4.4 out of 10

Reservoir Hill / Meadow Brook

37.7913515478319 -122.226037272327
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
  • Schools
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Pest Free
  • Resale or Rental Value
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Students


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Schools 2/5

"Central Reservoir and Recreation Spot, but nothing else"

Reservoir Hill and Meadow Brook are sections of the greater Reservoir Hill/Meadow Brook neighborhood. Reservoir Hill occupies the northernmost part of the district, which includes Central Reservoir Oakland Recreation Area and Reservoir. The natural terrain offers plenty of outdoor activities including kayaking, fishing and a plethora of hiking trails circling around the reservoir. If you travel further south, you will run into Meadow Brook, a densely populated neighborhood suffering from the usual ragtag, lower middle-class attributes. The district as a whole is a thin strip of land stretching about 12 square residential blocks (only a few gas stations and corner/liquor stores make up the commercial activity). It is quite the melting pot of different ethnicities, predominately mixed with Asians, African Americans and Hispanics. Most locals are not well learned, harboring less than a high school education.

Reservoir Hill/Meadow Brook is a grim, seedy neighborhood. Houses are typically priced between $200,000-$300,000 in price, with rents averaging at $800/month. Homes are typically two-to-three bedrooms, but very rarely give off an inviting aesthetic appeal. Those who reside on the side streets have shallow driveways, ugly front lawns and rolling gates enclosing the yards. Barred windows and chipped paint are no stranger to these house fronts. Public property is much of the same. Old and rusty cars line the streets of the neighborhood, while ugly telephone wires blemish the skyline. There is nothing too quaint about this district.

Reservoir Hill/Meadow Brook is a stringent churchgoing community, offering a few religious quarters within its borders. Most notably is Victory Baptist Church which notches the corner of East 21st Street and 24th Avenue. Oakland Unified School District is the only school in the area, but is less than satisfactory. The Manzanita Early Childhood Center is the neighborhoods only redeeming quality, which offers extended learning programs for children in preschool and elementary school. If you’re getting there by public transportation, bus routes run along 25th Avenue and East 21st Street.
  • Affordable
  • No Good Shopping
  • Old House Problems
  • Still Somewhat Dangerous
Recommended for
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"A Peaceful Island in a Stormy Gang Area"

This is often considered two separate neighborhoods, Meadow Brook and Reservoir Hills. Reservoir Hills, as the name indicates, is the hilly area on the eastern side of the neighborhood, while the pleasant sounding Meadow Brook is on the western side.

Whenever you are near the Fruitvale area of Oakland, crime is a concern. Generally speaking however, this area is slightly safer than the area right around Fruitvale. There is about one murder per year in the Meadow Brook section of the neighborhood. With a population of 6,000 plus in the neighborhood, this is a relatively safe area as compared with neighboring Oak Wood, for example, where you get one murder per 2,000 residents roughly. That said, crime is still a concern in the area because of the nearby gang violence that is a daily (and especially nightly) fact of life in this area.

If you can get beyond that, what you find in Reservoir Hills is yet another bungalow city, where virtually every home is in that squat, protective style. Most of the residents in Reservoir Hills are still in the working class range, but you can tell by how well kept the front yards are that the inhabitants are hardworking and fundamentally decent. There is little ostentatious in the neighborhood, but the slopes provide both a cooling breeze from the bay and somewhat of a view.

Another sign of the quality of this neighborhood is the neighborhood school, Manzanita Seed School. Manzanita Seed is a dual immersion program where students are taught in both English and Spanish. Though the school does not rank fantastically on tests (the Great Schools website gives it a 7 out of 10),but it is light years ahead of many of the schools in the surrounding areas that have virtually fallen off the map in terms of student achievement scores. In addition, Manzanita offers free after school art programs taught by professional artists and musicians.

As you move farther down the hill into Meadow Brook, you still get many of the same kinds of homes as you do in Reservoir Hills—you still get a lot of California bungalows and even a few squat Mission style bungalows. Now, however, the well-kept lawns tend to be marred by one or two front yards where the gardens have been allowed to become overgrown or where the grass has died from poor maintenance. This is not a sharp drop off, but it is enough so that you start to notice a bit of a decline. In fact, in spots you find empty lots where grass have overgrown everything except what used to be the front steps to a home that no longer exists or old Victorians whose windows have been boarded up.

Most of the businesses that occupy this neighborhood are along Foothill Blvd., on the western border of the neighborhood. There you will find a coin operated car wash, a market and a grilled taco restaurant. There are not the kind of businesses or restaurants that will bring people into the area from the outside, but there are convenient offerings for those that live in the area.

There is also a couple of churches in the northwestern corner of the neighborhood—First Spanish Baptist and Twenty Third Street Church. Also in the neighborhood is Victory Baptist Church, so you will definitely not be limited in the type of Baptist institution you would like to attend.

Overall, Reservoir Hills and to a lesser extent Meadow Brook, are some of the better spots to live if you must live in this area.
  • Affordable
  • Good School
  • Quiet and Relatively Safe
  • Still Somewhat Dangerous
  • Old House Problems
  • No Good Shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More