walking distance of Cal (any side)
A while back I did some research here to see what was good within walking distance of Cal, and checked out many of the most recommended places. But today I was walking around at lunchtime and it occurred to me that there are hundreds and hundreds of places that may not regularly appear in people's top five but which are perfectly good places to eat if you're in the area a lot, which I am. So...
...what would you all recommend that's not on this list? (Note: this list includes both good and bad - it's not a list of my favorites.)
Arinell Pizza, Blondie's, Cafe de la Paz, Cafe Durant, Caffe Intermezzo, Caffe Strada, Cancun Taqueria, Cesar, C'est Cafe, Chaat Cafe, Cha-Ya, Cheese Board, Chez Panisse, Chipotle, Crepes a Go Go, Eat a Pita, El Sombrero, Ethiopia Restaurant, Extreme Pizza, Fat Slice, Gelateria Naia, Gelato Milano, Gregoire, High Tech Burrito, House of Curries, I.B.'s, Ici, Juice Appeal, La Burrita, La Cascada, La Mediterranee, La Note, LaVal's, Lo Coco's, Long Life Vegi House, Mario's La Fiesta, Masse's Pastries, Michelle's, Naan N Curry, Noah's Bagels, Pane e Cioccolata, Pie in the Sky, Planet Juice, Ryowa, Soop, Taste, Udupi Palace, Vegi Food, Venus, Yogurt Park
Again, this isn't a "I want one really good lunch on such-and-such a date" type of thing - I'd just like to know where knowledgeable locals eat and where they avoid. Gourmet Ghetto, Shattuck, Telegraph, College - anything that's within reasonable walking distance of campus. Thanks so much!
Given your list, I'm surprised you haven't tried Cafe Gratitude. I'd list Saul's pastrami above Noah's bagles (Saul's being a few steps closer than Masse's) (although many say Saul's pastrami is nothing to write home about) There's also the veggi sushi place on university I don't remember the name of. And the Indian place that used to be Khana Pena but I hear changed names across from the west side of campus. I'm partial to the Thai place with the elephant out front, the two-level place at the corner of bancroft and oxford.
I'd recommend Finfine over Ethiopia for Ethiopian food.
Each has its charms but Finifine is a lot closer to UC and has better food. Not just my opinion, but supported by several ethnic Ethiopian folks that I know.
2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
2955 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA
On Northside there's:
Top Dog (another one)
Bongo Burger (another one)
The Stuffed Inn (sandwiches)...all good.
From the list:
Pane e Cioccolata - chocolate criossant
Mario's La Fiesta - avoid burritos, get the place
Cancun -- over La Burrito and High Tech
Fat Slice - over Blondies (don't go to Blondies) and LaVals
Cheese Board -- yes
Venus - good
Junpiter - nice outdoor eating
Au Coquelet - late night (well 1 a.m.)
This is such a timely thread as we are planning a day trip to Cal this Sunday or next week and my first choice, Pizzaiolo, is not open for lunch (was planning on early lunch & then visiting campus). What is a good alternative? I would try Pie in the Sky but how's the seating? Maybe Bobby G's? For wood fired, thin crust, we go to Pizza Antica in Santana Row basically for convenience.
My other choices would be Indian (Tandoor kitchen?) or Middle Eastern. I saw Holy Land on Check Please, worth a detour vs. Middle Eastern in Berkeley? Is Sunrise Deli falafel better than San Jose's Falafel Drive In? Haven't been to Cha Am in 20 yrs., nice to know it's still there. Again, would appreciate seating info as we will be with two kids (9 & 12).
Have to come up with other short day trips too as kids will be at home all week, aah!
Arghh! I just managed to erase my whole report on Turkish Kitchen. Idiot! Okay, okay, calm down and start over.
8 of us had dinner there last night and were verrrry happy. We shared appetizer plates (baba ganouj, a fish roe spread that was similar to taramasalata and a tahini spread. Served with wonderful, warm flattish bread.
We ordered various main dishes and everybody tasted everything. We had Chicken Beyti, shish kebab, lamb donar, stuffed eggplant, cucumber salad, chicken kebabs, and several other things I can't remember.
Everything was great except for the donar which was a bit overcooked and dried out. The shish kebab was cooked perfectly, juicy and delish.
Oh yeah, one person had kofte (don't know whether they're called that in Turkey but I mean the ground meat) and they were also cooked perfectly.
The Chicken Beyti is spectacular, but it is so rich it should be shared with another person or two. It comes to the table looking like a coffee cake ring. It's actually chicken and spices rolled inside dough and baked, then sliced into pieces. It has a bite to it and, since it's made with butter, some richness as well. A really great dish.
I also had their cranberry juice. It was deelish. Maybe it was even from a bottle from Safeway, but it went perfectly with the meal.
The place was packed the whole time we were there. A woman at the next table told us that it was recently reviewed in the Chron.
The best part was that it was so cheery and bright in the place. One would NEVER know it was the same place that housed the dreary Truly Mediterranean or whatever it was called....dank, depressing and mostly empty.
I hope this place lives long and prospers!
re: Robert Lauriston
It wasn't light when we last ate there (a couple of years ago). It was dimly lit and almost empty. Had a forlorn vibe. Must have been The Mediterranean then.
It was in the late afternoon during the summer. We were going to eat there but decided to get take out cause of the atmosphere.
Within 5-10 minutes walk from campus --
Jayakarta (can be astonishing if you know what to order, many posts here)
Norikonoko (limited hours)
Sunrise Deli for falafel
Great China, but not for lunch
Healthy Heavenly Foods in the Bear's Lair food court
Hummingbird for the Middle Eastern plate
Espresso Experience for the bulgogi sandwich
Namaste for momos
Platano (very slow)
Triple Rock for burgers
Taiwan (best for weekend brunch)
Berkel Berkel (only for beef)
CU Sushi for the permanent half-price menu
Sort of recommended, in that they're better than many places on your list:
Imperial Tea Court
Da Lian for smoked pork
Tuk Tuk Thai
Bongo Burger for lamb
Smart Alec's except the fries
For reference and/or kicks, this is how I'd break down the places I've been to from the OP's list:
Pie in the Sky
House of Curries
Almare (formerly Milano)
Sort of recommended:
If you must:
Crepes a Go Go
Eat a Pita
angeline's louisiana kitchen on shattuck. ici on college is a stretch, but walkable for some. anh hong new on university, Brazil Cafe on university and on shattuck. cafe gratitude. Bobby G's Pizzeria. Sam's Kabob Cafe. Zabu Zabu. Top Dog of course, though they're getting kinda pricey. Orzo. I'll keep thinking...this is fun.
yes, Bongo with the constant dulcet refrain of: "lule kebab, lule kebab, lule kebab, falafel, falafel. looooole kebab"
but yes very good - is 7 Palms still there (corner store) and does Alison still sweep around there (homeless transvestite with issues)? not scary, just at wit's end.
Bongo serves Niman??? say it it ain't so.