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The East Bay Answers to Your San Francisco Rut

image via Yelp

It's no question that San Francisco is full of amazing spots, whether you’re a foodie, love the outdoors, or live for a great happy hour. Still, it can sometimes feel like our favorite spots turn into what feels like a rut. Luckily, we have your back; we’ve taken a few of our SF faves and matched them up with their East Bay equivalents.

If you love deep dish from Little Star Pizza…You’ll love Zachary’s

There is not a night of the week whern you won’t find Zachary’s packed with locals hungry for their deep dish pies. The perfect mix of thick and gooey cheesiness with chunky tomato sauce makes it hard to say no. If you are having a hard time deciding on which flavor to order, we say go for artichoke pesto–with its tangy and salty twist, it’s a winner.

 

image via flickr

If you love lounging in Dolores Park…You’ll love lounging at Lake Merritt.

The city of Oakland has totally outdone itself fixing up this beautiful and sunny spot the last few years. The grassy slopes surrounding the lake are ideal for a picnic, a beer and, if you're lucky, a nearby drumming circle. With sweeping views, an entertaining mix of people, and a laid-back vibe, the lake is the new weekend place to be.

If you fiend for a cup of Ritual… You’ll love getting your fix at Cole Coffee

Founded in 1998 by Oakland locals, this small coffee shop serves up a seriously eye-opening cup of brew. While the front is devoted to fresh cups of coffee for needy devotees, the backdoor store also offers a wide and wonderful selection of beans to take home. 

 

image courtesy Ici Ice Cream

If you love Bi-Rite Creamery… You’ll love a scoop from Ici Ice Cream

Bi-Rite loyals don't usually like to admit that there is other ice cream out there, but we think Ici is a pretty sweet alternative. The flavors change daily, (check out their Twitter here to see what they are serving up) so you know they're always fresh and delicious. If you grab a scoop, be sure to opt for the cone; they're fresh and hand rolled with a bite of dark chocolate hiding at the bottom. It is hands down the best we've ever tasted.

image via myspace

If you walk the maze at Land's End Trail…You’ll love the maze at Sibley Volcano 

This short hike off of Grizzly Peak in Oakland has insane views of the East Bay that can’t be beat, because where else can you see Mt. Diablo and the bay at the same time? Walk to the end and you’ll see a crater with a maze in the middle–remnants from a former volcano that will impress just about anyone. Look for the big sign and parking lot at the trail head to get started.

If you catch classics at The Castro Theater…You’ll love The Paramount Theater

This downtown Oakland spot is an Art Deco masterpiece that has been lovingly cared for over the years. Keeping up with their old school vibe, most weekends they screen classic movies (you can also catch concerts and shows here!) so sit down and enjoy the favorites of past decades. Check what is coming up here.

image via flickr

If you can’t eat enough Papalote…You’ll love chowing down at Picante

This West Berkeley spot is inexpensive, fresh and delicious with kickin’ margaritas and a burrito worth bragging about. They hand-make tortillas in front of you and quickly slice and fry them up into crispy, salty, indulgent chips that we dream of for days afterwards. Break out of your normal Mexican habit and end an East Bay day with this quick but quality spot.

If you’re always strolling Fillmore…You’ll love strolling 4th Street

This strip is a beehive of cute spots to stop into. With something for everyone, from drool-worthy food to cute boutiques like stationary shop Castle in the Air, it is easy to breeze through a morning or afternoon of shop-hopping. Browse local favorite Erica Tanov's boutique or go wild at the Crate and Barrel outlet. After, try brunch at Bette’s Oceanview Diner or grab a snack at Tacubaya.

image via TripAdvisor

If you’ve memorized the beer list at Monk’s Kettle…You’ll love the selection at The Trappist

This Oakland spot has an on tap selection that’s unbeatable. From sour beers to special, small-batch brews, this is a beer lover’s heaven. Be sure to bring home a bottle or two of bubbly, because they stock a wide selection of hard-to-find drinks that will make your friends beg to go back with you next time.