6.1 out of 10

Temescal

Ranked 12th best neighborhood in Oakland
37.8333815283503 -122.261109820721
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Internet Access
  • Schools
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters

Reviews

4/5
2yrs+

"Killer Restaurant Selection"

With quick access to public transportation and freeways and a walkable strip of highly regarded restaurants, centrally located Temescal will appeal to Oakland homebuyers seeking a more affordable alternative to neighboring Rockridge.Temescal

Roughly speaking, Temescal is bordered by 51st Street to the north, 40th Street to the south, Broadway to the east, and state Route 24 to the west. The latter freeway feeds directly into Interstate 580, making it possible to drive to San Francisco in less than 20 minutes.

Commuters who prefer public transportation will appreciate the neighborhood’s access to two BART stations. Residents who live in the southern part of Temescal are within walking distance of the MacArthur station, while those in the neighborhood’s northern portion can opt to use the Rockridge station.

Most of the neighborhood’s businesses and eateries are located on Telegraph Avenue, Temescal’s principal thoroughfare and a strip that’s easy to explore on foot or bicycle. Walk Score — an online service that ranks neighborhoods based on amenities within a quarter-mile distance — gives Temescal a Walk Score of 87 and a Bike Score of 86 on a scale of 100.

Temescal’s restaurant and nightlife scene has exploded in the past decade and now rivals Berkeley’s famed Gourmet Ghetto. Locals line up around the block for Bakesale Betty’s fried-chicken sandwich, a delicacy that landed on Food & Wine’s list of best sandwiches in the U.S. Aunt Mary’s Cafe, which serves an array of Southern-style dishes, is a popular brunch option. Other well-regarded restaurants in the neighborhood include Dona Tomas, which offers high-end Mexican food, and Pizzaiolo, a wood-fired-pizza place founded by a former Chez Panisse employee.

There is no shortage of activities in Temescal, thanks to a variety of events throughout the year. The neighborhood hosts an annual street fair in July, as well as September’s Taste of Temescal festival, where attendees can sample a smorgasbord of food from local restaurants. Temescal also participates in Oakland’s increasingly popular First Fridays initiative, when many art galleries are open to the public.

Mosswood Park, just a few blocks south of the neighborhood’s boundaries, is home to basketball and tennis courts, a baseball field, an outdoor amphitheater, and a dogs-off-leash area. Residents seeking relief on hot summer days will appreciate the Temescal Pool, a low-cost outdoor facility that offers swimming lessons for both children and adults.

The median sales price for homes in the 94609 ZIP code, which encompasses Temescal, was $644,000 in August — a year-over-year increase of 29 percent. Homes in the neighborhood are considerably more affordable than those in the 94618 ZIP code, which includes Rockridge, where the median August sales price was $875,000.

While Temescal has a slim 1.4-month supply of inventory (MSI), there are slightly more homes on the market than there are in our Oakland region as a whole, where the MSI was 1.2 in August. On average, buyers shelled out 16.5 percent more than list price for Temescal homes in that month, as opposed to 9 percent above list in Oakland overall.
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
  • Great Restaurants
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
2yrs+

"Plain, lower-middle class neighborhood"

Temescal is a relatively small neighborhood, with cheap rent and inexpensive shopping. Many of the residents will tell you that the district is on the upswing, with many new and diverse families moving into the community. One of the few perks of the community is its location, straddling the border of Berkeley and its convenient proximity to the many popular shops and restaurants that string along Telegraph, Shattuck and Claremont Avenue.

Telegraph Avenue is one of the main commercial strips that traverses the neighborhood. It stretches a couple miles north and ends four blocks shy of the UC Berkeley campus. Some UC Berkeley locals use the bus lines that frequent along the main street every 15-20 minutes. The area is also popular amongst the local community, hosting a myriad of Asian cuisines, including Ryo B.B.Q. House, Koryo Sushi, Kan Sai Restaurant and Casserole House Korean. All these inexpensive restaurants cluster within a block of Telegraph Avenue and 44th Street.

The neighborhood is mostly residential, with pockets of old homes with muted colors and thin two-story residents packed along quiet side streets. Many of the streets’ characteristics depict that of bushy trees, ugly fences enclosing unkempt front lawns and dusty cement parking lots. Rent is relatively affordable, but you get what you pay for. Garages are rare and driveways are shallow, so street parking can be a little bit more complicated. However, it is still a neighborhood so nothing you’d spend more than five minutes finding.

Oakland Technical Senior High School lies within the neighborhood’s borders, but maintains a less than stellar reputation. Many of the locals gravitate towards Temescal Plaza, which occupies the northwestern corner of the district. The cluster of shops offers everything from food chain stores to a handful of ethnic eateries.

For commuting options, Highway 24 curbs the western border of the neighborhood while two Bart transit lines fall just north and south of the district (MacArthur station to the south and Rockridge station to the north).
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
Cons
  • Crime
  • Old Buildings
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Still Up and Coming"

For the last few years there has been a lot of buzz around this neighborhood—everyone raving about how great it is. I must admit that I am a late-comer to seeing what is so great about Temescal. In fact, until last year I had never even heard of it. I know Telegraph pretty well, and love it down by the Berkeley area, but I must admit that I had never noticed anything particularly special about it between 52nd Street and 40th Street.

All this is only to point out what a blockhead I can sometimes be. Recently, I have finally begun to come around to a fuller understanding of what a really great neighborhood this has become. I am sure that if I were in college now, this would probably be the neighborhood that I would move to. So what is so great about Temescal?

A lot of it has to do with Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood. Many of the chefs that came to cut their teeth on the culinary worldview of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse decided to stick around and open their own places. They did not, however, want to stay so close to Waters and they did not want to pay the kind of rents that restaurants need to in order to stay in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Instead, they looked for a neighborhood which was both inexpensive and would give them a clientele. Temescal fit the bill.

Temescal now has a number of appealing attractions. To begin, there are, of course, the restaurants. First of all, there is Bake Sale Betty’s on the northern end of the neighborhood—a great place for sandwiches. But you can also find a number of cuisines from around the world. There are a clutch of Korean restaurants, Burma Superstar, Café Eritrea D’Afrique and Asmara (an Ethiopian restaurant).

Although the financial crisis hit the arts community particularly hard, you will still find some remaining gallery and quite a few artists that moved into the area.

Put simply, this is still a pretty hip and trendy neighborhood that continues to evolve.
Pros
  • Great Restaurants
  • Strong Arts Community
  • Affordable Rents
Cons
  • Crime
  • Old Buildings
  • Becoming Gentrified
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Great up and coming neighborhood!"

Temescal used didn't use to be the greatest neighborhood. It didn't really have very convenient streets to get places and the shopping wasn't that good. BUT, with the addition of the freeway and people FINALLY coming back to the neighborhood, its getting better. New shops and places to eat are coming in and its finally getting to be quite a nice place to live. Traffic can be busy at times but that happens everywhere. Temescal has a lot of potential to become a hotspot for new home buyers. If they keep doing exactly what they're doing now, in a few years this WILL be the place to live.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Expanding new area allows for population boom"

If you want to hang out in the newest areas of Oakland then you need to head over to Temescal. Temescal offers easy access to the Groove Shafter Freeway (24) which makes it quick and easy to come or go. Telegraph Ave is the best street in the Temescal area in my opinion. The street is lined with new shops that are bursting at their seams with retail goods. There are also plenty of restaurants too. Your typical corporate food chains and a few small popups here and there. The neighborhoods in Temescal are somewhat scaled back when it comes to the usual overcrowding the many California cities have to deal with. The houses range from lower middle class up to the fancy side. You can even find a few trailer parks in the area. I guess Temescal was channeling the deep South.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Temescal - The Up & Coming Neighborhood of Oakland"

Temescal is my new neighborhood and definitely up and coming. Sure, it is still a little rough around the edges. There is still some crime and you will definitely encounter the strange homeless person walking around. However, the stretch of telegraph from 52nd street to 43rd is terrific. Two Chez Pannise former chefs have opened up restaurants there. The well loved bake sale betty's is right in the neighborhood, with delicious chicken sandwiches and baked goods. So is Genova's, the fancy Italian sandwich shop that has been reviewed as a place to go by the NY Times. Temescal also boasts a number of other great eats including Barlatta for Tapas, Dona Tomas for Mexican food, and the newly opened Burma Superstar. For someone who hates to cook, its a great neighborhood! There are also two small art galleries that sometimes hold events on Shattuck and 56th, and the area is pretty much right between Ashby, Rockridge and Macarthur BART with the 18, 51 and 1 bus line running through. I think in no time at all this area will (hopefully) be the new Rockridge. For the moment, rents are extremely low and the food good!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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