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Cafe M is open at 4th St. in Berkeley

s
santoku45 Feb 25, 2008 11:27 PM

Had to go down to the Pasta Shop at Berkeley's Fourth St. for some cheese tonight, and noticed that a new Fourth St. eatery is open: Cafe M. Cafe M is at the end of the small parking lot on the east side of Fourth St, in a somewhat vexed location that previously housed a Sugar Bowl Cafe and some other place whose name escapes me. Cafe M has a striped awning that you can't miss. It had been under construction/permit approval for ages, after Sugar Bowl closed.

The M is for the owner's last name.

We went over to check it out and it was closed, but the owner let us in to look around. Today (Monday) had been its first day. It closes at 4:30 I think, and we were there around 5. It looks great on the inside, spacious and comfortable, tables and banquettes, and the California style menu seems to be fairly complete for breakfast, lunch and brunch. They serve Peet's coffee and also make milkshakes. There are also 8 tables outside. Prices seemed reasonable.

The owner said their first day had been hectic, with way more take out orders than they had expected, so they have to figure out a way to speed that up. If they can deliver on their menu, Cafe M looks promising at this point as a well-designed place for decent casual food.

My wife and I made a note to check them out later this week for lunch.

Cafe M is just past the small shops fronting that small parking lot, right where that lot connects to Fifth St. I don't have their address but their phone number is 510.526.4429.

  1. j
    jdiamond1 Apr 19, 2008 09:51 AM

    We had a fabulous dinner there last night, and lunch is equally good. The fresh Hawaiian Walu was amazing—a thick piece of moist and flavorful fish. Our dinner companion claimed the filet mignon was the best he’s ever had. Portions were generous and prices very reasonable. We appreciated the varied menu selection and wine list, airy and casual ambience, and personal service. Simon was an attentive, knowledgeable and personable waiter, and the pastry chef stopped by to talk with us. Café M is just getting started and we should all want to see this fine neighborhood restaurant thrive. A block off Fourth Street at Fifth and Delaware.

    1. s
      sfitzpatrick27 Mar 15, 2008 01:52 PM

      I came here just recently early morning round 8:00.I was immediatly welcomed by an extremly warm and friendly worker who was extremly helpful.I had the combo with fluufy scrambled eggs,with chicken apple sausage and deliciouse thick slices of french toast,the butter with pieces of which seemed to candied pecans was absolutly deliciouse as well as the surup.Good atmoshere and great service, i would definitly go back again.

      Shannon

      1 Reply
      1. re: sfitzpatrick27
        b
        buster Mar 16, 2008 12:47 PM

        We were there this morning. Very spacious, really nice atmosphere. Huge portions, I ate 1/2 my corn beef hash. Very tasty.

        Checked out the dinner menu, priced in the $13-15 range, counted at least 4 fish entrees with maybe 12 entrees total and maybe 10 appetizers. Looking forward to it

      2. f
        finickygal Feb 27, 2008 03:24 PM

        My office is nearby Cafe M and we've been waiting for them to open. We had lunch on Monday and for a first day serivce was good and food was great. We shared a crab sandwich, Asian chicken salad and a bowl of the daily soup. Very fresh and well presented. We did order to go, think they will soon realize that this area during the day has a lot of people looking for food to go.
        Hope they make it!

        1. s
          santoku45 Feb 26, 2008 11:44 AM

          Stopped in for a late breakfast today around 11 am. Yes, the address is 1799 Fourth St, and you might even find a free spot to park on Fifth St, right next to the restaurant. We lucked out and got a space in the parking lot right across from the front door.

          We had a 1) a combo plate that consisted of two eggs any way and 4 strips of bacon, plus two largish pancakes (buckwheat in our case); 2) housemade corned beef hash with two poached eggs and fried potatoes. Both were quite good, certainly for a kitchen in its second day. From this first visit, Cafe M would seem to compare well with Bette's. It doesn't have Bette's cloistered diner vibe, but the food was fine and the airy ambiance was relaxing.

          Service was friendly and attentive.

          Bill for these two dishes plus cafe latte and tea (both Peets) was $26.

          2 Replies
          1. re: santoku45
            rworange Feb 26, 2008 11:53 AM

            link

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            Cafe M
            1799 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

            1. re: santoku45
              c
              chemchef Feb 26, 2008 01:38 PM

              My husband and I ate almost the exact same thing at Bette's this morning and it set us back $38!

              If the food's good, Cafe M will be a great alternative.

            2. h
              hibiscuits Feb 26, 2008 10:18 AM

              What is the menu like? Is it sandwich/salad fare? It would be nice to have an addition to the 4th Street food scene that sells lunch that isn't exorbitantly priced like the Pasta Shop ($8 for a sandwich!).

              1. Xiao Yang Feb 26, 2008 07:00 AM

                Sugar Bowl was at 1799 Fourth.

                Everthnig you always wanted to know about Cafe M (including the floor plan) can be found in the document linked here:

                http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=13542

                The owner is also co-owner (with his brother) of Doyle Street Cafe in Emeryville, which supposedly has great breakfasts.

                http://doylestreetcafe.com/

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                Sugar Bowl Bakery
                1799 4th St, F Berkeley, CA

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