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lunch & dinner in berkeley with kids/indoors

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Just visiting Berkeley for a short trip and need good breakfast, lunch & dinner recs, please. We are two young couples w/ 3 well behaved kids (7,8, and 14yrs.). We'd love quintessential Berkeley....with indoor seating............

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  1. Price range? And, could you elaborate on your definition of quintessential? Berkeley is just such a diverse place food-wise (for example, I'd say the Brazil Cafe shack in the Ace Hardware parking lot and Chez Panisse Cafe - both at complete opposites of the spectrum - are both "quintessential Berkeley") it might be easier to make a recommendation if we had a better idea of what types on cuisines you prefer. thanks :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: adrienne156

      Thanks Adrienne. To me, quintessential Berkeley is seasonal, organic (not a necessity, but a plus),. We'd like to stay under $30pp for dinner and $20pp for breakfast and lunch. Not fans of Thai or Indian..but are open to everything else. Love the Chez Panisse Cafe idea, are they okay with bring the kiddies? Any other not- to- miss places?

      1. re: candee

        I'm sure Chez Panisse Cafe would be fine with kids, it isn't terribly formal.

        I'm a fan of the Krikorian's restaurants - Fonda, Sea Salt, T-Rex, and Lalime's not so much - and had a great brunch at Fonda just the other day. They're weekend special is your choice of a brunch "entree", coffee, and a pastry for $9 which is a fantastic price for their quality of food. There were many families there with children of various ages. If you were to go at night, children wouldn't necessarily be a problem as the noise level can get quite loud, but it is more geared toward their extensive drink menu and small plates and not as seasonal as you can find. That being said, your 14-year-old would probably find it fun.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602150
        (Please ignore the random banter at the bottom
        )http://www.fondasolana.com/BrunchMenu...

        Other ideas: Eccolo, Pizzaiolo (although this is technically in Oakland, it's just a short drive), fun side-walk bench lunch if it's a nice day and a couple doors down from Pizzaiolo - Bakesale Bettie's, I've been getting a lot of rec's for Riva Cucina lately although have no clue if they are kid friendly.

        1. re: adrienne156

          Here are the links:

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          Pizzaiolo
          5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          Bakesale Betty
          5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          T-Rex Barbeque
          1300 10th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

          Sea Salt
          2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

          Chez Panisse
          1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

          Eccolo
          1820 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

          Fonda
          1501 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94707

          Riva Cucina
          800 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710

    2. Pizzaiolo in Oakland on Telegraph, great pizzas, kids and adults love it, great seasonal cooking. Make a reservation or go when they open at 5:30. Chez Panisse Cafe would be great, and is fine with kids, just make a reservation, especially for the size of your party. 900 Grayson (at 7th and Grayson) for breakfast or lunch, great food for kids and adults. T-Rex Barbeque, a very Berkeley take on a barbeque restaurant, great for sharing and for large parties. Sea Salt on San Pablo in Berkeley, great fish and seafood, good for lunch or dinner, really good sandwiches. La Note on Shattuck for breakfast (or lunch, but I've never been for lunch) great pancakes in a frenchy kind of way. Tacubuya on 4th Street to try an upscale version of a tacqueria, open for breakfast and lunch.

      1. Picante. Nothing fancy, but definitely quintessential Berkeley.

        4 Replies
        1. re: laurenlyle

          T-Rex is quite popular with families/kids. Food is high quality meats BBQ (and decent, but not exceptional, taste). The Fonda brunch is great - and kids eat free (I don't recall the restrictions on that).

          1. re: laurenlyle

            You guys are awesome!! Thanks for all of the comments and LOVE the links. So far 900 Grayson (that Grayson burger w/ the white cheddar and bacon & homemade BBQ sauce is calling my name, loudly), Picante, La Note, and Chez Panisse have made the agenda.
            Can anybody tell me about the Cheeseboard Collective? I can't tell what it is exactly, other than a place I need to go to.....

            1. re: candee

              You should stop by the Cheeseboard if for no other reason then to browse and pick up a few items. It's about as Berkeley as it gets. Pizza, breads and cheese, spreads, etc. Basically a shop, no dining, no indoor or outdoor seating. It's across the street from Chez Panisse so it's a convenient stop.

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              The Cheese Board Collective
              1504 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

              1. re: candee

                They offer one daily pizza (vegetarian typically). It's thin, fresh, and delicious. There's usually a long line for it and as ML8000 mentioned, there's no seating so you usually have to take it some where else.

                Also, Barney's and Zachary's are pretty "Berkeley" and great for kids (a few different locations for each, but I listed the Berkeley ones).

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                Zachary's Chicago Pizza
                1853 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

                Barney's Gourmet Hamburger
                1600 Shattuck Ave Ste 112, Berkeley, CA 94709

            2. You might also consider Saul's on Shattuck; great deli with lots to choose from and very family-friendly. And if you want a pizza place that's not too expensive and offers the option of outdoor, you might consider Jupiter on Shattuck or Lanesplitter on San Pablo. Both have great pizza, adult drinks for those who might need them and a fun casual atmosphere that most kids love.

              Have fun and do be sure to stop by the Cheeseboard; it truly doesn't get more Berkeley than this place.

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              Lanesplitter Berkeley
              2033 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

              Saul's Deli
              1475 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

              Jupiter
              2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

              1. One place that I like that I would consider missing from the list of recommendations is Tacubaya. I love their food. This is right in the heart of 4th street so you can walk around and shop as well.

                1. Oops, here's the link I meant to add.

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                  Tacubaya
                  1788 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                  1. What dates are you visiting?

                    Digs cafe has a kids night. It started as a gypsy restaurant in someone's home and they finally opened a restaurant. They have a kid's night once a week, or month or something. It is a very cozy restaurant serving local food.

                    Also, Fonda's brunch is only on weekends. So there's stuff like that. If you can give dates, it would get you better recs. Fonda does have a kid's menu ... kids under 6 eat free.

                    Cheeseboard does have some seats inside and often there is a piano player. Very much worth a stop.

                    BTW, Chez Panisse Cafe is known for being good with kids.