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.
Amongst the endless number of Italian restaurants, the Luna Ristorante certainly stands apart. The chef/owner Abdel Redouane ensures that every dish is made with only the freshest ingredients and produce. Everything from the pasta to the sumptuous soups is made from scratch with no room for packets or frozen stuff. You can choose from the different traditional Italian varieties such as paninis, pastas, raviolis and so forth. Be it a simple salad or an elaborate preparation, the quality and taste is never compromised, making Luna Ristorante a popular Italian dining establishment in town.
You're sure to fall in love with this place if you are a party animal. Vinnie's comes alive at night with DJs spinning the latest tracks. It's better to reach the bar early and reserve your seats as the place starts getting crowded later. Enjoy a wide variety of well concocted cocktails with chicken wings and Thai sauce. Every night the bar has a different theme like karaoke, salsa dancing and blues night. There are dartboards and pool tables to try your hands at while sipping your drink. The bar opens daily at 11a.
The Agave Grill offers its guests a chance to sample delicious Mexican and Spanish cuisine in a elegant setting. The kitchen whips up a variety of scrumptious Latin delights including green enchiladas, stuffed peppers, paella, tacos, carne asada and flavorful fajitas. Every dish is fresh, flavorful and beautifully presented with pops of color and a generous helping of Latin flair. As the day comes to an end and night begins to dawn, the restaurant transforms into a lively nightclub that draws in swarms of happy revelers. Restaurant and nightclub rolled into one, Agave is a great place to stop by for a meal and stay on for a night of dance, music and fun.