There’s More Than Just Amazing Food in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto

Gourmet Ghetto
Cheese Board Pizza customers enjoy their slices in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.

Known for its mouth-watering eateries — including Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Restaurant, Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood is also a great place to call home.

“The Gourmet Ghetto encompasses several different small (North Berkeley) neighborhoods, as well as exceptional food markets and very well-known restaurants,” according to one of Pacific Union International’s top Berkeley real estate professionals. “It has a great connection to the university and is within a short distance of the downtown area.”

The business district centers on Shattuck Avenue and grew up around three late-1960s and early-1970s fixtures that remain today: the Cheese Board Collective, Chez Panisse, and the very first Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

Cheese Board, operated as a worker-owned collective since 1971, runs a cheese shop and bakery as well as a popular pizzeria, which attracts crowds of pie-lovers to the area. It’s not unusual to see long lines of patrons waiting eagerly for a slice.

Other favorites include César tapas bar, Gregoire, Masse’s Pastries, and Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, which typically gets so crowded on Christmas Day that a latke food truck will serve customers outside. The neighborhood also boasts a variety of boutiques and children’s shops.

Live Oak Park at 1301 Shattuck features picnic areas, basketball and volleyball courts, an art and garden center, and two play areas for children.

Commuting to San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area is a snap, with both the Downtown Berkeley and North Berkeley BART stations nearby. Many Silicon Valley tech companies also have shuttle stops in the area.

Gourmet Ghetto homes for sale vary in style although many qualify as charming California bungalows. The neighborhood includes some structures from celebrated architects like Julia Morgan.

“The homes are all different styles because everyone who ever graduated from the university in architecture tried out what they learned and designed their own home,” our real estate professional said. Prices for single-family residences tend to range from $650,000 to $1.5 million, she noted.

As in many parts of Berkeley and the East Bay, demand for quality, well-priced homes has outstripped supply in recent months. Such homes tend to attract multiple offers, with some going for $100,000 over the asking price.

“We have very few properties on the market, and anything that does come up, if it’s well presented, will have multiple offers,” our real estate professional said.

(Photo by D.H. Parks, via Flickr.)


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