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Oct 5, 2007 11:57 AM

Visiting our son @ Cal

We're going to visit our son the freshman and are looking for your best Berkeley-area recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing touristy, no chains... just the best of the local scene. Thanks.

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  1. The Cheese Board Collective, on Shattuck Ave. across from Chez Panisse.

    In the morning, you can get baked goods and really strong coffee. Starting at 10am you can buy cheese from their amazing selection - everything from gouda to ... well everything! A few doors down is the Cheese Board Pizza Collective. Unique thin crust pizzas.

    Cheese Board Pizza
    1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

    1. Vik's is amazing Indian food somewhat close to campus. I always loved to take my parents to Raleigh's for them to see my college scene while eating tasty sandwiches and salads. Zachary's has great thick crusted pizza and I really enjoy Somerset for brunch. There is a great cafe on campus in the undergraduate library....the Free Speech Cafe has great salads and sandwiches with a cool can feel like one of the students. These area all cheaper places.

      1. Usual suspects (not all of which I recommend personally), search the archive for reports:

        A Cote
        Bay Wolf
        Cafe Rouge
        Chez Panisse
        Dona Tomas
        O Chame
        Riva Cucina
        Sea Salt

        Re past discussions, note that Le Theatre and Zax have closed.

        Couple of topics on breakfast / lunch / brunch / cheap places with links to more topics:

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Good list and I think if I were in collage near Cal I would want something a bit away and different. I think A Cote would be the perfect place.

          1. re: Lori SF

            If I were there now, I would want to go to Chez Panisse, Bar Cesar or A Cote for a nicer night out. When I was there, I loved to take my parents to Oakland Chinatown for pho, the Cheese Board, and of course Durant Courtyard so they could see what I often ate on my undergrad budget. These days I would also take them to Vik's and Fourth Street -- lunch at Cafe Rouge is a very nice stop.

            Have a great visit!

            1. re: bernalgirl

              Ack! Just read and rescind my Cafe Rouge rec -- why chance it on your brief visit? Go to lunch at Vik's and enjoy a stroll and a gelato at Sketch on 4th Street. O Chame is a lovely calm place for lunch, too.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              The Chron reports that Olivia has been sold and will be reopening October 15 as Diggs Bistro.


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                There was dinner-looking activity inside when I walked by last night.

            2. Chez Panisse.

              Great China for Peking Duck.

              1. As cliche as it is to say so, you really should have dinner at Chez Panisse. It is the antithesis of chain dining, and the epicenter of the Bay Area culinary scene. The cafe upstairs is casual and reasonable. Here's a typical menu: You need to book in advance unless dining very late. The cafe is also open for lunch.

                If you cannot get into Chez Panisse, consider Cafe Rouge on Fourth Street.

                Lunch is a great time to check out the usually crazy busy Wood Tavern on College Ave. at the Oakland-Berkeley border.

                I also like Sea Salt on San Pablo Ave. for simple seafood preparations, great sandwiches, and really nice veg sides. Fine for lunch or dinner.

                For breakfast on a weekend, Eccolo os a good option. The food is good and they take reservations (most good East Bay breakfast options entail a 1-2 hour wait for a table on weekends.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lexdevil

                  A 3rd or 4th on CP. It's the prototypical Berkeley dining experience. Everything else listed is great but if you want a start point...that would be it. I'd also go to Top Dog.