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The Best of East Bay Shopping

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East of San Francisco, across the Bay Bridge, is the vast land aptly named "East Bay". While the area is spread out and diverse, when folks say East Bay they usually mean Oakland and Berkeley. The former is a millennial hotspot, brimming with creative-types who seek less skyrocketing rent and more space. The latter is college central and a historic hub of hippy spirit.

Mix all of the above and you get an eclectic, vibrant fashion scene — where quirky shops, impeccably curated boutiques, and designer emporiums live side by side. The East Bay style map is constantly expanding and changing, with young businesses joining neighborhood mainstays. Together, the daring and the established offer plenty of opportunities to shop local, in the most enjoyable way possible. Here are a few of our favorites.

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1. Urbanity Style Sharing

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1887 Solano Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 524-7467
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Despite being a consignment boutique, Urbanity earned its spot in the list by simply being the best in its niche. The dedicated team has an excellent eye for quality and trends. The result? Racks and racks of affordable designer finds that are a fraction of their original price.

2. Social Studies

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1659 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 990-6696
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A serene, beautiful boutique on a busy street full of body shops and furniture stores, Social Studies is full of surprises. Quality denim from small labels, neutral dresses by Shaina Mote, quirky design objects, and facial oils are all artfully arranged and begging to be Instagrammed. The already-cult Boobs Pillow (that would be a decorative pillow with a breasts print) by Gravel and Gold can be also found here.
Photo: https://www.instagram.com/socialstudiesofca/">Social Studies

3. Neeko

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2505 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 680-1025
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A fresh addition to the developing San Pablo street, Neeko looks and feels like the most stylish Instagram feed you could imagine. Potted succulents? Check. Chic, casual dresses with tribal prints and smart details? Check. Shibori pillows? Sure! Owner Ash Ford has managed a number of boutiques before opening her own, and her experience and excellent taste shine through.
Photo: Neeko

4. Hawthorn Boutique

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5854 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 594-8380
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Tucked away in the stylishly sleepy Rockridge neighborhood, Hawthorn is perfectly laid-back. The list of labels is big on quality: Ace and Jig, Ilana Kohn, Mother Denim, and many more names are well represented, while sizzling hot local brands, like Micaela Greg and Bryr, are also in the mix.

5. Ali Golden

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470 49th St
Oakland, CA 94609
(805) 340-7086
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Oakland’s darling, Golden, successfully produces the ultimate in East Bay chic; think loose nonchalant cuts, carefree silks, smart color combos, and relaxed styles. The boutique, part of the fun Temescal Alley, also hosts items by fellow designers and excels in accessories to pair with that new dress.
Photo: Ali Golden

6. Dandelion Post

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4243 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 858-3742
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Store owner Jamie Levine is a master of curation, mixing cool local designers like Nooworks and Jamie Lau with national indie labels like Dusen Dusen and 3rd Season Design. Stylish cosmetics and cute socks serve as an affordable fix if you're just looking for something small.

7. McMullen

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1235 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 658-6906
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Where to go in the East Bay for that high-end, designer splurge? The answer is always McMullen. A local institution, this shop is owner Sherri McMullen’s dream closet. Well informed on all the biggest newcomers, McMullen stocks bold new names, like Shrimps and Rosie Assoulin, along edgy legends like Marni, Carven, and J.W Anderson.
Photo: McMullen

8. Crown Nine

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515 9th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 507-0789
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There are plenty of jewelry boutiques in the East Bay, but the combination of a historic location, enchanted atmosphere, and delicate, innovative jewelry makes Crown Nine stand out. Owner Kate Ellen mixes her own designs with work by local artisans and metalsmiths, and the result is eclectic and tasteful. Planning on getting hitched? Engagements and wedding rings await.
Photo: Crown Nine

9. Two Jacks Denim

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2355 Broadway, Oakland, CA
Oakland, CA
Two Jacks Denim, a beloved destination for, you guessed it, denim, carries a sophisticated selection of small, artisanal brands from Kansas, Nashville, Brooklyn and beyond.

1. Urbanity Style Sharing

1887 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707
Despite being a consignment boutique, Urbanity earned its spot in the list by simply being the best in its niche. The dedicated team has an excellent eye for quality and trends. The result? Racks and racks of affordable designer finds that are a fraction of their original price.
1887 Solano Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707

2. Social Studies

1659 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
Photo: https://www.instagram.com/socialstudiesofca/">Social Studies
A serene, beautiful boutique on a busy street full of body shops and furniture stores, Social Studies is full of surprises. Quality denim from small labels, neutral dresses by Shaina Mote, quirky design objects, and facial oils are all artfully arranged and begging to be Instagrammed. The already-cult Boobs Pillow (that would be a decorative pillow with a breasts print) by Gravel and Gold can be also found here.
1659 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702

3. Neeko

2505 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
Photo: Neeko
A fresh addition to the developing San Pablo street, Neeko looks and feels like the most stylish Instagram feed you could imagine. Potted succulents? Check. Chic, casual dresses with tribal prints and smart details? Check. Shibori pillows? Sure! Owner Ash Ford has managed a number of boutiques before opening her own, and her experience and excellent taste shine through.
2505 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702

4. Hawthorn Boutique

5854 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
Tucked away in the stylishly sleepy Rockridge neighborhood, Hawthorn is perfectly laid-back. The list of labels is big on quality: Ace and Jig, Ilana Kohn, Mother Denim, and many more names are well represented, while sizzling hot local brands, like Micaela Greg and Bryr, are also in the mix.
5854 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618

5. Ali Golden

470 49th St, Oakland, CA 94609
Photo: Ali Golden
Oakland’s darling, Golden, successfully produces the ultimate in East Bay chic; think loose nonchalant cuts, carefree silks, smart color combos, and relaxed styles. The boutique, part of the fun Temescal Alley, also hosts items by fellow designers and excels in accessories to pair with that new dress.
470 49th St
Oakland, CA 94609

6. Dandelion Post

4243 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Store owner Jamie Levine is a master of curation, mixing cool local designers like Nooworks and Jamie Lau with national indie labels like Dusen Dusen and 3rd Season Design. Stylish cosmetics and cute socks serve as an affordable fix if you're just looking for something small.
4243 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

7. McMullen

1235 W Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94607
Photo: McMullen
Where to go in the East Bay for that high-end, designer splurge? The answer is always McMullen. A local institution, this shop is owner Sherri McMullen’s dream closet. Well informed on all the biggest newcomers, McMullen stocks bold new names, like Shrimps and Rosie Assoulin, along edgy legends like Marni, Carven, and J.W Anderson.
1235 W Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94607

8. Crown Nine

515 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607
Photo: Crown Nine
There are plenty of jewelry boutiques in the East Bay, but the combination of a historic location, enchanted atmosphere, and delicate, innovative jewelry makes Crown Nine stand out. Owner Kate Ellen mixes her own designs with work by local artisans and metalsmiths, and the result is eclectic and tasteful. Planning on getting hitched? Engagements and wedding rings await.
515 9th St
Oakland, CA 94607

9. Two Jacks Denim

2355 Broadway, Oakland, CA, Oakland, CA
Two Jacks Denim, a beloved destination for, you guessed it, denim, carries a sophisticated selection of small, artisanal brands from Kansas, Nashville, Brooklyn and beyond.
2355 Broadway, Oakland, CA
Oakland, CA