New to Berkeley area - places to eat/hangout for a single?
I'm single and I just moved to the Berkeley area. Any recs on where to eat or hangout for a single? food and or drinks
I eat all kinds of food. Price range: cheap to less than $20/pp.
What is your age range?
You may find Cafe Rouge a bit beyond your price range, and the age range (in my experience) skews toward middle-aged. The food is very good though, and they have a $1 oyster special on Wednesdays--that might be a good time to go.
I second the rec for Cesar--great food, good drinks, a pretty mixed crowd.
Some other spots:
Luka's Taproom in Oakland--has a great beer selection, good food, and it stays open a bit later. Plus they have dj's almost every night, so it has more of a club feel and attracts a younger crowd. Its at 21st and Grand.
Lanesplitter Pizza on San Pablo in Berkeley--the pizza is mediocre (ask them to cook it a bit longer for a cripser crust), but it is a nice neighborhood hangout, good beers on tap, and the bartenders are friendly. There is another location on Telegraph in Oakland, but I find the atmosphere there lacking in comparison to the Berkeley location. Note that they also have a location on San Pablo in Albany, but that is takeout only.
Kitty's Bar in Emeryville, on Hollis near 67th, is a fun bar with great mixed drinks. It gets a little crowded after work hours, but they have good djs and a fun crowd. The bartenders can get surly when they are under seige. I think they also have a limited food menu.
Club Mallard in Albany is a nice bar and gets a good mix of people. Now that UC is back in session, though, it will probably get more crowded--last time I was there, the pool tables were overrun with the backwards-ballcap, Greek-letter-wearing crew.
Thats all I can pull together right now--I'll try to think of more for you. The Beast can be a little hard on a single--SF has a livelier and denser scene, but there is fun to be had over here.
re: Robert Lauriston
I'm a big fan of Lanesplitters (mostly for the beer selection). To avoid the soggy pizzas you can also just not order fresh tomatoes (I opt for sundried). Good place for conversation with the locals.
Also, re: Emeryville below, Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe has okay homestyle food plus beer on tap and counter eating.
re: Kitchen Imp
Robert was reading between the lines and though she was
looking for a meat market :-)
It seems like you are looking for more of a hangout
with food [as opposed to just a cafe].
--there are upscale and downscale places.
--there are "townie" places and sort of university-
Upscale: cesar ... cocktails and tapas.
Lanesplitter, Albatross ... more of a hangout place:
Pizza & beer, darts ... other people hanging out.
Not walking distance from university, if that is an
issue, but walking distance from each other ... can
invest $10 to "research both".
The Pub on Solano is an interesting hangout space, but
not a food place.
There are some weaker options like the cafe at college
and ashby ... but not realy a place where people are
likely to start chatting with you. Again a $5 investment
to evaluate yourself.
Triple Rock and Jupiter are university-dominated places.
Raleigh's, Henry's, Blakes, Kips are mostly an undergrad crowd.
Spats is an abomination.
But do yourself a favor and take BART to 16th and
mission and go to Zeitgeist while the weather is still
re: Robert Lauriston
There are likely more "chains" within the Berkeley city limits than there are in all of Walnut Creek -- count 'em. The problem with Walnut Creek is the fact that there really isn't enough resident ethnic diversity to support a wide range of authentic, home-style cuisines. That's left to its less-affluent neighbors like Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Martinez. Nonetheless, my impression is that there are very few restaurants in Walnut Creek that can even begin to approach the pretentiousness of all too many Berkeley "fine dining" establishments. Forget "Meyer" lemons -- ever tried a "Lisbon"? Pick somewhere else to pick on.