8.9 out of 10

Elmwood District

Ranked 1st best neighborhood in Berkeley
37.8584471978673 -122.252960582034
Great for
  • Childcare
  • Schools
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Students
  • Hipsters
  • Families with kids

Reviews

5/5
2yrs+

"One of the Best Neighborhoods in Berkeley"

Elmwood is one of Berkeley’s most desirable neighborhoods, with its mix of attractive, older homes, a vibrant restaurant and shopping district, and easy access to transportation.

Elmwood is located south of the UC Berkeley campus, bounded by Telegraph Avenue on the west and Claremont Avenue on the east, as well as Dwight Way to the north and Woolsey Street to the south. At its center is the intersection of College and Ashby avenues, busy at nearly all hours of the day with patrons visiting gourmet restaurants, cafes, retail stores, and neighborhood shops.

Restaurants long popular with the locals include Trattoria La Siciliana, King Yen, and Gordo Taqueria. The neighborhood is also home to the 33-year-old Nabolom Collective Bakery, Espresso Roma Cafe, Ici ice cream parlor, and Sweet Dreams candy and toy store for children.

The landmark Rialto Cinemas Elmwood sits a few steps from the intersection, and the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts — once a church designed by the famed architect — is several blocks north.

The Claremont branch of the Berkeley Public Library is nearby, as is the 2.7-acre Willard Park. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is on Ashby Avenue, near Telegraph.

Elmwood is home to Willard Middle School, which scored 811 out of a possible 1,000 recently on the statewide Academic Performance Index, or API. The private Maybeck High School is also in the neighborhood.

For all its relative calm, Elmwood enjoys easy access to the Berkeley and Rockridge BART stations, with Highway 24 and major through streets nearby.

Most homes in Elmwood date to the early decades of the last century, and many were designed by leading architects of the day including Julia Morgan, John Hudson Thomas, and Bernard Maybeck. The neighborhood is particularly rich in spacious, Craftsman-style homes.

Elmwood has many longtime residents, but the neighborhood continues to attract younger families as well. Because the area remains one of Berkeley’s most sought-after neighborhoods, buyers should expect fierce bidding for desirable homes.
Pros
  • Good Restaurants
  • Nice Houses
Cons
  • Expensive
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"The Elmwood - tradition with an open mind"

Pros
  • Good Restaurants
  • Leafy Streets
  • Nice Houses
Cons
  • Competitive Market
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The Best Area for Students in all of Berkeley"

This was the area that me and my friends wanted to live when we were students at Cal. The leafy though somewhat flat streets are perfectly located just far enough away from campus where you can make it there quickly but not feel like you are constanly in the Berkeley madness at every second. The cafes in the neighborhood and the unique restaurants make it a great place to go to study and hang out on the weekends and, because you are so close to campus you can hop down to Telegraph for a book for music or for the street fair. If you want to go hiking you just follow Ashby up to Tilden park. If you want to go into the City you just follow College down to the Rockridge BART.

Furthermore, rent-control has kept this area relatively affordable for students and the large Victorians make it ideal for students to live with three or four housemates.
Pros
  • Leafy Streets
  • Nice Houses
  • Good Restaurants
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Competitive Market
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
NightOwlnOrinda
NightOwlnOrinda I love Elmwood as my review shows, but the photo of Sather Gate above is not in the Elmwood neighborhood. It is right at the edge of Campus which is actually South Berkeley. Just wanted to make sure people dont' expect that Elmwood is right next to campus. It is a good 15 to 30 minutes walk from campus, but not not right next door.
2yrs+
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Unranked Streets in Elmwood District

Ashby Ave

2.5/5
"Residential but mostly used to get from once place to another"
37.8571071924794 -122.252866773688

Benvenue Ave

2.5/5
"Typical Berkeley nonsense north of Ashby, but quieter toward Alcatraz"
37.8584803094953 -122.254458556691

College Ave

4.5/5
"Just One of the Greatest Streets in the World!"
37.8585604966136 -122.253232437459
"A Sixties Icon with Lots to Offer"
37.8591791824516 -122.259323903258

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