Now that I’ve graduated, I thought it would be apt for me to do a round up of my favourite eats in Berkeley with links to older posts referencing these places! Since I’m limiting myself to just the city of Berkeley, some of the listed places aren’t totally great but they’re my go-to places when a particular craving strikes due to their accessibility/cost.
Great China: One of the fancier Chinese restaurants in Berkeley. Expect old Asian families and higher price tags for regular entrees (in terms of taste they beat other Chinese restaurants in the city). Great lunch specials and definitely the place to go if you like walnut shrimps.
Happy Valley: Yangzhou Fried Rice – pretty much the only thing I get here.
Kirala: Supposed to be one of best Japanese restaurants in East Bay. There are two branches – one on Southside and another on Northside, which is more like a takeout place. In terms of value for money, I like the buy one get one deal for purchases above USD 10 from the branch on Northside (see posts here and here).
CU Sushi: The only restaurant I’d go to when I’m craving Japanese and don’t want to wander too far from campus or burn a hole in my wallet.
Berkeley Thai Temple: Hands down the best Thai food in the city. Rich yellow chicken curry, beef noodle soup, mango sticky rice – have them all for your Sunday brunch like I did here and here.
Bangkok: A fan of their duck fried rice and pineapple fried rice, as well as their lunch specials. Like most other Thai restaurants in Berkeley, they stay open pretty late which is great for late night hunger pangs if you’re in Northside. The alternative on Southside is –
Thai Basil: The mention of Thai Basil would automatically conjure up images of Pad Thai in the minds of Berkeley students.
Cheeseboard: Who knew vegetarian pizza could taste so good?! I always want a slice whenever I walk past this place. Flavours change everyday so just like Ici’s, it can be a huge hit or simply okay (as in above average but not overwhelmingly awesome).
Sliver: Similar to Cheeseboard but closer to campus. Somehow I enjoy Cheeseboard slices more…
Zachary’s: The place to go if you’re into Chicago deep dish pizza!
Mount Everest: I don’t eat Indian food very often but this is my go-to place for Indian curries and momos such as these.
El Burro Picante: Cheap tacos!
La Burrita; I went through a phase when I was constantly craving their quesadillas, with sour cream and guacamole please. One of the places that remain open till quite late too.
Cancun: Best nachos in town but with a pretty hefty price tag.
Razan’s Organic Cafe: This was the place where I discovered how much I love falafel, tahini and hummus. I like their Jordanian wrap and their hot sauces. See here.
Generally I prefer heading over to Oakland for Korean food on Friday nights or weekends but here are some in Berkeley that I go to
Spoon: Probably the best Korean restaurant in Berkeley itself but unfortunately is not too convenient to get to without a car (see here). Then that leaves me with –
Kimchi Garden: For days when I feel like I need soft tofu soup (soondubu) right then and there, I walk over to Asian Ghetto.
Cafe M: There is NOTHING that I do not like at this place. Love their benedicts, omelets, french toast, fresh pressed juice, etc.
Bette’s Oceanview Diner: I generally find their dishes too buttery for my liking but their fluffy souffle pancakes are definitely one of a kind.
La Note: Probably the best place for brunch in downtown Berkeley. Lots of girls love this place and the decor probably has something to do with it too.
Crepevine: I like the variety of food. They have benedicts, omelets, sandwiches, pasta, salads and of course, crepes. They have some interesting fusion savoury crepes and I really like their Santorini crepe for dessert.
Almare: Absolutely in love with their gelato. I can never have enough of their pistachio, but other favourites include almond with caramelized fig, tiramisu and straciatella
Ici’s: Well made ice cream which attracts long lines on Friday to Sunday nights. Flavour changes daily so sometimes their flavours can be a real hit or just okay, but never a miss.
Masse’s: Just go and eat their cakes. More here.
Sheng Kee: For days when I’m craving Asian bread and buns, and when I only feel like spending a couple bucks for lunch.
I can’t judge for the quality of tapioca pearls since I don’t order them so these are just based on regular milk tea flavours (yes, I am that boring)
Sharetea, Purplekow: Depending on where I am on campus.
Asha Tea House: A pretty hip place with minimalist design. I liked their matcha latte a lot at one point.
Quickly: When I don’t want to spend more than three bucks on milk tea.
I don’t usually drink coffee, but when I do it’s got to be at –
Philz Coffee: I love Philz, especially their Mocha Tesora and Iced Mint Mojito.
Pretty sure I am missing out some cuisines and other good eats but I think this should be comprehensive enough 🙂