Last updated: 2018.03.29


Food rating:★★=OK★★=Very good★★★★=Excellent

Cost: $ = $10, $$ = $20, $$$ = $30...

  • Artisan Takeout
    • Grégoire (http://gregoirerestaurant.com/ [★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2109 Cedar St, Berkeley, CA 94709 [Map] (Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto)
      • Directions:  15 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • They call themselves a “high-end artisan takeout” on their webpage.  I really love their fried potato balls.  Remember, it is a takeout (no dine-in).  Customers sometimes sit on the sidewalk outside during lunch.


  • Bánh mì (Vietnamese sub)
    • Cam Huong Cafe (http://www.camhuong.com/)  [★★★★, 0.5$]
      • Address: 920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94606 [Map]  (Oakland Chinatown)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from 12th St. / Oakland BART station
      • Excellent take-out Vietnamese sub for <$5.


  • Beer
    • The Trappist (http://www.thetrappist.com/[★★★★$]
      • Address: 460 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607 [Map] (Old Oakland)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from 12th St. / Oakland BART station
      • 25 rotating taps, ~100 bottled craft brews
    • See also Jupiter under Pizza, or Triple Rock under Hamburgers.


  • Bubble tea 
    • Purple Kow [★★★, 0.5$]
      • Address: 2164 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94707 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  Across the street from the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) in downtown Berkeley
      • Alan’s kids (bubble tea connoisseur) think this is the best in Berkeley


  • Burgers
    • See Hamburgers below.


  • Burmese
    • Royal Rangoon (http://www.royalrangoon.com/) [★★★$$]
      • Address: 2826 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  15 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate 
      • Burmese cuisine is catching fire in the SF Bay Area (not sure why).  Here is a good one in Berkeley.


  • Californian
    • Chez Panisse (http://www.chezpanisse.com) [★★★★★$$$$$]
      • Address: 1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709 [Map] (Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto)
      • Directions:  15 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • Chez Panisse’s owner/founder Alice Waters is identified with the “Good Food Movement” in the 1970s.  This restaurant is so central to the food culture in that era that there is an extensive exhibit on it (and the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto) at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  Advanced reservation is a must.
    • Gather (https://www.gatherrestaurant.com/[★★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address: 2200 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: < 5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • On their website: `Since 2009, Gather in Berkeley has showcased truly organic, "head to tail" and “root to shoot” food, craft cocktails and local wines that reflect the bounty of Northern California.’  Reservation recommended.
    • Nico’s 1508 (http://nicos1508.net/ [★★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address: 1508 Walnut St, Ste B, Berkeley, CA 94709 [Map] (Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto)
      • Directions: 15 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • A cosy restaurant with a bar area at the front.  Very fresh ingredients; one of my local favorites.


  • Canadian
    • Smoke’s Poutinerie (http://smokespoutinerieberkeley.com/) [★★★$]
      • Address: 2518 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate 
      • Only if you have never tried the Canadian poutine (fries and cheese curds, topped with brown gravy).



  • Chinese
    • Great China (https://www.greatchinaberkeley.com/) [★★★$-$$$]
      • Address: 2190 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • Try the Peking duck!  Reservation is recommended.
    • Shandong (http://sd.222.to/) [★★★★★$]
      • Address: 328 10th St #101, Oakland, CA 94607 [Map] (Oakland Chinatown)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from 12th St. / Oakland BART station
      • Alan’s favorite is the hand-cut noodle in soup; a lot of customers like their dumplings (à la the style from Shan Dong province).   Regularly voted by locals as the best Chinese restaurant in Oakland.  Queue can be long during lunch and dinner time.
    • See also Dumpling Express under Xiaolongbao below.


  • Coffee
    • SoDoI (https://www.sodoicoffee.com/) [★★★★★, < 0.5$]
      • Address: 2438 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate.  Hard to find; here is the description from the company’s website: "We’re in the alleyway next to Unit 3, right across from Cheese N’ Stuff. The entrance to the alleyway is between Plentea and Moe’s Flowers." 
      • Really good pour-over coffee drip.  Their dark roast “My Dream, My Coffee” is wicked good. ~$3/cup, $17-20/lb. of beans.


  • Curry
    • Muracci’s (http://www.muraccis.com/berkeley/ [★★★★★$]
      • Address: 2428 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate.  
      • “Sort-of” Japanese-style curry.  Not as sweet as typical Japanese-style curry, and you can always order “hot.”  The ramen/udon in curry soup bowls are good.  Katsu (think German schnitzel) is great.


  • Dim Sum
    • City View Restaurant (http://cityviewdimsum.com/) [★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111 [Map] (SF Chinatown)
      • Directions:  10 min. walk from Montgomery BART station
      • Good selection of dim sum (which is served only during lunch time).


  • Ethiopian
    • Finfine (http://www.finfine.com/) [★★★★$$]
      • Address: 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  10 min. walk from UC Berkeley's Sather Gate.
      • Utensil-free!  Reservation recommended for parties of 6 or more.


  • French (bistro)
    • La Note (http://www.lanoterestaurant.com/) [★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2377 Shuttuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • Excellent breakfast, brunch, and lunch.  Open for dinner only on Th to Sa.
    • Maison Bleue Berkeley (https://maisonbleuecafe.com/) [★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2020 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704  [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • Excellent breakfast, brunch, and lunch.  Their omelettes are runny (the French way).


  • German
    • Gaumenkitzel (http://www.gaumenkitzel.net/[★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address: 2121 San Pablo Ave.Berkeley, CA 94702 [Map] (Poet’s Corner)
      • Directions:  Take 51B bus from downtown Berkeley towards Berkeley Amtrak, get off at San Pablo Ave and walk 1.5 block south.
      • My German friends like it, but I thought the food is just a OK.


  • Hamburgers (+pub)
    • Triple Rock (http://www.triplerock.com/) [★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 1920 Shuttuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • They call themselves “America’s Original Brewpub” on the front page of their website.  Yes, their burgers are really good.


  • Hong Kong Style Cafe (Cha Chaang Tang)
    • Shooting Star Cafe (http://www.shootingstarcafeoakland.com/) [★★★, <$]
      • Address: 1022 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607 [Map] (Oakland Chinatown)
      • Directions:  5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • Open late (really late).  The menu has a few pages of Chinese/Hong-Kong style dessert.  Try "HK-style milk tea" if you are curious why "Hong Kongers consume 900 million glasses/cups a year” (according to Wikipedia).


  • Hot Pot 
    • Tasty Pot (https://www.tastypotusa.com/[★★★★$$]
      • Address: 2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: 2 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • Taiwanese-style hot pot; a perfect dinner if it is cold outside.   Check out their intro video here.
    • See also Zabu Zabu under Shabu-shabu below for Japanese hot pot


  • Ice cream 
    • Almare Gelato Italiano (http://www.almaregelato.com/[★★★★★$]
      • Address: 2170 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: Right next to the Downtown Berkeley BART station.
      • Heavenly!  No need to say more.
    • Uji Time Dessert (http://ujitimedessert.com [★★★★★, <0.5$]
      • Address: 2575 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  <10 min. walk from UC Berkeley's Sather Gate.
      • Green tea or sesame soft ice cream: heavenly.  Try their Taiyaki (with ice cream, of course)


  • Indian 
    • Taste of the Himalayas (http://www.tasteofthehimalayas.com/) [★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 1700 Shuttuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  10 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • Check whether there are discount coupons on Groupon first!


  • Italian
    • Trattoria La Siciliana (http://www.trattorialasiciliana.com/[★★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address: 2993 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705 [Map]  (Elmwood)
      • Directions: Take bus 51B from downtown Berkeley towards Rockridge BART station; get off at College Ave & Ashby Ave; walk one minute south.
      • Traditional Sicilian style, from food to payment method.  Cash only.
    • Pasta Bene (https://www.pastabenebk.com/[★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2565 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map]  (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions: < 10 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Gather Gate
      • For their low price, it is not bad.


  • Izakaya/Japanese (see also Nigiri Sushi, Robata, and Shabu Shabu below)
    • B-Dama (https://www.zagat.com/r/b-dama-oakland1) [★★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 907 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607 [Map] (Old Oakland)
      • Directions:  < 10 min. walk from 12th St. / Oakland BART station 
      • This is one of the food stalls at Swan’s Marketplace (a food court).  While you are there already, you may as well go to the Trappist for a beer (see Beer) or Shooting Star Cafe for dessert (see Hong Kong Style Cafe) afterwards.
    • Ippuku (www.ippukuberkeley.com[★★★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address2130 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: < 2 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • Alan’s favorite.  Excellent Japanese small plates.  A great place to spend a night with your friends.  Check out their Japanese sake and whisky lists — some of those on the lists cannot be easily purchased in the US.  Reservation is a must.


  • Japanese
    • See Izakaya, Nigiri, Ramen, Robata, Shabu-shabu, and Yakitori.


  • Korean
    • Kimchi Garden (https://www.kimchigarden.net/) [★★★$]
      • Address: 2517 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  3 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate. 
      • Hole in the wall (front entrance is recessed from the sidewalk), student hangout….My personal favorites are the Korean rice cake in soup and the soft tofu soup.
    • Pyeong Chang Tofu House (http://pyeongchangtofu.com/) [★★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 4701 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609 [Map] (Temescal)
      • Directions: Take Bus #6 from downtown Berkeley towards downtown Oakland; get off at 50th St. and walk south for 3 min.
      • Authentic Korean restaurant (i.e. frequented by Korean customers).  My favorite is their spicy hot tofu soup.  One of the best in Oakland.


  • Louisiana
    • Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen (http://angelineskitchen.com/) [★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2261 Shuttuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  2 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station 
      • Great Cajun / Creole cuisine from the south.  Save room for the beignets!  Don’t be surprised by the long line outside.


  • Mexican
    • Cancun Sabor Mexicano  (http://sabor.two22.co/cancun[★★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2134 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: < ~3 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.
      • Salsa, Salsa, Salsa!  It’s a takeout and not a takeout (there are tables inside).  A fast-food establishment but only fresh ingredients are used; portions are pretty large too.  
    • Comal  (http://www.comalberkeley.com/[★★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address: 2020 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: < ~5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.
      • On the expensive side for Mexican, but it’s a vibrant scene inside (especially when you have to sit at the bar to wait for your table).  I like the guacamole there. 


  • Nigiri Sushi
    • Kirala-2 (takeout) (https://www.kiralatakeout.com/[★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 1511 Shattuck Ave, Suite D, Berkeley, CA 94709 [Map] (Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto)
      • Directions: ~10 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.
      • Enter through the glass door.  Pre-made sushi and bento boxes are OK, nothing spectacular.  Depending on the time of the day, you can get hours-old or day-old items (box with orange stickers) for free if you spend over $10.  
    • Uzen (https://www.yelp.com/biz/uzen-japanese-cuisine-oakland[★★★★★$$-$$$]
      • Address: 5415 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618 [Map] (Lower Rockridge)
      • Directions: 51B bus from Shattuck/Center in downtown Berkeley to Rockridge BART station.  Walk ~5 min. from there.
      • Alan’s personal favorite.  Japanese sushi chefs/owners.  You should only order their excellent nigiri sushi here; YMMV on cooked food.


  • Oysters
    • Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto (http://mccormickandschmicks.com/Locations/berkeley-california/FourthSt/menus.aspx) [★★★$$$]
      • Address: 1919 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710 [Map] (Berkeley Fourth Street)
      • Directions: Take 51B bus from downtown Berkeley towards Berkeley Amtrak, get off at 4th St & University, then walk ~1 minute north.
      • The restaurant was designated as a Berkeley landmark, then it was bought out by the McCormick & Schmick’s chain.  This is listed here primarily for its rich history.


  • Phở (Vietnamese noodle)
    • Pho K&K  [★★★★$]
      • Address: 2533 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions:  < 10 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate.
      • Phở is good (4 stars); YMMV on everything else.


  • Pizza
    • The Cheeseboard Collective (http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/) [★★★★★$]
      • Address: 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto)
      • Directions:  < 10 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station
      • From their website: "Our pizzas never have meat and are topped with organic and local ingredients whenever possible.”  The post their weekly pizza menu on their website.  There is always a long line outside, whether takeout or dine-in.  Don’t forget to stop by the cheese counter. 
    • Jupiter (http://www.jupiterbeer.com/[★★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions:  Directly above the Downtown Berkeley BART station (next to the Target store)
      • Pizza and beer.  Pizzas are freshly baked; my personal favorite is their Triton (although it has nothing to do with tritium, you should wash it down with more beer).  Check out the outdoor seating at the back when the weather is good.
    • Zachary’s Chicago Pizza (http://zacharys.com/)[★★★★$$]
      • Address: 1853 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707 [Map] (Solano Ave.)
      • Directions: Take bus # 7, 18 or 79 from downtown Berkeley
      • Chicago deep dish pizza!


  • Poutine
    • See Canadian above.



  • Ramen
    • Ippudo (http://ippudo-us.com/store/ [★★★$$]
      • Address: 2015 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: 3 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.
      • A Japanese chain that has been expanded into the US.  Expensive for a relative small bowl of ramen.  When the restaurant was first opened in 2017, customers waited for hours to get in.  There is still the occasional line.  I don’t understand what the appeal was, as their food is just above average.
    • Seasons of Japan (http://www.sojapanberkeley.com/)  [★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2122 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: Right at downtown Berkeley, a few stores away from Wells Fargo at Shattuck & Center
      • The ramen is not bad; YMMV on other dishes.  Service can be slow at times.


  • Robata
    • Musashi (http://www.musashiofberkeley.com/[★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2126 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: 10 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.
      • A good selection of skewers.  You would never know that there are so many chicken parts that can be skewered and grilled until you have seen their menu.  Other cooked Japanese food are mostly good.
    • See also Ippuku under Izakaya above.


  • Shabu-shabu
    • Zabu Zabu (http://www.zabu-zabu.com/[★★★★, $$]
      • Address: 1919 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94704 [Map] (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: ~5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.  It’s a little hidden.
      • All-you-can-eat shabu-shabu (Japanese hotpot with vegetable and sliced beef), or you can order individual ingredients.  Be patient, you will find the restaurant eventually.
    • See also Hot Pot above.


  • Sushi
    • See Nigiri Sushi above.


  • Thai


  • Udon
    • See Musashi under Robata.


  • Vegetarian/Vegan
    • The Butcher’s Son (http://www.thebutchersveganson.com/) [★★★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 1941 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704. (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: ~5 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station.  
      • This place is really not for carnivore, even though their photos seem to suggest otherwise.  Sandwiches are great.
    • Saturn Cafe (http://berkeley.saturncafe.com/ [★★★$-$$]
      • Address: 2175 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94794. (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: ~3 min. walk from Downtown Berkeley BART station. 
      • Milk Shake! (plus vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes).


  • Wurst
    • Top Dog (http://www.topdoghotdogs.com/[★★★, 0.5$]
      • Address: 2534 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions: < 5 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate
      • Berkeley classic.
    • Top Dog (http://www.topdoghotdogs.com/[★★★0.5$]
      • Address: 2160 Center, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Downtown Berkeley)
      • Directions: Across the street from the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) in downtown Berkeley
      • Berkeley classic.


  • Xiaolongbao (Chinese dumpling)
    • Dumpling Express (https://www.facebook.com/DumplingExpressBerkeley/[★★★$]
      • Address: 2328 Bowditch St, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Berkeley Telegraph Ave)
      • Directions: < 5 min. walk from UC Berkeley’s Sather Gate
      • There are also bao (steamed buns), rice plates and other cooked dishes at this restaurant.  Give the xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings) a try (~$6+tax for 6 pcs).  Very limited seating inside (good for solo), and a few tables outside on the sidewalk (if the weather is nice).  Takeout preferred.


  • Yakitori/Japanese
    • See Robata above.


  • Zabaglione
    • Please let me know if you find a restaurant that serves good zabaglione.


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