Northwest Berkeley – Berkeley, CA

World famous for its freewheeling lifestyle and free-thinking citizens, Berkeley has never been a better place to live. Tucked along the waterfront, just a couple miles from downtown and less than 15 miles from San Francisco, lies the Northwest Berkeley area. Students, artists, and middle class professionals and families are all proud to call this affordable and diverse community home. There's always something going on, someone trying something new, and plenty of shops, restaurants and events to explore.

Schools in Northwest Berkeley

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

The nightlife in Northwest Berkeley tends towards the casual and family friendly — though still with that Berkeley foodie edge. Enjoy two restaurants in one at Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar. In the morning you'll find excellent pastries and European-style breakfasts. In the afternoons Bartavelle transforms into a sophisticated wine bar serving up cheese boards and prosciutto sandwiches. Feed the family at Stella Nonna, locally beloved for its Friday night fish fry served Milwaukee style or at T-Rex BBQ Restaurant and Bar, which serves up barbecue and fried chicken made to their original Southern recipes. Choose from a rotating selection of local and international brews at the Westbrae Biergarten. This German-style outdoor bar invites food trucks every week to serve their customers, and makes sure it's a fun and safe environment for everyone — even kids and dogs.

History & Culture

The City of Berkeley was first incorporated in the 1870s, an outlying city built on San Francisco's wild success. The area that would become Northwest Berkeley was one of the first areas developed, then known as Ocean View and built in the classic San Franciscan Victorian style. Northwest Berkeley was the subject of much debate in the 1970s when the City proposed knocking down the classic Victorian architecture as part of a redevelopment plan. The local property owners prevailed and the historic buildings were spared, just in time for the boom of the 1980s. Originally a working-class industrial neighborhood, the success of Silicon Valley raised prices and gentrified the area. Today Northwest Berkeley is home to middle-class families, students from UC Berkeley, and artists workings in the dozens of studios, publishing presses and galleries in the area.


Berkeley residents enjoy a wide range of transportation choices. Many residents, particularly those who commute out of the area, own their own vehicles. But street parking is hard to come by, so much of the local travel is done on foot or on bicycle. Bicycles are a part of life out here with the city going out of its way to create more bike lanes, bike trails, and bike friendly roads. A lot of students and artists pick up extra cash as drivers for Uber and Lyft. You can also find traditional taxi services easily in this major metropolitan area. Public transportation in the area is excellent. The local light rail system, BART, has a station right in the neighborhood, and AC Transit runs buses through the area and through Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.


The cost of living in Northwest Berkeley is low for the area, but still very high compared to the national averages. Expect to pay an average of $1,424 for a one bedroom apartment. Transportation is at a premium. Gas in the neighborhood runs about 20 percent above the national average, and while free shuttles are available around UC Berkeley, the city bus costs $5 for a day pass. A ride on BART into San Francisco and back will cost just under $8. With so many bars and restaurants competing for customers, it's not hard to find a $5 beer ($3 at happy hour). Food will cost you more — even a bagel or a brownie will run you a couple bucks.


With so many artists and entrepreneurs, it's not surprising that Northwest Berkeley is home to some extraordinary shopping. You can spend hours in Ocean View, window shopping on 4th Street between Hearst and Virginia. High-end name brands sit side by side with independent boutiques and shops. Stock your craft room with stationery and scrapbooking materials from Castle In the Air, a fine art supply store. Ocean View also boasts two indie bookstores and eco-friendly gardening and home goods. Whether you're a college transplant or simply love the thrill of questing, make a stop at Flight 001 to update your travel gear. Browse for trendy carry-on luggage, pillows and eye masks to prepare for a long flight, or invest in compact travel adapters and cases to keep your must-have devices close by for every second of your trip. If you value the story behind an object, check the daily finds at Social Studies, a home decor and clothing boutique dedicated to bringing small curated collections to shoppers who love artful design. Farther north is a second cluster of shops on Gilman Street. Here you'll find original designer clothing, such as knitwear from Nomadic Traders or boiled wool workwear from Two Star Dog. Feed your family with organic produce from the nearby Whole Foods Market, or hit up local independent grocers Berkeley Bowl or Berkeley Natural Grocery Company. You can also find international delicacies in one of the many high-end markets selling Italian foods, Spanish wines, Indian curries and carne asada.


For exercise, play and stunning Bay views, residents cross the Eastshore Freeway to the Berkeley Marina. Home to the Eastshore State Park, you can bike, walk, or jog through the trails of this park that stretches 8.5 miles along the coast. The preserved and protected wetlands have become an essential refuge for Bay Area wildlife and a favorite spotting location for bird watchers. Cross The Meadow and walk right out onto the fields and beaches of Cesar Chavez Park. Built on a converted landfill, today the park is beloved by nature lovers drawn to beaches, kite fliers drawn by the strong bay winds and dog walkers who can let their pups off the leash in the 17-acre dog park. The Berkeley Marina hosts several annual community events that range from Fourth of July fireworks to the annual Shoreline Clean-Up and the educational Berkeley Bay Festival. For those who'd rather not brave the ocean weather, head to the James Kenney Recreation Center instead. First designated a public park in 1917, today the on-site building serves as meeting space for the community. Outdoors you can let the kids run on the playground or join a game on one of the sports fields. James Kenney has facilities for baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis and volleyball. Further inland lies Cedar Rose Park. In addition to sports fields and playgrounds of its own, Cedar Rose has an amphitheater stage popular for local programming and is within walking distance from the local community gardens.
Avalon Berkeley
651 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94710
$2,460 - 3,700 Studio - 2 Bedroom Available Now
1122 U
1122 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
2 wks
Call for Rent Studio Available Soon