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Temescal

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 
Where to mingle with locals: Beauty’s Bagel ShopPizzaioloKingfish

The vibe

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). 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. 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.

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 Curbside CreameryCrimson Horticultural Rarities and homemade jewelry from Marisa Mason.

Around the corner from Temescal Alley you can eat fried chicken sandwiches off ironing boards at Bakesale Betty. Doors open at 11:00am and close once the sandwiches sell out so be sure to get there early!

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.

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

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