Welcome to Northbrae and Westbrae, two of Berkeley’s most livable neighborhoods, right next to each other.
Northbrae is in northern Berkeley, bounded by Hopkins, Monterey, Marin, and The Circle. It is mostly gentle hills and easy to bike around; most homes have walk scores in the 75-90 range. Be sure to look for the pink sidewalks and stone pillars, hallmarks of the area. Westbrae is down Hopkins and Gilman to the west.
Both are within walking distance of North Berkeley BART and the beautifully restored and updated North Berkeley Library at Hopkins and The Alameda.
The American Planning Association (APA) named Northbrae one of America’s Top 10 Great Neighborhoods. Beautiful tree-lined streets, a park with a running track, tennis courts and swimming pools, paths, gardens, and a pleasant shopping district are just some of the reasons it was honored.
Northbrae’s beloved Marin Fountain was recreated and maintained by the Friends of the Fountain & Walk.
Indian Rock Park, just up from the fountain, is a wonderful place to watch the sunset over San Francisco and the Golden Gate.
Streets such as Sonoma, Marin, Monterey, and Napa were named for California counties to entice the State Capital to move here. Fortunately, it didn’t happen.
Be on the lookout for vestiges of the old streetcar routes – the bridge on Rose, a home built on an angle on California, and the back of Northbrae Bottle shop’s triangular building.
UC Berkeley is about a 20-minute bike ride along Ohlone Greenway. San Francisco is easily reached using the nearby North Berkeley BART station, bus, or casual carpool. Working in Silicon Valley? Just hop on the company shuttle.
Northbrae’s shopping district at Hopkins and Monterey has some of the best food shopping in town … Berkeley’s answer to Rue Cler in Paris!
Monterey Market, particularly colorful in autumn, can’t be beaten for fresh produce. Magnani Meat, Monterey Fish, Country Cheese, and Hopkins Street Bakery, and Northbrae Bottle Shop are just up the street. Espresso Roma, a converted gas station on the corner is a great place to hang out on a sunny day.
Gioia has the best pizza west of Lexington Avenue. Gioia’s is where we celebrate Pi Day on March 14th … that’s right … 3.14!
King School Park has a running track, pool, and tennis courts. The Edible Schoolyard, the organic garden initiated by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame is nearby … and Prince Charles, an organic gardener himself, once visited to see it and talk to the kids.
Love to garden? Berkeley Horticultural Nursery (Berkeley Hort) fills almost the entire block with trees, flowers, plants and vegetables and has a highly knowledgeable staff.
Coffee, Fish, Produce, Meat, Wine, Pizza, Flowers, Cheese, Pastries, and more on two short blocks. Heaven!
Westbrae is down the street on Gilman. Check out Lalime’s, a lovely restaurant with a frequently changing menu; across the street is Berkeley Natural Grocery, sister to El Cerrito Natural Grocery … both great organic resources. Head down toward BART for Berkeley Bagels, Toot Sweets Bakery, and the family and dog-friendly Westbrae Biergarten (BBQ on Thursday nights!). Westbrae Nursery is right next door. You’ll need great dental care so you can enjoy Berkeley’s wonderful restaurants…that is why we highly recommend our dentist, Dr. Andrew Kurtz, and his team right across the street. We’ve been going to his father Sy for over 30 years … and now him.
Ready for a break? Bring the paper, get some coffee and bagel and sit down at the pleasant little park on the corner.
BART runs along the old Santa Fe Railway right of way … Ohlone Way is a walking/biking path that goes all the way to North Berkeley BART and Downtown Berkeley.
Head down Ohlone Way towards Peralta and Hopkins and you’ll find the Karl Linn Community Garden and Peralta Community Garden. They’re at street level where BART goes underground.
About a third of the homes have 2 bedrooms, and half are 3 bedrooms; most were built in the 1920s and have been updated. Northbrae is a great place to live, so homes sell for 20-40% above Berkeley’s median price.
Ready to see what makes living in Berkeley special? Perhaps even have a slice of mushroom pizza from our favorite takeout place Goia? Give us a call! We love living here … you will too!
Walkability, Pizza, North Berkeley BART, Company Buses, and more!
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