North Berkeley and the Gourmet Ghetto
Quiet tree-lined streets, historic Craftsman bungalows, and the world-renowned Gourmet Ghetto make North Berkeley a unique and heavenly draw among buyers searching for Berkeley homes for sale.
Located just north of Downtown Berkeley and the U.C. Berkeley campus, this in-demand neighborhood offers a diverse mix of single-family homes, duplexes, and multi-unit complexes. The farther uphill you head, the more you will find charming Arts and Crafts styles – the kind that put famed architect Bernard Maybeck on the map.
And all these North Berkeley homes are mere minutes from remarkable restaurants, coffee houses, boutiques, galleries, sidewalk dining, and easy transit options such as the North Berkeley BART station. Live Oak Park is a super friendly, easy-to-reach North Berkeley centerpiece with playgrounds, community center, Codornices Creek, tennis courts, and the site of community festivals.
Of course, North Berkeley is best known for its Gourmet Ghetto, the destination for food-obsessed gourmands who want mouthwatering experiences at innovative restaurants like Alice Waters' Chez Panisse (pioneer of California cuisine), the Cheeseboard Cooperative, and Epicurious Garden.
The Gourmet Ghetto is located along Shattuck Avenue, bordered by Rose Street on the north and Hearst on the south.
The area’s history is fascinating: It earned its name in the late 1960s and early ‘70s because of the heavy concentration of restaurateurs who made the area an epicenter of the fresh-food revolution (farm-to-table vs. convenience foods like Velveeta cheese, instant coffee, and TV dinners).
These “you are what you eat” trailblazers include the original Peet’s Coffee & Tea at 2124 Vine St, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse at 1517 Shattuck Ave., the Cheeseboard Collective bakery, cheese, and pizza shop at 1512 and 1504 Shattuck Ave., and Poulet Deli at 1685 Shattuck Ave.
Check out what else we love about this delicious, diverse, family friendly, and walkable district:
More Name-Dropping for Foodies
Make sure these restaurants are on your bucket list: César European café and tapas bar, Gregoire (crispy potato puffs…yum), Vintage Berkeley Wine, Cha Ya vegetarian, Masse’s Pastries, LoCoco’s Sicilian, and Saul’s Delicatessen. Or sample a little bit of everything at Epicurious Garden, a one-stop take-out shop.
Now You’re Cookin’
Learn from the experts at Kitchen on Fire culinary school located within Epicurious Garden. Workshops cover everything from basic knife skills to French cooking, with couples classes (date night!), teen camps, and private cooking parties. Check their website for a full schedule.
Walk, Talk & Taste
Edible Excursions provides tours through the Gourmet Ghetto’s iconic destinations.
North Berkeley All-Organic Farmers Market
Foodies flood Shattuck Avenue on Thursday afternoons (2-7 p.m.) for the year-round Farmers Market. Keep an eye out for special events like Thirsty Third Thursdays, a beer and wine garden in the spring and summer.
Do you like chocolate? Do you like alliteration? Then you’ll love the Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival every August! Other annual events include a Wine Walk, Sunday Streets Berkeley, and the “Snow Day” festival during the winter holiday season. Find deets about all these events at gourmetghetto.org.
Groceries, Galleries, Boutiques & Books
Shop to your heart's content in North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto area! Buy locally sourced meats at The Local Butcher Shop. Decorate your home and find artisan gifts at A Priori. Fill out your wardrobe with chic pieces from Foxglove. Twig & Fig is a hip letterpress studio. Books, Inc. is an independent bookseller that hosts author events. A.C.C.I. Gallery is a community of artisans located in a sun-filled brick gallery and urban garden.