downtown oakland skyline from the bay with clouds in sky

Best Neighborhoods in Oakland for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to Oakland? San Francisco may be the trendy Bay Area destination, but nearby Oakland provides many of the same amenities at a more affordable price. If you’re thinking about living in Oakland, check out these five best neighborhoods for singles and young professionals!

  • Downtown
  • Grand Lake
  • Piedmont Avenue
  • Rockridge
  • Temescal

Downtown

apartment building in downtown oakland photo by Instagram user @901jeffersonoakland
Photo via @901jeffersonoakland
  • Home Price: $360,280 median home price; $880 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 7% of California cities

Want to live in a thriving center of the Bay Area? Downtown Oakland may be the best place for you! Downtown has completely transformed in recent years, as empty storefronts and buildings have undergone renovation to become retail stores, art galleries, and some of the best places to eat in Oakland. From the entertainment-driven Uptown to the vibrant retail community in Old Oakland, this neighborhood is the perfect place for young professionals to meet new people and explore different career opportunities!

Things to Do in Downtown

Catch concerts featuring popular artists like Nelly, FKA twigs, and Little Big Town at Fox Theater. Unleash your inner gamer at the Museum of Art & Digital Entertainment, where you can check out over 5,300 video games. Join a hockey league or leisurely skate around the rink at Oakland Ice Center. Let loose on the dance floor during a Block Party at Lake Merritt Amphitheater. Get ready for the day with a Vanilla Latte and a Morning Glory Muffin from Awaken Cafe. Satisfy your appetite with a Pork Belly Burrito or Uptown Burger from Belly. Relax at the bar with Braised Pork Shoulder and a Temescal Pilsner at Starline Social Club. Unwind from the workday with some games of ping pong and corn hole on the patio at Lost & Found Beer Garden. Or trust the bartender to make your new favorite cocktail by ordering the “Dealer’s Choice” at Drexl.

FIND YOUR STORE

Grand Lake

gray home in grand lake with big front windows and landscaping photo by Instagram user @briancheekhomes
Photo via @briancheekhomes
  • Home Price: $285,940 median home price; $1,329 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 51% of California cities

Perched on the northwest corner of Lake Merritt, Grand Lake is a top destination for singles and young professionals. This neighborhood wasn’t always an Oakland hot spot, but after the city invested in the Clean Lake Initiative—which cleaned up Lake Merritt and the surrounding area—Grand Lake became a trendy area for shops and restaurants, as well as a growing residential community. Despite these local upgrades, Grand Lake has maintained a reasonable cost of living—even lower than most of the city. This Oakland neighborhood is on the rise, so now’s the time to make your home in Grand Lake!

Things to Do in Grand Lake

See the latest blockbusters at the historic Grand Lake Theater. Relax with a glass of wine during a gondola ride across Lake Merritt. Pick up fresh produce, local fish, breads and pastries, and much more at the Oakland Farmers Market. Visit a community staple to find rare books, famous literary works, and novels from local authors at Walden Pond Books. Munch on baked goods like Square Focaccia Bread or a Chocolate Almond Scone at Arizmendi Bakery. Take a seat at the sushi bar for a Y2K Roll and a Rock N’ Roll at Mijori Japanese Restaurant. Challenge friends to a game of pool or pinball with pint at Heart & Dagger Saloon. Enjoy karaoke and dueling pianos with stiff drinks at The Alley Piano Bar & Restaurant. Or finish the day with cocktails like the Dark & Stormy or Highland Cooler at The Grand Tavern.

Piedmont Avenue

victorian home in piedmont oakland with white paint and red window frames photo by Instagram user @piedmontrealtorgirl
Photo via @piedmontrealtorgirl
  • Home Price: $515,600 median home price; $1,389 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 19% of California cities

Searching for an Oakland area that combines suburban living with a bustling business district? Take a look into Piedmont Avenue! While much of the neighborhood consists of quiet streets with apartments, Victorians bungalows, and American Foursquare homes, things come alive on Piedmont Ave, which runs right through the heart of the neighborhood. There, you’ll find a grocery store, historic theater, coffee shops, and some of Oakland’s best restaurants. The calm, community atmosphere not only makes Piedmont Avenue one of the best neighborhoods in the Bay Area for young professionals, but also for those who are looking to eventually settle down and start families.

Things to Do in Piedmont Avenue

Start your day with a run or get in a pick-up game of basketball at Mosswood Park. Settle in for new releases, as well as independent, foreign, and avant-garde screenings at Piedmont Theatre. Pamper yourself with a day of relaxation in an outdoor hot tub at Piedmont Springs. Get in the best shape of your life by joining an Ultimate Ride class at Ride Oakland. Help your furry friend get some exercise with a walk through Oak Glen Park. Make date night special with Sonoma Duck Leg Confit and Lamb Bolognese Rigatoni from The Wolf. Grab some Spider Rolls and Wakame Rolls at Geta Japanese Restaurant. Cap off your meal with a few scoops of Blueberry Cheesecake or Butter Pecan Butterfinger ice cream from Fenton’s Creamery. Or transport yourself to Hawaii with a Mango Madness cocktail alongside the tiki torches and bamboo walls at Kona Club.

Rockridge

blue two story home with black door in rockridge oakland photo by Instagram user @stephenswan
Photo via @stephenswan
  • Home Price: $1,010,625 median home price; $1,591 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 26% of California cities

Rockridge may be one of Oakland’s more expensive neighborhoods, but the top-notch amenities are worth it! This area is particularly popular among singles and young professionals looking to buy a home in Oakland, as the neighborhood offers beautiful tree-lined streets and cozy bungalows. And while much of the neighborhood is residential, Rockridge’s western border is lined with restaurants, bars, coffee houses, and boutiques, giving residents plenty to do within the area! When locals need to get to other parts of the Bay Area, however, a convenient BART train station is waiting to whisk them away!

Things to Do in Rockridge

Stock up on baked goods, quality meats and cheeses, and fresh produce in a European-style marketplace at Rockridge Market Hall. Play tennis, go for a dip in the pool, or try to lower your handicap at Claremont Country Club. Add to your jewelry collection with bracelets, earrings, and necklaces from Pavé Fine Jewelry. Wake up with fresh coffee and a Mushroom Melt from Bica Coffeehouse. Order a bowl of Uni Butter Miso Ramen or Green Garlic Veggie Shoyu Ramen at Ramen Shop. Savor Italian classics such as Gnocchi alla Bolognese crafted by a native of Northern Italy at Belotti Ristorante e Bottega. Sip on hand-crafted cocktails such as the Rock Me Gingerly or Basil Instinct, or try one of the 25 local beers at The Golden Squirrel. Or snack on free popcorn and enjoy a Honey Bear cocktail in a classic dive bar setting at The Graduate.

Temescal

blue house with landscaping in front yard in temescal photo by Instagram user @cilantrosue
Photo via @cilantrosue
  • Home Price: $600,733 median home price; $1,289 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 29% of California cities

With an eclectic art scene and hipster vibe, Temescal has become one of Oakland’s best neighborhoods for singles and young professionals. Telegraph Avenue, a street teeming with coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants, sets a modern feel for the neighborhood and gives locals fun places to hang out. In addition, Temescal is home to several schools, parks, and family-friendly activities, making it a great place to settle down long term. There’s even a convenient BART station for getting around the Bay Area!

Things to Do in Temescal

Learn the art of Dabke, a Palestinian Folk Dance, during free workshops at the Temescal Art Center. Sample the best bites the neighborhood’s restaurants have to offer at Taste of Temescal. Take advantage of the balmy Oakland weather with a dip in the Temescal Pool. Choose from over 600 games for your crew’s next game night at It’s Your Move. Find trendy women’s clothing and accessories at Ali Golden. Thrill the office by bringing in a box of Apple Fritters and French Crullers from Golden Gate Donuts. Try amped-up mac & cheese dishes like the Pizza Mac and Smoky Bacon from Homeroom. Spend an afternoon on the sunny patio with crafts beers like a Breezy Days or a Care Package from Temescal Brewing. Or challenge your friends to shuffleboard at the historic Kingfish Pub and Cafe.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest Graphic: Oakland, CA: Best Neighborhoods for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to Oakland? If you want to live in the Bay Area, find affordable housing, and have plenty of things to do, check out these five best Oakland neighborhoods for singles and young professionals! via @extraspace