Vals has been providing quality and delicious burgers for decades. Throughout their operation, they've been owned by the same family -- being passed down from father, to his son who now operates it. You'll know him when you walk in, because he's the guy with the handlebar mustache that's usually working behind the register.
The burgers here are awesome. You have your choice of 3 sizes -- the normal sized baby, the large sized mama, and the humongous papa burger. Cheese, bacon and tomatoes cost extra. But each table has ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, and onions to dress your burger with, and lettuce is included with your burger.
To accompany your burger, get a basket of fries. One basket will easily feed 2-4 people. These are thick, steak-cut fries. If you like your fries with a lot of potato in the center, you'll probably like these.
And you absolutely can't pass on one of their milk shakes. These are by far the best milkshakes I've havd anywhere. They are thick, creamy, and rich in flavor. Plus, you get the tin, which works out to being equivalent to 2.5 to 3 milkshakes in one tin. But trust me, you won't want to share.
If you don't like burgers, the restaurant serves up a number of other dishes -- mostly diner fare -- at good prices. The waitresses are very friendly, and most have been there for quite a while. Familiar faces are one of the nice things about Vals. The walls are decorated with pictures, articles, plaques, trophies, and such that tell a marvelous history about the place. It won't be hard to spot endorsements gracing the wall, from celebrities who have dined here in the past.
Keep in mind that parking is very tight. There's a small parking lot behind the restaurant, but during peak times it will get full fast. The restaurant is also closed on Sundays, and doesn't serve breakfast.
PROS: Best burgers and shakes. Family owned. Familiar, friendly faces
CONS: Tight parking. Closed Sundays
I came here with my boyfriend for massages, a while ago. I paid around $60/hour (I think I had a coupon, which took $5 off each -- don't know if they still offer that), and we each got a 1 hour Swedish massage. They put us both in a room together, dimmed the lights, allowed us to select which fragrance of oil we'd like, and then proceeded to massage us from head to toe. Very relaxing. They also offer other services here, like manicures and pedicures, facials, aromatherapy tubs,body wraps, etc. They also offer a nice couples package, with a massage, and the hydrotherapy tub. It looked realy tempting (and the tub is in the same room you'd get your massages... which is private), but it costs about $200.
Dr. Nolan has been in business since at leas the 70s or 80's and has a lot of experience. He has three different offices in the East Bay, and a couple of other doctors that work with him (one is a Neurologist). He's very popular, though, and can get booked up fast. He'll schedule new patients for about an hour, and follow up visits for about 15 minutes. But he doesn't rush you in and out of the office. While he sometimes seems a little high strung, he's really very attentive to his patients, and takes the time to listen to them and explain things to them. This means that his 15 minute appointments often exceed that. If you don't have time to wait, schedule an early morning appointment. It isn't unusual for his afternoon appointments to run an hour or more behind. He performs surgeries at local hospitals, and also has a Chiropractic office connected to one of his other offices.
Munchner Haus is an awesome German deli. The women who operate it are from Germany, and you can often hear them speaking German to each other or customers (who also speak it). Besides a huge selection of sandwiches, salads, and side dishes, you can order genuine German meats, a variety of cheeses, and candies and other goods from Germany. There's a dining area in the back where you can enjoy your lunch (some of the tables even have checker boards on them). Sandwiches will run you about $6 each, depending on what you get and what you put on them. It seems pricy, but they are large sandwiches, and they are made with high quality products.
I've had my nails done here a couple of times. Their shop is large and spacious, with plenty of light -- though the decor isn't anything to write home about. They offer manicures, pedicures, waxing, and massages. Their supplies looked clean, and I noticed they diligently put stuff into the autoclave machine (I was sitting right by it). I've always been satisfied with my results, particularly given the price. Service isn't exactly 5 star, but they workers are generally fine. One time I went there I kept being asked to wait in the middle of my manicure so the woman working with me could answer the phone, or do other things. It may have just been a fluke, though.
Cheese N Stuff is located in the breezeway of a building just past the corner of Durant and Telegraph. The inside of this deli is small, but their display case is filled with meats, cheeses, salads, and other dishes. Their sandwiches are incredibly cheap -- perfect for the college crowd -- but definitely don't lack on taste. Choose from a wide assortment of breads, meats, cheeses and other topings, and they'll build you a sandwich you'll wish would never end.
The owner is pretty much always there, serving up yummy food and a friendly smile. The inside of the store is covered in Cal paraphernalia, and they are a big supporter of Cal athletic teams.
The line can get long, particularly around lunch time. But don't get discouraged. The line moves quickly, and the workers are efficient.
PROS: Really tasty, cheap sandwiches
CONS: Can be a pain to find
Located a block from Union Square, Britex Fabrics is 4 floors of fabrics, notions, patterns, and more. They carry designer fabrics (don't be surprised to see fabrics that cost $90/yard or more!), as well as your more basic fabric store fare. And they have a ton of it, in every color you can probably imagine. This place puts any fabric store I have ever been in to shame.
The first and second floors are all fabrics, organizaed by types and colors. The store is long and narrow, and you may need to squeeze around people -- particularly on the bottom floor.
The third floor is where all the notions are. They have this huge wall, with thousands of buttons, in every color. Plus, they carry vintage and one-of-a-kind buttons. They also have a huge selection of appliques, sequins, ribbons, trim, zippers, thread, etc. Way more than your local Joann's Fabric (or other local fabric store). They also carry a selection of yarn -- though it's mostly novelty/eyelash type yarns. This floor also contains patterns, though they have a very small selection of them.
The fourth floor is the sale/clearance/remnant section. There are a few bolts of full priced fabrics (like some really lush faux furs, that are incredibly pricey). The selection of sale fabrics, and remnants is pretty large.
The biggest downside to Britex is their prices. They generally run more expensive than other places. If your local fabric store carries the same item, don't be surprised if it's as much as half the price. But, if you're looking for something really unique, or in a color you can't find elsewhere, or in a fabric that's hard to come by, or for a special design/pattern, you just may find it here.
PROS: Huge selection! Designer and basic fabrics. Tons of notions
CONS: Very few patterns. Prices are higher than many other places.
Banchero's is a family-style Italian restaurant that has been in Hayward since the first half of the 20th century. The decor and building is dated, but still maintains the charm that it originally had. It's family owned and operated, and you'll see the same familiar faces every time you go.
Reservations are not taken for groups under 5. Groups of 4 or smaller will need to get a ticket from the man standing next to the phone. He'll call out your number (on the ticket) when your table is ready. You can either wait in the long, curved waiting area, or in the full service bar.
The most popular dinner choice is to pick an entree (they have a list of about 2 dozen entrees), and have it as a meal. The meal comes with soup, salad, anti-pasta platter, spaghetti, ravioli, french bread, coffee/tea, and ice cream (try the spumoni!). Anything you don't finish, they'll gladly pack up for you to take home with you. If you like garlic bread, be sure to order at least 1/2 a loaf (good for 2-4 people). Their garlic bread is delicious! Keep in mind that sodas are NOT refillable here. But, if you order iced tea, coffee, or hot tea, those do come with free refills.
They also offer take-out, in case you don't want to wait to dine it. You can call ahead, place you order, and they'll have it ready for pickup when you arrive.
Cody's is a great alternative to other chain bookstores. They have a selection that rivals that of stores like Borders or Barnes & Noble. The store is well organized, by subject, and shelves are kept tidy. They carry all genres of books, and the staff is knowledgeable and helpful -- so be sure to seek them out if you're looking for something special. They also have an awesome sale section where you can find great books for even greater prices. And there's a separate section of the store filled with magazines. They probably have every magazine you can imagine, and some you never would have thought existed. They occasionally have authors and guest speakers at their store for book signings and other events. They're freem but they can get very crowded.
Open 7 days a week, Hutch's is always busy. But they run a pretty smooth operation, so you won't have to wait forever to get your car cleaned.
They offer a variety of cleaning packages raning from $14.95 to around $30. The $14.95 is usually all you need, as it includes vacuuming, outside wash, inside cleaning, windows, fragrance, cleaned tires... the basics. but, if you want wax or RainX, you can pay a little more. Every now and then they have a really good manager's special.
If you don't need your car vacuumed, are short on cash, or are just in a hurry, you can use their Express Wash feature. For $6 you drive your car through the wash bay yourself, and when you come out the other side, you just drive off. You don't get your car dried, but at least it's clean!