Fourth Street extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

Berkeley and Beyond


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BERKELEY Attractions

Fourth Street  1800 block.  For a city of the size and income level of Berkeley, it is surprising that it has no department stores or traditional shopping malls.  This trendy block featuring a 1920s industrial style of architecture is as close to one as the city comes.  It is a shopping mall done Berkeley-style.  Designed, built, and owned by a Berkeley developer/architectural firm, the street’s buildings are kept at 2 stories.  The owner controls leasing of the entire block and hand picks the unusual stores.  A variety of restaurants offers delicious fare and spectacular people-watching.  The shops and restaurants do radiate out several blocks, though this one block started things and is still the center of this universe. 

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Builders Booksource  #1817.  Books here center on architecture and design, but “nesting” books on interior design and gardening are also on the shelves.

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Castle in the Air  #1805.  In this one-of-a-kind shop for the creative artist-craftsperson you’ll discover rarities—everything from fine pens and lovely journals to mouse dolls and paper models.  Upstairs is a studio where regularly scheduled classes are conducted--make a paper bird,  carousel, or a santos folk art figure.  

Earthsake  #1722.  The first manufacturer of organic mattresses in the U.S., this flagship shop also includes eco-friendly organic cotton bedding and bath items. 

The Gardener  #1836.  This attractive shop specializes in elegant accessories for the garden and home and is a premier spot for finding the perfect gift.

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George  #1824.  Set back from the street, down a driveway and through a parking lot, this little shop stocks everything tempting for cats and dogs, including fresh-baked treats. 

Lighting Studio  #1808.  This specialty shop displays the very best and latest in lighting fixtures.

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Market Hall Foods  #1786.  .  This is a spacious branch of the mother ship in Oakland

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Miki’s Paper  #1801.  An impressive selection of handmade Japanese papers is purveyed here.

Outback  #1799.  Here you’ll find stylish designer clothing in delicious fabrics at outlet prices, plus accessories and gifts. 

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Teance Tea Room  #1780.  Daily 10:30-6, teabar daily noon-6. 
The interior of this sleek tea shop features skylights, sustainable bamboo cabinetry, raked plaster walls, and hand-made glazed porcelain tiles.  The 10-foot circular concrete tea-sampling bar was cast in a single pour and is embedded with semi-precious gemstones and fossils. 
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Tea service is available upstairs, where tasting flights are offered for an educational comparison of different tea varieties, or you can enjoy your favorite tea by the pot.  Tea infused gelatos and vegan sorbettos are also available.

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