Special Sections » Insider's Guide


Cameras? Comics? Cowboy Hats?


No matter what your fancy, shopping options are plenty in the East Bay.

Antiques & Flea Markets

Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire (2100 Ferry Point, Alameda, 510-522-7500, AntiquesByBay.com, first Sunday of the month) is the place to find Tiffany lamps, old paintings, and ancient furniture, and the best place to find unique and weird antiques in the Bay Area.

Ashby Flea Market (1937 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, 510-644-0744, weekends, 7-7) offers incense, beads, foods, and other hippie-influenced items.

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (4695 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-547-6470) offers a combination of salvaged goods and crafting supplies.

Laney College Swap Meet (7th St. at Fallon St., Oakland, Sunday mornings) is hands-down the best flea market in the Bay Area, at which you must dig for buried treasures.

Oakland Coliseum Flea Market (5401 Coliseum Way, Oakland, 510-534-0325, daily) offers daily flea-market fare, with a mild emphasis on small, shop-like groups that can sell you tires, illegal birds, and porn.

Solano Swap Meet (1611 Solano Way, Concord, 925-825-1951) has regular booths offering cheap wares that aren't always the cleanest, newest, or most legally obtained.

Urban Ore (900 Murray St., Berkeley, 510-841-7283) is a massive lot and warehouse that holds all manner of salvaged goods, but specializes in housing fixtures like stoves, doors, windows, and toilets.

White Elephant Sale (333 Lancaster St., Oakland, first quarter of the year), sponsored by the Oakland Museum of California, is a huge sale where you can find clothes, furniture, instruments, books, toys, and bric-a-brac, all at prices that often dip below $1.


A Great Good Place for Books (6120 La Salle Ave., Oakland, 510-339-8210) is the hills' hub for author events, and dozens of local book clubs call it home.

ASUC Bookstore (Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union Building, UC Berkeley, 510-642-1968) is the most convenient spot to stock up on a whole semester's worth of studying, plus a few extra books just for pleasure.

Berkeley Art Museum bookstore (2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, 510-642-1475) includes sections on art history, art theory, technique, film, architecture, and design, plus everything you'll ever want to know about Botero, Boltanski, and the Fauves.

Book Zoo (6395 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-654-2655) is an eclectic, eccentric, and egalitarian treasure box of secondhandiana.

Bookmark Bookstore (721 Washington St., Oakland, 510-444-0473), run by Friends of the Oakland Public Library, sells a variety of books for low cost.

Books Inc. (1344 Park St, Alameda, 510-522-2226; 1760 Fourth St., Berkeley, 510-525-7777) has all the books you need, plus readings by high-profile authors, including many beloved children's authors.

Borders (5903 Shellmound St., Emeryville, 510-654-1633) is a bookstore with its own cafe and virtually every type of new book you can think of.

Builders Booksource (1817 Fourth St., Berkeley, 510-845-6874) features volumes on architecture, design, and construction.

Clayton Books (5433D Clayton Rd., Clayton, 925-673-3325) is a friendly — and family-friendly — literary haven east of the Caldecott Tunnel.

Dark Carnival (3086 Claremont Ave., Berkeley, 510-654-7323) specializes in fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery fiction.

Diesel, A Bookstore (5433 College Ave., Oakland, 510-653-9965) is an independent bookstore where you can find a classic or something unconventional.

Eastwind Books (2066 University Ave., Berkeley, 510-548-2350) offers a literary trip to Asia and Asian America.

Half Price Books (2036 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-526-6080) is a vast football-fieldish emporium of secondhand and remaindered books at markdown prices, plus CDs and DVDs also in stock.

Issues (20 Glen Ave., Oakland, 510-652-5700) stocks enough magazines and newspapers to make you almost forget the Internet exists.

Marcus Books (3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, 510-652-2344) is an independently owned bookstore specializing in African-American topics.

Moe's Books (2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 510-849-2087) has secondhand books in every imaginable category, plus a lively calendar of readings by visiting authors, especially poets.

Mrs. Dalloway's Literary and Garden Arts (2904 College Ave., Berkeley, 510-704-8222) features a full schedule of readings, demonstrations, workshops, and other events that attract enthusiastic crowds.

Ned's (2476 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, 510-204-0900) sells both new and used versions of textbooks for current UC Berkeley courses.

The Other Change of Hobbit (2020 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-848-0413) is a long-lived and well-loved sci-fi/fantasy specialty shop.

Pegasus Books Downtown (2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-649-1320) offers new and used books with lots of page-flipping elbow room.

Rakestraw Books (409 Railroad Ave., Danville, 925-837-7337), another cozy independent, has events ranging from intimate readings to deluxe dinners with award-winning authors.

Rebecca's Books (3268 Adeline St., Berkeley, 510-852-4768) specializes in ethnic-studies books and poetry.

Revolution Books (2425 Channing Way, Berkeley, 510-848-1196) is where fiery chat about the Revolutionary Communist Party and its fellow travelers is always on tap.

University Press Books (2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, 510-548-0585) carries the output of university presses from around the world.

Walden Pond (3316 Grand Ave., Oakland, 510-832-4438) has a politics section that could take a whole afternoon to browse; the labor-studies and art sections would stretch well into the evening.

Your Local Library (OaklandLibrary.org. CCCLibrary.org, BerkeleyPublicLibrary.org, and ACLibrary.org) has books, author events, children's events, workshops, secondhand book sales, and much more.

Cameras, Computers, & Electronics

Al Lasher's Electronics (1734 University Ave., Berkeley, 510-843-5915) is a Berkeley institution that holds all the pieces you need to fix a radio, stereo, or death ray.

Alameda County Computer Resource Center (620 Page St., Berkeley, 510-528-4052) is a nonprofit computer recycler that fixes old machines, installs Linux on them, and then gives them away to the needy.