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Badass Block: Piedmont Avenue Between 40th and John Streets

image courtesy Timeless Coffee Roasters

There are certain blocks in this city that seem like mini-universes. Each week, we'll highlight a stretch of pavement where you could spend an entire day and night. This time around, we travel to Oakland to highlight a stretch of Piedmont Avenue.

Where to get artisan takeout: Yes, it is a real thing. Shoe-box sized shop Grégoire is a beautiful but unexpected pairing of gourmet food and cardboard takeout box. From the Petrale Sole with caper berries and pumpkin seed butter to the sinful and famous crispy potato puffs, you’ll have to bust out your fine china to give your takeout the attention it deserves.

Where to stock up on goodies for your friends (and yourself): From jewelry to kitchen ware, soaps, books, and décor, Nathan & Co. manages to have it all. The shop is bursting with fun pieces that will turn any shopper into a hoarding maniac.

Photo via Mercy Vintage Now's website

Where to get great vintage: Mercy Vintage Now is what you wish every vintage shop is like. The pieces are top notch, there is a wide selection without being overwhelming, and it lacks the grunge and perpetual musty smell of most vintage places. This well-curated, cute spot is our top location for getting great pieces (which we pretend was thanks to our impeccable taste).

Where to indulge your inner child: Fenton’s Creamery has a long-standing Oakland history and is basically treated as a local celebrity; its latest guest appearance was in Pixar’s UP. Since 1894, the family owned joint has been a local favorite. Though all the ice cream is handcrafted and delicious, we have to recommend their signature sundae, the Black and Tan, a godly melding of vanilla and toasted almond ice cream smothered in hot fudge and caramel. You won’t be able to get up from the table after, but it is so worth it.

Where to pick your blooms: Even though it isn’t more than a small stand, Mille Fiori creates more than bouquets. Seriously, the creations are living, delicious smelling works of art. Treat yourself to a reasonably priced treat that will make you smile every time you walk in the front door.

Where to get your vegan / caffeine fix: Although Timeless Coffee Roasters is relatively new to the scene, it has already drawn a cult following in the neighborhood. From the strong and delicious cups of Sightglass coffee (served with soy/almond milk only) to the delicious-in-their-own-right vegan desserts (also, vegan chicken and waffles anyone?), you cannot make a bad choice here.