Solano Avenue, North Berkeley
||San Francisco, CA|
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In the lush hills above UC Berkeley, professors live in quaint houses on tree-lined streets. Trendy hangouts are dotted throughout these neighborhoods and one of them is Solano Avenue. Although its architecture is ugly and outdated, it has a unique sense of place. It beckons you to linger a while on benches and at sidewalk cafes. Because it's not a main traffic artery and also something about the way the street slopes at an angle to the hills and neighborhoods beyond, it feels special.
Happy people hang out on the benches outside La Farine Bakery, taking in some sun. Others make their way up the street looking toward the hills above, checking out each interesting store. Zachary's Chicago Pizza is a popular cafe here.
Another area with great restaurants and delis is called Gourmet Ghetto, on Shattuck Avenue. College Ave is a charming street with great food. Telegraph Avenue has good ethnic food, in a wild, hippie atmosphere.
From Solano Avenue you can easily drive up Marin Avenue (follow a map from there) to Tilden Park. Look behind you and see views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. Take a picnic with you and enjoy the amazing forest around you. There are an abundance of picnic areas as well as a stunning botanic garden, carousel, Litlle Farm petting zoo, steam train rides, and beach at Lake Anza.
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The trendy stretch of Solano Avenue is where Colusa Avenue meets Solano Ave in North Berkeley.
La Farine Bakery, 1820 Solano Ave, Berkeley CA 94707, call (510) 528-2208.
Zachary's Chicago Pizza, 1853 Solano Ave, call (510) 528-2208.
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Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.