HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Are you making a specialty food?

East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville) - 50 Person Dinner - Any good spots?

student Feb 26, 2007 01:52 PM


So I am planning a dinner for around 50 people for a club I am in. All of my previous attempts have fallen through and the dinner is in 2 weeks. We want it to just be a regular dinner (not a banquet) where everyone orders of the menu and stuff, the problem is finding somewhere that seats 50 people. We are located in Berkeley and would happily do anything in the East Bay Area (Emeryville, Berkeley, Oakland...). Ive looked into Chevy's, Pyramid Brewery, CPK, Applebees and others. I would really like to find a place like Stonefire Grill in socal but dont know of any in this area. Any and all tips appreciated.


  1. Ruth Lafler Feb 28, 2007 10:47 AM

    I was just remembering that when we had a chowdown at Ethiopia in Berkeley last month, we were the only party in the restaurant. They were happy to have 18 of us, and I bet they could handle 50 (on a weeknight).

    1. Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2007 10:15 AM

      Afghan Oasis might do it. The space is huge and usually pretty empty. Food's OK and inexpensive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Leadbelly Feb 28, 2007 11:25 AM

        I walked by there the other night, and it looked D-E-D dead, as in, it must be closed--and just as well, the one time I tried it, the food was awful. That is a weird location, nothing seems to survive there--perhaps the hotel is cursed?

        1. re: Leadbelly
          Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2007 11:29 AM

          Might be closed. The hotel's Web site says nothing about it.


      2. d
        Dog Lover Feb 27, 2007 06:58 PM

        We took over Bette's Oceanview Diner on 4th street for a party last year - 45-50 people. I think it was more like $30 per person but you can choose from different dinner menus. We had two passed appetizers, then our guests had a choice of either fried chicken or hamburger. Unlimited malts, floats and drinks and for dessert we had one of the best key lime pies in the area (IMO) or ice cream. The kids really enjoyed the jukebox.

        1. jeffyd Feb 27, 2007 05:05 PM

          I just did a dinner for 40 at The Bay Wolf. It was fabulous. For fifty you wouldn't all be in the same room, but they;d make up for it in level of service and cuisine

          1 Reply
          1. re: jeffyd
            Robert Lauriston Feb 27, 2007 05:25 PM

            That would be considerably more than $20 per person.

          2. grishnackh Feb 27, 2007 11:59 AM

            Countdown till someone suggests Trattoria Sicialiana....

            1 Reply
            1. re: grishnackh
              coolbean98 Feb 27, 2007 01:45 PM

              Can they take 50 people?? If they do I'm going to kick myself for going to Cafe de la Paz for our rehearsal dinner instead of there.

              I do not recommend going to Cafe de la Paz. They have space, and the food is okay, but they were unbelievable disorganized through the whole process and made us pay a deposit immediately.

            2. c
              calmom Feb 26, 2007 09:09 PM

              Have you tried Little Hong Kong in El Cerrito? They could section the restaurant in half for you. I don't know how accomodating they'd be about ordering off of the menu, but the food is a great value. We had a group of twenty-five one night and it averaged out to around $20 per person, where else in the Bay Area can you do that?

              1 Reply
              1. re: calmom
                student Feb 26, 2007 11:50 PM

                Thanks for all your replies. Lots of these sound amazing and you guys turned my drought into almost too many choices (you can never have too many). If anyone else can think of some place that is the perfect fit, i would love to hear. Thanks!!

              2. Morton the Mousse Feb 26, 2007 08:15 PM

                I bet Nellie's Soul Food in Oakland could seat 50 - the space is big enough, and they're great with big groups. You should call them. Food is in your price range, and much more delicious than the dreck at the chains and restaurant conglomerates. Fantastic fried chicken.



                What do you know? They now have a website. Note that the menu posted on the site is only half of the real menu.

                1. m
                  ML8000 Feb 26, 2007 07:24 PM

                  On a similar note, there's Jack's Bistro in Jack London Square. Average to above average American cuisine w/ a typical Calfiornia/Ital touch. I've noticed they have several fairly large private rooms that and I've never seen it crowded. (I think they do a convention/hotel/meeting business).

                  Why do I know of this place? I usually take my Dad there for his b-day or father's day for a steak or slab of meat. It's definately better then a chain like Black Angus, Chevy's, Beppo...sort of on par w/ Ruth Chris. I go probably once a year or so and I'm never disapointed...but I'm not expecting much.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ML8000
                    student Feb 26, 2007 07:42 PM

                    Cool, thanks a lot, jack london square is a very good location for us. Hopefully they have openings.

                    1. re: student
                      susancinsf Feb 28, 2007 02:16 AM

                      I doubt if you would be able to order off of a menu at Jack's in one of their private rooms for under $20 a person (I've been to work functions there several times).

                  2. Glencora Feb 26, 2007 03:03 PM

                    Spenger's comes to mind because of another thread. The food isn't good, unless you order carefully, but it is better than the other places you mention. I attended a large birthday party there once and we could order off the menu. The atmosphere can be fun and there is parking. Not ideal, but it could work.

                    1. s
                      student Feb 26, 2007 02:45 PM

                      thanks for the help so far. I am going to look into all of those when I get home from school today. Anymore tips would be appreciated.


                      1. rworange Feb 26, 2007 02:02 PM

                        6 Degrees on Solano on the Berkeley/Albany border

                        Zazoo's on the water near Jack London Square in Oakland (lots of parking too at Zazoo)

                        What's the budget?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: rworange
                          student Feb 26, 2007 05:56 PM

                          We are preferably looking to spend under $20 per person but want each person to be able to order of the menu.

                          1. re: student
                            rworange Feb 26, 2007 07:59 PM

                            Given some of the places you mentioned, maybe Macaroni Grill ... probably get thrown off Chowhound for saying that.

                            Is parking important? A few places big enough that might do that ...

                            Montero's on Solano (Think Chevy's but better


                            T-Rex (BBQ ... not universally liked, but better than chains and they have some good cornbread ... this week ... they change the menu a lot)

                            1. re: student
                              Robert Lauriston Feb 27, 2007 11:18 AM

                              How do you plan to pay?

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                student Feb 27, 2007 12:14 PM

                                I think with one big credit card and then everyone passes the cash my way.

                          2. Ruth Lafler Feb 26, 2007 02:02 PM

                            It's surprisingly hard to find places that take groups without a banquet/private room and/or a set minimum. One place I've had good luck with is Italian Colors in Montclair. Not fabulous food, but respectable Cal-Italian. I don't know if they can do 50, but it's worth a try.

                            If I were going to have a dinner for 50, I'd call China Village ....

                            1. Robert Lauriston Feb 26, 2007 01:59 PM

                              Speisekammer's private room can seat up to 60.

                              See the bottom of this page:


                              Show Hidden Posts