2021 rank: 11
West Highland continues to be hugely popular, but growth in terms of housing prices has slowed a bit in recent years, hovering right around seven percent (in this market, that’s incredibly low). The residential enclave—defined by its Craftsman bungalows, Victorians, and modern scrapes—feels like a locals’ neighborhood. It’s not quite as trendy as Highland, its sister ’hood to the east, or Berkeley to the north, but it’s equally well outfitted. West Highland is home to two well-ranked schools (Edison Elementary and Rocky Mountain Prep Berkeley), two convenient bike lanes (on West 29th and 35th avenues), a large grocery store, and the bustling Highlands Square.
Demographics—Get to Know Your Neighbors
The median age of West Highland residents is 36.7 years old. It’s an educated community, with 62 percent of the adult (25 and older) population holding bachelor’s degrees or higher. When it comes to housing, 67 percent of all units are owner-occupied. Less than half of neighborhood households are families. The average household income is $84,778.
How we got these numbers: We utilized the city’s official list of 78 neighborhoods (only 73 had enough data to be included), and ranked them using four variables: home prices, crime dataschool rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things like access to open space, proximity to public transportation, and restaurant and shopping options. For more on our methodology, return to the main page.
Eat & Drink
Highlands Square is the nucleus of commerce here. It’s where you’ll find a number of bars and a diverse array of cuisines, including El Camino Tavern (Mexican), Fire on the Mountain (chicken wings), Beau Thai, and Detroit-style Blue Pan Pizza. There are also myriad ways to support artisan purveyors, from the Sunday farmers’ market in the summer to St. Kilian’s Cheese Shop and Market to 48-year-old Seafood Landing fish market.
Thirsty? Highlands Cork and Café is a favorite among the work-from-anywhere crowd, and the European-inspired Café Zuri boasts mean brews and mouthwatering slices of walnut cake. Oasis Brewery’s patio is an ideal happy hour spot, and Three Dogs Tavern is a long-standing neighborhood sports bar.
Women’s clothing stores are abundant in West Highland with spots like RusticThread Boutique, Sol Shine, and Luna and Jasper. For gifts, look no further than the Perfect Petal’s bouquets or the creative cards at Wordshop. Kate Maller Jewelry sells sustainable, handcrafted pieces of wearable art. West Side Books has been a go-to for new and used books for more than two decades.
Joy Fill is a sustainable store where you can refill household cleaners and personal care products and find a variety of eco-friendly items.
Break a Sweat
Sloan’s Lake Park is nearby, but there are plenty of fitness studios within walking distance, too. Choose between spin (Rush Cycle), boot camp (Orangetheory Fitness, F45 Training), barre (Barre3, Pure Barre), and aerial fitness (Air). Nurture—a “wellcare marketplace”—hosts a wide variety of workout classes and is home to a number of wellness businesses, such as acupuncture and massage, and a health-focused cafe. Got kids? Let them expend their energy at Ta Da Gymnastic Studio.