Berkeley sits on the northern edge of Oakland across the bay from San Francisco. Despite its proximity to larger cities, there’s a lot to appreciate and enjoy without leaving Berkeley city limits. In addition to the beautiful bay views and the fantastic concerts at the open-air Hearst Theater, you can enjoy different types of cuisine from the best Berkeley restaurants. Here are a few of the top spots that you should check out while you’re in town.
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
Chez Panisse is one of the most famous restaurants in the entire East Bay. The menu often changes daily because of the ownership's commitment to using only fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. They have a cafe and a restaurant menu that you can choose from depending on which of the restaurant’s dining rooms you choose to enjoy your meal inside. They are open Tuesday through Saturday and accept reservations online. Because of the popularity of the restaurant, they experience high traffic, and reservations are highly recommended.
2200 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 9470
Like Chez Panisse, Gather prioritizes the use of fresh local ingredients in each of their dishes. You never know what new creation you’ll see available on their menu when you arrive. They also have a delightful outdoor patio on the roof of the restaurant that provides sweeping views of the surrounding hills. They boast a vast selection of West Coast wines, many of which are curated from one of the nearby wineries. Visit for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday and try their excellent brunch on weekends.
1609 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley CA 94702
Bartavelle Cafe is a local cafe that serves small plates along with wine and coffee. The cozy indoor dining room is accompanied by a large outdoor patio. You can come by to enjoy a glass of wine or a full meal. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but they are open Wednesday through Sunday. Many people will stop by for breakfast in the morning, while others will wait until later in the day to come and enjoy cheese plates and wine.
2020 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Comal serves traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist. The dining room is colorful and vibrant, with bright and festive decor. The margarita selection is excellent, and you’ll love sipping your preferred choice as you dine on their rooftop terrace. Their dining room opens daily for dinner at 5:30 pm. Reservations are recommended, but they sometimes accept walk-ins depending on availability.
5812 College Ave
Oakland, California 94618
As evidenced by their name, the Ramen Shop specializes in several different types of ramen in nearby Oakland. Their menu also includes several appetizers and small plates. Their goal is to put a creative spin on traditional Ramen dishes that produce unique and authentic flavors for the masses to enjoy. You can visit their website to make your reservation ahead of time.
Kingfish Pub & Cafe
5227 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94509
Kingfish Pub & Cafe serves fresh oysters sourced locally along with a variety of other choices from their raw bar. Entree options include grilled fish along with plenty of other seafood plates. The pub-style atmosphere is upbeat and casual, complete with a jukebox and a shuffleboard table. They’re open both weekdays and Saturdays and Sundays, and they are open late into the evening.
2132 Oxford Street
Berkeley, California 94704
Cinnaholic is a local vegan bakery that serves cinnamon rolls in several different flavors. You’ll have full control over the flavors, frostings, and toppings that are included with your roll. They offer gluten-free options as well.
2190 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Great China is well-known throughout the Berkeley area for their traditional Cantonese-style meals. They have been a local favorite for almost 40 years since Mike and Jenny Yu opened the restaurant in 1985. Although a fire in 2012 forced ownership to move to a new location, the family legacy continues in a new facility. The Peking duck is a classic choice, and the Dim Sum never fails to impress either. Great China can get crowded on the weekends, so you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time to guarantee your spot. They are closed on Tuesdays, but you can come for lunch or dinner Wednesday through Monday.
Himalayan Tandoori and Curry House
1645 Solano Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94707
Himalayan Tandoori and Curry House is a laid-back family-owned Nepalese restaurant. They serve made-to-order Indian food that primarily uses locally-sourced ingredients and take pride in providing food similar to what they would have enjoyed in their home country. The service is friendly and authentic, and you’ll get the sense that the restaurant staff truly cares about how much their customers enjoy the experience at their restaurant. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and you can visit their website ahead of time to make your reservation.
The Butcher’s Son Vegan Delicatessen & Bakery
1954 University Ave
Berkeley, CA — 94704
The Butcher’s Son is a vegan deli that serves a large selection of plant-based deli meats and sausages. They offer several other meatless dishes as well. Like many of Berkeley’s best restaurants, the Butcher’s Son puts a special emphasis on using only locally-sourced ingredients. The atmosphere in the restaurant is casual and perfect for family outings.
Once you get a chance to sample a few of these Berkeley restaurants, you may start wondering about what it could be like to live in the area. Jess Williams
has spent almost twenty years helping people like you buy and sell homes in the Berkeley area. He values authentic relationships and integrity as he helps each customer pursue their desired resorts. Reach out to Jess if you’re looking for someone who can help you navigate the market for Berkeley or East Bay real estate. He would be honored to have the opportunity to serve you.