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Is anything nice open for lunch anymore in Berkeley or Oakland?

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I'm trying to find a nice place to have lunch in Berkeley or Oakland and I just checked Corso and Camino and neither has lunch anymore

Well, Trueburger is open, but I was hoping for something nicer. Ozumo and Pican maybe. Anywhere else nice-ish? I think maybe Ozumo would do if there isn't much else. I've heard very mixed things about Barlata.

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Ozumo
2251 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

Barlata
4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Pican Restaurant
2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Trueburger
146 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

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  1. Chez Panisse Cafe is always a winner. Cesar on Piedmont; Bocanova at Jack London Square [surprisingly good for the size of the place, and outdoor seating]; Sidebar on Grand Avenue...also, Gather in Berkeley.

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    Chez Panisse
    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

    Jack London Square
    70 Washington St # 207, Oakland, CA

    Bocanova
    55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

    1. Luka's
      B
      Bocanova
      Caffe Verbena
      Flora
      Chez Panisse Cafe
      Cafe Rouge

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      Caffe Verbena
      1111 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

      Bocanova
      55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Cesar got bad for a while, maybe it's okay again. I heard really bad things about Bocanova, perhaps unfounded. Is Sidebar nice enough?

        Luka's is not nice enough. Verbena and B i haven't been to--I will look at those.

        Thank you.

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        Bocanova
        55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

        1. re: unionpig

          I enjoyed a very nice meal at bocanova. I don't know what you heard, but 'really bad' would be slander.

      2. Also:

        BayWolf
        Five
        Great China
        Henry's
        La Note (nice patio if the weather's fine)
        Oliveto
        Revival (former Downtown)
        Sea Salt
        SR24
        Venus
        Wood Tavern (awesome pastrami sandwich served only at lunch)

        I don't think Camino has ever had weekday lunch, only weekend brunch.

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        Sea Salt
        2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

        Wood Tavern
        6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

        Great China Restaurant
        2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

        Oliveto Cafe
        5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

        SR24
        5179 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        4 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Five and Wood Tavern would be perfect if we hadn't just gone there. That is exactly what I am looking for, except not. La Note and Venus maybe not nice enough.

          I'm leaning toward Verbena since, oddly, none of us have ever been there.

          What's Revival like? I thought Downtown was meh.

          1. re: unionpig

            I've only been to Revival for dinner, but I thought it was good. There's no eationship with Downtown, it's just in the same place. It shares part ownership and an exec chef with Venus, but the food and atmosphere are more refined.

            1. re: unionpig

              Revival's decor is pretty different from Downtown's, feels more elegant. You could go there dressed up and not feel overdressed.

              Same goes for Flora and Picán. I don' t know about lunch but Picán had the best-dressed crowd I've seen in the East Bay.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                A friend described Pican in Oakland as "The bourbon drinks are fun. Men in felt hats and women who want men in felt hats."

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                Pican Restaurant
                2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

          2. Other good options are Bellanico and Dopo.

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            Dopo
            4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

            Bellanico
            4238 Park Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602

            1. I like Levende East.

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              Levende East
              827 Washington St., Oakland, CA 94607

              1. Sidebar is good for lunch. Does "nice" mean everyone is dressed up, or just not a hole in the wall?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Cindy

                  I'm not sure but maybe "nice" means slightly more expensive. I like Venus and La Note but they are not what I'm looking for, as opposed to Five and Wood Tavern, where people do dress casually, but they are more expensive...

                  Maybe Revival would work.

                2. While not as "nice" as other places mentioned, Cafe 15 is worth a go just for the food. And if Trueburger is on the list, then Rico's Diner should be too. Might as well mention Lake Chalet as well...the space is really nice...the food not so much.

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                  Rico's Diner
                  400 15th Street, Oakland, CA

                  Cafe 15
                  597 15th St, Oakland, CA 94612

                  Trueburger
                  146 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ML8000

                    You beat me to it ML8000.

                    I was about to pipe in with both Rico's and Cafe 15. I wanted to like Trueburger but to me it seems like a slower version of In and Out with better fries.

                    I had lunch at Bocanova this week and it was fantastic. That's a place I'm predisposed not to like but both times I've gone the food has blown me away.

                    TRex is reliably good at lunch.

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                    Cafe 15
                    597 15th St, Oakland, CA 94612

                    Bocanova
                    55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

                    Trueburger
                    146 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

                  2. I haven't been there in a long while, but Bucci used to be perfect for lunch -- with possible outdoor seating great pizza, salad and drinks.

                    ps- I too have had 2 great dinners at Bocanova -- but it's not a place for a quick meal.

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                    Bucci's
                    6121 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: escargot3

                      +1 for bucci. A perfectly fine Nice Lunch.

                    2. Since you mentioned Truebruger, go for a blast from the past with a view of Lake Merritt:: The Terrace Room at the Lake Merritt Hotel. I've enjoyed their burgers, fries, and special lemonade.

                      Restaurant.com eve offers discount coupon for them (edited to dinner only & excludes alcohol; oh well)

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                      The Terrace Room at the Lake Merritt Hotel
                      1800 Madison St., Oakland, CA 94612

                      1. How about Flora? It just got a slightly mixed review, but it sounds upscale enough for you.

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                        Flora
                        1900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: nicedragonboy

                          Yeah, Flora would be good, except that I have heard mixed things about it, too. Now I'm leaning toward Revival, because it occurred to me that there's probably a reason I've never eaten at Verbena.

                          Anyone else been to Revival?

                          1. re: nicedragonboy

                            Totally slipped my mind, but Oliveto still opens for lunch too.

                            -----
                            Oliveto Cafe
                            5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                          2. A real sleeper is Nizza la Bella, now open for lunch/brunch from Wed-Sun, and the prices are amazing. And why hasn't anyone mentioned Riva Cucina? And for old timers there's always Britt-Marie's, Bistro Liaison, Venezia, 900 Grayson, Le Bateau Ivre, Fonda, and Jimmy Bean's (and a zillion neighborhood "ethnic restaurants"). Oh, there's also Cafe Madrid in DT Oakland (WONDERFUL sandwiches).

                            And, I'm sorry, but Bay Wolf's luncheon menu is a very slight shadow of its former self and frankly BW is no longer worth a "lunch visit"—though I really really hate to disparage a wonderful restaurant that's doing all it can to maintain service hours and survive in these tough economic times.

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

                            Cafe Madrid
                            2001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

                            Britt-Marie's
                            1369 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                            Riva Cucina
                            800 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710

                            Bay Wolf Restaurant
                            3853 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                            Bistro Liaison
                            1849 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709

                            Le Bateau Ivre Restaurant
                            2629 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA

                            Jimmy Bean's
                            1290 6th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dlglidden

                              I agree with Nizza la Bella as being a lunch sleeper - I hope it succeeds. (It may not be nice enough for what you're looking for). Is Fonda open for lunch still/again? Sea Salt has been one my more "regular" business lunch places (once every few months). I've only been to Bocanova for din and snacks - dishes ranged from bleh to quite tasty. I don't consider 900 Grayson or Jimmy Beans as "nice" and the 900 Grayson service was such that I haven't been back in a long time. I haven't been to Verbena in ages but have had decent lunches there. Too bad about Corso. That was a good lunch spot.

                              1. re: lmnopm

                                Nizza la Bella not nice enough???

                                If a genuine European bistro atmosphere with great food isn't nice enough, then I suppose you may be right.

                                We just got back from a month in Barcelona and southern France and consider Nizza la Bella to be considerably better than most places we ate over there. Their Salade Anchoiade is outstanding, as is their wood fired pizza. We couldn't find such excellent Nissarde cuisine in Nice itself! Now if only they served pissaladiere!

                            2. HIbiscus is also open for lunch. There's also Cafe Rouge on 4th St and Garibaldi in Rockridge.

                              -----
                              Cafe Rouge
                              1782 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

                              Garibaldi's
                              5356 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                              Hibiscus
                              1745 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lucymom

                                Thanks for this lucymom. Last time I checked Hibiscus wasn't doing lunch, but now I see they are - Wednesday through Friday.

                                From the website:

                                HOURS
                                Wed-Mon: 5:30-10pm (11pm on Fri-Sat)
                                Open for lunch Wed-Fri: 11-2:30pm