This city has a welcoming small-town feel with independent local businesses and beautiful tree-lined streets.

Welcome to Albany

Small city north of Berkeley with a welcoming atmosphere

Albany is a small city located to the north of Berkeley on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay. This city has a welcoming small-town feel with independent local businesses and beautiful tree-lined streets. Albany has a walkable downtown area and many quiet residential neighborhoods. The real estate mix includes many elegant early 20th century and mid-century single-family homes alongside newer homes, apartments, and condominium complexes. Neighborhoods on the Bay feature attractive contemporary homes with easy access to water-based recreation.

What to Love

  • Welcoming small-town feel 
  • San Pablo Avenue and Solano Avenue businesses
  • Adjacent to Berkeley
  • Golden Gate Fields 

People & Lifestyle

Albany is a small city covering just two square miles with less than 20,000 residents. The city’s northern and southern boundaries are respectively defined by Cerrito Creek and Codornices Creek. Another geographical landmark is Albany Hill, a rare hillside on the East Bay shoreline. Homes on Albany Hill enjoy some of the city’s best views and are consequently among the city’s most sought-after properties. Many residents commute to Berkeley and other East Bay communities for work.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping 

San Pablo Avenue runs through Albany on its route through the East Bay. Many businesses are located along San Pablo Avenue and intersecting Solano Avenue. Standouts include chic restaurant and bar Juanita & Maude. This Michelin Guide-featured establishment serves sophisticated seasonal dishes and sublime desserts alongside an extensive selection of wines and craft cocktails. 310 Eatery boasts the East Bay’s best burgers as well as L.A. and Asian-influenced specialties, such as soft-shell crab and fried rice, noodle, and breakfast dishes. They also have a great weekend brunch special. In 2020, Yelp ranked 310 Eatery among the top 100 places to eat in the United States. Other dining highlights on San Pablo Avenue include gourmet Indian and Nepalese cuisine at Hamro Aangan, authentic Thai and Vietnamese dishes at Da Nang, and buttermilk pancakes at Royal Café. The Ivy Room is a hip nightlife spot with craft cocktails and frequent live music. Club Mallard is another popular nighttime hangout with an unpretentious and welcoming vibe. On Solano Avenue, Little Star Pizza is a local favorite known for its deep-dish pies made with a cornmeal crust. Other dining highlights on Solano Avenue are market-driven Chinese restaurant Renee’s Place and Japanese eatery Akemi. Schmitt’s Tobacco Trading Co. & Pub has a quirky old-fashioned vibe, combining a classic neighborhood tavern with a pipe tobacco shop. There’s also a Safeway on Solano Avenue for groceries.

Things to Do

Located on the bayfront between Albany and Berkeley, Golden Gate Fields is the only thoroughbred horse racing track in Northern California. Many graded and ungraded racing events are held here throughout the year. Just north of the racetrack, the Albany Bulb is a scenic viewpoint located on a man-made peninsula jutting out into the San Francisco Bay. This unique area features artworks created by numerous local artists. The sandy bayshore at nearby Albany Beach also provides great views across the Bay and is popular with kayakers and kiteboarders. North of the beach, Albany State Marine Reserve offers hiking trails, bayfront vistas, and wildlife watching.


Albany is served by the Albany City Unified School District.

  • Cornell Elementary, Public, K-5
  • Marin Elementary, Public, K-5
  • Ocean View Elementary, Public, K-5
  • Albany Middle, Public, 6-8
  • Albany High, Public, 9-12


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