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Are there any good places in Berkeley besides Chez Panisse?

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I find myself in Berkeley a few times a year. My college student son has intoduced me to Top Dog and lots of the other places kids eat on Telegraph. What are the restaurants that are worth trying in Berkeley?

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    Alexandra Eisler

    Hi Cindy,

    Here are 2 of my favorites:

    Mazzini Trattoria
    2826 Telegraph Ave (just north of Ashby)
    510 848 5599
    Moderately priced Italian. On my last visit, I had the best grilled veal chop I've ever eaten. If the carmel ice cream is available, order it as soon as you sit down. Call ahead for a reservation.

    Nizza La Bella
    825 San Pablo Ave (just north of Solano)
    510 526 2552
    Nicoise/Southern French. Steamed mussels with aioli are the house speciality. I love the socca but my husband finds it a tad oily (probably why I like it!) Full bar, fronted by Tim, the best bartender around.

    1. Lalime's on Gilman (check www.lalimes.com). California/Mediterranean/French food, focus on seasonal ingredients.

      Rivoli on Solano. Light and tasty Italian/California.

      In the Rockridge neighborhood in North Oakland (just minutes from UC Berkeley), two places on College Avenue just south of Rockridge BART station;

      Oliveto: Italian/Mediterranean, chef is Paul Bertolli, well-known alumnus of Chez Panisse.
      Citron: French/Mediterranean in a small-scale place.

      All these places change their menus frequently and showcase seasonal produce, etc.

      1. I like Cafe Rouge in the 4th Street retail district. They have their own butcher shop. I've reproduced the asparagus and spring onion tart appetizer for several dinner parties to rave reviews.

        1. Thank you all for the recommendations. Each one sounds great! I'm looking forward to trying them.

          1. My favorites are:

            O Chame, on 4th Street near Hearst. Japanese inspired cuisine in an arts & crafts jewelbox space. Right in the middle of the trendiest shopping area in Berkeley.

            Rick & Ann's, famous "homestyle" cooking with a fresh, Northern California edge. It's on the street just below the Claremont Hotel. Get there early for weekend brunch or prepare to wait!.