El Farolito is one of the Mission's most beloved dive taquerias. The lighting is alright, the decor is bargain-basement, but the burritos are huge and the filling is a delicious, slow-cooked Carne Asada, tender chicken, spicy pork, or veggies and guacamole. You will also find tacos and enchiladas. It is a popular place with locals and people looking for a quick meal, especially late at night when most other spots have closed down. The service is quick and efficient. Only cash accepted.
Located in the heart of the chic Rockridge area, Wood Tavern is arguably one of Oakland's favorite restaurants. Saying that they have pretty good dishes is a vast understatement. The menu changes frequently but might include dishes like seared duck breast, steaks and freshly made pastas. While the restaurant tends to crowd up, especially during peak hours, an airy breeze (when weather permits) and a friendly staff help to cultivate a casual atmosphere. Equipped with a full cocktail menu and over 70 wines, you can even stop in just for an after-work drink and leave satisfied.
Yoshi's is not just a place where you can catch mind-blowing jazz, but also a sushi bar with an excellent food. Eager music lovers pack the restaurant and the Jazz House on performance nights. It showcases the best talent and boasts of high tech acoustics in the Bay area. A full cocktail menu is available with items like sushi, appetizers, salads and desserts. The attire is causal and the atmosphere jazzed up. It has a top-notch restaurant that serves Japanese food, and is open for lunch and dinner.
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.
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.
For decades, this large coffeehouse on the corner of Ashby and College has been a veritable institution in Berkeley, like the University itself. A place for students to study over excellent espresso, and artists and writers to create while munching on a croissant. The floor is Tuscan tiled, the ceiling vaulted. Order at the coffee counter and seat yourself at a table, at the small circular bar, or at one of a handful of tables outside with the view of the College/Ashby foot traffic. Try the large, stuffed calzones filled with cheese, meat, veggies and fresh sauce.
If you love wine, then Hotel Biron is a place you should visit. The cozy, sophisticated interior houses a selection of wines that would please the pickiest of palates, and the friendly, humble staff can help budding wine connoisseurs find the perfect glass. An exquisite selection of international cheeses enhance the flavor experience, while the paintings on the walls by the artist of the month help those on a first date break the ice.
The Blue Bottle Coffee Company at Linden Street is less cafe and more kiosk, but that shouldn't in any way deter anyone craving a steaming hot cuppa from visiting. The tiny ten-by-ten stand offers customers authentic, organic blends that are sure to send true connoisseurs to true caffeine heaven—be sure to try Freeman's Three African's Blend, or then the Yemen Sana'ani espresso. Sip on a piping hot coffee and watch the world go by at this friendly place.
A neighborhood restaurant and bar, Souvla specializes in Greek-style sandwiches and wraps. The little spot features a host of photographs and pictures mounted on the walls, lending it a chic yet friendly feel. Grilled Greek-style sandwiches are the main attraction here, and it comes in variations of chicken, pork, lamb and veg. Accompany your hearty wrap with a side of Greek Fries, Zeos MAK Lager and finish with a signature frozen yogurt like the Cretan Wildflower Honey. You won't leave disappointed.
Soft lighting, wood paneling and tastefully chosen bits of Thai art set the scene for upscale Thai cuisine that is exceptionally delicious. This cozy spot specializes in seafood, grilled with an expert blend of aromatic spices, deep-fried in a light, slightly sweet batter that has a hint of chili, and slow-simmered in a clay pot filled to the brim with fish, shellfish and fresh Asian vegetables. Gracious service is a hallmark here for well-heeled diners who fill the linen-covered tables. The wine list includes mostly California vintages. Asian beers are also available.
Wicked Grounds is a cafe, art gallery, event venue, meeting place and store all rolled in to one kinky package. This quirky little cafe first opened its doors in 2009 and has since come to be much loved by the city's kink community. Provocative artwork adorns the walls while the naughty games found at each table provide ample entertainment while you sip one of their delicious beverages. While all are always welcome to step inside and explore, you must be at least 18 years of age to enter. The cafe hosts a variety of events including game nights, book signings and weekly chair massages. Kinky toys, books and other merchandise can be purchased here as well. A great place to meet up with fellow-kinksters, the cafe offers a selection of coffees, teas, milkshakes and other beverages that have been procured from local suppliers like the Best American Coffee roasters and Double Rainbow ice-cream.
Enjoy Basil's creative approach to Thai cuisine in an attractive, tranquil, contemporary setting. Pad Thai, Gai-Kra-Prow and other traditional dishes are offered, as well as Basil originals like Basil's Panstickers and Fire Calamari, and seasonal specials. The presentations are striking and the service is pleasant. No surprise then that it has been quite popular ever since it opened, so dinner reservations are recommended.