tall trees in joaqin miller park

Best-Kept Secrets of the Bay

By on February 21, 2024

For the past many months, we’ve been profiling the fab folks throughout the various Jewish communities in the East Bay, San Francisco, and beyond. We’ve been honored to hear their stories and learn about their “best-kept secrets” across the Bay Area. 

Given how varied and interesting their answers were, we wanted to put a number of them in one place. Scroll through to discover the places people go to be more mindful, discover unique art, relish in beautiful nature, and delight in throughout the Bay!

Make it to any of them yourself? Curious to explore Jewish life in the Bay Area? We’re always here to chat and take you to coffee.

The Ivy Room

It’s a live music venue in El Cerrito. Every time I go, it is just wildly fun. There’s so much good dancing and good vibes. I went to see a Fleetwood Mac cover band there and it was called Fleetwood Macramé—it was insane!

Brittany Berman


The Prelinger Library

Which is private but open to the public. It’s such a cool collection of books that’s organized…spatially. The collection starts with the ground and then moves up through the human body from science into the headspace of media, arts, and critical theory, and then to outer space and aliens!

Penina Eilberg-Schwartz


César Chávez Park

I’m obsessed with César Chávez Park, particularly around sunset. It’s so languid and beautiful. I’ve seen these great blue herons down there and there are whole fields of fennel…

Sammy Kanofsky


Schmidt’s Pub 

Great drinks, great environment. They have books, a fireplace, games. It’s unheard of to find anything around Albany or that part of Berkeley that’s open past 10 o’clock, and Schmidt’s is open until 12!

Zoe Hertz


Oakland Museum Friday Nights

They have live music, a DJ, food trucks, and some exhibits are open. There are always so many kids there from different backgrounds and walks of life and speaking different languages and that scene feels like this incredible bridging of cultures and love and communication. 

Maya Katz-Ali


Joaquin Miller Regional Park 

A redwood forest that’s just ten minutes away from a large swath of East Bay residents. Although it’s not a secret, I think it’s underutilized. I’m always amazed when I go and there’s just a handful of cars.

Ben Poretzky


The Albany Bulb

The Bulb reminds me of a beautiful, living art museum; I love all the outsider art.

Noah Phillips


The Hidden Cafe

There aren’t a lot of places I know of where you can have a delightful beverage right in a park. It feels secluded and it’s great for people watching. HIDDEN Cafe. C’mon!

Marisa Turesky


Curious to explore our Profiles? Head to our blog to explore more. 

Photo credits for Prelinger Library, First Friday’s at OMCA, The Albany Bulb: Gray Myrseth.