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Mar 24, 2007 04:47 PM


So since the other thread proved to be so popular (thanks everyone) I would now like to propose the same at a different pricing point. Your TOP 5 RESTAURANTS IN BERKELEY FOR UNDER 20 DOLLARS, by type of meal and not including, drinks, tax, tip.
Older thread here:

My Top 5 (in no order of hierarchy



900 Grayson
Bette's Oceanview Diner
La Notte


900 Grayson
Sea Salt


Imperial Garden
Cafe Rouge (depends on what you order to keep it under 20 but possible)

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  1. I've got to say that I think it's a rare Berkeley breakfast or lunch that would cost more than $20, so those lists are really pretty much just "best in Berkeley that is not Chez Panisse." Dinner is another matter.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lexdevil

      Haha, perhaps you are right Lex. But since there are no recent threads on the lunch/dinner
      aspect I thought it might be useful to have an updated version. Breakfast you are right is a no brainer.

      1. re: lexdevil

        If Cafe Rouge makes the cut, then so does every other restaurant in the area except downstairs at Chez Panisse.

        Here's a recent topic on exactly that:

      2. Since all entrees at Olivia are $20 you'd have to have nothing but. I think you need to specifiy--what do you mean by dinner? I bet there are some places where you could get 3 courses for under 20. (Might not be very good, though.) And certainly there are places where several people could share a bunch of dishes for under 20 per person. I think we need more guidelines.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Glencora

          Well, I would say most entrees on the menu would have to be under 20 dollars if not all.Olivia's dinner entrees are 20 dollars so that would be the max.The thread is meant for the person who goes out by himself or maybe one other person, so sharing with many other people doesn't qualify. If your idea of dinner is just an entree, no appetizers, then that would work. However, if every time you dine you must have appetizers and an entree well then they would both have to add up to 20, not including drinks, tax tip.So there is some room for interpretation.

          1. re: oscarm

            a better idea is berkeley on a starving college student's budget.

            $20 a day in berkeley : bonus points for $10 a day.

            1. re: wchane

              Breakfast: Croissant from Bread Garden
              Lunch: Top Dog
              Dinner: Slurp Noodles on Telegraph

              I guarantee that's under $10, total.

              1. re: cfarivar

                Cool ... Under $20 for ALL three meals.

                Breakfast: Pastry & coffee from Crixa
                Lunch: $1.50 hot dog from Carvel's (Nathan's) or Desi dog (across from Carvels)
                Dinner: 1/2 chicken from La Calca Loca ... ok, Oakland but on the border near Bakesale Betty's.

                1. re: cfarivar

                  I hate to sound like a broken record but...Top Dog rules.