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Old 03-18-2010, 11:54 AM
 
390 posts, read 839,478 times
Reputation: 262
Default Where Can One Experience The "Best" and "Authentic" Bay Area?

Not the tourist spots (alcatraz, the wharf), or union square shopping. I mean non-corporate rootsy, interesting real Bay Area.

Some gem, a cafe, a restaurant, a vintage clothing store, etc.

That is, a part of the local culture and economy worth supporting and preserving, in the face of....empire.

I've pretty much only seen and experienced the touristy SF, and of course I want to expand my horizons.

My gem is Il Fornaio (near the wharf?). I understand it may be part of a chain, but it's literally one of the best meals I've ever had.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: West Coast Wanderer
12,130 posts, read 10,074,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy1 View Post
Not the tourist spots (alcatraz, the wharf), or union square shopping. I mean non-corporate rootsy, interesting real Bay Area.

Some gem, a cafe, a restaurant, a vintage clothing store, etc.

That is, a part of the local culture and economy worth supporting and preserving, in the face of....empire.

I've pretty much only seen and experienced the touristy SF, and of course I want to expand my horizons.

My gem is Il Fornaio (near the wharf?). I understand it may be part of a chain, but it's literally one of the best meals I've ever had.
You kind of have to know where to look. Try downtown Oakland. Between 10th and 20th streets and east of Broadway. There are still lots of uniquely Oakland/Bay Area type little shops and stores there. Lot's of Asian stores and cafe's. There are some chains there like CVS and such but the majority of still unique. Try along Grand Avenue near Lake Merritt as well just past the Grand Lake Theater.

In Berkeley there are also some unique places still; Telegraph north of Dwight Way (Hippie Town) there are still lots of street vendors selling hand crafted Jewelry among other things as well as one of a kind music stores etc. Along College Avenue there are some really neat cafe's and other stores as you go south from the UC and especially south of Dwight Way until at least Ashby Ave.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:25 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,700 posts, read 16,216,553 times
Reputation: 2457
Garlic Shoppe, right on the northbound side of 101 in Gilroy at the 25/Hollister exit.
Just Breakfast in downtown Morgan Hill.
Streetlight Records in San Jose, Santa Cruz, San Francisco.
Amoeba Records in San Francisco and Berkeley.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,099 posts, read 4,368,840 times
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Do you mean San Francisco? I don't think your question can be answered when you refer to the entire Bay Area.

As for Il Fornaio- yes a chain (but started as a bakery on Union St if I remember correctly)- in no way a "gem" and as for the food- please expand your horizons- there really is so much better here. There's even an Il Fornaio in Roseville for goodness sakes!

Read old Herb Caen columns for true insight into the REAL San Francisco. Some of the places he mentions are still around- like the Tadich Grill, Washington Square Bar and Grill (the Washbag), even Ghirardelli Chocolate originated here. City Lights Bookstore is still around form the beatnik era. Marcus Books is also an interesting place. Vesuvio's Bar has a lot of history. Even Maiden Lane off of Union Square was where many brothels used to be! Grace Cathedral is a very interesting place as are the Historical Hotels on Nob Hill. The Flood Building and Portsmouth Square have very interesting histories also. Really cool cafes on Belden Place..also historical/uniquely San Francisco.

I guess I'm a little confused by your question- It's a little contradictory. Historical places are part of our unique culture and are worth preserving (despite the touristy element). Chains and clothing shops are not usually worth preserving unless it's Gumps! (a uniquely San Francisco store).
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:32 PM
 
12 posts, read 21,537 times
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The Haight has several vintage clothing stores, as well as some other random little shops. It also has Escape from NY pizza and Alembic, both places I like to eat/drink at. Prepare to fend off transients and smell of cigarettes/weed/incense if you go.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:52 PM
 
4,134 posts, read 2,688,856 times
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The Bay Area covers a lot of area. The Bay Area is incredibly diverse in landscape, weather, architecture, culture, and vibe. It's all real. Wherever you happen to be is the real Bay Area.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:41 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,700 posts, read 16,216,553 times
Reputation: 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Ryder View Post
The Bay Area covers a lot of area. The Bay Area is incredibly diverse in landscape, weather, architecture, culture, and vibe. It's all real. Wherever you happen to be is the real Bay Area.
Map of the Real Bay Area
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:48 AM
 
Location: West Coast Wanderer
12,130 posts, read 10,074,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
That map is somewhat offensive LOL
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:37 AM
 
4,134 posts, read 2,688,856 times
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Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
Yer Evil and going to Hell fur shur.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: San Jose
829 posts, read 1,250,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
Priceless!

I wonder what's up with that weird section east of Fremont where house prices went up.
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