This month we’re highlighting our favorite stores for holiday (and everyday) shopping in the commercial districts near Piedmont. (If we overlook one of your favorite spots, let us know in the comments!)
Featured Shopping District: Grand/Lake
The neighborhood around Grand and Lakeshore avenues has seen its share of retailer turnover in recent years, with Lakeshore Avenue shopfronts in particular shifting from goods to services – think exercise studios and places to eat and drink. But there are also plenty of gems on both avenues that make the neighborhood well worth a visit to stock up on gifts.
- Visit Bay-Made at 3295 Lakeshore Ave., for beautiful, high quality handmade gifts, from quirky lapel pins and striking vintage-style prints to handmade wooden cutting boards, candles, and chocolates. Don’t forget to say hello to the friendly store cat, Sundae.
- The Sanctuary at 3344 Grand Ave. has exquisitely packaged teas, herbal bath soaks, and salves all created and blended in-house, plus a growing line of ethically produced clothing and a home decor selection that highlights local artists.
- The modest but thoughtful gallery within Panorama Framing at 3350 Grand Ave. has a rotating selection of work by local artists. (Or you could bring in a print from Bay-Made for framing.)
- Brother & Sisters Flower Shop offers contemporary arrangements that favor natives and organic components beyond simply flowers at its 3265B Grand Ave. shopfront and by subscription + delivery. The store also has a generous selection of vintage trinkets and ornaments and simple, rustic vessels and vases.
Food + Drinks
- Alkali Rye’s modest name belies the store’s expansive collection of whiskies and other spirits from around the Bay and globe. The store’s aperitifs, cordials, wine and many alcohol-free cocktail options run the gamut from Benedictine to CBD botanicals. There’s also a thoughtful collection of bar-adjacent treats – think cured meats, dried fruit pastes, sweets, and nuts – that would make unique stocking stuffers. 3256 Grand Ave.
- Piedmonter-owned Bake Sum’s Asian-inspired baked goods are available to preorder and in-house. Gift cards are also available, along with a modest selection of cookbooks and small-batch condiments and sweets. 3249 Grand Ave.
- Arizmendi Bakery at 3265 Lakeshore Ave. ramps up its game during the holidays with pies, rich brandy-soaked fruit cakes, and sugar-crusted stollen in addition to its rotating year-round menu of pastries, breads, and cookies. Gift cards are available.
- Oakland roaster Red Bay Coffee’s tiny shopfront at 3206 Grand Ave. has a bumper selection of house-roasted beans, plus gift cards and coffee bean subscriptions. Grab one of their hot drinks while you’re there – we like the Africano, Red Bay’s version of a cortado, and their Candied Yam Latte.
- If your shopping expedition runs into cocktail hour, treat yourself to libations and tapas at Shakewell, the popular Mediterranean restaurant and watering hole located at 3407 Lakeshore.
- Customize ball caps and trucker hats with one (or more) of Mega Deluxe’s huge selection of new and vintage patches. Fan gear, statement cap, or in-joke – the possibilities are pretty close to endless. 3234 Grand Ave.
- We love the mix of big, sleek, and striking at clothing retailer ReLove. Two floors of vintage and small-label clothing including footwear and bags, and cuts and sizes for a range of bodies. 3258 Grand Ave.
- Just across the way, stop by neighbors Alyce on Grand at 3223 Grand Ave. and Two Two at 3221 Grand Ave. for more indie boutique and vintage wear.
- Walden Pond Books’ sprawling collection of non-fiction and fiction includes new releases as well as classics that are (or were) progressive or radical in their subject matter and/or their storytelling. It’s also a great stop for gift books – think cookbooks, quirky art or pop culture books, and a solid (if not always groundbreaking) selection of kidlit. 3316 Grand Ave.
- If you’re looking to give experiences rather than consumables, pick up a class pass or three from one Lakeshore’s many exercise studios. We like Hipline’s joyful, high-energy dance workouts – plus the studio offers childcare for class participants. Upstairs at 3270 Lakeshore Ave., accessible from the Trader Joe’s parking lot.
- For movie fans on your list, try Grand Lake Theatre tickets. Mainstream and indie films, that gorgeous foyer, fresh buttered popcorn, and at 3200 Grand Ave., just a short hop from Piedmont. Need we say more?
- And last but never least, the Lakeshore Trader Joe’s offers the same fare as its counterparts elsewhere, which means you’ll find a great range of stocking stuffers and seasonal treats.
Article updated on 12/19 to include the addition of Shakewell restaurant, per reader suggestion.