Aerial view of Oakland, CA on a sunny day.

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Oakland

Thinking about living in Oakland? This Bay Area city has affordable housing (especially compared to nearby San Francisco), a diverse restaurant scene, unique job opportunities, and beautiful outdoor recreation spots. Here are five safe, affordable Oakland neighborhoods to consider settling down in!

  • Bushrod
  • Cleveland Heights
  • Grand Lake
  • Redwood Heights
  • Temescal

Bushrod

Newly-renovated Edwardian style house in Bushrod. Photo by Instagram user @claudiamillsrealestate
Photo via @claudiamillsrealestate
  • Home Price: $612,055 median purchase price; $1,270 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 70% of Oakland neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you want to live somewhere with tons of local bars and restaurants, bike-friendly streets, and lush green space, check out Bushrod! This Oakland neighborhood has low crime rates and housing options from Spanish-Colonial houses to cozy bungalows. Living in Bushrod also means you’ll have access to great schools like Sankofa United Elementary School and American International Montessori School.

Things to Do in Bushrod

Shoot some hoops, practice your tennis swing, or play some Pickleball at Bushrod Park. Support the neighborhood by growing your own produce at the Bushrod Park Community Garden. Peruse literature, textbooks, and audiobooks from around the globe at the long-standing European Books & Media. Dance the night away at White Horse Bar, an LGBTQ-friendly Oakland nightlife staple. Wake up with a cup of Espresso and a fresh pastry from the quaint Earthly Coffee. Grab a slice of Spinach & Mushroom Pizza made “Oakland-style” at Nick’s Pizza. Try authentic Ethiopian food like a Bilen Plate or Shrimp Tibs made with love at Shewat. Or find out why locals love Korean Souel BBQ, an authentic Korean restaurant with mouthwatering Bulgogi.

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Cleveland Heights

Spanish style home in Cleveland Heights. Photo by Instagram user @tiffanylefourrealtor
Photo via @tiffanylefourrealtor
  • Home Price: $552,700 median purchase price; $1,312 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 76% of Oakland neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Located next to Lake Merritt, Cleveland Heights has something for everyone—quick commutes into San Francisco via I-580, outdoor activities, and several dining and nightlife spots! This safe Oakland neighborhood has well-rated schools like Cleveland Elementary School and Oakland High School, as well as a variety of housing options, including Colonial-style houses and refurbished apartments.

Things to Do in Cleveland Heights

Walk, jog, or bike alongside the water on the Lake Merritt Trail. Attend a cooking class, enroll your children in an after-school program, or check out books at Oakland Public Library’s Lakeview Branch. Attend community events, let your kids explore the playground, or practice your basketball skills at FM Smith Recreation Center. Enjoy flavorful French Toast for brunch and bubbly drinks by the bottle at Grand Lake Kitchen. Wake up with an Americano and a Hummus Bagel Sandwich at the down-to-earth Rooz Cafe. Try unique pizzas like the Pear Special Pizza or Detroit Style Pepperoni at Leaning Tower. Or order a round at Baggy’s By the Lake, where the on-tap brews, homey decor, and friendly regulars make for a true dive bar experience.

Grand Lake

1920s bungalow in Grand Lake. Photo by Instagram user @ thegundermangroup
Photo via @thegundermangroup
  • Home Price: $285,940 median purchase price; $1,329 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 84% of Oakland neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Grand Lake is the perfect Oakland neighborhood for anyone who likes the quiet atmosphere of the suburbs, but still wants the amenities of city living. With top schools like Grand Lake Montessori and Westlake Middle School nearby, easy access to I-580, great local restaurants and shops along Grand Ave, and spacious American Foursquare houses throughout the area, Grand Lake is an ideal neighborhood for settling down!

Things to Do in Grand Lake

Stroll through Morcom Rose Garden, where you can see exotic roses in bloom from May through October. Train your body and mind with yoga classes at Left Coast Power Yoga. Shop for fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market while your kids cool off in the water features at Oakland’s iconic Splash Pad Park. Have a picnic or go for a walk through the scenic Mandana Plaza. Let loose and enjoy good drinks in a cool yet casual atmosphere at Heart & Dagger Saloon. Treat yourself to Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, and other desserts at Ladyfingers Bakery. Dig into a classic Chicago-style Pepperoni Pizza from The Star On Grand. Get a Ribeye Steak cooked to your liking or some Fish & Chips at Grand Oaks Restaurant & Sports Lounge. Or swing by Rico Rico—one of the best Mexican restaurants in Oakland—for Tacos Alpastor or Chile Relleno.

Redwood Heights

Spanish Revival home in Redwood Heights. Photo by Instagram user @cilantrosue
Photo via @cilantrosue
  • Home Price: $630,583 median purchase price; $1,289 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 86% of Oakland neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Want to live close to Oakland’s top outdoor recreation spots? Consider Redwood Heights, which is under ten minutes from Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park! Of course, that’s not the only reason to love this Oakland neighborhood. You can also find Colonial and Craftsman-style homes, as well as excellent education with schools like Redwood Heights Elementary School, Julia Morgan School for Girls, and Mills College!

Things to Do in Redwood Heights

Center yourself and deepen your connection to the community by taking a class or workshop at Anasa Yoga. Learn how to fly fish or sharpen your skills at the practice pond at The Oakland Casting Club in George E McCrea Memorial Park. Introduce your children to the performing arts by enrolling them in dance, music, theatre classes, and other activities at Kids ‘N Dance. Attend a gallery show or make your own work in the shared art space at RBA Creative. Order Lemongrass Pork Ribs, Curry Tofu, and other authentic South Asian dishes at Phnom Penh House. Track down the Fist of Flour Pizza Co. food truck to sample their Poblano Mambo pie or a slice of Funghi Deluxe. Jam out to live music and eat your fill of finger-licking barbecue at Everett & Jones BBQ. Or get your seafood fix at Fountain Garden, where Chinese entrees like Prawns with Curry Sauce or Sweet & Sour Rock Cod Fillet are sure to satisfy.

Temescal

Craftsman style home in Temescal. Photo by Instagram user @redoakrealty
Photo via @redoakrealty
  • Home Price: $600,733 median purchase price; $1,289 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of Oakland neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Not only is Temescal one of the safest neighborhoods in Oakland, but it’s also a trendy district with tons of local restaurants, shops, and breweries, which makes it particularly popular for young adults. Those moving to the area will find condos and Mediterranean-style homes, high-quality schools like Emerson Elementary and Oakland International High School, and easy public transit via the BART MacArthur Station.

Things to Do in Temescal

Send your kids to swim lessons or get your laps in at Temescal Pool. Take a ceramics class or learn how to paint at Studio One Arts Center. Shop obscure vinyl and see on-site performances from local bands at 1-2-3-4-GO! Records. Sip on brews like the Temescal Hazy IPA or Cat Nap Blonde Ale in a relaxed atmosphere at Temescal Brewing Company. Get dinner at one of Oakland’s top New American restaurants, Clove & Hoof, where you can order a Classic Cuban with Fried Brussel Sprouts. Mix and match your favorite sushi rolls from Dragon Rolls to the house special Kansai Roll at Kansai. Head to Homeroom Mac + Cheese, where the entire menu is built around transforming the classic macaroni dish—the Pizza Mac is a must-try! Or lounge in the neighborhood beer garden with a plate of Buffalo Hot Wings at Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Oakland via @extraspace

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