7.5 out of 10

Piedmont Avenue

Ranked 2nd best neighborhood in Oakland
37.8263694917705 -122.252016970148
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Shopping Options
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
Apr 11, 2016

"Great for dining out, shopping, quiet, safe, area"

Everything closes pretty early on Piedmont except a few bars. Other than our personal noisy neighbors with barking dogs and kids, the area is actually very quiet. I love living within walking distance to the movies, Piedmont grocery store, and great restaurants. It feels very safe, we do live in a gated apartment. Like any city, do not leave anything visible in your car or else you may have a broken window in the morning. I would definitely recommend the area.
Pros
  • Great Restaurants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"One of My Favorite Stomping Grounds"

The Piedmont Avenue neighborhood is a great swath of neighborhood that rolls down from the Mountain View Cemetery all the way to the freeway. Piedmont Avenue is the heart of the neighborhood and has a wide assortment of stores and restaurants that make it hugely appealing to students and married couples. I had a close college friend who lived in Piedmont after college and so I spent a lot of time hanging out with him in this neighborhood.

Living in Piedmont is itself quite nice. You are just far enough away from the main action of Oakland that you feel relatively safe. You don’t worry too much about crime (not any more than you would any other place in the East Bay anyway) and Piedmont itself, despite being fairly metropolitan, has a college town atmosphere.

The homes in the area are older, with about half predating the 1950’s. The neighborhood is so well-preserved, however, that the houses seem more quaint than decrepit. Street to street, you get substantial variations in terms what kind of architecture you will find. Up near the cemetery for example, you will tend to find Tudors and larger converted manors—all very stately looking. A bit farther down you might come across a street filled with smallish Prairie style homes, built on small lots typical of Depression era homes. Then on the next avenue you might find a row of older wood boarded apartments or a ten story high apartment building with balconies facing out in all the cardinal directions. The variety is quite appealing to those who find older architecture aesthetically moving. I must admit that it is one of the things that made me fall in love with this neighborhood.

Piedmont Avenue is quite the contrast to the relatively quiet neighborhood that borders it. A steady flow of traffic seems to constantly flow over the avenue past the many pedestrians. Parking is a bit of pain—especially if you are new to the area and haven’t figured out where and when spots are most likely to turn up. To really experience the main drag, however, you really need to hoof it.

One of my favorite activities on Piedmont was sitting in one of half dozen cafes and reading. They are usually packed, and unlike in Berkeley, the other studiers around you are far more likely to be graduate students, teachers, professionals and professors than fidgety undergraduates. Finding a seat is not always easy at any time of the week but mid-morning on a Sunday, you are just as likely to win the lottery as score somewhere to sit without a wait.

The ever changing roster of restaurants along Piedmont are eclectic and often delicious. If you are looking for a good Italian place, try Dopo. For Chinese try Szechwan Gardens just across the street. For tapas, go to Cesar’s, for French, the outstanding Gregoire with its ever shifting menu. If you are in the mood from something more out of the ordinary, you might try Messob, an Ethiopian place (Oakland actually has several Ethiopian places—I believe we get a lot of immigrants from that part of the world—not sure why). Put simply, Piedmont is like a round the trip culinary experience.

There are a handful of good nightspots as well, the Kona Club, Cato’s Alehouse and Adesso, a good gastro pub.

Although I am not that much of a shopper or fashion maven, you can also find a number of boutiques and hair salons along Piedmont. Some of the stores to be found there are Crackerjacks and the Bee’s Knees. For those fellow nerds out there, you’ll probably prefer Dr. Comics and Mr. Games.

Piedmont Avenue, however, is also a fully functioning residential neighborhood with grocery stores, drug stores, a couple of churches to choose from and pre-schools and childcare on either end of the avenue. In other words, this isn’t just a playground for twenty-somethings, young parents will also find Piedmont amenable to their needs and desires as well.

Put simply, this is just one of those great little hidden away neighborhoods that only Bay Area locals really know about.
Pros
  • Great Restaurants
  • Eclectic Classic Architecture
  • Great People
Cons
  • Very Busy
  • Bad for Parking
  • Too Many Great Choices
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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Unranked Streets in Piedmont Avenue

Glen Ave

2.5/5
"For parents who care."
37.8261022671629 -122.250176829863

Piedmont

4.5/5
"Dopo, Flicks and the Bee's Knees"
37.8266337972876 -122.252097577061

Piedmont Ave

3.5/5
"Piedmont Avenue - Urban Amenities Abound!"
37.8275429952247 -122.251024128465
"Bad street for pedestrians but a great street for tresure hunting"
37.8296823083115 -122.246898237364

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