Overview of North Oakland and Emeryville

A Commuter's Dream

Walk Score: 84

Transit Score: 65

Bike Score: 89

I must admit, I’m a bit partial to North Oakland and Emeryville because…well, I live here! This area is also sometimes known as NOBE, which includes North Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville.

North Oakland in particular is changing very rapidly, with older homes being renovated left and right. In fact, CBS even crowned Bushrod, one of the neighborhoods in this area, the hottest Bay Area real estate market!

Both North Oakland and Emeryville have a diverse mix of residents, from those who have been here for decades to young professionals and families just moving in.

One of my favorite features of North Oakland and Emeryville is how flat the terrain is, making the area extremely walkable and bikeable. There are two BART stations in the area: Ashby and MacArthur. In addition, Emeryville offers a fleet of free shuttles, the Emery Go-Round, that will connect you to BART and to the Bay Street shopping area in Emeryville.

Speaking of which, the shopping. The close proximity to big box stores like Target, Home Depot, and IKEA is such a bonus, especially for homeowners. Grocery-wise, there are also a variety of options, including Trader Joe’s and Berkeley Bowl. And of course, the Bay Street shopping strip in Emeryville will cure any shopping itch, with stores such as Gap, Banana Republic, Uniqlo, H&M, Old Navy, and much much more.

I also love the range of family amenities, from the community centers to the libraries to the well-maintained playgrounds. There’s never a shortage of places to keep the kids entertained.

Plus, Pixar is in Emeryville, and how cool would it be to live within walking distance of the birthplace of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Inside Out? Let me tell you. It’s pretty cool. 🙂

While North Oakland and Emeryville are right next door to each other, the housing options they offer are quite different. If you’re looking for modern condos and lofts, Emeryville is your best bet. If you’re looking for older homes with original details and charm, North Oakland is a treasure trove of options. Either way, the homes in this area are highly desirable.

Local Amenities

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping!

  • Bay Street Shopping Area
    • Bay Street in Emeryville is a shopping village that combines retail, entertainment, and residential.
    • For clothing, all the big names are here – Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Uniqlo, H&M, J. Crew, and more.
    • You can also find Barnes and Noble, my favorite home store West Elm, and Sephora, which my wife tells me is a great store. 😉
    • There’s also a movie theater on Bay Street, so you can keep up with the latest Oscar contenders.
  • IKEA
    • Yes, this one deserves its own bullet point.
    • There’s no greater convenience in urban living than having an IKEA in your backyard.
  • 40th Street Shopping Area
    • Down the road a bit, you’ll find some of the big box store staples, including Target, Safeway, Home Depot, Best Buy, Michael’s, Office Depot, Nordstrom Rack, and Toys R Us.
    • What more could you need? 🙂
  • The Public Market
  • Powell Street Plaza
    • Compared to the other shopping centers in the area, Powell Street Plaza is definitely the underdog, but there are some very useful stores here.
    • Here you’ll find stores like Trader Joe’s, BevMo!, Daiso, and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
    • And Starbucks, of course. 🙂


Food & Drink


Family Amenities

  • Playgrounds
    • The playgrounds in North Oakland and Emeryville are unique and definitely worth checking out if you have kids!
    • Temescal Creek Park – treehouse-themed playground surrounded by majestic eucalyptus trees (how cool is that?!)
    • Doyle Hollis Park – there are two playgrounds across the street from one another, one for older kids and one for tots
    • Stanford Park – includes big and little kid play structures, as well as basketball courts and dog park nearby
  • Community Centers
  • Rec Room Cafe
    • Cute little community play center offering drop-in play time, classes and activities, day camp, and community events.
    • Also offers free wifi and a variety of coffee and treats for sale, so you can sip and snack while your kids play!
  • Golden Gate Branch of the Oakland Public Library
    • Frequently offers kids’ activities on Saturdays, including petting zoos, puppet shows, crafternoons, and more!


Public Schools

  • North Oakland Community Charter | Grades K-8
    • “The North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS) is a public K-8 school dedicated to helping children to become thoughtful, informed, and inquisitive citizens.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 8/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 5/5 stars
    • Test scores: Above state average
    • School size: ~225 students


  • Sankofa Academy | Grades PK-8
    • “Sankofa is an Akan word that means “return and fetch it.” The essence of Sankofa is to embody and understand the following: We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 1/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 3/5 stars
    • Test scores: Far below state average
    • School size: ~360 students


  • Glenview | Grades TK-5
    • Glenview Elementary has temporarily relocated to the previously closed Santa Fe school building in North Oakland while Glenview Elementary’s original building undergoes renovations. Glenview plans to be at this interim site through summer 2018, at which point it will return to its original location in Glenview. There are currently plans to open a new school in the Santa Fe campus once Glenview vacates.
    • GreatSchools Rating: 7/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 4/5 stars
    • Test scores: Above state average
    • School size: ~460 students


  • Yu Ming Charter | Mandarin Immersion School | Grades K-8
    • “In Mandarin Chinese, ‘Yu Ming’ translates into ‘nurturing the future.’ It evokes clarity of vision and suggests openness towards tomorrow. Yu Ming Charter School aims to create engaged citizens and thoughtful leaders of the 21st century global community.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 10/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 5/5 stars
    • Test scores: Far above state average
    • School size: ~260 students


  • Anna Yates Elementary | Grades K-8
    • “Anna Yates School is a Pre-K through 8th grade school, housing both the elementary and middle school. Our staff includes a full time librarian, science, music and art teachers. We have a gardening instructor on staff who provides instruction on edible gardening and how the food chain works.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 3/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 4/5 stars
    • Test scores: Below state average
    • School size: ~500 students



Private Schools

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