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Lunch in downtown Berkeley?

Going to a conference at the Brower Center. I know they have Gather, but I was wondering what else was good in the area. We eat pretty much anything, but not looking for pizza or Italian, and it doesn't have to be especially quick. Thanks!

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  1. Next door on the other side is a nice taqueria, Cancun.

    If not quick, why not Chez Panisse Cafe, probably a 15 min walk.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      I really like Cancun. High quality products, good selection of salsas, a side of nopales is always a great addition.

      and recently I had an amazingly tender plate of birria -- weekends only.

      1. re: escargot3

        Didn't know about the birria. Thanks I'll have to remember that. If it's as good as their regular stuff, should be good.

      2. Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen is always good. Also, there is a recent thread on Mandarin Garden:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/851643

        1. Ippuku, La Note, Angeline's, FIVE, Mandarin Garden, Slow, Jayakarta, Anh Hong

          2 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Robert, do you like Five for lunch? We prefer it for dinner. I had lunch there twice solo, and thought it was a little too minimalist.

            Not a fan of Angelines or Jayakarta, personally.

            1. re: jaiko

              I've never had dinner at Five, only brunch, lunch, and snacks when drinking at the bar. The Five Burger with chili, cheese, and slaw is the opposite of minimalist.

          2. Since that area has TONS of restaurants, and "good" is rather broad, I'll suggest a few more just to expand the slate of food type options. The ones mentioned by others are also good choices.

            Thai House on Channing, Triple Rock for burgers (noisy), Taiwan Restaurant (University ave), House of Curries (Durant ave very studenty-casual), Celia's (north side -Mexican).

            3 Replies
            1. re: MagicMarkR

              Triple Rock is good, the food improved a lot at some point maybe two-three years back. The chili's also good (at least the meat version).

              Celia's is a schlep from Brower Center. Cancun's good and right across the street. Casa Bernal's also nearby, anyone tried it? It always smells great when I walk by.

              Thai House and House of Curries are also a schlep, to the dingy, decrepit part of Telegraph.

              1. re: MagicMarkR

                I went to Celia's on Northside about a year ago. I wouldn't go back unless I had info on what to order. Mostly however there's lots of other options. There are a lot of fans however.

                Another option is Venus Restaurant. Nothing earth shattering but very solid, good ingredients, comfortable.

                1. re: ML8000

                  I'd certainly go to Cancun over Celia's. None of the options I suggested are more that 3-4 blocks cutting through campus, which I do not consider too much of a schlep, but some might, especially given your schedule. And anyway they are a nice stoll through campus. While House of Curries and Thai House are deep in student-central, I would not say that part of Telegraph is any dingier than downtown Berkeley --the former smells like stale beer and the latter like dirty feet.

              2. PIQ is the place to go if you want amazing pizzas, antipasti, etc. It's like some place you'd find in Italy. You can also sit outside and watch the homeless.

                http://www.piqbakery.com/#

                2 Replies
                1. re: arktos

                  PIQ is great for focaccia, panini, and the like, I didn't mention it because the original post said no Italian or pizza. I haven't seen any antipasti there. Sweets aren't on the same level.

                  http://www.piqbakery.com/#!menu/c12bi

                  Belli's also open for lunch weekdays.

                  http://belliosteria.com

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    So much for my 'reading comprehension' skills :(