Featured Image: David Smith / Special to The Chronicle
Welcome to Castro Valley and congratulations on your big move!
If you’re no stranger to moving, you know there’s a long to do-list that comes after the moving truck has left. If you’ve just moved into your new Castro Valley home or apartment, there’s unpacking, cleaning, putting together new furniture, finding the best food in the neighborhood, and so much more!
And if you’re moving to Castro Valley, CA, you’ve got a lot to see! While still considered a small hometown, Castro Valley is actually the largest community in unincorporated Alameda County and the fifth most populous unincorporated area in California.
As the Castro Valley Eden Chamber of Commerce puts it, Castro Valley remains a community that takes pride in its history while making the most of the present.
Ranches in the canyons complement the pastoral feel of its many neighborhoods and the community comes alive for its annual rodeo at Rowell Ranch.
This is also a get-out-and-do-it community, making the most of its many parks and trails, and also coming together as a community for special occasions downtown, which was recently renovated.
So, how do you find the local favorites in Castro Valley, CA? Check out Yelp Castro Valley!
To help make your move less overwhelming, we pulled together some of our top resources in Castro Valley for after your move, using the best reviews from Yelp with an emphasis on locally-owned and operated small businesses.
While finding your own favorite places around the neighborhood will take time, these locally-loved small businesses in Castro Valley are great resources to kick your first few days in Castro Valley of to a great start:
Best Castro Valley Move-In Cleaning Service: The Magic Mop
Location: 3056 Castro Valley Blvd #89, Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 5 Stars
Review Highlight: “Finally! A reliable, professional, and thorough cleaning service. I live in a large residence and Liliana and her team did a wonderful, detail-oriented job. She gave a fair assessment before she started and charged a reasonable price for her work.”
The Magic Mop has been around since 2000 and has serviced countless Bay Area communities. Their team is dedicated to the presentation of cleaning and maintenance service for the home with the highest standards of quality and professionalism.
They use friendly biodegradable cleaning products and even created their very own Magic Solutions of biodegradable cleaning formulas. Many of their clients have been with them for years, shown from they’re great online reviews!
Best Castro Valley Hardware Store for Quick Fixes: True Value Hardware Store
Location: 19640 Center St Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Review Highlight: “This is a great locally owned hardware store. All of the employees I have had dealings with have been really nice and very knowledgeable. The owner has even special ordered items that they don’t regularly carry! I shop pricing and they always have been priced more than fairly. If you want to keep your dollars local and get great customer service you really need to shop here!”
A staple hardware store in the Castro Valley community, Workbench True Value is a wonderful small-town hardware store that is locally owned and operated. Whether you’re a pro or taking on a DIY home improvement project for the first time, check out True Valley for their expert advice, tools, equipment, and the products you need to get the job done.
Best Castro Valley Pizza for Your First Friday Night In: Pizza Express on Center Street
Location: 22323 Redwood Rd Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars
Review Highlight: “The best pizza! I have been going here for over ten years and they have never disappointed me. Friendly service, convenient, priced well, and most importantly good pizza! The ingredients are fresh, large quantities, and delivery is available.”
If you have lived in Castro Valley long enough, chances are that you’ve been to Pizza Express. This great small-town pizza joint is owned by BJ and his family and is a Friday night staple. Word of advice for newcomers, there are two locations in Castro Valley – one on Center Street and another on Redwood Road so pick your nearest location.
Serving delicious pizza to the community since 1986, enjoying some of this famous Castro Valley pizza is the perfect way to finish off a long moving week. With dough and sauce made in-house daily, Pizza Express prides itself on creating masterpiece pizzas from high quality and fresh ingredients.
Best Castro Valley Dine-In For Your First Night Out: Southern Comfort Kitchen
Location: 3571 Castro Valley Blvd Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Review Highlight: “This place is awesome. I recommend it in the strongest and most sincere way. They do everything right! I’m super happy that they are located in Castro Valley. Without a doubt, they are 11 out of 10.”
Comfort foods make a person feel good and stimulate the brain’s reward system and after a stressful move, this is exactly what you need and deserve. Southern Comfort Kitchen is run by 3 brothers from New Orleans and offers authentic Cajun cuisine using family recipes. When you first walk through the doors, you’ll be greeted by friendly faces and a whole lot of good vibes. It’s the best way to make you feel right at home here in Castro Valley.
Best Castro Valley Spot to Stock Up Groceries and Other Essentials: Castro Valley Natural Grocery
Location: 3295 Castro Valley Blvd Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Review Highlight: “Clean, stocked shelves, and courteous staff. We were glad to finally get the chance to shop at the Castro Valley Natural Grocery. So much so that we returned later in the week to do more shopping now that we knew they sold some of our favorite brands, including local ones.”
Located inside Castro Valley’s brand new Marketplace, the Castro Valley Natural Grocery is Castro Valley’s newest and largest locally owned whole-health market. The store is packed with a large selection of organic, local, and seasonal produce, extensive lines of natural & specialty foods, clean supplements, personal care, eco-friendly home goods, and more.
While you’re there, make sure to also take some time to check out some of the other great vendors inside the Marketplace!
Best Castro Valley Outdoor Activities To Relax After Moving Day: Lake Chabot
Location: 17600 Lake Chabot Rd Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Review Highlight: “Incredible! I can’t believe there is a gem like this in the East Bay. Such a nice local getaway in town to get a dose of nature. I saw a lot of people BBQ-ing (charcoal welcome), cycling, hiking, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, the list goes on.”
Lake Chabot is one of the best-kept secrets in the Bay Area, tucked away right here in Castro Valley, This scenic destination boasts over a dozen hiking and biking trails, trophy-sized fish, boat rentals, bay area kayak tours, and a picturesque eating area at the surprisingly delicious cafe – the perfect place to cool down and refuel after a hectic move. Lake Chabot provides the perfect location to enjoy some much-needed r&r after your move.
Best Castro Valley Furniture Store: Restore & Rework
Location: 2572 San Carlos Ave Castro Valley, CA 94546
Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Review Highlight: “A hidden gem! I was in dire need of some cute furniture and antique pieces for my house and I stumbled upon Restore and Rework… I found so many great pieces here it’s been my second time now and I continue to find such intricate stuff there and I will definitely be returning again… the owner is just the sweetest and most helpful person”
One thing you will quickly learn about Castro Valley is that we have limited big box stores here (which the locals love – we are a small but really not-so-small town). This includes your typical big box furniture stores.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t amazing gems where you can find unique furniture pieces though. Plus, what other better way than to keep your money local.
Restore & Rework rescues neglected pieces, paints furniture, and builds functional pieces for the home and garden using recycled materials and/or vintage hardware, plus other uniquely found objects. Shop their 2000 square foot studio, brick building, concrete floors and roll up door that’s crammed with treasures you can fill your new space with.
Best Castro Valley Junk Removal Service: Nixxit
Service Area: Castro Valley and Entire SF Bay Area
Yelp Rating: 5 stars
Review Highlight: “The Nixxit team is so wonderful! Their ease of use, cost, and efficiency are so helpful, and needed in this world. My family and I have used their services many times, and I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate them!”
If you’re a local homeowner that needs help with their junk removal or hauling after a big move, Nixxit can help. We offer cardboard boxes and packaging material, furniture removal, appliance removal, general junk removal, and more. For all your Castro Valley junk removal needs, Nixxit has you covered.
Nixxit is a locally owned business based in Castro Valley that has over 10 years of experience in the junk removal industry. Nixxit is one of only a few junk removal companies that is a Certified California Green Business and Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB).
There’s a lot to know and see when living in Castro Valley, especially if you’re new to Castro Valley. But with these resources, the first few days after moving can be easier, setting you up for a great start in Castro Valley.