Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 9, 2014 07:32 PM

Berkeley Eat/Study/Seduction Spot

Hi, there's a cute girl that I'm going to study with somewhere. I want to pick a restaurant on the pre-text of studying but use it as an opportunity to show my worth as a suitor.

Cost doesn't matter because I want to impress her. The scenario needs to look believable. The place should be quiet and allow for some seclusion.

Place needs to be in East Bay preferably Berkeley, but will settle for Oakland, ect.

Ideally breakfast food.

Please help me get cute girl. She's so cute.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi -
    Are you a Cal student? I've always liked Cafe Strada to read at or study - but if you're a student it might be too familiar and unexciting since it's almost on the Cal campus. BUT - it has a very relaxed vibe and some beautiful outdoor seating to sit down at and watch the world go by. There isn't too much food, however. It's mostly coffee and small finger foods.
    If you need breakfast food, most of my favorite spots in Berkeley tend to be pretty crowded in the morning, unfortunately. But I would recommend Bette's on 4th street - Nice casual atmosphere on an upscale retail street. Try to get there before 9am to beat the crowds that show up every day at 10. If you get there around 10 you'll have an hour wait.
    Other breakfast favorites near Berkeley are -
    Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. Great southern fried chicken, waffles, pancakes. Also crowded on almost all mornings if you show up after 9:30am. But it's got amazing food.
    Aunt Mary's Cafe on Telegraph in Temescal part of Oakland is AMAZING. Hearty southern style food as well. They always have an interesting menu. They also get busy after 9:30am.
    Hope this helps - Good luck w/ your babe!

    4 Replies
    1. re: robbgibbs

      I should also mention 900 Grayson -
      Another favorite in Emeryville - still pretty close to Berkeley. They have a great backyard seating area, and great food - but also tend to get pretty busy around lunch and breakfast.

      1. re: robbgibbs

        Hi robb, thanks for reply.

        I live in Berkeley but I'm not a Cal student - I'm past college age. The person is none native English speaker, so I'm teaching them English and they are teaching me Mandarin. Hence why a bit of quiet is needed.

        It seems the popular places are likely not good study places. I guess this makes sense.

        1. re: Mastove

          I would recommend Cafe Strada then, I think. You won't feel any rush to get out of there because lots of people just hang out there and study in their outdoor seating. Again, the food is just simple cake slices and cookies, but I think you'll have a bit of a tough time finding a spot in Berkeley w/ great breakfast that isn't packed to the gils. The only other spots that comes to mind w/ good breakfast that might be a bit more low-key are Jimmy Bean's on Gilman. However, I believe that they, too, get pretty busy on weekends. The other is Meal Ticket on San Pablo, right near Berkeley. They might be a LITTLE bit quieter, but potentially busy as well.
          Sorry I'm not more help - maybe somebody else on here will know a breakfast gem that hasn't been discovered yet and is still flying under the radar - good luck to you!

          1. re: Mastove

            > I'm teaching them English and they are ...
            > Hence why a bit of quiet is needed.
            now this why came as a surprise to I

            how about Jodie's? :-)

        2. Don't forget to mention Cafe Strada's part in solving Fermat's Last Theorem.
          "Also, quite charmingly, one of the major turning points in the book is a conversation at Cafe Strada in which someone exclaims, “But don’t you see? You’ve done it! All you have to do is add some gamma-zero of (M) structure and just run through your argument and it works. It gives you everything you need.”
          Possibly Fèi ěr mǎ dà dìnglǐ

          1. Whoa, breakfast! Slow down slugger, in the Seinfeld ranking, dinner is a promotion over lunch and one can only assume breakfast would put you in the CEO's chair. Just kidding, of course. I assume your lessons are morning? Also are you looking for a meal or a small bite; a place to go regularly or a one-time idea?

            All due respect to the Strada suggestion --I go there often myself-- I would not choose that place for your purposes. The baked goods are ok, but hardly a place to impress her (or anyone). Plus it is too distracting due to the constant traffic.

            Maybe Elmwood Cafe on College and Russell? A bit pretentious, but isn't that really what seduction is all about? The only issue is that it can be hard to find a table.

            Maybe Strada would be more "believable" than Elmwood Cafe, but maybe not, since I do not know what that means.

            5 Replies
            1. re: MagicMarkR

              I would have to agree with you, MagicMarkR - Elmwood Cafe is a pretty great suggestion. Not too fancy either.
              And I know exactly what you mean by Strada being, "believable", haha. I think that's what I was going for, but you are, again, correct - sounds like Mastove needs to impress here!!
              Also just remembered Rick & Ann's - Which might be a good option because it's a bit fancier than the others I suggested. Can be a bit busy, but I think crowds there have seemed a bit light lately. Worst case scenario - put your name on the list for a table and then start practicing the English while you wait!

              1. re: robbgibbs

                Right -Strada for the second "date" perhaps? I thought about R&A's which prompted my question about if he's looking for a full meal. Local 123 suggested by Milklady is good as well.

                1. re: robbgibbs

                  Rick & Ann's seems good. I'm also within walking distance of there. The prices look more expensive there so perhaps that's a better option. I can make an excellent argument that this place was within walking distance of my house.

                2. re: MagicMarkR

                  Hi Mark, yes I'd like to be pretentious but at the same time I can't make it look like a pure date. If I take her to chez penez she'll catch on. So I need to suspend her in a state that's between a date and studying. I live within walking distance of Elmwood so maybe this is good, there's outdoor seating there also. If I do this route I'll try taking her on a walk on the pretext of pronouncing shop names in English.

                  1. re: Mastove

                    I completely understand --the "believability" point. The fact that it is near to where one of you live is also a plus. She'd also "catch on" --gotta hate it when that happens-- if you take her to a place too far away. Another benefit of Elmwood is that food/drinks can take so long that you'll get to spend more time with her and show her your patient side by not getting angry about having to wait 20 minutes for a cappuccino!

                3. I think the Elmwood Café idea is a great one. I would also consider Local 123 on San Pablo at University.