7 Best Neighborhoods in Oakland, CA: Best Places to Live

September 13th, 2022

7 Best Neighborhoods in Oakland, CA: Best Places to Live

7 Best Places to Live in Oakland

Searching for the best places to live in Oakland? Here are 7 of Oakland's best neighborhoods!

The west coast port city of Oakland, California, has many advantages. As a thriving business center with even better weather, it is no wonder why Oakland is considered an ideal place to live in the state of California. While moving to San Francisco may be a more popular destination in the Bay Area, this bustling city on the east bay is becoming a top location for young professionals and entrepreneurs. If you are considering moving to Oakland, you are probably wondering where you should live. Home to many safe and sought-after communities, this neighborhood guide was created to help you find an excellent place to call home.

Best neighborhoods in Oakland, CA - What are the best places to live in Oakland, California?

Whether you're moving to Oakland or California, our team has compiled a list of some of the best places to live in the area! No matter what property type you are looking for or what lifestyle you want to live, there is a neighborhood for you. Read on to learn more about the 7 Best Neighborhoods in Oakland, California!


Did you know that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of California's best places to live? Considered the land of opportunity, it is no wonder why many people are heading to this part of the country in search of a better life. While the cost of living may be expensive, the fantastic neighborhoods could be argued as being worth the extra expense. The area of Rockridge, for example, is just one of the many best neighborhoods in the city of Oakland. Known as one of Oakland's most expensive residential communities, this area remains a top pick for young professionals and families.

With a low crime rate that is 68% safer than the rest of Oakland, living in Rockridge is a desirable area for raising children. Surrounded by beautiful tree-lined streets and top-rated amenities, Rockridge offers its residents a mixture of suburban and urban living. Located in the northern part of Oakland, there is an abundance of dining options, vintage shops, local boutiques, trendy bars, and yoga studios. With multiple architectural styles, find various single-family homes and comfortable bungalows to call home. Plus, close to the BART Train Station, the Bay Area's Rapid Transit system, commute to and from work easily. Check out the beautiful homes for sale in Rockridge.

Local Favorites:

  • Rockridge Market Hall: This busy marketplace is a symbol of the neighborhood. Housing many local shops and restaurants, find a collection of bakeries, coffee shops, and stalls selling fresh produce.

  • Claremont Country Club: Oakland's country club and 18-hole golf course is as prestigious as they come. Members can enjoy on-site dining, pools, a fitness center, and tennis courts.

  • Rockridge Cafe: This diner has been open since 1973 and has served over 3 million customers. Best known for its classic breakfast dishes, make sure to order the delicious waffles prepared by order all day long.

  • The Golden Squirrel: This family-friendly pub and hotspot have over 24 craft beers on tap and a selection of fantastic craft cocktails. Offering outdoor seating in a casual setting. They even serve brunch!

Oakland, California - An image of the city of Oakland at night time

Piedmont Avenue

Located next to Rockridge, the neighborhood of Piedmont Avenue is small and quaint. This affluent neighborhood is worth considering as your next new home, perfectly mixing suburban living with the hustle and bustle of a busy business center. With many apartment complexes, Victorian Bungalows, and renovated single-family homes, there is an architectural style to appeal to any young professional and couple looking to start a family. Plus, Piedmont Avenue is considered safer than 56% of other Oakland neighborhoods.

Featuring multiple parks, green spaces, playgrounds, dog parks, and walking trails, the residents of Piedmont Avenue like to stay active and spend time outdoors. Home to some of the top restaurants and most popular shops in Oakland, Piedmont Avenue maybe just the place for you. Check out the homes for sale in the neighborhood of Piedmont Avenue.

Local Favorites:

  • Piedmont Theatre: Showing newly released movies and independent and foreign films. This is an excellent place to bring a first date or spend the night with close friends.

  • Mosswood Park: This 4-acre public park is surrounded by history and culture. This is a cool place to hang out with a baseball field, playground, BBQ pits, and picnic areas. There are even regular events, classes, and camps throughout the year.

  • Piedmont Springs: Are you stressed out and in need of relaxation? Visit this day spa. This is a prized oasis away from everyday life with a steam room, hot tub, sauna, and massage services. Make an appointment today!

  • Kona Club: Transport to a tropical island paradise the minute you step through this bar's doors. Features tropical drinks, tropical decor, and island accents.


This neighborhood in Alameda County is located on the western side of the Oakland Hills. With a population of 4,000 people, the community of Montclair is among the safest neighborhoods in Oakland. Montclair is great for young families and empty-nesters and offers many property types, including storybook cottages, apartment complexes, and manicured single-family homes. Due to the forest area's expanse, this urban neighborhood is home to many private estates and desired properties. While the houses may be a big draw to the site, Montclair also happens to be one of the most affordable places to live in Oakland, with a current median home value of about $839,000. In our opinion - Montclair is one of the best neighborhoods in Oakland, California! Check out the homes for sale in the Montclair neighborhood of Oakland!

Local Favorites:

  • Montclair Park: This park and recreation center has softball fields, tennis courts, and pickleball courts that all residents can use. There is even a skate ramp and a duck pond.

  • Montclair Railroad Trailhead: Built on the historic Sacramento Northern Railway, this park is a relaxed and picturesque setting for walking and all things outdoors. A great place to walk the dog and breathe in the fresh air.

  • Redwood Regional Park: Located in the east hills of Oakland, this park is home to beautiful redwood trees.

  • Woodminister: This outdoor amphitheater and performance facility is an excellent place to listen to live music and attend outdoor events in the summer months.

A photo of the city of Oakland, CA with the bay area and water in the image


Located in North Oakland, Temescal is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Temescal is a favored area with an intense art scene, perfect for singles and motivated young professionals. Prized for its hipster-like vibe and free-spirited atmosphere, the residents in Temescal can be found at one of the many chic coffee shops, vintage clothing stores, or hip breweries. Full of distinct charm and character, this neighborhood is home to various homeowners with culturally diverse backgrounds. With a low crime rate and a high safety rating, Temescal is a fantastic place to settle down no matter where you come from. Plus, known as a welcoming and family-friendly neighborhood, the school system is highly rated, and there are many parks and playgrounds for raising your own family. View all homes for sale in Temescal.

Local Favorites:

  • Temescal Art Center: Whether you want to practice the art of yoga or attend a workshop, this art space is a hidden gem in Oakland.

  • Temescal Brewing: Selling homemade brews and snacks in a comfortable setting.

  • Golden Gate Donuts: Get your fix of tasty old-fashioned donuts and bear claws.

  • Kingfish Pub and Cafe: This old-school and vintage bar has a jukebox, popcorn machine, and shuffleboard table, making it a great place to hang out.

Grand Lake

Found on the northeast corner of Lake Merritt, the neighborhood of Grand Lake is considered one of the oldest areas in the city of Oakland. Grand Lake has turned into a growing and ever-changing residential community with many local boutiques and top-rated restaurants, a go-to spot for young professionals. Safer than 84% of the city, Grand Lake is a highly sought-after place to live. From Art Deco architectural styles to homes initially built in the 1950s, this neighborhood is beloved for its character and charm.

Prized for its relaxing and laid-back atmosphere, Grand Lake has been able to keep an affordable cost of living, with residences selling at a reasonable price. If you enjoy watersports and spending time outdoors, there is always something to do in Grand Lake. Whether you want to go boating, kayaking, swimming, jogging, or biking, spending the day by the lake is a treasured neighborhood activity.

Local Favorites:

Oakland Bay Bridge - Photo of the bridge in Oakland, California

Downtown Oakland

If you want to be in the center of successful businesses and exciting city life, look no further than Downtown Oakland. This central business district is the home of chic restaurants, shops, and many local attractions. Recently coming out of a massive renovation, Downtown Oakland is the heart of the city and is an eccentric neighborhood for all lifestyles. Known as a diverse community, living in Downtown Oakland is the perfect place for young professionals. Not only is the city walkable, but short commute times to and from work and access to top amenities make for a fantastic living experience. While Downtown Oakland may not be as safe as other neighborhoods in the city, this part of town outshine other areas. Whether you want to indulge in the city's vibrant nightlife scene or network your way to the top of a company, living in Downtown Oakland is a dream come true for many.

Local Favorites:

  • Oaklandish: This fashion line and retail store sell screen print t-shirts and outerwear. Selling products for both men and women, this store is one of a kind and has something for everyone.

  • Preservation Park: This memorial park includes 16 historic buildings, a fountain, outdoor seating, and dog-friendly spaces.

  • Awaken Cafe: A coffeehouse serving great coffee, drinks, wine, beer, and great breakfast items. Try the avocado toast!

  • Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment: Dedicated to digital art and video games.

Adams Point

Nestled on the northern shore of the famous Lake Merritt, the neighborhood of Adams Point is a family-friendly urban residential community. Only 26 minutes to Downtown San Francisco, Adams Point is in a central location with many sidewalks and well-lit streets. While this may be an urban area, the neighborhood's location close to the lake leads to many residents spending time outdoors on the lake trails walking the dog, running, or jogging. Great for young professionals and families alike, the public school system in Adams point is highly rated for those moving with school-aged children or wanting to start a family. Some of the top-rated schools in the area include Lincoln Elementary School, Westlake Middle School, and Oakland Technical High School.

Local Favorites:

  • Grand Lake Kitchen: This neighborhood deli and sandwich shop serve only the best seasonal dishes and classic deli eats. This is an Oakland must-try with lots of outdoor seating and a comfortable atmosphere!

  • Sidebar: On Lake Merritt, this American and French bistro-style restaurant is the place to visit for fabulous drinks and burgers. Everything on the menu is known to be fantastic.

  • Room 389 Oakland: This neighborhood favorite bar is a great weekend and after-work spot. Order craft cocktails and have fun on theme nights, including Tuesday's trivia night.

  • Bicycle Coffee: The best place to enjoy a morning brew and homemade pastries. Whether you want to meet up with friends or catch up on some work, this is the go-to spot.

The Best Neighborhoods in Oakland, CA - The Bottom Line

This guide will hopefully make your move as stress-free as possible by providing you with the inside scoop on where you should live in Oakland, California. Before buying a house, reach out to one of our knowledgeable and experienced Realty Specialists to guide you through the home buying process. With the help of our team, find a neighborhood that is right for you in no time. Contact us today to find your dream home and community in Oakland, California!


Find your new home Search real estate and homes for sale
Share this post
Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.