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where to go in Berkeley for Dinner???

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!!

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  1. Chez Pannisse - upsatirs.

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


    2 Replies
    1. re: PulledPork

      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!!

    2. 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

        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

          Cha-Ya: http://www.yelp.com/biz/pTpsniKEL9z7S...
          Cafe Gratitude: http://www.withthecurrent.com/cafe.html
          and what seems like endless other places. Check out Robert's links below.

          1. re: amishad

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

          1. 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

              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

                Awesome a new place to try. Thanks!

                1. re: amishad

                  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

                    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. 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

                  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. 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

                    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

                      "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

                        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

                          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.