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Chowhoundish dreams in Berkeley

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Please exchange any hidden gems in Berkeley.

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  1. k
    Kathleen Mikulis

    I know I'm going to go overboard here listing places, but I have lived in Berkeley and Rockridge for 10 years and am very enthusiastic about many restaurants.

    Thai
    --Cha Am (chicken coconut soup is a must)
    --Nakapan

    Chinese
    --Jin Ling (to try: chicken with honeydew melon, spicy chicken with basil, beef in black bean sauce)
    --Shen Hua (a little overrated and overpriced but Andy's chicken and their mu shu is great)
    --The Orchid (not as tasty as the others but good when you want dirt cheap good Chinese food; $4.25 per dish with rice)

    Pizza
    --Zachary's (the stuffed version)
    --North Beach Pizza (in person is a million times better than their delivery for some reason)
    --Arinell (literally a hole in the wall with no seats)
    --Cheese Board Pizza (despite weird hours)

    Indian
    --Raja (wonderful chicken tikka masala)
    --Vik's Warehouse (for hard core Indian snack lovers)

    Mediterranean
    --La Mediterranee
    --Pomegranate

    Others
    --Blue Nile (Ethiopian)
    --Il Rosticcere (cheap rotisserie chicken; get the pollo diavolo)
    --Crepes de Vine (cheap crepes)
    --Caffe Intermezzo (huge yummy salads for $3.85 - get the poppy seed dressing; great bread and sandwiches)
    --Panini (garden setting in court next to Jupiter's off Shattuck; fancy sandwiches)

    Also if you don't mind going a little farther, in Albany there's:
    --Khayyam (pricey but great Persian fare)
    --Renee's Place (solid Chinese food)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Kathleen Mikulis

      Addition:
      Chinese: GreatChina on Kittridge (YUMM! THE BEST!)
      (I walked by Sheng Hua several times. When do they open?)
      Italian: "what's the name" on Colledge and Ashby.
      Breakfirst: Bette's at 4th Str.

      1. re: tingting
        k
        Kathleen Mikulis

        I agree that Great China is good. Great honey walnut prawns.

        Shen Hua seems to be open all days but Sunday.

        And as for the Italian place, I'm guessing you mean Trattoria La Siciliana or Locanda Olmo which I haven't been to but have heard good things about.

        1. re: Kathleen Mikulis

          also, Taiwan restaurant on University near Shattuck is fun to go to for "brunch" on sunday, noon to 230. Kinda greasy but really good and a wide variety of cheap eats.

          And, Top Dog on Milvia by Center St has good hot dogs and grilled sausages (bockwurst!) and a great atmosphere, especially at lunchtime when it's jammed with high school kids.

          What about the Thai Brunch on Russell on Sundays? I've heard great things about it but never been.

          1. re: patrick

            Also, i did a little chowhounding myself and found that Little Plearn Thai Kitchen on
            Shattuk near the movie theaters but on the other side, is very pleasent for lunch.

            Actually, look to the top of the post if you want to know more because i want people to see a few food questions I have.

      2. re: Kathleen Mikulis

        As a warning, I've noticed that the food at the Orchid has steadily gone downhill in the last 4 years. I have been in over 6 months so maybe it's improved. For cheap Chinese, I vote for Sun Hong Kong on Shattuck. Between 3-6 pm is happy hour and they have many dishes for $2. Otherwise, they're about $4-6.

        My new favorite for breakfast is Venus, corner of Durant and Shattuck. Very good quality, not greasy, and an upbeat atmosphere. Usually at least a 15-20 minute wait on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Before Venus, I also ate breakfast a lot at La Note (Shattuck between Durant and Channing). Slightly smaller portions and French-style breakfasts.

        1. re: Kathleen Mikulis

          One more pizza rec: The Bakeshop, on Shattuck between Berkeley Way and Hearst. (I usually call it Bette's Not, because it used to be Bette's but now it's not.) Great thin-crust pizzas, 2 flavors per day (one meat one veg).

        2. I second (third?) the votes for Great China -- great Szechwan prawns -- and Intermezzo.

          Other all-time favorites:

          Picante Cocina Mexicana, on 6th Street just south of Gilman.

          Chaat Cafe (Indian snacks, and non-snacks), on University at MLK.

          Breads of India, on Sacramento near Dwight.

          Homemade Cafe, Sacramento at Dwight (their basic coffeecake is wonderful, but they don't always have it)

          . . and I like Barney's (various burgers, thick-cut fries, fresh lemonade), Shattuck at Cedar.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Amy H.
            k
            Kathleen Mikulis

            I almost included all the places you mentioned but one on my post! We must have similar restaurant tastes.

            Homemade Cafe I definitely would have recommended before had I remembered it. I love their pecan waffles, and sitting at the counter is a treat.

            I've recently been eating at Chaat Cafe about once a week. Great aloo (stuffed potato) naan & samosas. Yum yum.