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Restaurant suggestions in Berkeley?

Will be in Berkeley for the first time this weekend and looking for suggestions... thanks!

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  1. À Côté (dinner only, 7 days)
    Anh Hong (lunch M-F, dinner 7 days)
    Barlata (dinner only, 7 days)
    Camino (dinner only, closed Tuesdays)
    Cesar (on Piedmont; breakfast through dinner, Tues.-Sat.)
    Chai Thai Noodles (lunch and dinner, 7 days)
    Champa Garden* (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Chef Yu's (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Chez Panisse (lunch (upstairs only) and dinner, closed Sundays)
    China Village* (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Corso (lunch and dinner, 7 days)
    Daimo (breakfast through late night, 7 days)
    Dopo (lunch and dinner, closed Sundays)
    El Huarache Azteca (breakfast through dinner, 7 days)
    Flora (lunch and dinner, closed Sundays and Mondays)
    Great China* (lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner 7 days)
    Green Papaya (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Jayakarta* (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Lanesplitter (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Mua (dinner, 7 days)
    Ohgane (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Oliveto (dinner only, 7 days)
    Pizzaiolo (dinner only, closed Sundays)
    Sea Salt (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Shanghai (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    T-Rex (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Turkish Kitchen (lunch through dinner, 7 days)
    Vik's (lunch through 6pm, closed Mondays)
    Wood Tavern (lunch through dinner Mon.-Sat., dinner only Sun.)

    *Hit-and-miss menus, be sure to read past reports so you order the good stuff.

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    Ohgane
    3915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

    Pizzaiolo
    5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

    El Huarache Azteca
    3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

    Jayakarta Restaurant
    2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

    Dopo
    4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

    Champa Garden
    2102 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606

    Sea Salt
    2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

    Chez Panisse
    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

    Wood Tavern
    6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

    Great China Restaurant
    1589 Farmers Ln, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

    Champa Restaurant
    3550 San Pablo Dam Rd Ste H, El Sobrante, CA 94803

    Turkish Kitchen
    1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

    Oliveto Cafe
    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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

    Mua
    2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

    Barlata
    4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

    Green Papaya
    137 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030

    Chef Yu
    163 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

    22 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      You left out Cheeseboard for pizza, olives and cheese. Also Berkeley Bowl for produce ogling.

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

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        To add to Robert's exhaustive lists (which actually lists Oakland restaurants as well as Berkeley), I'd add FIVE, the new Scott Howard restaurant in downtown Berkeley and La Note, the French bistro popular for brunch, also on Shattuck.

        1. re: singleguychef

          That's by no means an exhaustive list, just the places I return to frequently.

          I like La Note for lunch and brunch, particularly when the patio's open, keep meaning to try dinner.

          Venturing beyond restaurants, The Trappist is a treasure.

          The Cheese Board's one of the three or four best cheese shops in the Bay Area, one of the four best vegetarian no-choice pizza-by-the-slice places, and one of the third-rate bakeries (not bad, the competition's just brutal).

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          La Note Restaurant Provencal
          2377 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

          The Trappist
          460 8th Street, Oakland, CA

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Are there other vegetarian no choice pizza by the slice places?

            1. re: JasmineG

              Arizmendi n Emeryville. Close enough...

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              Arizmendi
              3265 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA

              Arizmendi Bakery & Pizzeria
              4301 San Pablo Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608

              1. re: JasmineG

                The three branches of Arizmendi are basically Cheese Board Pizza clones.

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                Cheese Board Pizza
                1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                Arizmendi
                3265 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                I'm curious what you think the other 2 or 3 best cheese shops in the Bay Area are.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              Okay, awesome. Which of these would you single out for a casual solo lunch diner? I am often in Berkeley at lunchtime and want to stop and get my yum on.

              I tried to hit Vik's yesterday but found parking impossible and gave up. Granted, it was peak hour and I can't walk very far right now (ah pregnancy). But if you have recommendations about the best solo spots for a no big deal meal that would be great.

              1. re: sarahlefton

                You could try the Cheeseboard for a slice. I'm sure someone will let you share a bench. Avoid the dining on the grassy plaza mid street, ground seating only.

                1. re: wolfe

                  I on the grass once just for the heck of it and that was enough. I don't know how the people that sit there can endure the exhaust fumes... Blech.

                  1. re: adrienne156

                    I don't get the median strip appeal, either. I'll just stand on the sidewalk, thanks.

                2. re: sarahlefton

                  In Berkeley for a solo diner, Sea Salt is great, as is the Berkeley location of Cesar. Wood Tavern is perfect, though it's just over the line into Oakland. Oh, and 900 Grayson is also a good spot for a solo diner at lunch.

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                  Sea Salt
                  2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

                  Wood Tavern
                  6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                  900 Grayson
                  900 Grayson St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                  1. re: sarahlefton

                    Corso. Usually meter parking nearby.

                    Good places with free parking lots: Fellini, Pomegranate, Ohgane, T-Rex.

                    Also Cafe Rouge and O Chame, though that lot sometimes gets full.

                    There's also the metered city lot on the north side of the block bounded by University, Shattuck, Berkeley Way, and Milvia. You can walk through the laundromat, Jayakarta, Cafe Tibet, Meridian, and several other restaurants are in that block.

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                    Ohgane
                    3915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

                    Jayakarta Restaurant
                    2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                    Cafe Rouge
                    1782 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                    O Chame
                    1830 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                    Cafe Tibet
                    2020 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

                    1. re: sarahlefton

                      I think you should say "which would you single out for a casual solo lunch eater *with easy parking and comfortable chairs*". That bit knocks out the cheeseboard for me. Too bad about Indus Village chairs - I had a great meal there on Tuesday.

                      Oghane would likely top my list. Especially if I was hungry.
                      900 Grayson would be high - a bit more refined.
                      China Village gets a strike because it's got too wide a menu to be fun for the solo diner - but that bothers me none, because the food comes fast.

                      That does give you a geographic spread though, from Piedmontish to Emeryvilleish to Albanyish.

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                      900 Grayson
                      900 Grayson St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                      Indus Village Restaurant
                      1920 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                      1. re: bbulkow

                        If we're talking Korean food in Oakland, then I would throw Sura into the mix. A great deal at lunch time in particular.

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                        Sura
                        4869 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                        1. re: bbulkow

                          I wouldn't say 900 Grayson's more refined than any of the other places you mention. The food's relatively sophisticated given the diner-type menu.

                          -----
                          900 Grayson
                          900 Grayson St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                      2. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Also:

                        Indus Village (Pakistani)
                        Digs Bistro (New American)
                        Cafe Colucci (Ethiopian)
                        Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen (Cajun/Southern)

                        And for non-restaurants:

                        Local 123 (coffee shop)
                        Acme Bread

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                        Acme Bread
                        1601 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                        Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen
                        2261 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                        Indus Village Restaurant
                        1920 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                        Digs Bistro
                        1453 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94702

                        Cafe Colucci
                        6427 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                        Local 123
                        2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

                        1. re: abstractpoet

                          How are the Indus chairs on a pregnant lady's back?

                          1. re: wolfe

                            You know, I was warned beforehand that these were the most uncomfortable chairs in the world, practically--spectacularly uncomfortable. But actually I find them just mildly uncomfortable.

                            But for a pregnant person, probably not so much.

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston

                          On Solano (since China Village is mentioned) is Ajanta
                          and I really like Nizza la Bella on San Pablo and Solano

                          -----
                          Ajanta Restaurant
                          1888 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

                          1. re: Missmoo

                            Note that Nizza is open for dinner only.