Over the last twenty years these charming and bustling neighborhoods have become widely known as the Gourmet Ghetto, due to the abundance of fine restaurants, markets and specialty food shops that continue to thrive here. A world renowned “foodie Mecca”, which was (and still is) centered around Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, it became ground zero of a movement starting in the 1970’s — celebrating the careful preparation of fresh, locally grown and sustainably raised organic foods from nearby Northern California farms and suppliers.
The North Berkeley area is loosely bordered along Shattuck Avenue, traveling north from University Avenue past Rose Street towards Solano Avenue. Favorite shops and restaurants are The Cheese Board (and Cheese Board Pizza), Poulet, and Moving west along Hopkins Street past Martin Luther King Jr. Way, toward Sacramento Street you come to Monterey Avenue and the heart of Northbrae. With the legendary Monterey Market and a row of excellent shops nearby including Gioia’s New York Pizza, Monterey Fish, Monterey Foods and more, this is a food lover’s (and shopper’s) paradise. Another don’t-miss destination is the amazing Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, just around the corner on McGee Street.
Many of the homes in North Berkeley and Northbrae are craftsman and California bungalows, with Spanish Mediterranean and box shingles adding diversity to the architecture. The location, which is central to Cal, North Berkeley BART, downtown Berkeley and the Solano Avenue shops, remains one of the Bay Area’s most sought-after communities for home buyers. And because folks enjoy living here housing turnover is slow, with new listings seemingly few and far between. So, the high buyer demand keeps property values relatively stable.