El Cerrito

The city of El Cerrito has a rich and fascinating history.

Welcome to El Cerrito

A diverse, urban suburb with a small-town feel
Located just outside Oakland, El Cerrito is the perfect place to call home for people who are looking for small-town vibes in an urban setting. With incredible Bay and city views, great restaurants, and plenty of things to do, it’s no wonder why people love living in El Cerrito.
Founded by earthquake refugees in 1906, the city of El Cerrito has a rich and fascinating history. The land was previously part of California businessman Victor Castro’s Rancho San Pablo and quickly developed into a small and vibrant town. Today, El Cerrito is a thriving and vibrant Oakland suburb.
Homes in the El Cerrito area are often built in modern or California ranch styles. As is typical for the Bay Area, home prices can reach into the low millions—especially for homes constructed on more substantial acreage. The neighborhoods near Tilden Nature Area are some of El Cerrito’s most desirable places to live.

What to Love

  • Small-town atmosphere
  • Diverse neighborhoods
  • Plentiful shops and restaurants
  • Beautiful greenery

People & Lifestyle

El Cerrito is a small city just outside Oakland, quieter and more laid back than many nearby cities like San Francisco or Berkeley. Its proximity to these major cities combined with its peaceful atmosphere makes it the perfect place for people who want the best of both worlds.
Families love living in El Cerrito, particularly parents who commute to Oakland, San Francisco, or Berkeley. There are great schools close by and plenty of fun things for kids to do, from movie theaters to parks. Young professionals are also typically drawn to El Cerrito’s convenient location and diverse neighborhoods.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

From exciting retail locations to delicious eateries featuring cuisine from around the world, there’s something for everyone to love in El Cerrito.
One of the most popular places to shop in El Cerrito is the El Cerrito Plaza, a sprawling outdoor shopping center with lots to do and see! Browse favorite retail locations like Barnes & Noble and Trader Joe’s, take a yoga class at Ojas Yoga Center, or enjoy a quick drink or bite to eat at Starbucks or Panda Express.
Enjoy American comfort food and baked goods at FATAPPLE'S Restaurant & Bakery, or bratwurst and other German delicacies at the Junket European Café & Deli. There’s also Los Moles Beer Garden, a Mexican restaurant that’s a local favorite for its tasty Taco Tuesdays and incredible tequila!

Things to Do

El Cerrito offers plenty of activities that are fun for the whole family! You can enjoy a variety of artistic performances and exhibits or spend some time in the great outdoors.
Celebrate all year long with fun community events like the El Cerrito July 4th Festival and the Halloween Carnival & Haunted House, which features a free Trunk-or-Treat event and lots of fun games for kids. Enjoy the Holiday Pancake Breakfast each December, where you can also participate in a toy drive.Watch an outstanding theatrical production or sign your kids up for drama camp at the Contra Costa Civic Theatre! There’s also Rialto Cinemas, a popular local fixture that screens independent, classic, and foreign films for your viewing enjoyment. To experience El Cerrito’s natural beauty, have a picnic or go for a walk through the town’s Arlington Park.


El Cerrito is home to a number of excellent schools within the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Top educational opportunities include:
  • El Cerrito High School

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