius, but consider it for a weekend outing. While walking there is not ideal, the view of the bay is pretty great and it contains some really fascinating plants. Be sure to check out the redwood grove across the street as well.
posted by lucidprose at 6:30 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: How does 36 holes of miniature golf strike you? Been going there since I was a little kid in the 70s.
posted by rhizome at 6:49 PM on May 13, 2010

I live five minutes from the Rockridge Bart station, so my answers are colored the fact that I love where I live. BUT! Market Square is great, Zach's pizza is the best deep dish outside of Chicago (DESTROYS Little Star [...but damn that's good Little Star crust]), and Ben and Nick's is a great little pub with delicious food and a good array of beers. Their service is atrocious, though, so go with the idea that you'll just be taking your time.
posted by OrangeDrink at 11:01 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: About 5 blocks from North Berkeley Bart is ACME bar, come on out, I'll buy you a beer.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:24 PM on May 13, 2010

Take Light Fantastic up on the offer - ACME is cool. Stop by (a different) Acme bread on the way and take your pick of still-warm loaves.
posted by memewit at 10:57 AM on May 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!
posted by radicarian at 1:24 PM on May 14, 2010

Response by poster: And yay, something near Castro Valley!
posted by radicarian at 1:27 PM on May 14, 2010

If you're near Castro Valley and haven't already, check out Val's Burgers
posted by doteatop at 2:06 PM on May 14, 2010

Response by poster: yeah, I work up in Pleasanton... I think the most interesting thing within a mile of that BART is an In-N-Out
posted by radicarian at 2:29 PM on May 14, 2010

Now I miss my East Bay home. [sniff]
posted by incessant at 5:47 PM on May 17, 2010

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