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Jun 10, 2007 12:56 PM

Lunch in Berkeley near Sharffen Berger

I'm hoping to take a tour at Sharffen Berger in Berkeley when I came to CA next month. Are there any restaurants around the factory that you would suggest for lunch? I know there is a Cafe at the factory, but I've been reading bad reviews of their food. My husband and I will be very casual clothes (what we wore on the airplane), and casual is what we want- casual and GOOD. I also posted about In-N-Out Burger earlier; we're just now investigating this other option.

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  1. 900 Grayson is just two blocks away, and is talked about often on this board. I have had very good meals at Cafe Cacao (at the factory), but there can certainly be imperfections there. A new restaurant, Riva Cucina, is just one block from the factory. I think you'd have a great casual lunch at any of those three spots.

    1. 900 Grayson is a block away. Casual, very good food. (do a search). Only open for breakfast and lunch, not open on Sunday.

      1. Riva Cucina is wonderful and you can eat outside--the young couple who own it couldn't be more accomodating and the food is VERY tasty Northern Italian. Full menu and panini for lunch. On the other hand, my husband had very mediocre seafood stew at Cafe Cacao, but the waitstaff was super nice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lintygmom

          I just did a Google search to investigate. Here's for everyone else so they can click:

          Anyone had the hazelnut ice cream + cake dessert? ("SEMIFREDDO ALLA NOCCIOLA")? I might have to visit just for that.

        2. 900 Grayson is casual and delicious. Been there more times than I can count, and it is always great. Just don't order the pastrami sandwich. It's probably my favorite lunch spot in Berkeley.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            What's wrong with the pastrami sandwich?

            1. re: chemchef

              The pastrami they use just isn't that great. I can think of five friends off the top of my head who love Grayson, love pastrami, but didn't like Grayson's pastrami sandwich.

          2. Like the others mentioned already, 900 Grayson and Riva Cucina are the obvious choices. Only thing though is that both are closed on Sundays and you may end up at Cafe Cacao by default. Couple of other choices which are not walking distance though probably 5-10 minutes drive away - Vik's Chaat House in Berkeley and Cucina Poblana in Emeryville, also maybe Sea Salt.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jhinky

              just do not go to Cafe Cocoa, which is at Scharfenberger

              1. re: brioche

                Do they still suck? They closed and then reopened with new staff a while back. And SB is now owned by a Huge Impersonal Multinational Corporation. Which could have improved things. It certainly couldn't have hurt.