The anticipated opening of Shake Shack in Walnut Creek did not disappoint. It has had a line every time I drive by and the downstairs seating is completely full. There is additional seating upstairs and an elevator for those who don’t want to navigate a tray of food up the stairs.
I really enjoyed my meal there. For $19, I had a regular cheeseburger, fries, and a small drink. I had Shake Shack in New York City many years ago, and I remembered it being good (and there was always a line there, too). I’m glad it stood up to my memory!
Walnut Creek has a few burger joints like George’s on Newell, Burger King by Civic Park, and Gott’s across from Broadway Plaza. When my kids come to town now, we might not have to drive to San Ramon or Pleasant Hill for In-N-Out. We can just stroll over to Shake Shack instead!
Have you tried it yet? Let me know what you think by commenting here.
I checked out Panama Bay recently, located in one of the most unique buildings in downtown Walnut Creek. You may remember it as Yogurt Castle (a cousin to Yogurt Park – ah, those were the days!), next to Scott’s Seafood. Sadly, Scott’s has been closed down.
Panama Bay, though, is a coffee shop! I tried a mocha, but they were out of whipped cream (because of one too many pup cups that day, which is an adorable reason!). I thought Panama Bay was a little bit pricey, but they had some uncommon syrups like banana bread syrup.
I had caramel, coconut, and sea salt added to my mocha. It was delicious and definitely a unique drink. They also have sandwiches and a banana bread mix for sale. I’m just glad to see something finally go into this little hobbit house downtown. They get a lot of business from people who live in the apartments across the street and in the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as lunchtime office workers.
I found these wonderful new statues at the corner of Pringle and California by BART. As it was new construction, builders are required to provide artwork, as is city policy. These can be found in front of the new Waymark Apartments, once a parking lot for Walnut Creek Bart.
I love the flowers (are they California state flowers, poppies?) and the bees! These are so awesome! I could not find any specific information about this art but I wanted to share it with all of you. This is one of my favorite installations, I drive past it on my way home from work and it always puts a smile on my face. Check it out on the corner of Pringle and California.
Where are your other favorite pieces of art in Walnut Creek? Comment below!
This is one of my favorite Walnut Creek events of the year: the Broadway Plaza Summer Concert Series! Since Nordstrom was robbed in 2021, they have closed the street between it and the fountain by Brighton’s off to traffic. This makes for a much more enjoyable and intimate concert series event!
Starting this Thursday, Aug. 4, and continuing every Thursday throughout the month, a Bay Area band will take the stage at 7 p.m. each night. This week, it is Petty Theft, which is a San Francisco-based tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Next week (Aug. 11), The Sun Kings (a Beatles tribute) will take the stage, followed by a Journey tribute band on Aug. 18 and The Best Intentions on Aug. 25. The Walnut Creek Downtown Association will serve beverages at each concert, and surrounding eateries will be open to the public. Time to rock out to some fun music!
…then I’m gonna try it! Model Bakery, apparently one of Oprah’s favorite bakeries is slated to open in Walnut Creek. They will be opening their fourth location on Main Street in the space formerly occupied by La Fogata.
Model Bakery has been a popular place in Napa Valley for almost a century, offering pastries, breads, coffee, and more. If you’ve ever tried to go to the original location in Napa on a weekend…good luck! There are lines out the door every day and, from what I hear, it’s for good reason.
As if you need me to explain it, when you can hear from Oprah herself: “I dare you to find a better English muffin than these! I’ve sent them to just about everyone I know, I even travel with them. The crunchy-yet-fluffy muffins have made my list before, but now they ship with homemade strawberry jam.”
You don’t have to tell me twice. The bakery should be open by late 2022. I’ll be there to try out one of their delicious treats when it does! Who’s with me?
LITA is a trendy new restaurant in Walnut Creek on the corner of Bonanza and Locust. It brings Miami flavors with Caribbean influences. The chef-driven menu delivers classic Caribbean-Latino dishes, reimagined to highlight locally-sourced ingredients.
I visited LITA to explore its fresh and modern approach to Latin Caribbean cuisine. It was really good but definitely pricey! I went with my friend Victoria, who ordered a lobster corn dog. It had a ketchup sauce with it that she didn’t like, but the concept is interesting!
I loved my shrimp and lime ceviche and the plantains we ordered were spot-on. They have lots of creative cocktails (some even come with flames!). The restaurant was packed on a Friday night, so I think this might be one of the trendiest new places in town.
We were able to snag two seats at the bar that night, but they also have private patio seating if you’re so inclined. It was a fun place to go for a night out or a special occasion. Just make sure you have some spending money!
If you’ve visited Chinatown in San Francisco, you know what an amazing place it can be to experience Chinese culture, food, and more. They really do it up for Chinese New Year, complete with an amazing parade. The festivities begin on Feb. 1st this year, with the parade taking place on Feb. 19th.
It is the Year of the Tiger, which is known to be king of all beasts in China. People born in a year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, strong, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. They are also expected to display great levels of willpower.
Previous years of the Tiger include 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010. If you or someone you know was born in one of those years, take a look at that list of attributes and see if it fits!
If you can’t attend the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, you can always refer to this awesome list from 7×7 for other holiday-related inspiration, including some great eats and other adventures!
Let me know if you have ever gone to the parade and what your experience was. I was born in 1962, so I am a Tiger and a Capricorn – both have similar traits. I currently have a client who is Chinese and just got into contract, and she said she would make me some Chinese food for the New Year. I am very excited to taste her cooking; she has spoken about cooking on most of our house-hunting trips!
(The reason why Chinese cooking came up: most townhomes and condos don’t have a vent from the stovetop venting to the exterior. It is usually a microwave with a fan that blows out into the kitchen. If you pull the cabinet doors open above the microwave, more times than not there is no venting. Don’t worry, they did end up finding a townhome with a vent and it was new construction!)
I recently closed on a home at 536 Coralie Dr. in Walnut Creek. My clients, Kim and Adam (I have known Kim since the 90s!), had been living in a small flat in San Francisco for many years. But their last child recently went to college, and they decided the East Bay would be a nice place to live – and more affordable than the city.
We met this summer over lunch and talked about what they were looking for. They worked on their approval, we tinkered with their search criteria, and then started to look at homes. They fell in love with one right out of the gate, which had been on the market only a couple of days. When I called the listing agent to get additional information, I was informed they had just accepted a preemptive offer.
A few weeks later, we looked at another set of houses and they decided to write. There were 7 offers. We went above the list price, and they decided to remove all contingencies. Three offers were countered: only those who removed contingencies and all above asking. So, the sellers did not counter price. I inquired with the agent if we were the highest and he said no.
These clients were the fastest learners of how to compete in a crazy market. They decided to go all-in, gave them a couple of weeks of rent back, and won the house. They are so excited to have fruit trees, a backyard with extra space, and a cook’s kitchen. Sometimes dreams do come true!
This was my first time eating here and it is definitely a place for celebrations. I took my son, Ryan, who was turning 30, and his girlfriend, Emma, for his birthday. He was out visiting high school friends for a long weekend and stayed at my house on Sunday.
This is a high-end restaurant with a fixed-price menu. It is $63.67 per person, which includes a gourmet salad bar and all the meat you can eat, with popover bread and sides of mashed potatoes and fried bananas.
You are given a card; the red side means you are not yet ready for meat, and the green side means to bring the spits by. Emma decided she wanted the meat right away while she was eating her salad, so they kept coming by the table. I ended up with meat because they kept stopping by. I did feel a bit rushed.
However, if you order while eating the salad, you don’t fill up on the salad bar. Of course, drinks, bottled water, and deserts are additional. We brought a bottle of wine and the corkage fee was $25. I was impressed with the salad bar; it was well-stocked and clean. You had to put on plastic gloves to pick up the tongs – part of COVID restrictions, I assume.
A waiter would come with a big skewer of meat, slice a piece, and you would grab it with your tongs to put on your plate. A favorite among us was the roasted pineapple they would slice for you. Ryan and Emma mentioned they had been to other types of Brazilian restaurants and they were much larger, so it took longer for the different meats to come along.
For me, I am not sure that would be a bad thing, as I would have liked a slower pace to enjoy the moment. Have you tried Galpão Gaucho? If so, what are your thoughts? Leave a comment!