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Jan 29, 2007 04:51 PM

italian restaurants in berkely/oakland area

need a good family style italian/meditteranean restaurant for a party of about 20 people that is affordable. any suggestions?

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  1. Zza's Trattoria
    552 Grand Ave, Oakland- I use to live over there so I have not been to this place for awhile. The food was always pretty good, price is right, enough space for a party of 20, parking is better than most areas

    or you might try Pizzaiolo- I have not been but it is getting great reviews

    LoCoco's Restaurant- in Piedmont another place I have not been for a while- American Italian style standards, good family place. Small place but you could probably take over most of the place.. Parking is bad.

    Rivoli might be too pricey.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Lori SF

      There is a LoCoco's in N.Berkeley also (Shattuck) that I believe is slightly larger than the Piedmont location. The parking is probably about the same or maybe a little better. The food is decent and the prices are good, but the last time I was there the service was a little off (our waiter was a little 'snotty').

      1. re: Lori SF

        Parking is a touch sketchy at Zza's at night. Entire Lake Merritt is a touch sketchy at night. Make sure people go to car in group if you pick it.

        1. re: lintygmom

          that part of the lake is not bad at all I lived there for 5 years.

          1. re: Lori SF

            I hate to quibble and these posts might be removed, but in the interest of protecting diners, I just checked the <a href=" city crimewatch website</a>

            In the past 30 days, three vehicular thefts, one robbery (that means armed apparently), one simple assault, two thefts within a 1/4 mile radius. And it's been cold. I've gone to the restaurants there and also to Gold's Gym for years. Unless I park right in front of Gold's and walk in, I don't feel so safe. I work on Pill Hill and feel unsafe there at night and they require security escort to parking at night and there were no robberies in a 1/4 mi of my office in the past 30 days.

      2. I think Bucci's in Emeryville is a good choice for a group with those parameters, especially the quieter back room.

        Pizzaiolo has better food, but 20 might be stretching it there.

        I was under the impression that the Piedmont Ave LoCoco's was no longer there (not that I was ever a fan, and again, I think 20 would be too big of a group for it), and sure enough, if you click on their website it only mentions the Berkeley address:

        2 Replies
        1. re: susancinsf

          Nope, it's definitely still there.

          1. re: JasmineG

            Only the pizza is good. And they really aren't set up for parties of 20.

        2. I believe the back room at Pizzaiolo will seat 20. The food is excellent, the prices are fair.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            A sample menu's online, it's not what everyone would consider affordable:


          2. pizzaiolo can definetly do a private party in the back room for you for up to 30 people. great food, good service and great atmosphere

            1. I'm not sure what your monetary limit is, but you could check out Ristorante Venizia on University in Berkeley. Plenty of Parking. Not a bad neighborhood at night. Has a room in the back that I think could fit 20. Very family friendly for kids who are okay dining out, and won't go swimming in the fountain. Has a kids menu. Has great drinks.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kabocha

                My family went to Venezia in August '06 and were very disappointed. We had not been in 10+ years but it was not good for what we paid. We won't go back. Riding on its own coattails?

                For cheap I would go with Zza's, for good - Bucci's is a good bet but the menu is limited and significantly more expensive than Zza's. Pizzaiola has great pizza but will everybody want pizza?

                1. re: abtal

                  I really like the food at Pizzaiolo, and I am not at all fond of pizza; almost never order it. There are plenty of other options, if they can handle the group size.

                  Here is Bucci's menu for tonight; I don't think it is that limited:


                  And here is Zza's menu, click on through their website. prices look fairly comparable to me.. Salads and mains are in the same range at both restaurants, as are contorni; pizzas are only slightly more at Bucci's. (and since Bucci's menu is for tonight and is updated daily, we know those prices are updated as well. Zza's may or may not be outdated. In any event, I don't think it is true that Bucci's is significantly more expensive, based on these menus.


                  I've only eaten at Zza's once or twice, but nothing was that memorable in terms of the food.