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Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Board games and spunky knives, flashy watches and necklaces, flying drones and scooters are among the hot gifts of the season.

Solano Avenue Is Paradise for Consumers

From one end to another, Solano Avenue is an alluring destination for shopping, dining, and hanging out.

Charming Benicia is Just a Bike Ride Away

First Street is the place to hang in this one-bustling port town where the arts, attractions, and dining are as vibrant as the quaint natural setting.

Emeryville as Entertainment Mecca

Cocktails on tap, high-end shopping, and artistic sensibilities greet visitors to the little city by the bay.

Free Oakland Up’s Jocelyn Meggait Gives Away Stuff to Change the Perception of Stuff

An art studio in the Dimond District melds economics, social studies, and art in a space where everything is given away.

Sandra Michaan’s Tips for Shopping the Alameda Point Antiques Faire

The organizer of Northern California’s largest outdoor antique extravaganza has bargain advice for shoppers and the fashion-focused.

Chinatown Without the Tourist Kitsch

Eat, shop, and play in a vibrant neighborhood full of busy markets, public performances, and remarkable cuisine.

Soul and Food in West Oakland

Brown Sugar Kitchen, FuseBox, and Zella’s Souful Kitchen, along with music and art, put more than touch of soul into West Oakland, the Harlem of the West Coast.

Tigerlily, Foxglove, Celtic Inheritance New to Gourmet Ghetto

If the Bay Area ever has a lampoon of Portlandia proportions, it should be centered in Berkeley, where political debate can still be heard between people sorting carrots at a farmers’ market and where there are more electrical outlets to keep vehicles going than gas stations. The Gourmet Ghetto, on Shattuck Ave. between Hearst and Vine streets, a venerable district that has churned out top-notch cuisine and artisan wares with laid-back charm for nearly 50 years, could provide plenty of funny fodder for this imagined satire. But instead of looking back, look ahead to the newcomers keeping the neighborhood edgy.

Shop, Eat, Play on 40th Street in Oakland

The 1-mile strip of 40th Street, between Webster Street and Broadway, buzzes with mom-and-pop businesses showcasing gourmet food, craft beers, and sustainable goods. It's the next place to be in Tha Town.