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Berkeley campus

Looking for someplace in the Berkeley campus area to grab a quick bite, pre-Zellerbach. Not as big of a deal as dinner @The Musical Offering (which I like) and not the Zellerbach second-floor food offerings (also nice).

I have the idea of grabbing a good salad or tasty sandwich or something else quick, someplace where I can sit down, and then heading over to Yogurt Park for a mini-vanilla-with-almonds for dessert.

I've tried to browse past posts--not coming up w/ much when I type in "Berkeley campus"

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  1. Sliver, Gather, Ippuku, Le Petit Cheval, anywhere in the gourmet ghetto (shattuck past university towards solano). If you must do telegraph, try Gordos.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hungree


      I ate once and a long time ago @ Le Petit Cheval and I guess I have to call it unmemorable, since I don't remember it (very hazy recollection of disappointment). What do you recommend there that's good?

      And my kids adore Gordos--when they're back in town, practically the first thing they do is go to Gordo's for burritos. I'm not such a burrito gal (generally find them too heavy). What else is good?

      1. re: sundeck sue

        I would stay away from all places on the south side of campus. Le Petit Cheval is indeed unmemorable, which is great considering most of the other spots around there are memorable in a bad way.

        Stick to the Gather/Ippuku/Sliver area or Gregoire/Cheeseboard area.

        1. re: sundeck sue

          LPC is fine, in fact more than fine. You might try the vermicelli bowl with imperial rolls, the chicken curry (so good with rice), the claypot rice, the LPC combo of a shrimp skewer, fried chicken wings, imperial roll, pork skewer, red rice and vegetables. Far better than any other nearby option. Not a fan of the pho or the banh mi, but the staff is friendly, the ceilings high with lots of light and the price is right. I usually eat lunch there twice a week.

          I think the only place open on campus for dinner might be the Men's Faculty Club which is near the top of campus.

      2. Not sure what your timing is, but whenever im on campus and need a quick bite to eat, I go to Cafe Zeb located in the Law School. Can be accessed easily from Bancroft.

        1. Near Zellerbach, the falafels at Sunrise Deli are really good.

          I haven't been to Turkish Kitchen Express but the main branch on Shattuck has really good food.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Sunrise Deli is very good, but not a particularly pleasant place to sit. You could get take out for a picnic on campus, though. I like to do that.

            How's the place in the museum? I haven't heard much about it lately. And what about the place that used to be Adagio?

            1. re: Glencora

              That would be Babette Cafe. But I just checked the hours on the website and it closes at 4:30p.
              Weekly menu posted on FB

              1. re: Glencora

                Oh, no, Sunrise is not a good place if you want to sit down. I misread the post.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Forgot about Sunrise Deli. It is a beacon of hope.

                2. Brazil Cafe next to the bike shop.
                  Yali's Cafe on Oxford

                  1. You could try this new place, Build Pizzeria Roma. Supposedly they have a 1,000 degree oven.


                    Otherwise I'd go to Gather, it's close to Zellerbach.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ML8000

                      Gather is the opposite of quick.

                      If that far from Zellerbach is OK, PiQ is good.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Another problem is that the Yogurt Park for desert move severely limits the options.

                    2. If both Café Intermezzo (huge salads with a hefty chunk of delicious bread) AND Chez Panisse (the upstairs café casual and cozy for light dinners, salads, wine) had not BOTH temporarily closed down due to fire, I would be recommending them both- may these beloved Berkeley institutions return surely and swiftly!

                      However, even with such being the case, I would still highly recommend one of my personal favorites- the Cheese Board + the Cheese Board Pizzeria on Shattuck directly across from Ches Panisse.

                      The pizzeria used to run out of pizza and close early years ago, and you would be considered really fortunate if you were able to grab a slice before they ran out AND also catch the occasional lunch time live jazz performance- but now they have extended their hours to dinner, bake more pizza, and have live performances for lunch and dinner both everyday (closed Monday+Sunday). Wow- so now everyone can partake in the beloved Cheese Board pizza experience almost everyday!

                      It may not be a mind blowing piece of pizza, but it will be good whatever is the slice of the day, and you will definitely have a great time- grab a slice, grab a limited table, listen to the live jazz band, then wander through the Berkeley campus’ eucalyptus grove path on your way back to Zellerbach to see the show, then post-show go to Yogurt Park. That would be my idea for a casual cool evening’s night out.

                      Ahhh… the food memories. You’ll surely have good food, great fun, and a fantastic time!


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: globalgastronomist

                        Sliver is pretty much just as good and closer.

                      2. Freehouse has a good burger, but it's not quick.

                        1. Are you driving or taking BART? If you are taking BART,
                          I'd check out Slow. It's on University by Milvia. They have great sandwiches and sides during the day and change their menu in the evening.


                          1. Decent and quick with Yogurt Park located on the way to

                            Nann & Curry
                            Thai Noodle II
                            Smart Alec's for sanwich or salad (only okay)

                            All three are geared toward students, but the food is better than most in the immediate area.

                            1. Thanks for everyone's advice!

                              I got a felafel @ Sunrise Deli--not good taste, texture, separate parts, how the whole thing came together--the Bay Area isn't felafel-central--but compared to some of the better ones around (Holy Land, eg.), this one was thumbs down.

                              Should have headed to Oxford-Shattuck. Or grabbed some rolls from what looked to be a new Chinese bakery, Sheng Kee Bakery, on Telegraph just south of Bancroft, on the east side of the street, that was crowded w/ enthusiastic-looking Cal kids.

                              My vanilla-with-roasted-almonds mini-cup of frozen yogurt @ Yogurt Park was the perfect mix, as always, though!

                              As was Arlo Guthrie @ Zellerbach! :)

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: sundeck sue

                                I haven't been in a while (since they started their food truck operation) but I've always thought that Sunrise Deli has good falafel balls, but all other aspects are subpar. Especially the pitas, which are worse (and no effort in warming/other prep) than those I get from Grocery Outlet. The three places that were open briefly that had worse falafel, but much, much better accoutrements in the salad-bar style have all closed (Chick-O-Pea's, Maoz Falafel, and Fa La La).
                                When I do get falafel near campus I usually go to Oasis on Center. It is a wrap in lavash, fillings are good, but nothing special, and the falafel are pretty good--I like the added sesame.

                                1. re: ...tm...

                                  These falafel balls themselves were tasteless--the only thing I was getting from them was texture; and even that was lacking any crunch. Go figure. I noticed another falafel place on Durant, between Telegraph and Bowditch, on the south side of the street--wondered if that would have been better. Also meant to add above as an eg. of good falafel in the area, the Liba truck (along w/ Holy Land).

                                  1. re: sundeck sue

                                    My favorite falafel in the area is from Oasis Grill on Center. However, in the interest of full disclosure I have only had them there straight from the fryer.

                                    1. re: sundeck sue

                                      Sounds like you got a bad batch. Sunrise at that location is always super crunchy---I've had it 10+ times in the last few months. Also, should have asked for hot sauce to up the flavor :). I would only get the falafel plate at sunrise, too, not the actual falafel sandwich which I agree is not great (mainly due to a weak pita).

                                      Next time stay away from places geared towards undergrads and check out shattuck/university area. Or just get top dog.

                                  2. re: sundeck sue

                                    Sorry for the bum steer. Chowhound often gets stuck in ruts, especially for non "top end" recommendations like your very reasonable request for a light meal. Not the most reliable question for CH --- one of the reasons I didn't respond, my information near campus is very old.

                                    There's a lot near campus that's never mentioned here, because of such turnover. If I was you, I might have tried the Sunnyside (my sister didn't like Gather). I like the Solano Gordo myself, but the trick is the standard burrito, which stays skinnier and light-ER.

                                    But Yelp is showing a LOT of places I've never seen before --- how are the Bahn Mi at Saigon Eats? How about Planet Kabob? Julie's Cafe? I thought I had a plausible sandwich at Cafe Milano.

                                    1. re: bbulkow

                                      planet kabob was very good when it opened. walked by a few times afterwards, mostly empty. last time, empty of furnishings too.

                                    2. re: sundeck sue

                                      Sorry I steered you wrong. Sunrise has made the best falafels I've had around here. Everything else was below average but they did that one thing right.

                                      1. re: sundeck sue

                                        You should have gone to Alice's Restaurant :)