Broad, curving roads with pink sidewalks. Panoramic vistas. Public rock gardens, lush trees, and street names elegantly carved in stone pillars. This is Northbrae.
Northbrae’s original developer, Duncan McDuffie, was a member of the Sierra Club who promoted environmentally sensitive development and made sure that the natural landscape worked in harmony with the surroundings. Streets are laid out along the contours of the hillside, running mostly north and south, which gives every house an unbroken view of San Francisco Bay on one side and the Berkeley Hills on the other. Nice planning.
From bark to thorns: Northbrae is home to both Live Oak Park and the Berkeley Rose Garden. Indian Rock Park is here too — all three nestled within the wooded foothills that lead from Westbrae up into the hills, where Tilden Regional Park takes over the hills from there. The pond and garden of the Peralta community garden make it an ideal spot for a family picnic.
The gem in this setting is the famous Gourmet Ghetto. This foodie heaven has grown way beyond Chez Panisse and the Cheese Board, a collective that offers cheeses from all over the world. That was the 1970s; today there are fine restaurants and cafes along that stretch of Shattuck all the way down to University Avenue and downtown Berkeley.
Amidst the shops and cafes on Hopkins Street, the Monterey Market is a sustainable produce market featuring organic foods from local farms.
Nothing is very far from anything in the East Bay, and in Northbrae you’re especially close to the Berkeley BART station on Shattuck.
MLK Jr. Middle School and St. Mary’s College High School are nearby, with recreation facilities open to the public.
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(all data current as of 2/14/2019)
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