- Things to Do
- Food & Drinks
- Where to Stay
- Maps & Neighborhoods
- Plan Your Trip
Berkeley’s twists and turns of terrain make its neighborhoods shine. From foodie North Shattuck and chic Fourth Street, to hip-hop Telegraph, Gilman, Lorin, and Solano, Berkeley’s retail districts elevate the city through their independent mantras and moods. Highlight reels:
LORIN DISTRICT http://lorinberkeley.org/
Where: Ashby Avenue, from Martin Luther King Jr. Way to Shattuck Avenue.
Profile: South Berkeley’s arts district has theatre, under-the-radar dining, antique stores, and specialty retail, all in a hip, working-class neighborhood.
Drink & Dine: Easy Creole, Hoi Polloi, Alchemy Coffee, Emilia’s Pizza, Crixa Cakes, Vault Café, Flacos, Creekwood
Shop: Jack’s Antiques, People’s Bazaar, Berkeley Bowl, Aw Pottery
Do: The Lorin has carved itself out as Berkeley’s buzzy arts district, led by Shotgun Players (who perform at the Ashby Stage, the first 100% solar-powered theater in the U.S.) and the Black Repertory Group.
Events: South Berkeley Farmers’ Market (Tuesdays), Juneteenth Festival (3rd Sunday in June).
Extra: Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles is haven for all forms of textile arts.
Downtown Berkeley http://www.downtownberkeley.org/
Where: MLK Jr. Way to Oxford St., Channing Way to Hearst Ave.; Shattuck Avenue serves as downtown Berkeley’s primary thoroughfare.
Profile: Berkeley’s vibrant city center, famous for its thriving performing and visual arts scene, is bursting with hip spots to eat and drink, and serves a regional transportation hub with direct rail connections to Oakland and San Francisco International airports.
Drink & Dine: Comal, Revival Bar & Kitchen, Gather, La Note, Cancun, Sliver Pizzeria, Jupiter, Tupper & Reed, Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen, Triple Rock.
Shop: Half Price Books, Berkeley Ace Hardware, Seasons (Cal Bears apparel), Games of Berkeley, Body Time, Fantastic Comics, Target
Do: Downtown Berkeley Arts District (Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Freight & Salvage, California Jazz Conservatory)
Events: Bay Area Book Festival (May 2019), Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market (Saturdays,)
Extra: Downtown Berkeley Bike Station offers free & secure daily parking, gear for bike travelers & commuters, and a limited number of bikes to rent.
Fourth Street http://www.fourthstreet.com/
Where: Fourth Street between Virginia and Addison streets, West Berkeley.
Profile: Fourth Street’s tree-lined sidewalks, sophisticated boutiques and festive atmosphere are charm exemplified.
Drink & Dine: Bette’s Oceanview Diner, Tacubaya, Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, Café M, Zut, Iyasare
Shop: Apple Store, Anthropologie, Title Nine, Castle in the Air, Erika Tanov, Lululemon, The Ark, Sur La Table, MAC, Kiehl’s, Five Little Monkeys.
Do: Experience live coffee roasting at Artis, sip single origin teas at Teance, or check out the sake museum at Takara Sake.
Extra: Stained Glass Garden, a Fourth Street original, features hand-blown glass art and workshops.
North Shattuck / Gourmet Ghetto http://www.northshattuck.org/
Where: Shattuck Avenue between Delaware and Rose streets in North Berkeley.
Profile: The Gourmet Ghetto is the heart of Berkeley’s world-renowned culinary scene, and the home of famous chef Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse and the original Peet’s Coffee.
Drink & Dine: Chez Panisse, Saul’s Restaurant & Deli, Tigerlily, Cheese Board Collective, Epicurious Garden, Corso, Cesar, Mission Heirloom.
Shop: ACCI Gallery, Holistic Hound, Books Inc., Lobelia, M. Lowe & Co. Jewelers, Earthly Goods
Do: Victory Point Café has over 800 board and card games available to play at their North Shattuck location, along with food and local brews on tap.
Extra: Edible Excursions’ Gourmet Ghetto Culinary Walking Tours, by reservation every Thursday and Saturday, give guests a taste of the Gourmet Ghetto’s outsized culinary influence.
Solano Ave http://www.solanoavenueassn.org/
Where: Solano Avenue, between Neilson Street and the Alameda, North Berkeley
Profile: Head to the northern edge of Berkeley for a laid-back, sun-drenched local neighborhood with some of Berkeley’s leading restaurants, friendliest vibes, and an annual street fair to remember.
Drink & Dine: Ajanta, Rivoli, AKEMI, iScream, Cactus Taqueria, Zachary’s Pizza, Vanessa’s Bistro, Kirin.
Shop: Pegasus Books, Greetings, Fern’s Garden, Tibetan Gift House
Do: Head up a secret staircase path to Indian Rock Park, a volcanic outcropping with sweeping views and best-in-Bay rock climbing.
Extra: Once a year, Solano Avenue roars to life with the Solano Stroll, one of the largest annual street festivals in the Bay Area.
Telegraph Avenue http://www.telegraphberkeley.o...
Where: Telegraph Ave., Bancroft Ave. to Ashby Way
Profile: Berkeley's most iconic street is at the intersection of the city’s past, present and future, with a hip retail scene and historic landmarks at the doorstep of the University.
Drink & Dine: Top Dog, Julia’s at Berkeley City Club, Henry’s Restaurant, Le Bateau Ivre, CREAM, Free House, 1951 Coffee Company
Shop: Rasputin Music, Amoeba Music, Moe’s Books, Mars Mercantile, Annapurna, Bows and Arrows, Urban Outfitters, Bear Basics/T-Shirt Orgy
Do: A new downloadable smartphone walking tour leads users to a number of notable historic spots around Telegraph Avenue, with stories told by people who witnessed the events firsthand; telegraphtour.com
Extra: Nearby Sproul Plaza buzzes with activity during the school year: it also has historic significance as a flashpoint of the Free Speech Movement in the early 1960s.
Special Events: Holiday Street Fair (weekends in December), Berkeley World Music Festival (June)
WEST BERKELEY/GILMAN DISTRICT https://www.facebook.com/gilma...
Where: Gilman Street, between 4th Street and San Pablo Avenue
Profile: New attractions and outlets are springing up in Berkeley’s bygone strip of light industry and manufacturing. Think urban wineries, breweries, artisan food and restaurant outlets, and a distinctive under-radar vibe.
Drink & Dine: Picante, Sanctuary Bistro, Funky Elephant, La Calle Diez, Gilman Brewing Co., Donkey & Goat Winery, Broc Cellars
Shop: The North Face Outlet, Royal Robbins, REI, Tokyo Fish Market
Do: Sip your way through West Berkeley, starting with a morning cup from Philz Coffee, get hoppy at Gilman Brewing, taste award-winning wine at Donkey & Goat and Broc Cellars.
Extra: The SHOH Gallery, where the freshest art is locally grown.
Elmwood District http://www.shoptheelmwood.com/
Where: College Avenue, from Stuart Street across Ashby Ave. to Webster St.
Profile: Window-shopping is on the agenda for Berkeley’s throwback business district. Outdoor cafes, a classic retro movie theatre, and walkable, tree-lined cross streets give the Elmwood a hip, suburban feel.
Drink & Dine: Donato & co., La Mediterranee, Baker & Commons, Nabolom Bakery & Pizzeria, Timeless Coffee, Dream Fluff Donuts
Shop: Mrs. Dalloway’s, Your Basic Bird, Rue Atelier, Casa de Chocolates, Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, Sweet Dreams
Do: Rialto Cinemas Elmwood is a retro movie theater featuring independent and foreign films.
Extra: Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, a grand redwood building designed by the famed Hearst Castle architect, is home to Berkeley Playhouse and several other performing arts organizations.
Where: University Avenue, from the Berkeley Marina to Oxford Street.
Profile: Berkeley’s grand boulevard and main artery connecting the city with California I-80, extending from the Berkeley Marina all the way to the western edge of the UC Berkeley campus.
Drink & Dine: Brazil Café, The Butcher’s Son, North Beach Pizza, Berkeley Social Club, La Mission, Algorithm Coffee Co.
Shop: Sari Palace, Talavera Ceramics, Out of the Closet, Trader Joe’s, Ledger’s Liquor
Do: Take the train to Berkeley! The Berkeley Amtrak station (BKY) is located just off University Avenue at Third Street.
Extra: MeloMelo Kava Bar is a hip spot that celebrates the soothing properties of the South Pacific kava root. No alcohol at this bar – only good vibes.