This doesn't look like much from the outside, but it is a very popular place in Berkeley called the Chesseboard where the locals hang out and enjoy baked goods outside. There is also a Cheeseboard pizza place two doors down that has live local jazz music and great gourmet pizza.
Berkeley offers a wide diversity of high quality cuisine, from Asian to European to African. The best-known place for Californian cuisine is Chez Panisse, one of the top restaurants in the country. You know it has to be good if Bill Clinton has eaten there!
Triple Rock Brewery is a large and popular microbrewery in the heart of Berkeley's busy restaurant and nightlife area on Shattuck Ave, just a block from the University. During our visit on a recent Saturday night, it was relatively busy, yet quiet and comfortable.
The beers were around $4 to $4.50 each and included a variety of ales. We stuck with the brickhouse amber and the bug juice. The brickhouse was offered in traditional style, along with foamy nitrous injected, and English-style cask-conditioned. The variety was unique and made for some interesting options. The bug juice is an organic pale ale.
Besides the tasty beers, Triple Rock has some excellent burgers. We had the green chili burger and the blue rock burger at an expensive $10 each. The green chili burger had some spicy mayo along with a thick slice of cheese and some mild peppers. The blue rock burger featured crumbled blue cheese. Both burgers came with outstanding fries.
We had a tiny VT get together for afternoon cocktails on 6 February, 2003. The event was a small aftershock from the giant SF VT blowout of the previous weekend. Hasan (hassanhanks) was in Berkeley for three days for a convention. Sandy & Fred (redlats) were still in town from Winnipeg. Hasan brought a colleague with him, Pauline. And I, of course, stopped in to have a margarita with him at this point halfway in between my office and home.
VT really has some wonderful members. I'm so happy to have found this group!
Favorite Dish: I go often and I don't remember ever not liking what I ordered. I particularly enjoy sharing 2 or 3 appetizers between the two of us and splitting one of their great desserts. It gives us a chance to try a lot of different dishes and not leave super full.
The wind was blowing towards us walking down Cedar, and my mouth watered, hoping the smell was coming from the place we were headed. When I walked up to the hole-in-the-wall and saw a beautiful cut of salmon searing on a grill next to an open window with a picnic table, I knew we were in the money.
Gregoire's is why my former roommate moved from the real ghetto of East Palo Alto into what she calls "the gourmet ghetto" of North Berkeley. Here, the flames competetively sear strictly organics with neighbors like Chez Panisse, or don't if they take the raw food strategy, all vying for your pallette's wildest imagination. The gamut includes you week's wages and a phone call two months ago, to walk-up organic Thai for 5 bucks.
Gregoire's is somewhere in-between, since you'll have to wait with other hungry foodies huddling on the sidewalk stretching their ears for their order of seasonal French-prep delights to be ready, even if called-in ahead. You can't reserve the lone table on the sidewalk, and the hungry people munching on bones at it won't pay attention to your eagerness, either. The menu is full of lamb, chicken, potatoes puffed or wedged, scallops, halibut cheeks, gourmet mac n cheese, roasted tomatoes, and the prep is littered with flavor as chutney, spices, grilled onions, bread crumbs, and dippings.
We took our meal to a show at the Greek where the pricey $10-$20 entrees stood up with flavor, unique bistro take-out boxes that our neighbors admired longingly, and silver-painted plastic utensils.
Lunch and dinner menu on their cute website
Free parking on nearby residential streets
New location in Oakland
Visit http://www.511.org to plan your mass transit trip
Favorite Dish: French is my favorite food prep style for the flavor that comes with simple things like meat and sides, and this place does it right.
The Halibut cheeks were a little dry, breaded and fried, with bone surprizes, but nevertheless enjoyed.
The lamb and chutney is worth getting your fingers greasy for, and the chutney is reason enough to order it.
The potato puffs are rich and naughty.
The mac and cheese with mushrooms was tasty and filling.
The potato fingerlings were delicious.
I've been coming here with the family since childhood (and before!) This casual/nice restaurant and full bar provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks/espresso and a great Sunday brunch. I'd call the menu American-influenced French. Ask for the back room, it's wood-paneled room with a fireplace, just perfect for a lovely meal. Outside seating is also nice. This place has many regulars and is usually hopping on weekends and holidays, but service is excellent - sometimes a tad slow but very professional. Pic is forthcoming; this place is really cute and is also known by its English name The Drunken Boat.
Favorite Dish: I loved the Southern Breakfast (pork chop, fried apples, fried egg and biscuit) for many years, also the burger and fresh-cut fries, and the salads are all great. Also the French onion soup is to die for!
I normally don't like Indian food but I loved the food at this place! I went with a few Indian food connoisseurs and they liked it too. The food was tasty, fast and affordable, with most curries costing $5-$6 and naans costiing $1-$2. The service was prompt. You order at the counter and they bring it to your table.
It was busy on a Tuesday night and the crowd consisted mostly of students. This restaurant's not trying to compete on ambiance.
Favorite Dish: The naan is hot, fresh and not too dry.
We shared 4 main dishes and my favorite was the chicken tikka masala.
If you've had enough road food, stop in at Intermezzo for a gigantic salad. The half-sandwich, half-salad combo is more than enough to feed the biggest appetites. It can get pretty crowded around lunch time, but the wait is worth it. This place has been around for at least 20 years and is a well known, well loved institution of Telegraph Ave.
Located in a remodeled area on Fourth Street in Berkeley, Eccolo is a Italian fusion restaurant. The building looks like a converted craftshop or small factory, and it is surrounded by a number of shops and other restaurants.
The ambiance is nice; the soft yellow lights and earthly tones create a relaxing atmosphere -- until the noise level starts to rise. This seems to happen in most of the American restaurants, and at the end of the evening, you have speak very loudly to get yourself heard...
Unfortunately, the food is not very good. My starter salad tasted really funny, and I could swallow only three bites before deciding that it is not worth the try. The main course was better, duck ravioli, but their taste was blandish and the portion was really small.
I love Japanese food, especially sashimi and sushi. Of all the Japanese restaurants I've been to in the SF Bay Area (at least 15-20), this is my favorite. First of all, it is Japanese owned unlike many others. Secondly, the fish is very fresh because it is always busy there.
Do not let the exterior unobtrusiveness of this restaurant turn you off. Inside, it's another world of excellent food, friendly servers, and a comfortable, sociable atmosphere.
It's a fun crowd, not too quiet but not too loud and there's a social atmosphere about the place. It is busiest on Saturday nights. On weeknights, it's still very much happening. There is a nicely lit bar at the back where you can wait.
Usually if you get here before 7pm, the wait on any day is about 10-20 minutes. However, it can get very busy after that time from
Favorite Dish: Baby Lobster Robata Appetizer (other robata appetizers include mushroom, ***ake mushroom, squid, scallop, and lambl)
Lalime's is a small and cozy restaurant in quiet residential neighbourhood in Berkeley. Built in an old residential house and surrounded by half a million dollar small huts, the place is easy to miss.
The food is fusion between Mediterranean and Hawaiian cuisine. The menu has abundant number of appetizers and a little bit more than five main courses. The dessert list is also extensive. Food is okay, not excellent -- but the place is not a greasepot as many of the US restaurants. The portions are surprisingly small, but still of decent size (at least in European standards).
The service is very attentive and cheerful. You don't even have to wink the waiter to get his attention.
As an additional perk, the restaurant has some recipes on it's website.
Best egg rolls ever! I ate here twice and wasn’t too impressed with my entrees, but the egg rolls are magnificent. My friend who eats here all the time also recommends the mango salad. The interior is really funky and modern, and it has a huge skylight, track lighting, and a water wall. The waitstaff is extremely nice and accommodating.
Favorite Dish: Egg roll appetizer.
Great breakfast, lovely lunch and dinners, great ambience throughout the old 19th century converted home, free wifi, candles at night, outdoor patios, big fireplace, nice people, super coffee, huge selection of beers, wines & liquors, they do banquets and have several rooms with their own flavor.
They have a web site: www.LeBateauIvre.net
Favorite Dish: The grill uses real mesquite so grilled things like burgers and steaks and salmon are great. The coffee latte's are beautiful and strong, eggs benedict and huevos rancheros are great brunch things, real home-made biscotti, prime rib was amazing.
What can I say? Marveilleux! The spot chosen to celebrate my brother-in-law's 50th birthday. Delicious French food, a wonderful, lively ambiance.
Favorite Dish: I LOVED my boef bourginion. I know, it's just beef stew. But it was parfait, absolutment! Mark, however, had something else terrific: sole stuffed with crab, in a cream sauce. Mmmmm.