The Comprehensive Berkeley Food Guide (Off the Top of My Head)

Hello freshmen. Welcome. So you’ve heard of all the awesome food places Berkeley has to offer. Maybe you’ve seen some of my posts the past semester. Or maybe you’ve heard of “must-visit” places from RAs or upperclassmen.

Well, this guide is perfect for you! (And anyone else interested in food, for that matter). The restaurants and eateries and taquerias and dessert places listed below are just some of the places I’ve tried at Cal the past year as a freshman.

You’ll see that some of them are underlined. These link to previous Food Spotlights that I’ve done on that restaurant. [Edit: I’ll add these links after my basketball sesh] I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, and touch up on a variety of food. Start-a.

The Asian Ghetto is the first place a Cal student will tell you to check out for good food. There’s Gypsy’s, which serves delicious Italian food. Thai Basil is one of my personal favorites – I usually get the Pad Thai medium spicy with Thai iced tea. Bear Ramen has excellent Kim Chi Fried Rice. Most people prefer it with spam, but I like chicken.

Then there’s Steve’s Korean BBQ, which isn’t considered “authentic,” but is still very filling and tasty. Pancho’s is a taqueria with excellent fajita burritos, and who can forget the famous King Pin Donuts and its dozen donut holes?

The Asian Ghetto also contains two boba places – Quickly’s and Sweetheart Cafe. I prefer the taste of Quickly’s, but Sweetheart’s has table and chairs, so you can chill there with your friends late at night.

Close to the ghetto is Lotus House, which serves the best Chinese food south side of campus. I.B.’s Hoagies has huge Philly cheese steak sandwiches. And you can’t forget about Top Dog (a late-night and Berkeley favorite), right next to La Burrita (get the carne asada burrito).

Okay, now on to the non-Asian Ghetto places, since it gets to be the same old after a while. How about College Avenue? Take the 51B south down College, and suddenly, a whole new world of food opens up to students. Tasty sushi that won’t break the bank at Manpuku’s. A good intro to Mediterranean food at La Med.

There’s also the famous Ici, an ice cream place that serves freshly-made ice cream in flavors such as Dulce de Leche and Walnut Candied Walnut. The crepe cones with the chocolate nougat at the bottom are to die for.

Further down College is Barney’s, which serves gourmet burgers. Don’t forget about Gordo, a well-known taqueria that serves burritos arguably better than Chipotle’s.

Shattuck Avenue also has some good eats. There’s The Original, a retro-themed diner. There’s also Burgermeister, which offers tasty and unique burgers. Saigon Express is good for satisfying pho fixes. Brazil Cafe’s tri-tip sandwich is one of Berkeley’s best-kept secrets.

The north side of Shattuck is known as the Gourmet Ghetto. The Cheeseboard is famous for its thin-crust, uniquely topped pizzas and live jazz and blues bands. Crepevine serves wonderful savory and sweet crepes. There’s Guerilla Cafe for your coffee needs, and Masse’s Pastries for salivating macaroons.

And finally, there’s Telegraph Avenue, home of Thai Noodle II, Blondie’s Pizza, Crepes-A-Go-Go, and Cafe Intermezzo (huge servings of salads plus fresh sandwiches). Oh, and there’s Milanese Caffe and Pasta Bene, two wonderful, slightly better versions of  Gypsy’s.

Okay, I’ve exhausted my brain thinking up these places, but there are tons more places that I didn’t get to cover. Hope you guys found this guide useful, and make sure to “like” this post (click on the Facebook button below). It’s another new feature from WordPress. 😉

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