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View of Emeryville

Emeryville is a small city on the San Francisco Bay that acts as a gateway to the East Bay from San Francisco. It exists at the intersection of three major freeways: I-80, I-580, and I-880.

The 1990s and 2000s were a period of aggressive re-development for Emeryville, with industrial factories and warehouses replaced by modern retail and residential uses. Much of this was spurred by anti-development policies in neighbors such as Berkeley and Oakland. Emeryville is now the go-to spot in the Berkeley/Oakland area for shopping at big-box chains like IKEA or Best Buy.

The city is also known for tech companies, such as Pixar studios. The city is featured in some small way in almost every Pixar film, such as on a map with actual street names in the film The Incredibles or a "Greetings from Emeryville" postcard at the dentist's office in Finding Nemo.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Oakland International Airport (OAK IATA) is the obvious choice, but San Francisco International Airport (SFO IATA) will also do. From the airports, see rail section on BART.

By train[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States

By car[edit]

From San Francisco, take I-80 East and exit on Powell St. From points East, take I-80 West and exit on Powell St.

The complex freeway intersections just to the south of Emeryville are referred to as the Maze for good reason. Here are some tips to help your confusion:

  • Be aware that when traveling through Berkeley and Emeryville, I-80 west travels on the same road as I-580 east and vice versa.
  • When traveling from I-880 north onto I-80 east, you cannot exit at Powell. Instead merge right furiously and exit at Ashby/Shellmound. Take the Shellmound fork and right at Shellmound. Go straight and you'll see the Public Market and the rest of Emeryville shortly.

Get around[edit]

Driving is the best way to get around Emeryville. However, expect traffic delays if you want to go anywhere near Ikea or the Bay St. Mall.

Shuttle service from BART is provided by the free Emery Go Round, and the local provider AC Transit. Transit trip planning is available online.

  • Emery Go Round. The Emery Go Round is a free shuttle that connects businesses and shopping areas in Emeryville with the MacArthur BART station. Shuttle schedules are focused on commuters, with most shuttles running M-F during commute hours, although at least one route is active seven days a week between 7AM and 10PM.


The entry gate to Pixar studios. Sadly, unless you know someone who can arrange a tour this is as far as most visitors will get.

Emeryville is an interesting mix of old warehouses, manufacturing plants, and houses and new development in the form of shopping malls and live-work lofts.

  • 1 Emeryville Marina (take the free "Shellmound/Powell" Emery Go-Round route, or drive west on Powell St). Stunning views of San Francisco and the greater bay.
  • 2 Pixar Animation Studios, 1200 Park Ave. There are no public tours offered of the Pixar studios; to get in you will need to know someone who works there and arrange a visitor entry badge in advance. If you are able to obtain access, the campus is impressive. Steve Jobs oversaw much of the early design, going so far as to hand-select brick colors for the main building and insisting that bathrooms be placed far enough away from offices to force employees to walk through the building to create random connections with others. Animators are given great freedom with their cubicles, and some have built elaborate huts, tiki structures, or other individualized creations for their workspaces. The newer building, built by Steve Jobs, hides a lounge within its fireplace that pays homage to Jimmy Claxton, the first black athlete to play in an organized baseball league. Beyond these hidden gems, visitors will appreciate the company store, vast amounts of Pixar memorabilia, numerous screening rooms, and company cafeteria.


  • 1 Oaks Card Club, 4099 San Pablo Ave (at 40th St). A card club for Texas Holdem players. Oaks Card Club (Q85790125) on Wikidata Oaks Card Club on Wikipedia


Large chain stores are found in abundance in Emeryville. It seems the big-box chains that couldn't make it in Oakland or Berkeley, due to expensive real estate or city governments' preferences to support local businesses, ended up with branches here instead. In addition to the shopping centers below, there's an 1 IKEA at 4400 Shellmound St.

  • 2 Bay Street Emeryville. A large outdoor, "main street" style shopping center parallel to Shellmound past Christie that includes an AMC Movie Theater, Barnes & Noble, an Apple Store, and various clothing and shoe stores at varying price ranges. Bay Street Emeryville (Q4874127) on Wikidata Bay Street Emeryville on Wikipedia
  • 3 Emeryville Bay Bridge Center. Several "big-box" retailers such as Home Depot, Michaels, Target, Nordstrom and others, is further down on 40th St., (actually the same street as Shellmound), near San Pablo Ave.
  • 4 Powell Street Plaza. Standard outdoor shopping center, has Marshalls, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Ross, Men's Wearhouse, J. Crew, Trader Joe's, and the Japanese dollar store Daiso.


  • 1 Emeryville Public Market, 5959 Shellmound St. Open M-Th 9AM-9PM, F-Sat 9AM-11PM, Sun 9AM - 8PM. Twenty-five small ethnic restaurants under one roof. It's a great place to go if you can't agree on whether you want crêpes or curry. Prices are generally under $7 for dinners, so it's a good place to go on the cheap.
  • 2 Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, 3199 Powell St (Emeryville Marina), +1 510-655-3388. Chinese Dim Sum, decently priced, but absolutely killer view. The exact same restaurant as the popular upscale chain found in Hong Kong.
  • 3 Trader Vic's, 9 Anchor Dr (at Powell St.), +1 510 653-3400. Delicious Polynesian food in a waterfront dining room, with a fun tiki bar where the Mai Tai was invented.
  • 4 Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, 4081 Hollis St (between 40th St & Park Ave.), +1 510 594-1221. 7AM to 1AM. A hip rock and roll joint serving good quality brunch dishes (the Southwestern omelette with grits is highly recommended), burgers, sandwiches, salads and daily specials. Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe (Q7377554) on Wikidata Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe on Wikipedia
  • 5 Arizmendi Bakery, 4301 San Pablo Ave (between Park Ave. & 43rd St.), +1 510 547-0550. A worker-owned bakery serving some of the best breads, pastries, and pizzas around.


  • 1 Cafe Rack, 5768 Peladeau St, +1 510 255-1925. A billiard hall with full bar, foosball, free WiFi, multiple HD TVs, a kitchen serving traditional bar food, and a smoking lounge.
  • 2 The Prizefighter, 6702 Hollis St, . M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa & Su 2PM-2AM. Excellent drinks at fairly reasonable prices - if you want a whiskey sour with real egg white in it, this is your place. Food options are limited, but patrons can bring a pizza with them. The inside is loud, but heat lamps in the patio make it a comfortable area to gather.


Emeryville actually features many of the most modern hotels in the Berkeley/Emeryville/Oakland region. Thus, you may choose to stay in Emeryville while actually spending your days in the other (more interesting) cities.

  • 1 Four Points by Sheraton, 1603 Powell St (Christie and Powell). Great location, decent hotel. Has a "business center".
  • 2 Sonesta Emeryville - San Francisco Bay Bridge, 5555 Shellmound St (Shellmound past Christie), +1 510 652-8777, fax: +1 510 652-8799. Directly across the street from Bay Street shopping/eating and rooms facing the bay get a great view. Modern and clean facilities.
  • 3 Hilton Garden Inn, 1800 Powell St, +1 510 658-9300. West of I80, close to the bay.
  • 4 Hyatt House Emeryville San Francisco Bay Area, 5800 Shellmound St (between Bay Street and the Emery Bay Public Market), +1 888-433-9042, toll-free: +1 510 601-5880. Each suite has a full kitchen, living room, with separate bed & bath. Bay views. Home to Emery Grille restaurant.

Stay safe[edit]

The large stores, the Public Market, and the Amtrak station are all safe areas. Large streets except San Pablo Ave. south of Powell are also safe. Treat Emeryville with the same safety attitudes you would treat a large city like San Francisco.

Go next[edit]

  • Berkeley - This neighboring city is famous for its liberal activism, and offers numerous interesting shops, restaurants, and nightlife spots for travelers.
  • Oakland
Routes through Emeryville
END  W  E  RichmondSacramento
SacramentoBerkeley  N  S  OaklandSan Jose
BakersfieldRichmond  N  S  OaklandEND
San FranciscoOakland  W  E  BerkeleySacramento
San RafaelBerkeley  N  S  OaklandLivermore

This city travel guide to Emeryville is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.