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eating at the bar in Berkeley

I'm going to try this with a better headline. My wife's just taken a job that takes her out of town a lot, and I'm interested in learning about places in Berkeley and environs that are both good and receptive to folks eating alone. The bar at Eccolo looks friendly, and I've eaten at the bar at Britt Marie's, Olivia, and Cesar before and had good experiences. I know there have been discussions of this topic here before but I can't seem to find the right hook for the search. Thanks from the Lonely Diner.

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  1. nizza la bella maybe?

    1. Going north to south: Fonda on Solano, Cafe Rouge on Fourth St., upstairs at Oliveto (Rockridge), A Cote on College, Cesar's on Piedmont (larger, more pleasant space than the Shattuck outpost).

      2 Replies
      1. re: dordogne

        I'd agree with all of these places, and would also add Wood Tavern in Oakland (but literally just over the Berkeley border), Sea Salt and T-Rex in Berkeley.

        1. re: dordogne

          Second for Upstairs at Oliveto. Bartenders are super nice, food is always on point and there's a fun view of the spit rotisserie and a peak into the kitchen.

          1. Good choices so far. I'd add Vanessa's on Solano and maybe T-Rex. I can't remember if Six Degrees on Solano has a bar.

            1. I eat alone alot and I can't think of a single place that wasn't receptive.

              Other favorites alread mentioned ... Sea Salt, Nizza La Bella, Vanessa's, Fonda ... love Fonda.

              Chez Panisse can be good if you are up for that. Gregoire is good too if you can snag one of the three seats at the counter and don't mind the lack of booze. The staff is interactive and fun.

              I like T-Rex alot but not so much for eating at the bar. I like the servers better in the restaurant. The bartenders are usually a little spacy.

              Six Degrees has a bar area, but I'd save that for a Friday or Saturday when they have Jazz otherwise the bar area can be a bit desserted.

              I have a favorite no one's posted about as far as a friendly bar/dinner/good food atmosphere, but unfortunatley the bartender is a friend so can't report about it ... but anywhere is fine.

              5 Replies
              1. re: rworange

                Oh, Lalime's! I always forget that they have a bar. It looks pleasant, though I've never sat there.

                1. re: Glencora

                  not a big fan of lalime. never seemed that friendly ... maybe to
                  regularly/insiders. food was nothing special, esp given price-performance.

                2. re: rworange

                  I've never heard that rule... can't report about someplace where a friend works????

                  1. re: chemchef

                    Last paragraph

                    No big deal. I'd rather skip reporting on the handfull like that and try to keep the board as unbiased as possible.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Ah, thanks. Good thing I don't have any friends in the biz. Well ok, maybe one or two, but I don't go to their places often enough to post. I'd rather visit with them outside of work. :-)

                3. Lanesplitter in Berkeley is a great spot to slide up to the bar solo, enjoy a few pints, some pizza, some lasagna, or even a salad. You can read the newspaper, chat with other patrons, or just listen to the stereo and watch the closed-caption TV. Its not fine dining, but it can make for a very good evening.

                  Lanesplitter Berkeley
                  2033 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                    1. re: Doodleboomer

                      Luka's on Grand and Broadway. They have an actual bar and also some small, high tables and chairs against the windows where singles can sit.

                      1. re: Doodleboomer

                        Second on Pizzaiolo. Good music (CDs but they were planning to try small live combo later on Tuesday nights), wonderfully diverse diner demographic, neighborhood feel even for non-neighbors, tasty house cocktails, very tasty food (must try the meatballs and the squid pizza even if you'd never think to order them anywhere else).

                        1. re: dordogne

                          I have no "new" suggestions, but echo Lalime's, Fonda, Vanessa's, Britt Marie. For lighter fare, you might also try the wine bar at Solano Cellars.

                          1. re: lmnopm

                            I'm no fan of Solano Cellars. The owners at best they were indifferent and worst rude to the extreme making me lose any little respect for them as business people ... or even people with any common sense.

                      2. I occasionally eat alone at the bar at Kirala.

                        Others already mentioned that have worked for me: T-Rex, Pizzaiolo, Britt-Marie, Lanesplitter on San Pablo (the Telegraph location isn't so good for bar sitting).

                        Six Degrees I'd recommend against, in this case. The bar is a very lonely place there (great place if you're sitting at a table, though).

                        Isn't there bar-sitting in the remodled Dopo?