8.3 out of 10

Bancroft Way, Southside

37.8686897357684 -122.259451419687
Great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Medical Facilities
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Schools
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Safe & Sound
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles


5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5

"The Intellectual Heart of Berkeley"

Bancroft is one of the great Berkeley streets if you’re a Cal student or a just a visitor. It starts up on Claremont at International Students where most of the visiting international students usually stay while they are at Cal. The I-House café is a great place to go if you want to get a sense of Berkeley’s cosmopolitan flavor. You are sure to hear some exchange students talking in their native tongues there.

From I-House Bancroft rolls down at a steady pace along the south side of campus. Along the way, you find some of the major intellectual attractions of the city, including the Kroeber Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Modern Art and especially the Pacific Film Archive. The museums rotate their exhibitions so be sure to get a schedule or check one out on line. The Pacific Film Archive is great (technically though, the entrance is the next street over). If you love wonderfully obscure films and quirky themes, you will definitely not be disappointed.

Zellerbach Hall is also here. It is one of the great theaters in the area. You can find everything from a speech by a former Clinton Administration official here to the Mark Morris Ballet company. Be sure to check out the schedule of events. It is well worth it.

Bancroft is also home to two of the best coffee houses in the city in most people’s opinions. First, there is Strada (right across the street from Kroeber and perhaps the ugliest building on campus—the architecture building, ironically). I personally find Strada overrated both in terms of coffee and the outdoorsy ambience; but if you’re an earthy crunchy type or the kind of person that loves biking this seems to be the place to hang on a week end. Second, and more importantly, this is the street that has Milano on it. One of the really great coffee shops in Berkeley. I have known people who fell in love with this place just by spending an afternoon there.

I should also mention that Bancroft has some good eats and a couple of good clothing stores as well—depending on your style of dress, of course. There is a cool Urban Outfitters there that is only slightly overpriced. (Although if shopping is what you’re into I would suggest going down Telegraph past Bancroft to some of the second hand stores—much better value!)

And finally, Bancroft at Telegraph is The Berkeley locale. This is where you go onto campus to Sather Gate (the green gate that is always filmed whenever a director wants to show that someone is a Berkeley student). There you will find Sprawl plaza, where all the famous Free Speech Movement rallies began and where the heart of activity still is. Great just to sit and people watch. (On the weekends, drummers take over and make a racket.)
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

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"The Intellectual Heart of Berkeley"
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