If you're looking for a job in Berkeley, this guide has everything you need to know about getting to work, wages, cost of living, coffee shops, lunch specials, happy hours, and coworking spaces.
At its best, Berkeley has all of the culture and convenience of a university town, plus a wealth of food, coffee, art, boutiques, and entertainment. This all makes Berkeley an exciting place to both work and play. Whether you’re a highly trained professional or a student, it’s possible to work close to home, take care of errands around your neighborhood, and easily get around the rest of the Bay Area.
Getting to Work
Depending on the areas you frequent—and excluding the famously secluded hills—it’s pretty easy to get around Berkeley without a car. The city is very accessible without a car, with a walk score of 81 and a bike score of 89.
While their public transit of 56 isn’t stellar, there are 2 BART stops, an Amtrak station and around 21 bus lines that make it possible to make your way through Berkeley. Plus, if you’re a student, you may be able to ride the bus for free.
Driving in Berkeley can be incredibly convenient, especially if you’re not working traditional hours. However, keep in mind that parking can be both expensive and difficult, especially when school is in session, and that the relatively small Berkeley streets easily congest during rush hours.
Wages in Berkeley
Cost of Living in Berkeley
Neighborhoods in Berkeley
1. Downtown Berkeley
Downtown Berkeley is the city’s class-act. This neighborhood gives you well-composed food and beverages in a lively setting, at both a high-end and affordable level. You can get coffee and tea nearly anywhere, including the numerous Peets Coffee locations, or you can try the Asha Tea House for their matcha or Jazzcaffe for the coffee and pastries. Check out Jupiter or East Bay Spice Co. to enjoy some post-work drinks with friends.
Elmwood gives you that charming, small-town feel, even in the midst of bustling College Ave. You can grab your gourmet coffee and breakfast at the likes of Philz, or check out lunch deals at Pasta Bene, Gordo Taqueria and House of Curries.
3. Telegraph Avenue
Telegraph Ave is where you’re most likely to find student crowds browsing stores, gathering for beers or grabbing quick bites Pappy’s or Tap Haus.
4. North Berkeley
North Berkeley has the elegant, well-aged hippie vibe. You can get your coffee and breakfast fix at Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar and for lunch, The Cheese Board Collective is a classic North Berkeley spot for pizza with a side of folksy blues, plus the Local Butcher Shop serves up sustainable sandwiches.
5. Fourth Street
4th Street is the chic, industrial side of Berkeley. Coffee is both an art and lifestyle at Artís Coffee, and to wind down after work, you can find locally made sour beers at Rare Barrel and Berkeley wines from Donkey & Goat Winery.
Coworking Spaces in Berkeley
Joining a coworking community can offer you work flexibility and conference space access as well as a network of new co-workers with whom to share office supplies and great ideas. Here are a few options to choose from in Berkeley.
WeWork is proud of its exclusive networking events, plus its beautiful work spaces across the world, including the one in Downtown Berkeley. Membership to their social network starts at $45 per month, but actual desk space begins at $400.
Skydeck is part incubator, part exclusive coworking space. Startups looking for support and advisory can join the 6-month Skydeck program, a joint venture of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and the College of Engineering.
Located in Downtown Berkeley, NextSpace offers workspaces across the Bay Area, in LA and Chicago. They build communities around the members in each location and offer memberships starting at $50 a month.