Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area

Kensington Recap – including Colusa Market

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Restaurants & Bars

Kensington Recap – including Colusa Market

rworange | May 30, 2006 01:51 PM

Who would guess there were a handful of nice restaurants and markets just off Solano Avenue? I really enjoyed finding this area and plan many future visits for the tasty food.

In addition to the restaurants and bakery listed below, there are two markets and a wine shop.

There are two business districts in Kensington, one on Colusa and the other on Arlington.

The find was Colusa Market on, well, Colusa. It has all sorts of surprising groceries packed into a tiny space. Nestled in the veggie section was a pan of fresh mozzarella. They have a great ice cream section. This is the only place besides Berkeley Bowl that carries all flavors of Strauss Ice cream (haven’t seen mint chocolate chip or coffee before). They have all flavors of Sheer Bliss and all three Reeds Ginger Ice Cream.

They carry a lot of Reeds ginger products not seen elsewhere like Reeds ginger chews and tinned Reeds ginger.

Coffee beans include bags of Jerusalem Kosher coffee. It goes on and on. There’s a nice meat market in the back. They make sandwiches and have rotisserie chicken and ribs. The wine selection is very nice as well. There are lots of organic products. Showing this is a thinking market, since Semifreddi is a few steps away, they offer the alternative of Metropolis bread.

This market is seems a great grab and go market that is easy in and out. There’s even a green zone for parking in front. I don’t want to make it sound like more than it might be, but there is a small quality selection and probably could meet a lot of needs when fighting the crowds at Berkeley Bowl seems too much to handle. Sure, there aren’t 20 types of mushrooms or oranges, but the two or three varieties they carry are good.

Young’s Market and Arlington Wine & Spirits are on Arlington. The wine shop has a very nice selection of wines with a good number half bottles. They were helpful on my visit.

Young’s Market is good if you live in the neighborhood with nothing too fancy. There is a meat counter with Rosie chickens, Niman Ranch beef and Atkin Ranch lamb. I was told that the butcher was very good and knowledgeable. He isn’t a talker so you need to initiate the conversation. They sell sandwiches, a few salads and rotisserie chicken and ribs. The sign says the market has been in business since 1936, but about two years ago new owners bought the market. There are little items here and there like Semifreddi bread, Sheer Bliss chocolate covered pomegranate ice cream bars and bars of Dagoba chocolate.

To recap the more detailed links:

ARLINGTON STREET

Arlington Baking Company

Bread Garden Bread and pastries are sold here and many are 1/2 price after 5pm. Excellent cupcakes. This is a bakery that does a super job of accommodating customer needs.

Inn Kensington

Pleasant, reasonably priced spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service is magically fast. Literally breakfast hits the table about a minute after ordering. Great house-made biscuits.

Kensington Ice Cream

Almost every flavor of Bud’s Ice Cream available by the scoop.

Shai's Deli

Very good soups. The staff will give samples of the many deli items. Nice-looking whole poached salmon.

COLUSA

Kensington Bistro

The world’s best scones (Sunday only), great English muffin bread, nice selection of mimosas, house-made potato chips and a very good breakfast spot. English breakfast is available.

Kensington Circus Pub

Known for being child-friendly (without being a zoo or annoying) and the fish and chips. Very good gorgonzola onion rings. English pub food available. Nice place to relax with one of the bottled and draft British beers including Drake’s, Fullers and, my favorite, Boddingtons.

LINKS

Kensington - Arlington Baking Company sells Bread Garden Bread
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Inn Kensington - Fastest omelet in the West. It’s magic.
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Kensington Bistro - House-made blue cheese potato chips & apricot-ginger mimosas
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Kensington Circus Pub – fish, chips, gorgonzola onion rings & shu mai – what?
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Kensington Ice Cream & Shai's Deli
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Kensington Krawl?
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Colusa Market
(510) 527-7035
406 Colusa Ave.
Kensington, CA 94707

Young's Kensington Market
(510) 527-4200
285 Arlington Ave.
Kensington, CA 94707

Arlington Wine & Spirits
(510) 524-0841
303 Arlington Ave.
Kensington, CA 94707

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