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Best Friend-Date Locations In The East Bay

(credit: Thinkstock)

With National Best Friends Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a date with a best bud or a group of friends. The East Bay is host to a multitude of spots that provide great places for besties to bond. Any group of friends from foodies to ghost hunters can plan the perfect friend date. Here are five of the East Bay's best bets for a friend date location.

Gourmet Ghetto
Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 540-6444

North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto has long been a hotbed of California's innovative food scene. It provides the perfect jumping-off point for any group of friends looking to share some fine foody experiences. Make a date with the bestie at Alice Waters' legendary Chez Panisse, or do a progressive meal with stops at several of the Shattuck Avenue eateries. For those truly passionate about food, book one of the Gourmet Ghetto's culinary tours that includes behind-the-scenes action at select food stores and restaurants.

Pacific Pinball Museum
1510 Webster St.
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 769-1349

Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum is an interactive homage to both history and all things pinball. The museum is home to an extensive collection of games spanning multiple decades. For a $15 flat fee, museum-goers can play the entire day away on everything from a vintage 1931 flipperless Baffle Ball machine to a modern-era musically enhanced AC/DC machine. The competitive and fun nature of pinball provides for a guaranteed evening of entertainment for any pair or group of friends.

USS Hornet After Hours Tour
707 W. Hornet Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 521-8448

Another of Alameda's attractions is the USS Hornet Museum. The mothballed US Navy aircraft carrier has long been an attraction for history and military buffs, but its reputation as a haunted location has only served to increase its popularity with visitors. Multiple paranormal investigations and television shows have explored the vessel's rich and colorful reported otherworldly visitors. The Hornet conducts several after-hours specialty tours where inquisitive friends can explore the ship's paranormal history in areas of the ship not normally open to the public.

Linden Street Brewery
95 Linden St.
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 251-8898

Located just blocks from Jack London Square, the Linden Street Brewery is the perfect spot for friends looking to spend a relaxing evening unwinding together. Beer lovers flock to the brewery's tasting room to sample the latest offerings with either a pint or a tasting flight. Imbibers will be drawn to the outdoor patio seating and stay to enjoy the ever rotating weekend food truck visits. For those looking to bring the party home, growlers of beer are available to go.

The Crucible
1260 7th St.
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 444-0919

Providing a unique opportunity to the public, The Crucible is an industrial arts school that offers classes on an a la carte basis. Non-fulltime students and those interested in learning a new craft can choose from a wide range of arts classes. Topics include everything from glass blowing and beginning acrylic painting to wax casting and fire dancing. Grab an artsy friend or two and sign up with the Crucible to explore new creative opportunities.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on


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