Modeled after traditional dim sum service, State Bird Provisions lets patrons use the sense of smell and sight to choose their dishes, with cuisine brought in on a trolly for viewing. Each item is creative and innovative, with dishes like sweet corn and chive pancakes, kimchi pork belly with tofu and duck liver mousse with almond biscuit. The space is rather small, yet cozy with an open concept kitchen, and friendly staff.
While the mythical and much-hyped liqueur after which this establishment is named is not served here, many equally potent concoctions are. Specialty drinks, such as the Perfect Pear and the Ginger Rogers, seem to contain pure alcohol, and even a standard margarita packs an unbelievable wallop. If you're looking for something to help mitigate the effects of a strong drink, then ditch the regular bar peanuts for Absinthe's bar snacks. This bar offers bread with a smooth fig spread, croque monsieur and more. The menu changes daily, but any antipasto platter of cured meats is sure to please, as will the particularly rich duck confit. You can enjoy your meal in the main room or at a cafe-style table on the sidewalk, but if you're looking for a quieter spot, book a table in the private dining room.
Blue Bottle Coffee takes its name from the first coffee house ever opened in Central Europe: The Blue Bottle. Like its name, the company practices old world coffee-making; you won't find any grande soy pumpkin spice lattes at this establishment, which prides itself on brewing coffee for people who actually want to taste their freshly roasted coffee. The establishment has now been operating for over ten years and has several cafes on the west coast. This Oakland shop on Webster Street was opened in 2009 in a beautiful brick warehouse that was build in 1923. Coffee-lovers can stop into the bright and cheerful space to indulge in some freshly pulled espressi or brewed coffee and snack on the gourmet pastries also on offer.
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.
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.
All Star Cafe is a lively and friendly little cafe, located at the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness Street. Apart from fresh coffee and a host of other beverages, the cafe also offers diners a selection of donuts, pastries, hot sandwiches, salads and teriyaki dishes. Although their most poplar dishes are the BLT and Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, all their food is fresh, delicious and generously proportioned. Perfect for a quick donut on your way to work, or a hearty meal to satisfy raging apatites, All Star Cafe is popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
Named after the owner's mother whose recipes have inspired the menu, Hazel serves a fusion of traditional Southern food with inspirations taken from Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana. The interiors are also inspired by the owner's childhood home. Golden accents dominate the 70s-themed space featuring a lot of TVs, pool tables, a mural of Hazel and beautiful artwork. The menu is dotted with comfort food such as Tater Tot Nachos and Hazel's Fried Chicken, with the bar serving over 200 different whiskey options, craft cocktails, and beers.
Set in a cozy place, Kaya is a perfect stop for those looking to indulge themselves in some hearty Caribbean delicacies. The modern decor of the place boasts of hanging lights, Caribbean artwork on the walls, wooden floors and light colored walls. Specializing in serving sumptuous Jamaican delicacies, one can opt for dishes like Salt Fish Fritters, Piri Piri Chicken or Oxtail Stew here. All the dishes served here are made to order and are cooked using the finest of fresh, local ingredients. After you have feasted on the tasty delicacies, don’t forget to complement your meal with a glass of Montego Slang, a cocktail made using blended rum, mango, cilantro and cheery heerings. You can also watch old Caribbean movies that are projected on the walls of the restaurant as you enjoy your meal. If you are willing to treat yourself to some authentic Caribbean flavors, head to no place other than Kaya.
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.
As the name suggests, the 20th Century Cafe is inspired by vintage themes and old movies. The desserts and interiors made here reflect the founder Michelle Polzine's travels to Vienna, Budapest and Prague; which she considers as her inspiration. The sacher torte, honey cake and babka are popular European-inspired desserts that are served here.
In the same Art Deco building that houses the Twitter headquarters, this Californian staple is spread over an area of 500 square feet (152.4 square meters). The Blue Bottle Coffee house serves steaming cups of their drip coffees and potent espressos to yuppies in and around the bustling Market Square area. Along with a host of coffees, there is also a lovely breakfast menu of pastries and other quick-grab bites. Enjoy one of their special brews in the amply-spaced courtyard and kick-start your day.