A world renowned name in the culinary industry, Chez Panisse is known for their innovations in tastes and flavors.Started by Alice Walkers in 1971, it was named after the movie character Honore Panisse. Prepared with fresh, local produce, the restaurant is a spectacular specimen of fine dining. The menu changes daily and is curated keeping the seasonality of ingredients. Through the week, delicacies like Striped bass carpaccio with cardoons and Titone olio nuovo and Huckleberry and Meyer lemon ice creams meringata are served, to name a few. The wine list is extensive, featuring dozens of wines from across the world. With contributions like California style pizza to the ever changing culinary world, the Chez Panisse is no less than a legend.
The name's a bit misleading. Not only is there no ocean view, but this is not your ordinary diner. Though it has streamlined aluminum and black-and-white tile, and the fare is inspired by diner cuisine, the ingredients are the freshest available and the dishes are prepared with care and imagination. At breakfast, the cooks do wonderful things with the humble buttermilk pancake, and the scrambled eggs and tortilla chips are memorable, as well. At lunch, it is sandwiches and plate specials, which often feature a fresh fish filet. The to-go counter next door offers sandwiches and pizza slices.
Sometimes you want a Louisiana link that sends your tongue on a one-way trip to New Orleans, or a decent kosher frank. That is what the owner wanted when he opened up this small stand: a taste of New York's famous ethnic sausages from its German, Italian and Polish neighborhoods. And they ship bulk orders around the world, too! Not surprisingly, this joint is a hit with local students grabbing a quick bite between classes or a satisfying break during a late-night study session. Place your order at the front and hang out while waiting for your link. Lemon Chicken, Kielbasa and the turkey "Bird Dog" are among the several appetizing selections.
Welcome to a cafe that is synonymous with Berkeley itself. Located directly across the street from the University, and open late, this is the perfect place to study, relax, rev up or just congregate. There is a large front patio outside, making this the perfect spot for sipping delicious coffee drinks al fresco. There is no telling how many famous novels, poems and quantum mechanic theories have been formulated, hammered out and perfected right here. Find a strong and inexpensive assortment of coffee and espresso drinks. There are pastries, including muffins, scones, croissants and the ubiquitous macaroons.
Rustic and romantic, Freehouse is a haunt for the beer lover in you. The interior of this beer garden is made to look like a cozy living room; it is furnished with intimate seating spaces and the fireplace keeps patrons warm on colder evenings. Yellow lights and timber-clad walls give this place an old-school look. The outdoor seating in the spacious courtyard lets larger groups dine under the bright California sun. At Freehouse, the menu is ever changing but classics like Beer Poached Mussels, the house salad and Chicken Pot Pie never go out of style. Limited but potent cocktails are on offer along with beers sourced from eminent breweries.
This place has been serving up traditional pub fare, a few gourmet treats and lots of smiles in this congenial "publick" house atmosphere since 1981. If you are looking for a quick meal, want to catch a game on the television in the corner, or are just looking for a spirited good time, it is here. Sit at one of the tall tables or at the huge wood bar. The high ceilings and tall windows keep this place from falling into the dark, smoky sports bar category. Find dozens of beers on tap and a full bar. The menu features old standards like nachos and cheesy potato skins as well as the huge Henry's Burger.
Plearn has been a Berkeley favorite for Thai food for over 20 years. In addition to their regular dine in, take out and delivery options, they also feature a "happy hour" with special deals. Sample delicious dishes like Chicken Satay, Pad Thai, Thai iced tea and more.
Udupi is a small town in southern India famous for entrepreuners who have opened several restaurants around India. Now it's Berkeley's turn! Udupi Palace serves all the dishes expected from a typical 'Udupi Hotel' which is basically South Indian vegetarian cuisine. Try the Dosai which is like thin pancake made from fermented rice batter. For a complete meal, order the Thali which has rice, vegetables, lentil soups like Sambhar and Rasam as well as Chapathis. Make sure you have enough room left for Payasam, vermicelli cooked in flavored milk.
This all-vegan delicatessen greets you with its humble setting comprising brick-exposed walls and a warmth-inducing ambiance. The Butcher's Son is a distinctive deli in the sense that it mimics an array of meats and other animal products to serve up some of the most delicious vegan dishes; think dairy-free cheeses and meatballs without any meat. This ironic 'vegan butcher's shop' is part of the rapidly growing vegan cult, where you can savor vegan cheeses generously packed in deli-style sandwiches, with a select few salads for company. Desserts like cupcakes, tarts, pies and appetizing carrot cakes line their elaborate cold case, and vegan chocolate croissants make for an ideal breakfast. Their paradoxical menu lists dishes comprising meat-based ingredients, while the actual serving is an all-vegan affair, containing near-perfect meat replacements. End your meal with a pretty Cannoli or a Turnover containing delectable pie filling. They also have a specially curated kids' menu, all sandwiches of which are served with a side of pickle and chips. The Butcher's Son is an ideal place for brunch and lunch, and their sumptuous, deli-style fare can be ordered online as well.
Comal attracts young and stylish patrons who come to enjoy the tangy Mexican food, cocktails and vibrant atmosphere. The restaurant interiors are stylish with a wood-decked ceiling, walls and flooring. It also boasts a magnificent patio and garden for al fresco dining and offers a separate room for family gatherings. The focus is on recipes from the coastal region of Oaxaca, a Mexican state, and liquors derived from agave such as Mezcal, Tequila, Bacanora and Sotol. Typical menu items include fresh picked Dungeness crab, chicken-chile verde soup and constantly changing quesadillas. Try cocktails such as the Jack Satan with hibiscus extracts, and flights like Valle de Tequila Lowland Flight and Mezcal de Alipus Flight, which combine various Mexican liquors.
Make sure you stop by at Spats the next time you're in Berkeley. Whoopi Goldberg and Robbin Williams have done so when they've been in town. There's plenty of food to choose from - fish tacos, fried rice, sandwiches. It is however most popular for its burgers. And don't forget to enjoy the meal with a glass of wine or one of the yummy cocktails.
No visit to Berkeley is complete without checking out its local culinary style, and what better place than Revival Bar & Kitchen to do the same? Dig into its various carefully prepared dishes and experience each flavor seep into the conscience as one is caught up in a tangle of finger-licking delight. Savor delightful cocktails like the Revival Sazerac and Gin Blossom that are fruity and potent.