8.5 out of 10


37.8430085663786 -122.295800999691
Great for
  • Pest Free
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists


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

"The International Food Court and Condos with a View"

Emerybay is perhaps my favorite place to visit in Emeryville. Emeryville is mostly more about the restaurants, stores, and hotels than it is about apartments and homes. In fact, I don’t think there is a single-family house in this neighborhood—though there are condos and one very prominent high rise apartment. Most of the multiple story condos and certainly the high rise has great views of the SF Bay all the way to Alcatraz and SF. Many of the condos here are of that new fangled variety—painted orange and tan and with heavily reinforced doors and no first floor windows to give one a sense of being safely tucked away--no doubt a response to the high per capita robbery rate for Emeryville.

One should not be mislead, however. Though Emeryville’s population is only about 7,000 (according to the 2000 census), the high crime rate is distorted because of the high number of visitors to Emeryville everyday. Thousands of people must come into the area to visit the Ikea to the south or to come to the food court or to catch a movie. When you factor these larger numbers in, you see that the thefts and break-ins are actually probably much lower than in some of the nearby Oakland neighborhoods.

That said, this neighborhood has a lot to offer. First, the longtime center of activity is the Emeryville Café and International Food Court. Long before Ikea and new shopping mall south of Powell came, the food court would bring in people from all over the East Bay to meet and choose from foods from Afghan cuisine to Mexican. A true international food court, the area is also reasonably priced and perfectly located right by the Bay Bridge—making it perfect as a lunch stop before heading into the city. In addition, the Borders Books and the nearby ten screen movie theater give customers lots to do and see while here. There is also an excellent pool hall in the building—a great date spot on weekend nights.

Much of the location, however, is devoted to business. I have heard that Emeryville has a higher percentage of per capita office space than any other city in California. I don’t know if this is still true, but given the number of offices and businesses in the area, it is not altogether surprising. Nady Systems, a wireless technology company, and Mitel Corporation, a communications consultation company, and Wham-O toy company, famous for their Frisbees, for example have their offices here.

The neigbhorhood also has a private college, Ex’pression College of Digital Arts is located on the northern end of the neighborhood. The college trains people in animation related skills—no doubt catering to those hoping to find jobs with Emeryville’s most famous company, Pixar (located in the neighborhood just to the south). For those who prefer to educate themselves in salsa, there is the Allegro Ballroom, offering inexpensive classes to people of all ability levels.

Finally, there is also the Denny’s on Powell, a popular spot late when everything else is closed. Many a college night I ended up there with friends. The food and service is nothing to write home about, but a clean, well-lighted place at 3 am is a great blessing.
  • Great Food Court
  • Good Theater and Bookstore
  • Close to Bay Bridge
  • Crowds
  • Some Crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students

Unranked Streets in Emerybay

Bay St

"Great for Furniture, Food and Fun"
37.8440086462281 -122.293756044897

Christie Ave

"Forgettable Retail Street Given the Surroundings"
37.8417857694081 -122.295191461247

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