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where to go in Berkeley for Dinner???

amishad Jul 28, 2007 04:26 PM

Hi Chowhounders!

my husband and I are interested in discovering the Berkeley food scene.
we are hoping for suggestions for a great dinner spot. i am veg, so they should
have a decent selection of veg choices. we love all types of cuisines, and
would love suggestions for all price ranges.

thank you all in advance!!

  1. m
    momsafoodie Aug 1, 2007 09:21 PM

    I just tried Vanessa's Bistro on Solano ave and it was great. Although they do not have a huge selection of veggie food what they do have is awesome. I had a curry tofu and veggie that i cant stop thinking about.

    Kirin for chinese

    picante for mexican

    pizzaiola - which is in oakland but very good pizza and pasta dishes

    4 Replies
    1. re: momsafoodie
      choctastic Aug 2, 2007 11:09 AM

      I agree with pizzaiolo. Upscale, great food. Get there before the crowds though.

      I've had all the veg dishes at Kirin and personally am not a big fan. They use so much soy sauce and bean paste that I just can't eat the food.. If I had to eat there though, I'd probably get the red curry tofu. I sometimes go to Long Life Veggie on University, but only for the broccoli "beef". That place is a dive though, not sure you guys would like it.

      Thanks for the tip on Vanessa Bistro's curry tofu.

      1. re: choctastic
        Robert Lauriston Aug 2, 2007 11:15 AM

        "Upscale" is a potentially misleading description for Pizzaiolo. It some ways it is -- the food could be served at Chez Panisse, where the chef/owner worked for years, and the wine list is one of the best in the area, with a few bottles in the $70-120 range. On the other hand, it's also a funky, very casual neighborhood joint where the servers wear jeans and T-shirts.

        Lots of vegetarian dishes, in any case.

        5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          choctastic Aug 2, 2007 11:18 AM

          Quibbles aside, Pizzaiolo certainly fits the OP's requirement for a "nice place to go for dinner". (unless OP is claustrophobic I guess)

          1. re: choctastic
            Robert Lauriston Aug 2, 2007 11:24 AM

            Totally. I just wanted to clarify that Pizzaiolo is not upscale in the elegant, quiet, white-tablecloth sense. A while back one person got the wrong impression from a recommendation here, went there for a birthday or anniversary, and posted that she was really disappointed.

    2. b
      boomaluv Aug 1, 2007 09:08 PM

      There's Herbivore up on Shattuck, La Mediteranee on College Ave, and, as several other people have said, Vik's is a must!

      1 Reply
      1. re: boomaluv
        Robert Lauriston Aug 2, 2007 10:29 AM

        Holy Land is a block away from La Mediterranee and has much better food. Heck, Andronico's has better Middle Eastern food than La Med.

        The two reports on the new Berkeley branch of Herbivore so were negative and mixed:


      2. h
        hulan Aug 1, 2007 08:55 PM

        Do you like Indian? Udupi Palace is the best vegeterian indian I've ever had. Or if you prefer Japanese Cha-ya which is vegan japanese. I'm not vegeterian but these are 2 of my favorites

        Udupi Palace
        1901 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

        Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese
        1686 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

        4 Replies
        1. re: hulan
          amishad Aug 1, 2007 10:36 PM

          yea I love Indian! ;) I am indian :) been there, its quite good. I can suggest a better place, that I prefer. Its called Sarvana Bhavan, and they got amazing food. It is located in Sunnyvale. Thanks for the suggestions!

          1. re: amishad
            hulan Aug 2, 2007 11:39 AM

            Awesome a new place to try. Thanks!

            1. re: amishad
              Robert Lauriston Aug 2, 2007 11:43 AM

              What do you like at Sarvana Bhavan? There have been few reports here. Have you also tried Dasaprakash and Tirupathi Bhimas?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                amishad Aug 2, 2007 09:54 PM

                I have tried quite a few dishes there and all have been good. I like the dosas, idli, medu vada, the sambar. I have tried Dasaprakash, very good food again :) its a nice looking place too. I havent tried the other one though, will surely try it. Thanks for the suggestions :)

          2. Robert Lauriston Jul 29, 2007 05:28 AM



            1. salutlemonde Jul 28, 2007 11:01 PM

              César on Shattuck was good when I was there last. They have a good selection of vegetarian tapas, too.

              Bar César
              1515 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

              3 Replies
              1. re: salutlemonde
                amishad Jul 29, 2007 01:57 AM

                I have been to Vik's a couple times before, but I make all that stuff at home as snacks !! ;) We are looking for a nice place to go for dinner, enjoy the good food. Chez Pannisse is a great idea, been wanting to make a reservation there for a while now, will look into Cesars too. Thank you for the recommendations. Any other recommendations? like asian(a nicer place though, mediterranean, italian? Thank you!! :)

                1. re: amishad
                  coolbean98 Aug 1, 2007 02:55 PM

                  Cha-Ya: http://www.yelp.com/biz/pTpsniKEL9z7Sv1ilXwQag
                  Cafe Gratitude: http://www.withthecurrent.com/cafe.html
                  and what seems like endless other places. Check out Robert's links below.

                  1. re: amishad
                    saritasel Aug 2, 2007 12:32 PM

                    try O Chame on 4th st for Japanese-inspired cuisine in a beautiful setting

                2. p
                  PulledPork Jul 28, 2007 05:15 PM

                  Chez Pannisse - upsatirs.

                  One incredible non-dinner spot for vegetarians is Vik's Chaat House. So damn good.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: PulledPork
                    janetofreno Jul 28, 2007 10:52 PM

                    btw, I meant to post this: last time I was at Vik's there was a sign that starting in mid-July they would be open until 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights. So it WILL be at least an early dinner option on weekends!!

                    1. re: janetofreno
                      oaklandfoodie Aug 1, 2007 02:08 PM

                      OMG, this just made my day!!!

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