Best things to do on College Avenue

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As we’re sure you’ve discovered, Berkeley is filled with streets that have lots to offer in the way of food, shopping, transportation and pretty much anything else you can think of. Certain streets are hotspots for all kinds of student activity — think Telegraph and Shattuck avenues and Bancroft Way. But we feel that there’s another street with its own crop of shops and amenities that doesn’t get nearly enough credit: College Avenue. It might be a little further away from the center of campus, but College Avenue has so much to offer. Below, we’ve put together a list of awesome things you can find on College, so go forth and explore!

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1. Amazing coffee shops

So you’ve probably already discovered the lovely Caffe Strada on Bancroft Way and College Avenue, but you’ve probably never ventured farther down the street, where some may argue the real magic happens. On College Avenue and Russell Street, you’ll find Elmwood Cafe, a super cool place to get some of the best cinnamon toast and grilled cheese around. There’s no Wi-Fi, so if you really need to focus on some reading, it’s highly recommended. Need Wi-Fi to work? We’ve got you! On College Avenue and Derby Street, you can find Sacks, which has some incredible sandwiches (try the Telegraph!) and a wide range of seating.

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2. Photo printing

Have you ever wanted to get old-fashioned film developed but didn’t want to wait a week for Walgreens or CVS to send it out? No? Well … we have. And eventually, you might too! So if the need arises, check out AG Photo Lab on College. Prints come out great, and development takes as little as four hours, depending on what time you go in. Bring some film in, and explore the cool shops surrounding the lab while you wait for the emergence of your super artsy photos.

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3. A cleaner BART station

Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. Though the BART station on Shattuck Avenue is unquestionably the more popular of the two, Rockridge BART offers a straight shot to San Francisco and Oakland, among other places, and is much more appealing to those of us who find Shattuck a little sketchy. Additionally, the station is above ground, so you don’t have to deal with rats or heat or the general creepiness that comes with being in a dark tunnel.

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4. Ici Ice Cream

Sure, Berkeley has a fantastic range of fro-yo and boba places, but where’s the good old-fashioned ice cream at? Surprise, surprise — the answer is College Avenue. Don’t be intimidated by the long line, either. Take it as a good sign! Because flavors come in all sorts of varieties and often rotate, decision-making may take some time. This also means you can always try something new and keep coming back for more!

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5. Powell’s Sweet Shoppe

Remember when you were a little kid and you couldn’t wait to smoke those bubblegum cigarettes or eat that candy with the edible wrapper? If you’re looking for a little trip down memory lane or haven’t yet discovered either of those wondrous confections, you’ve come to the right street. Powell’s offers a fantastical variety of delicious and original candy. Considering that October is only weeks away, it’s a great place to get some high-quality Halloween treats.

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Contact Summer Langton at [email protected].

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