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Downtown Berkeley for teens -- a step up from Mel's in quality, if not price

The last two times my son and his sort-of-girlfriend went to Mel's because it's next to the movie theater. My son is a conservative eater, not too interested in food, but even he can tell that Mel's isn't good. So he's asked me for alternatives. Probably not Asian. I thought of Cancun. Maybe Au Coquelet, only I've just had coffee there so I'm not sure about the food. Would teens be welcome at Jupiter, or is it too bar-like? It might be too pricey, anyhow. Any suggestions of places not too far afield would be appreciated. A nice atmosphere where they could talk would be a plus.

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Au Coquelet Cafe Restaurant
2000 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

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  1. I think Cancun would be great. Au Coquelet is a few blocks away from the theater. A new Burgermeister opened up across the street from the theater. I haven't tried it, but it looks like a straightforward place that could work for teens. I think Jupiter is okay if they get a table outside, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm sure they'll like the food.

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    Au Coquelet Cafe Restaurant
    2000 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

    2 Replies
    1. re: milklady

      I"m remembering now that it might not work to eat at Jupiter, at least not late in the evening. I recall being carded at the door when I was in college.

      1. re: milklady

        I've definitely been carded at Jupiter, but I think that they only card after a certain time. The pizzas and salads are good, and one is big enough to share.

    2. In addition to Burgermeister, Amanda's also has good burgers. Turkish Kitchen, on the other side of University, for less mainstream cuisine. All three places are order-at-the-counter, which might not be what they want.

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      Turkish Kitchen
      1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

      Amanda's Restaurant (Feel Good Fresh Food)
      2122 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: ernie in berkeley

        I realized later that Turkish Kitchen does have full table service.

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        Turkish Kitchen
        1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

        1. re: wolfe

          That looks interesting. I'm guessing it's too messy for a date, but I might check it out.

        2. All the places mentioned already would work to varying degrees. Au Coquelet is similar to Mel's (diner food) but better and it doesn't get run over by high school kids...from what I can tell. Probably the best place to talk.

          Cancun is probably the best combo of quality, tastiness and price. Burgermiester and Amanda's are both good, quality ingredients but fast food-ish with order at the counter service (If I recall). Jupiter is basically pizza and brew...very difficult to talk unless outside but that can be a scene.

          There's also Bobby G's Pizza. Nice enough place to sit down...gets a little busy/crowded.

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          Au Coquelet Cafe Restaurant
          2000 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

            1. re: nicedragonboy

              Brazil Cafe indoors on Shattuck and outdoors, way cooler, in the Mike's Bike parking lot on University.

            2. My sister's been wanting to try this place called Sumo Grub on Milvia (2235 between Kittredge and Bancroft) -- your son's review can be the 1st here ;)

              8 Replies
              1. re: kc72

                Sumo Grub, “Heart Attack”. Deep Fried Pineapple/Coconut Ice Cream, Deep Fried Oreo Cookies, Deep Fried Twinkies, Deep Fried Ding-Dongs were all arranged together and covered with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
                http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_geE35Bikloo...

                1. re: wolfe

                  Haha.. there's other stuff on the menu scan from Yelp ;)

                  1. re: kc72

                    I was distracted by the Heart Attack.
                    http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/6fsltF...
                    Tempura cheese pizza?

                  2. re: wolfe

                    I was thinking of trying Sumo Grub myself. I hear it's from the son of the owners of Berkeley Thai House.

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                    Berkeley Thai House
                    2511 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

                  3. re: kc72

                    That's the former Doggie High.

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                    Doggie High
                    2235 Milvia St, Berkeley, CA 94704

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      That's right. There was a piece about Sumo Grub in the East Bay Express. I sent in the deets to the Chow.com team to add to the Restaurants & Bars database just yesterday, along with a lot of other new openings.

                    2. re: kc72

                      Holy crap...if that isn't stoner food in Berkeley...I have no idea what is.

                    3. Thanks for all the ideas. I'm putting together a list for him. I'd never heard of some of these places.

                      1. Triple Rock's burgers are good, better than they used to be.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Ditto on Triple Rock's burgers -- much better .. to the point of being pretty damn great.

                          1. Cancun was a good choice, he said. He also has Burgermeister, Amanda's, Au Coquelet and Bobby G's on his list for future dates, should they occur.

                            1. Another movie (different girl) and dinner at Burgermeister. The verdict: good food, very good milkshakes, pretty expensive. He had the hot dog, she had the burger. They shared the curly fries that came with the burger and shared a chocolate milkshake. Will probably go back, at least for the shakes. Better than Mel's.