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Jun 28, 2009 01:11 PM

Oak/Berk/SF lunch?

Food lovers visiting from NYC with 2 and 5yr olds. Think this area has the best food in the country, but as we are poor and disorganized (and staying with in-laws in Petaluma), have only eaten burritos and taquitos since arriving. Went to Ferry Farmer's Mkt (woah! crowded! More like Montreal's Jean-Talon than Atwater) and found good cheese.

Want to eat a good meal for lunch on the 4th of july: where should we go?

we like local fresh fish spanish french italian cal.

Thank you regulars--enjoy reading your comments.

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  1. Can't promise 4th of July but here are a few links to cheap eats.
    Or you could skip all that, pick up some food at Viks Chaat House and go down to the kid's park at the Berkeley Marina. Great for the 5 hold on to the 2.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Thank you, wolfe. I read these, etc. Hard to make a choice, even harder to make a reservation this late. But want to go to the cafe at Chez Panisse and will if we get lucky.

      1. re: CarolineS

        Caroline, there are a lot of possibilities in Oak/Berk/SF -- perhaps if you narrowed the geographic area a bit it would make decisions easier. What else are you planning to do? There will be fireworks in all three places, but after the fireworks the traffic will be jammed leaving the area. And of course, there's a looooong time between lunch at fireworks, which won't start until after nine p.m. That's a long day for little kids.

    2. Sea Salt in Berkeley will be open on the 4th. They should have the brunch menu on then. It is reasonably priced. They'll be serving $5 happy hour cocktails all day. They have a patio out back that might be nice for the kids.

      If you need to go cheaper than that, I'd be willing to bet that Chai Thai on International Blvd. will be open. Food is great and there's a TV to distract the kids.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lexdevil

        For happy hour at Sea Salt you can also get oysters cheap. We like Sea Slat quite a bit, as well as it's Lalimes family sibling, Fonda, on Solano Avenue. Fonda is a tapas place. COuld do kids, but not as easy as Sea Salt, where there is also a back patio.

        IF you'd like to try another sibling in that group, TRex is a California Cuisine take on barbecue and other Southern items. The cocktails at Fonda, Sea Salt and TRex are interesting and yummy.
        Speaking of oysters, if you go to the Thursday Farmers market in north Berkeley (2 - 7 on Shattuck at Rose St), you can get some from Hog Island Oysters. But they are in Tomales Bay, not far from Petaluma. I'm not sure what the hours are at their operation (near Marshall?) but you should call them and find outand then barbecue them in Petaluma. Hog Island does a great job with our pacific oysters.

        In Berkeley, we also like Liaison for french style. Great, friendly staff. I like anything they do with mushrooms. Their Moules are great, too. They are at Shattuck and Hearst.
        Lots of folks like Corso (by Rivoli Chef, is on Shattuck, too). Don't know how it is for kids.
        We were at "downtown" restuarant the other night and had some great fried anchovies, deep fried olives, duck confit and a cake made with almonds, orange and olive oil. Good drinks there, too.

        Regarding 4th of July - it can get a bit crowded at the Marina, and if you don't get in before they close the overpass for the freeway, you have to walk in. Bring plenty of layers in case the fog blows in on a cold wind. And be prepared to not be able to see anything in case the fog does descend.

        Oh, there is also Gregoire with food to go on Cedar just above Shattuck. Great french style food. Not cheap. very very good sauces... and the potato puffs! Oh the potato puffs!

      2. Fonda has a $9 brunch special on Saturday (until 3pm) that includes any brunch special, a house-made pastry and coffee. There are also $5 bloody mary's and other cocktails. They have a special childrens menu. There's a nice outdoor patio.

        Don't know if this is in your price range, but Eureka Restaurant in SF is having a special July 4th menu

        Gee, Petaluma is a great food town. Why are you limiting yourself to tacos and burritos? There's more to Petaluma and that area than that? Do you just want to go to Berkeley/Oak/SF or targeting those areas because you think there is no good food in your neck of the woods?

        1501 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94707

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          Mother-in-law's been cooking (blech) which means we haven't been allowed out in Petaluma. But I will save your suggestion for another visit.

          We're on our way from Nevada City to SF then back to Petaluma on the 4th--want to eat in the beautiful city, thinking now of Outlanders.

          Thank you.

        2. I think the best lunch value I've had in the past year was at Dopo. Really great food. Dunno if they're open on the 4th.

          Wood Tavern is a little more expensive, best lunch around, and I noticed a sign that they will be open on the 4th.

          Asian, Chai Thai, Chef Yu's, Green Papaya, and Champa Garden are all great and cheap.

          Della Fattoria in Petaluma is great.

          Della Fattoria
          141 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

          4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

          Champa Garden
          2102 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606

          Wood Tavern
          6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

          Green Papaya Deli
          207 International Blvd (at 2nd ave, Oakland, CA

          Chef Yu's
          3919 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          Chai Thai Noodles
          545 B International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

          4 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Thank you for this thorough list. I appreciate all of your suggestions.

            Depending on how it goes, we might try Outlanders (as long as line is not so long) before we say adieu to the Pacific.

              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                Close enough. Outerlands the current "hot" restaurant with favorable reviews in the NY times and the SF Chronicle. It a small restaurant with a lot of new friends, possibly too many.


                Outerlands Cafe
                4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122