Just the facts
Main strip: Telegraph Avenue (between 40th and 51st) >> Who dwells here: Young families, Gen Y, LGBT, grads from nearby California College of the Arts >> Population: 4,100 >> Founded: 1870 >> Main architecture: A medley of pre-war duplexes and bungalows, with a Victorian thrown in >> Neighborhood giant: Temescal Alleys or the vacant Hooper’s Chocolates >> Well-known residents: Top Oakland restaurateurs Chef Charlie Hallowell and Chef Preeti Mistry >> Where to mingle with locals: Beauty’s Bagel Shop, Pizzaiolo, Kingfish
If we were to say that Temescal was first settled by Doña Tomás, that would sound pretty legit, right? Only that’s the name of a Mexican restaurant. While it certainly ignited the food scene here, early origins of Temescal stretch farther back to the days of horses (the original stables—now renovated into shops). Another holdout from yestertimes includes Genova Delicatessen, which opened in 1926 in what was once the Italian section of town. Immigrants populated Temescal as did artists from California College of the Arts lured by the lower cost of living and bungalows. It draws the young, hip and former pop-up business. Storefronts along tree-shaded Telegraph and Shattuck are mostly new-gen dedicated to the art of one thing, whether that’s mac n’ cheese, bagels, craft beers, pizza, or doughnuts. Healthy? Not really. But the average resident is young so metabolisms soar high. Sure, Temescal’s got sommeliers, but that’s so yesterday. Hog’s Apothecary has a cicerone, a certified beer sommelier. That’s how this neighborhood rolls.
The inside inside scoop
Food writer Sarah Henry oftentimes leads three-hour food tours of Temescal with Edible Excursions. They kick off at the Sunday farmers market, then trace immigrant routes through bites: Italian, Ethiopian, Korean, Mexican and Hipster. Localite’s Maker Tour whisks you through the artisan shops that were once horse stables.
If you only have three hours
Temescal Alley: Also known as hipster alley for the unusual number of pre-prohibition mustaches and fedoras, and, no kidding, an apothecary, and, wait for it, a vintage propane-powered lever machine for coffee at Cro Cafe. Other standouts are Doughnut Dolly, Crimson Horticultural Rarities and upcycled goods from Walrus.
Within the regional park of Lake Temescal is a 1940 stone beach house and a lake okay for swimming; check conditions ahead of time. Technically in Rockridge, it’s named after this area.
The pink-monkeyed-wallpapered Juhu Beach Club, hidden in a strip mall, is modernizing Indian street food at the hands of former Top Chef star Preeti Mistry.
How to get here
Freeway exit: From 1-80 E, take the CA-24 exit from 1-580 E
BART Stop: Rockridge or MacArthur
Bus lines: 1, 1R, 12, 800