Around town with Allison: Wall to wall! Instagram-worthy walls in Berkeley

Have you not posted a picture in months and your friends are wondering if you’re even alive? Are you looking for a way to liven up your feed? Maintaining your social media can be quite some work and a little intimidating for some, but not to worry, because I’ve got you covered. What’s more effortless than standing in front of a wall? Nothing (you’re literally just standing there). Slap on a filter, maybe even a funny caption, and you’re good to go.

The street art scene in Berkeley is up and coming. Sure, it may not be as lively as the street art in San Francisco, but you have to admit that we’ve got some pretty incredible pieces of art on our side of the Bay. You’ve probably passed by these murals multiple times before but haven’t gotten a chance to bask in their beauty. Here are some hidden and not-so-hidden gems in Berkeley that you should check out! Make sure to bring friends — the more the merrier. Remember to genuinely enjoy their company, not just their ability to take pictures of you without any judgment. Maybe a little judgment.

Location: 1399 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702

Located on the side of Ledger’s Liquors, this minimalist mural is painted by Brendan Monroe. Originally a piece done for Converse in 2014, this hidden gem is still on the side of Ledger’s and is definitely a favorite among those who know about it.

Location: 1625 Shattuck Ave. Suite 102, Berkeley, CA 94709

A new member of the mural scene in Berkeley, this one hasn’t gone unnoticed. Stretching across the entire side of Vitality Bowls on Shattuck Avenue, Nathan Richard Phelps has created a beautiful monochrome mural consisting only of rectangles.

Location: 1015 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94710

Inspired by the classic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, this one’s another recent addition to the Berkeley street art scene. Located on the side of Philthy Clean Tattoo at the corner of 10th Street and University Avenue, this one’s a real stunner. This piece was created by Miguel Perez, an apprentice at Philthy Clean Tattoo. 

Location: 1035 Murray St., Berkeley, CA 94710

A little smaller than the large murals that are featured in this piece, Swoon‘s Yaya is an illustrative portrait of a man with whom she worked in Philadelphia. This one’s a literal hidden gem in Berkeley, located right off of Ashby Avenue. Although this wheat paste print takes up a small portion of the wall, it definitely speaks for itself. Swoon’s delicate and intricate pieces can also be found on the streets of Oakland, San Francisco and even across the world.

Location: 2499 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704

A Southside favorite, this one’s a fun spot for pictures. Right on the wall of Romeo’s Coffee stands a colorful mural done by Nigel Sussman. Sussman isn’t new to the streets of Berkeley. You’ve probably seen his pieces all over the place, such as his Urban Garden piece in Sather Lane and Salad Town inside Mezzo!

Grab your friends and your phone, because it’s time to take some pics. Make sure there’s enough space on your phone, because one picture in front of these beautiful murals isn’t going to be enough. If you have any artsy friends with a DSLR, invite them too (for their company, of course, not just their DSLR and artsy-fartsy skills!).

Allison Fong writes the weekly blog column on places and activities to try in and around Berkeley. Contact her at [email protected].