The Oakland area commonly called “N.O.B.E” is actually a blanket term to describe the large, and intertwining areas of North Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville. N.O.B.E therefore truly consists of the following specific communities: Longfellow, Santa Fe, Golden Gate, Eastern Emeryville, Bushrod Park, and Southernmost/Southwest Berkeley. The boundaries are not well defined or agreed upon, but run roughly from San Pablo Avenue at its Western Border to the Macarthur Freeway, and north from Macarthur Blvd to nearly Ashby Avenue. Although there is some contention within the Oakland community regarding an acronym name that crudely combines so many diverse neighborhoods, but the all-encompassing title is simply for practicality’s sake since it is such a larger space on the map. It is important to understand that this area includes many pockets and communities with their own unique identity and history.
There is no dispute, however, regarding the attraction that new residents (as well as current residents) and homebuyers feel for this area. With its close proximity to San Francisco and access to Bart stations and AC Transit, and affordability, this is no doubt a desirable location for commuters and those who wish to live car-free. The area also holds plenty of one-of-a-kind locally owned shops and restaurants, which make after-work hours enjoyable for locals and visitors alike. Bushrod Park has a number of notable highlights including its namesake Park on Shattuck Aveune, which was established in 1903 and is one of the largest parks in North Oakland. For entertainment and drinks, The Starry Plough on Shattuck Avenue tends to have some great local performers as well as traveling acts. And for grocery shopping, the natural grocery stores, Berkeley Bowl and Ashby Supermarket are just a few blocks into Berkeley from Bushrod Park.
Eateries in the N.O.B.E area are delicious and eclectic: Café Colucci near Bushrod Park serves classic Ethiopian cuisine, Wally’s Café (Oakland/Emeryville border) cooks up authentic Mediterranean, or try out Lois the Pie Queen (Santa Fe) for Southern Soul Food. More favorites can be found at the intersection of Alcatraz and San Pablo Avenues in the Golden Gate neighborhood: Victory Burger is known for their creative burgers, or try the most amazing gluten-free cupcake you’ve ever had at James & The Giant Cupcake. Also just next-door to these, check out Actual Café for a vegan milkshake (or hard cider) and good eats to match.
NOBE is home to The Peralta Community College District, which is comprised of four community colleges: Berkeley City College, Laney College and Merritt College in Oakland, and College of Alameda. Another notable mention is Peralta Elementary (established in 1880): a small and diverse arts demonstration school within the Oakland Unified School District serving Grades K-5. Peralta Elementary is a high-achieving institution and has been prestigiously recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School (2011/2012), California Distinguished School and a Title I Achievement School (2009/2010).
Overall, N.O.B.E is one of the more affordable and desirable districts in the East Bay with location, amenities and many historic homes just waiting to be brought back to their former glory days. Neighborhoods in this area are extremely tight-knit and prideful of their community with email groups to keep residents connected and informed. This is a neighborhood to invest yourself in: with rich history, cultural diversity, charm and architectural detail, walkability, and local shops, this district is truly one to treasure. With the right understanding and respect for the area’s history and diversity, homeowners will see this area shift into a beautiful and well-loved space for all its residents.
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