Emeryville: One of the Other Cities by the Bay

By Andrew TaverriteDecember 9, 2014

There’s a daily pre-lunch food truck vs. restaurant debate at Bhava. Last Thursday, I broke my diet (yet again) and joined the food truck faithfuls. Fifteen minutes later, I was sprawled out on a bean bag on our third floor balcony both hating and loving myself for ordering KoJa’s Kamikaze Fries and nothing else. I quickly forgave myself (as usual) as I promised I’d head downstairs to the Bhava gym after work — thankful for my competitive colleagues who make me stay on top of my workouts.

One of my favorite parts about working in Emeryville (other than our stellar office space) is Bhava’s proximity to some of the Bay Area’s best food trucks. Living in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood, I regularly trek out on Friday evenings from my apartment to Off the Grid at Fort Mason. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Off the Grid is a fantastic place to kick off your weekend — but lines for food and drink can easily entail a 30-45 minute wait for the most popular trucks.

Emeryville’s strip of East Bay waterfront plays host to many under-the-radar food adventures and other perks. Personal favorites include the breakfast frittata at Farley’s, the mango salad at Jasmine Blossom and the open-face crab sandwich at Townhouse — Emeryville definitely holds its own when it comes to the exceptionally high culinary standards we are used to in the Bay Area.

Fortunately, those standards extend to the bar scene as well. Prizefighter is a local drinkery and our office go-to for happy hours. You can find most of us with their signature Moscow Mule in hand — though I’m partial to their Manhattans. The open patio and lively crowd make for great team bonding…even if we get a bit competitive playing shuffleboard. Win or lose, you’ll find a bunch of us at Rotten City Pizza across the street immediately afterward.

The food and drink scene isn’t the only factor driving up Emeryville’s ante. New apartments and office buildings reflect a growing community that takes advantage of the Bay Area tech wave. A number of new development and redevelopment projects are underway, including a massive marketplace overhaul, an Arts in Public Places program and growing city parks. Bhava’s neighbors include awesome companies like VSCO, Pixar and Clif Bar, which Fortune recently dubbed as one of the best places to work in the U.S. The perpetually sunny weather likely isn’t keeping people away either.

Sounds like an odd thing to love, but my reverse commute home is one of my favorite aspects of the job, often offering some beautiful sunsets highlighting the city’s downtown skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay (other times, offering fog). I can’t get enough of it — though my friends have probably had enough of the Snapchats. With my commute being less than an hour total each day, I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.

When most people think of Emeryville, Pixar and IKEA are often the first things that come to mind. But having worked here for just over a year now, I’ve been able to discover many great things about our small and “rotten” city. The Bhavans that landed here at 1351 Ocean Avenue work with some of the most exciting startups in tech, and we certainly have the right location to help us grow our culture, charge our creativity and fuel our success.

Now that this blog post is wrapped up … I’m off to Prizefighter. See you there!

Original photo of Emeryville (used for illustration): Thomas Hawk via photopin cc