Local Eats

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A list of regular eating places, places to try, higher end places and places to shop, many nearby our house in South Berkeley and the Ashby and other BART stations. This is a mix of favorites from Jen, Malcolm, and their friends.

Map of Standby Restaurants

Click markers for restaurant names. Maps are based on Google Maps, so normal controls apply. {{#display_map: 37.8582543,-122.2592119~Tai San; 37° 51' 10.20" N, 122° 15' 57.17" W~Los Cilantros; 37° 52' 19.50" N, 122° 16' 1.08" W~Tandoori Nite; 37° 47' 15.71" N, 122° 15' 14.27" W~Brotzeit Lokal; 37° 53' 27.39" N, 122° 17' 28.38" W~China Village; 37.8714033,-122.2775917~Townie; 37.8717531,-122.2718951~Platano; 37.8716543,-122.2724259~Cafe Tibet; 37.8782439,-122.3034187~Picante; 37.848794,-122.2743875~Easy Creole; 37.8475959,-122.2745122~Sweet Adeline Bakeshop; 37.858681,-122.2701447~Crixa Cakes; 37.7987953,-122.2740491~Gourmet Delight Seafood; 37.8374452,-122.3169958~Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant; 37.8000173,-122.2742962~Tao Yuen Pastry; 37.7982463,-122.2716072~Phnom Penh House; 37.7997177,-122.2742083~Sun Hing Meat Market; 37.799739,-122.2741526~Sun Sing Pastry; 37.8006777,-122.2720436~Shandong Restaurant; 37.8507973,-122.2629109~Cafe Colucci; 37.8754913,-122.2626266~La Val's Pizza; 37.903775,-122.2801098~Inn Kensington; 37.8367374,-122.2663897~Sacred Wheel; 37.7572986,-122.2538819~Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails; 37.7628022,-122.2465001~Scolari's Good Eats; 37.8717445,-122.2722282~Jayakarta Restaurant; 37.7652622,-122.2490077~La Penca Azul; 37.8087315,-122.2580574~Enssaro Ethiopian; 37.7981278,-122.246863~Champa Garden; 37.8353421,-122.2652895~Bowl'd; 37.8347743,-122.2654737~Burma Superstar; 37.8516619,-122.292037~Spoon; 37.8583484,-122.2555837~Elmwood Cafe; 37.8547083,-122.2684295~Smokey J's; 37.8768214,-122.2713528~Cha-Ya; 37.8021699,-122.2640951~Lake Chalet; 37.8270215,-122.2591712~Monster Pho; 37.8272977,-122.2592897~Ohgane; 37.8209359,-122.262436~Judoku Sushi; 37.8265901,-122.2551732~Geta; 37.8135913,-122.248748~Boot and Shoe Service; 37.8457752,-122.2682646~Brick Pig's House; 37.7950672,-122.2681594~Nido; 37.8653063,-122.2612773~Joshu-Ya; 37.8482619,-122.2550652~Noodle Theory; 37.8175059,-122.2919499~FuseBox; 37.8464084,-122.2538985~Ramen Shop; 37.8361797,-122.265059~Cholita Linda; 37.8366248,-122.2664468~Abesha; 37.8320279,-122.2662465~Kansai; 37.8365037,-122.2644527~Dona Tomas; 37.8365993,-122.2644022~Pizzaiolo; 37.836024,-122.2641765~Curbside Creamery; 37.8277599,-122.2667308~Beauty's Bagels; 37.7609616,-122.4240714~Craftsman and Wolves; 37.7876063,-122.4533851~b. patisserie; 37.8727453,-122.2709974~Bangkok Noodles & Thai BBQ|width=800|height=800|service=googlemaps|layers=traffic}}


Places Jen, Malcolm and friends visit regularly and are moderately priced.

BARTable/Walkable assumes no more than 1 mile walk from home or BART station. Many places not BARTable are still accessible by Public Transit, just not without transfers or buses. A Clipper Card can help immensely, since it's a universal payment method for most area transit agencies.

Delivery is also often negotiable. Services like Caviar can deliver from some restaurants that do not otherwise do delivery.

Name Type Specialties Area Yelp Google Maps BARTable/ Walkable BART Station Distance from BART Price Est. (per person) Phone Delivery to Prince St. Cash Only?
Tai San Restaurant Chinese, Cantonese Berkeley/Telegraph Ave Yelp Google Yes Ashby 0.8 mi / 1.3 km $10 (510) 841-6806 Yes (Dinner only) No
Tandoori Nite Indian, Delivery Berkeley/University Ave Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $20 (510) 848-7252 Yes No
Brotzeit Lokal Biergarten, Sausages Oakland/Embarcadero Yelp Google No $20 (510) 645-1905 No No
China Village Szechuan, Dim Sum Spicy Stuff Albany/Solano Yelp Google No $20 (510) 525-2285 No No
Townie Restaurant, Bar Berkeley/University Ave Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $20 (510) 356-4903 No No
Platano Salvadorian Berkeley/University Ave Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $20 (510) 704-0325 ? No
Cafe Tibet Himalayan, Nepalese, Vegetarian Slow but good! Berkeley/University Ave Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.3 mi / 0.5 km $20 (510) 548-5553 Yes No
Picante Mexican, Fast Berkeley/6th Street Yelp Google No $20 (510) 525-3121 No No
Easy Creole Cajun/Creole South Berkeley/Adeline Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $10 (510) 858-5063 ? No
Sweet Adeline Bakeshop Bakery, Coffee, Tea, Desserts Cheddar Scallion Scone South Berkeley/Adeline Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $10 (510) 985-7381 No No
Crixa Cakes Bakery, Coffee, Tea, Desserts (Hungarian, Russian) The Last Romantic (rich hot chocolate) South Berkeley/Adeline Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $20 (510) 548-0421 No No
Gourmet Delight Seafood Dim Sum Oakland/Chinatown Yelp Google Yes 12th Street 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $10 (510) 832-7661 (Chinese) No No
Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant Fancier Dim Sum Shanghai Dumplings Emeryville/Powell Street Marina Yelp Google No $20 (510) 655-3388 (Chinese/English) No No
Tao Yuen Pastry Dim Sum Bakery (Fancier than Sun Sing Bakery) Oakland/Chinatown Yelp Google Yes 12 Street 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $10 (510) 834-9200 (Chinese) No No
Phnom Penh House Cambodian Prahok Katis (Seasoned ground meat - SPICY - with vegetable crudite) Oakland/Chinatown Yelp Google Yes Lake Merrit 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $20 (510) 893-3825 ? No
Sun Hing Meat Market Chinese Meats and Butchery Chinese Bacon (steam and saute to cook) Oakland/Chinatown Yelp Google Yes 12th Street 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $10 (510) 836-1819 No YES
Sun Sing Pastry Dim Sum Dim Sum Egg Custard Tarts (short crust) Oakland/Chinatown Yelp Google Yes 12th Street 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $10 (510) 763-9228 No YES
Shandong Restaurant Chinese Handmade Noodles Oakland/Chinatown Yelp Google Yes 12th Street 0.3 mi / 0.5 km $20 (510) 839-2299 ? No
Cafe Colucci Ethiopian South Berkeley/Telegraph Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $20 (510) 601-7999 ? No
La Val's Pizza Pizza, Pasta, Calzone, Delivery Pizza UC Campus/Euclid Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.7 mi / 1.1 km $10 (510) 540-9333 Yes No
Inn Kensington Breakfast, Brunch, California Modern Kensington/Arlington Blvd Yelp Google No $20 (510) 527-5919 No No
Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop, Sandwiches, Soups Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.7 mi / 1.1 km $10 (510) 653-1353 No No
Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails Italian, Bars Alameda Yelp Google No $20 (510) 521-1152 No No
Scolari's Good Eats Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads Alameda Yelp Google No $20 (510) 521-2400 No No
Jayakarta Restaurant Indonesian, Singaporean Berkeley/University Ave. Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $20 (510) 841-0884 ? No
La Penca Azul Mexican Alameda/Park St. Yelp Google No $20 (510) 769-9110 No No
Enssaro Ethiopian Ethiopian Oakland/Grand Ave Yelp Google Yes 19th Street 0.9 mi / 1.4 km $20 (510) 238-9050 ? No
Champa Garden Asian Fusion, Laotian Oakland/8th Ave Yelp Google No $10 (510) 238-8819 No No
Bowl'd Korean, Barbecue Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $20 (510) 654-2000 No No
Burma Superstar Burmese Samosa Soup Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $20 (510) 652-2900 ? No
Spoon Korean South Berkeley/Ashby Ave Yelp Google No $20 (510) 704-9555 ? No
Elmwood Cafe Coffee, Tea, Breakfast, Lunch Elmwood/College Ave Yelp Google No, but close! $20 (510) 843-1300 No No
Smokey J's Barbeque (Southern) South Berkley/Shattuch Ave Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $20 (510) 529-4511 No YES
Cha-Ya Sushi, Vegetarian Vegetarian Sushi Berkeley/Gourmet Ghetto Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $20 (510) 981-1213 No YES
Lake Chalet Seafood, California Modern Good view Oakland/Lake Merritt Yelp Google Yes Lake Merritt 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $20 (510) 208-5253 No No
Monster Pho Vietnamese, Pho Oakland/Broadway Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $20 (510) 788-4459 No No
Ohgane Korean Restaurant Korean, Barbeque Oakland/Broadway Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $20 (510) 594-8300 ? No
Judoku Sushi Sushi Bar, Japanese Oakland/Broadway Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.8 mi / 1.3 km $20 (510) 645-1912 No No
Geta Sushi Bar, Japanese Oakland/Piedmont Ave Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.9 mi / 1.4 km $10 (510) 653-4643 No No
Boot and Shoe Service Italian, Pizza Oakland/Grand Lake Yelp Google No $20 (510) 763-2668 No No
Brick Pig's House Barbeque (Memphis) North Oakland/Shattuck Ave. Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $20 (510) 923-1789 No No
Nido Mexican, Farm to Table Oakland/Laney College Yelp Google Yes Lake Merritt 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $20 (510) 444-6436 No No
Joshu-Ya Brasserie Sushi, Seafood, Tapas UC Campus/Telegraph Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.8 mi / 1.3 km $20 (510) 848-5260 No No
Noodle Theory Asian Fusion, Ramen Oakland/Rockridge Yelp Google Yes Rockridge 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $20 (510) 595-6988 No No
FuseBox Korean, Asian Fusion Korean Fried Chicken Oakland/Grand Ave. Yelp Google No $20 (510) 444-3100 No No
Ramen Shop Asian Fusion, Ramen Anything with Smoked Eggs Oakland/Rockridge Yelp Google Yes Rockridge 0.1 mi / 0.2 km $20 (510) 788-6370 No No
Cholita Linda Latin American, Mexican, Food Stand Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google No $10 (510) 594-7610 No No
Abesha Ethiopian Ethiopian Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google No $20 (510) 653-8383 No No
Kansai Japanese, Sushi Late night sushi Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google No $20 (510) 658-7273 No No
Dona Tomas Mexican Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google No $20 (510) 450-0522 No No
Pizzaiolo Italian, Pizza Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google No $20 (510) 652-4888 No No
Curbside Creamery Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google No $10 (510) 250-9804 No No
Beauty's Bagel Shop Wood-fired Bagels Oakland/Temescal Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $10 (510) 788-6098 No No
Craftsman and Wolves Bakery, Cafe, Breakfast San Francisco/Delores Parrk Yelp Google Yes 16th Street 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $20 (415) 913-7713 No No
b. patisserie Fine Pastries, Bakery, Cafe San Francisco/Lower Pacific Heights Yelp Google No $20 (415) 440-1700 No No
Bangkok Noodles & Thai BBQ Thai Sliced Roast Duck Noodle Soup Berkeley/University Ave Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $10 (510) 549-1958 ? No

Map of Mid Price/Higher Quality Locations

Click markers for restaurant names. Maps are based on Google Maps, so normal controls apply. {{#display_map: 37.8528322,-122.2681144~Los Cilantros; 37.8795896,-122.2711532~Chez Panisse Cafe; 37.8203279,-122.2909855~Brown Sugar Kitchen; 37.8482877,-122.2679371~Nick's Pizza; 37.870291,-122.2692997~Ippuku; 37.8662056,-122.2694372~La Note; 37.8670873,-122.2695889~Venus; 37.8715661,-122.2708092~Comal; 37.8392378,-122.291825~Honor Bar; 37.8081575,-122.2717704~Flora; 37.8593364,-122.2688624~Kirala; 37.7750925,-122.4451813~Nopalito; 37.7616119,-122.4281464~Namu Gaji; 37.7640924,-122.4347813~Starbelly|width=800|height=800|service=googlemaps|layers=traffic}}

Mid Price/Higher Quality

This section showcases restaurants that might be a little more expensive, but showcase higher quality ingredients and, sometimes, the California Farm to Table foodways movement.

Name Type Specialties Area Yelp Google Maps BARTable/ Walkable BART Station Distance from BART Price Est. (per person) Phone Delivery to Prince St? Cash Only?
Los Cilantros Mexican, Farm-to-Table Tortilla Soup South Berkeley/Shattuck Ave Yelp Google Yes Prince St. 0.1 mi / 0.15 km $30 (510) 230-7350 No No
Chez Panisse Cafe California Modern, French, Farm-to-Table Berkeley/Gourmet Ghetto Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.7 mi / 1.1 km $45 (510) 548-5525 No No
Brown Sugar Kitchen Soul Food, Breakfast, Brunch Chicken and Waffles West Oakland Yelp Google No $30 (510) 839-7685 No No
Nick's Oakland Style Pizza Pizza, Breakfast, Brunch, Coffee, Tea, Farm-to-Table Pizza North Oakland/Shattuck Ave. Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.4 mi / 0.6 km $30 (510) 658-3903 No No
Ippuku Japanese, Robata, Bar, Farm-to-Table Chicken Ramen (Last Plate) Berkeley/Downtown Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.1 mi / 0.2 km $30 (510) 665-1969 No No
La Note Restaurant Provencal French, Breakfast, Brunch Berkeley/Downtown Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.3 mi / 0.5 km $30 (510) 843-1535 No No
Venus Restaurant California Modern, Breakfast, Brunch, Farm-to-Table Cloud 9 (espresso/chocolate) Berkeley/Downtown Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.2 mi / 0.3 km $30 (510) 540-5950 No No
Comal Mexican, Farm-to-Table Meat plates for two, Tequila cocktails Berkeley/Downtown Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.1 mi / 0.2 km $30 (510) 926-6300 No No
Honor Kitchen and Cocktails California Modern, Cocktails Emeryville/Powell St. Yelp Google No $30 (510) 653-8667 No No
Flora Restaurant and Bar California Modern, Bar Oakland/Broadway Yelp Google Yes 19th Street 0.0 mi / 0.0 km $45 (510) 286-0100 No No
Kirala Sushi, Robata, Japanese Hokkaido Squid Robata South Berkeley/Shattuck Ave. Yelp Google Yes (Prince St.) 0.5 mi / 0.8 km $30 (510) 549-3486 No No
Nopalito Farm-to-Table, Mexican San Francisco/North of Panhandle Yelp Google No $30 (415) 437-0303 No No
Namu Gaji Farm-to-Table, Korean, California Modern San Francisco/Delores Park Yelp Google Yes 16th Street 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $30 (415) 431-6268 No No
Starbelly Farm-to-Table, California Modern Plate: spaghetti, bacon, jalapeno, tomato sauce San Francisco/The Castro Yelp Google No $30 (415) 252-7500 No No

Map of Expensive/High End Locations

Click markers for restaurant names. Maps are based on Google Maps, so normal controls apply.

{{#display_map: 37.7938419,-122.2764925~Haven; 37.7981085,-122.4055895~Coi; 37.8247399,-122.2571159~Commis; 37.8911331,-122.2885047~Rivoli; 37.8795896,-122.2711532~Chez Panisse; 37.7735531,-122.4244562~Zuni Cafe; 37.7772155,-122.4229765~Nojo; 37.7748936,-122.4396831~Nopa; 38.404427,-122.3671685~French Laundry|width=800|height=800|service=googlemaps|layers=traffic}}

Expensive/High End

These are worth a special trip, but are very expensive!

Name Type Area Restaurant Group Yelp Google Maps BARTable BART Station Distance from BART Price Est. (per person) Phone Notes
Haven Farm-to-Table Oakland/Jack London Square Daniel Patterson Group Yelp Google Yes 12th Street 0.9 mi / 1.4 km $60 (510) 663-4440 One of our favorites. Prix Fixe, good service, good pairings.
Coi Farm-to-Table, High End San Franciso/North Beach Daniel Patterson Group Yelp Google Yes Embarcadero 0.7 mi / 1.1 km $270 (415) 393-9000 Expensive but worth it. Prix Fixe, Excellent service. Pairings additional charge. Reservations via OpenTable.com (may have to pre-pay).
Commis Farm-to-Table, High End Oakland/Piedmont Ave. James Syhabout Yelp Google Yes MacArthur 0.8 mi / 1.3 km $125 (510) 653-3902 Prix Fixe - 8 course. Excellent service. Pairings $75. Reservations via OpenTable (reserve with credit card).
Rivoli Farm-to-Table Albany/Solano Ave. Wendy Brucker Yelp Google No $45 (510) 526-2542 No Prix Fixe. Attentive service.
Chez Panisse Restaurant Farm-to-Table, California Modern Berkeley/Gourmet Ghetto Alice Waters Yelp Google Yes Downtown Berkeley 0.7 mi / 1.1 km $75 - $125 (510) 548-5525 The restaurant widely credited with starting the California Modern Farm-to-Table cuisine. Alice Waters revolutionized farm-to-table business practices by encouraging local farmers to grow food particularly for her and for Chez Panisse. Also popularized garlic's place in the cuisine. There's a documentary about it (Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers).
Zuni Cafe Farm-to-Table, California Modern, Raw Oysters San Francisco/Duboce Triangle Judy Rodgers Yelp Google Yes Civic Center/U.N. Plaza 0.6 mi / 1.0 km $45 (415) 552-2522 Try using MUNI to shorten the walk. Aside from Chez Panisse, Zuni Cafe is very well known and popular example of early California popular cuisine. Aside from oysters, high end service, and fine wines, also known for increasingly popular Roast Chicken menu item.
Nojo Ramen, Small Bites, Izakaya, Farm-to-Table San Francisco/Civic Center AP Company (Japan) Yelp Google Yes Civic Center/U.N. Plaza 0.5 mi / 1.1 km ? (415) 896-4587 Newly reopened. Ramen is apparently very good, but no data on prices.
Nopa Farm-to-Table, Modern European San Francisco/North of Panhandle Laurence Jossel Yelp Google No $60 (415) 864-8643 Delicious food, good menu. High touch, friendly but not premium service. Excellent cocktails. A family favorite. May be able to get there by public transit beyond BART (MUNI buses and streetcars).
The French Laundry Farm-to-Table, California Modern Yountville, CA Thomas Keller Yelp Google No $310 (707) 944-2380 The gold standard for the California Bay Area in terms of experience, service, and pairings (which may be as expensive as the price of the menu). Reservations are made by purchasing tickets.

There are many more options north of the Bay Area, in Sausalito, Marin, and Napa. Please ask if you're interested in exploring.

To Try

Places Jen and Malcolm plan to/want to try.

  • Aria Grill & Cuisine (and Hookah Bar?) (Afghan) - Oakland/14th Street - Yelp - $20 - $60 for 2 people
  • Chez Panisse Cafe
  • Chez Panisse Restaurant
  • Enssaro Ethiopian (Oakland/Grand)
  • Champa Garden (Oakland/8th Ave)
  • Contigo (SF/Noe Valley)
  • Nido (Oakland)

Map of Markets and Farmer's Markets

Click markers for restaurant names. Maps are based on Google Maps, so normal controls apply.

{{#display_map: 37.871483,-122.271631~Berkeley Farmers' Market~Saturday: 10a-3p; 37.847483,-122.2741307~Adeline Farmers' Market~Tuesday: 2p-6:30p; 37.843811,-122.251821~Market Hall~Every day: 9a-8p; 37.7955277,-122.3956398~Ferry Building Marketplace~Every day: 10a-7p; 37.7953792,-122.3958813~Ferry Plaza Farmers Market~Tues/Thurs: 10a-2p, Sat: 8a-2p; 37.8570413,-122.2694045~Berkeley Bowl (Oregon St.)~Every day: 9a-8p; 37.8554296,-122.2624675~Whole Foods~Every day: 8a-10p; 37.8680552,-122.2937192~Country Cheese Coffee Market~Mon-Sat: 9a-7p; 37.8544059,-122.2734525~Ashby Supermarket~Mon-Sat: 8a-10p, Sun: 8a-9p; 37.837734,-122.2647677~Temescal Produce Market~Every day: 9a-9p; 37.881453,-122.2984937~Tokyo Fish Market~Mon-Sat: 9a-6p; 37.8135272,-122.2699715~Koreana Plaza Market~Every day: 7a-10p; 37.8718639,-122.2742367~Bonita Fish Market~Mon-Sat: 10a-7p, Sun: 10a-6p|width=800|height=800|service=googlemaps|layers=traffic}}

Markets and Farmer's Markets

Berkeley Farmers' Market - Center Street and MLK Jr. Way - Saturdays, 10a - 3p
The region's farmers' bounties, both certified organic and conventional. Regulars also include pasta, cheese, fish, ice cream, sometimes oysters, juices, and olive oils. Some prepared food vending as well.
Adeline Farmers' Market - Adeline and 63rd Street - Tuesdays, 2p - 6
30p : Similar stuff to Berkeley Farmers' Market.
Market Hall - Rockridge BART - Every day, 9a - 8p
Upscale, high end market with produce, fish, butcher, bakery, cheese and prepared foods.
Ferry Building Marketplace - Market and Embarcadero - Indoor market
Every day, 10a - 7p : Food specialties and restaurants. Our favorites are Recchuiti Chocolates, Boccalone Meats, Imperial Tea Court, Mijita, and Cowgirl Creamer. Shout outs also to Humphry Slocombe ice cream and Blue Bottle coffee.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market - Market and Embarcadero - Outdoor market
Tuesday & Thursday, 10a - 2p, Saturday, 8a - 2p : The Saturday market is particularly luxuriant and wraps around the east side of the building to the parking lot int he back. Tuesday and Thursday focuses primarily on the front of the Ferry building and has far fewer stalls and sellers.
Berkeley Bowl - Oregon and Shattuck - Every day, 9a - 8p
The original Berkeley Bowl, smaller than the one in West Berkeley, but produce is plentiful, some of it organic. Bulk foods are good. It's a good, eco-friendly supermarket and grocery with good offerings in cheese and dairy, butcher, fish, prepared food, and, of course, produce. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse used to shop here, among other culinary luminaries.
Whole Foods - Telegraph and Ashby - Every day, 8a - 10p
Whole Foods is a controversial grocery and supermarket (the founder has non-progressive ideas on labor and benefits). Many have chosen to boycott it, but if that doesn't concern you, they stock similar stuff to Berkeley Bowl. A little higher end/more expensive. But quality is also high and it appeals to many customers. Their hours are slightly longer on either end than Berkeley Bowl's.
Country Cheese Coffee Market - San Pablo near University - Monday - Saturday, 9a - 7p
Many fine foods, teas, cheeses, crackers, preserves, meat, etc. Some difficult to find items. A charming shop and a local chain, with locations also in Kensington and North Berkeley.
Ashby Supermarket - Ashby and MLK Jr. Way - Monday - Saturday, 8a - 10p, Sunday, 8a - 9p
One of our local corner stores, a short walk. There's a soda geek who stocks various hard to find sodas in the back. Tony, our neighbor across the street prefers their sandwiches. They have a light and essential stock of household, pantry and snack items, including some ice creams.
Temescal Produce Market - 51st and Telegraph - Every day, 9a - 9p
Another local market, small but reasonably walkable. A good variety of stock.
Tokyo Fish Market - San Pablo and Gilman - Monday - Saturday, 9a - 6p
Not really walkable, but stocks Japanese essentials like Furikake, various fresh noodles, sashimi cuts of fish, various specialty snacks and frozen foods, and sake and sochu.
Koreana Plaza Market - Telegraph and 24th - Every day, 7a - 10p
For Korean specialties, also nearby The Good Hop, one of our Worth a Special Visit entries.
Bonita Fish Market - University and Bonita - Monday - Saturday, 10a - 7p, Sunday, 10a - 6p
Fresh, yummy seafoods. We've gotten crab and clams there, both quite worth it.

Map of Special Trips

Click markers for restaurant names. Maps are based on Google Maps, so normal controls apply.

Map pending.

Worth A Special Trip


Tartine (Bakery)
Known for extremely well researched artisinal sourdough bread as well as other baked goods. A real crowd-pleaser. You will always encounter a queue. Get there at 4:30 for FRESH bread. Everything is delicious!


Belcampo (Butcher)
A specialty butcher. They raise their own animals from heritage breeds on organic feed, using very skilled, high-touch agricultural methods. Meat is ridiculously expensive and ridiculously good. Some locations are just butchers. Others are also restaurants. Sometimes there are service issues - the focus for the whole company is on the meat.
Local Butcher (Butcher)
Similar ethics to Belcampo, but they don't raise their own slaughter animals. Can source all kinds of unpopular cuts, organs and other kinds of butchery not popular with mainstream markets. They also sell pet food, bone broths, expensive, local, organic eggs, cured meats, pickles, have a light deli counter, and also sell delicious prepared sandwiches.


Gregoire (French Carryout)
One location is in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood. High end French carryout food. The kitchen is small and the lines can be long, so be prepared to queue. The Gourmet Ghetto location also has limited seating available, but it's unmanaged, so be prepared to be assertive or to sit somewhere else.
Cheese Board Collective (Pizza, Breads, Cheeses)
In the Gourmet Ghetto, The Cheese Board Collective was recently listed number 2 on Yelp's top 100 places to eat in the US. So go try their pizza!
Bakesale Betty (Fried Chicken Sandwich and spicy cole slaw)
These folks are so popular that the best way to try out their fried chicken sandwich with spicy cole slaw is to walk, drive, bus, or teleport to their location, get in the huge-ass line, and buy a sandwich or two. They are so popular they can't even take same-day phone orders.

Ice Cream

We are ice cream enthusiasts. That's the nice way to put it. But for sure, use this list to tour the various possibilities. Or, you know, as a regular list for places to visit in rotation and enjoy as much as you can.

Bi-Rite Creamery (Ice Creams and Desserts)
Associated with the high-end San Francisco grocery store chain, Bi-Rite, the creamery focuses on ice creams, baked goods, sundaes and ice cream novelties (like ice cream sandwiches, which are ice cream sandwiched by cookies). Flavors use high quality ingredients and are seasonally sourced, so expect to get something delicious!
Mitchell's Ice Cream (Ice Creams and Desserts)
Less high end but still tasty, Mitchell's focuses on tropical flavors like Avocado, Buko, and Lucuma, as well as serving some Filipino desserts like Halo Halo.
Humphry Slocombe (Ice Creams and Dessert)
High end, tasty, innovative flavors. Known for Sundaes served with shrub/vinegar sauces, the Secret Breakfast flavor, and other good recipes. Located both in The Mission (Harrison and 24th) and in the Ferry Building.
Fenton's Creamery and Restaurant (Ice Creams, Breakfast, Lunch, and Cakes)
Fenton's has been featured in some Pixar movies, as well as other films about or involving the Bay Area. It's known for its huge sundaes, late hours, and long lines. Visiting is an experience, but Fenton's is not known for high fashion ice cream.
Ici Ice Cream (Ice Creams)
Close by, and known for high quality, tasty, and uncommon flavors.
Lush Gelato (Ice Cream, Gelato)
Located in San Francisco (Polk), Oakland's Piedmont Ave, and in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, known for a variety of gelato flavors, many of them using local ingredients.
Smitten (Ice Cream)
Known for using liquid nitrogen to superfreeze the cream or the sorbet mixture. The texture of the ice cream is silky and the texture of the sorbet is fluffy. If you have never had liquid nitrogen ice cream, you might be in for a treat.
Cream (Ice cream sandwiches)
Known for the ice cream sandwiches, made of cookies and ice cream, they also make other stuff. The ice cream is decent and the sandwiches are very tasty. Not a super-premium experience, but if you're doing the ice cream tour, it's worth a visit.
Chocolatier Blue Parlor (Ice creams, sorbets, frozen treats)
This company specializes in high-end, airbrushed shiny filled chocolate candies, but the parlor also carries their high end gelato. It's a favorite for dairy loving locals like us.

Tea & Coffee

  • Sightglass Coffee
  • Philz
  • Imperial Tea Court

Booze (Alcohol) Tourism

Note that St. George's Distillery, Faction Brewing, and Rock Wall are all basically right next to each other, each in a former hangar facing the airstrip of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, which, notably, was sometimes used by the MythBusters television show to do various mayhem filled vehicular experiments.

The Good Hop Bottle Shop (Beer, Cider, Lambics, on top and in the bottle/can)
We know the owner! A huge variety of good, hoppy (and non-hoppy) beers both on tap and in the coolers. You can sit at the bar and drink or take the bottles and cans back home with you for later enjoyment.
St George's Distillery Tour
They will take very good care of you on the tour and during the tasting. A good time will be had by all.
Faction Brewing Tasting Room (Beer)
Another tourable booze purveyor located on Alameda (the island).
Rock Wall Wine Company Tasting Room
Rock Wall is a local winery, based in Alameda. They keep their club members very happy!
Yelp has a comprehensive list of breweries in the area.


  • Recchuiti Chocolates
  • Speciality Chocolates place in Gourmet Ghetto

UPick / Farmers Markets / Harvests

  • Berry Picking
  • Fruit Picking

Day Trips

  • Santa Cruz/Monterey
  • North Bay
  • Napa/Yountville

Feel free to ask if you are interested in special foodie trips!

Quirky, Interesting, Americana, California-Style

Things that normal folks do but that are kind of unique.

  • Bowling
    Hurling balls down lanes at pins
    • Albany Bowl (Albany/San Pablo) - Has American bowling lanes, billiards (American tables), arcade games, darts, air hockey, a cafe that serves bar food, pizza and burgers, and a bar.
    • [http://plankoakland.com/ Plank (Jack London Square) - Has a few American bowling lanes, carnival and arcade games, televisions with sports games, and outdoor bowling games (like Bocce).
    • Westing - Bar and indoor Bocce.
    • Oakland Lawn Bowling Club - Bocce.
  • Minigolf
    Playing golf on very small courses, with putter clubs only
    • Urban Putt (SF)
    • SubPar (Alameda)
    • Scandia Family Center (Rockville)
  • Deluxe Movie Theaters
    With food and booze allowed in the theaters.
    • New Parkway Theater (Oakland)
    • Kabuki Theater (SF)
    • Landmark Shattuck Cinemas (Berkeley)
  • Food Destinations
    • In-n-Out Burgers (Alameda/Oakland Airport)
      Not great, but it's an institution, and you could go see what all the fuss is about. They are VERY efficient. In some ways, the drive-thru is a more interesting and authentic experience.
  • Transportation Tourism
    Cable cars, ferries, streetcars, bridges, all for the special kind of geek!
    • San Francisco Street Cars
      Street cars run on the SF MUNI's F line
    • San Francisco Cable Cars (Don't get on at Powell)
    • Angel Island (Ferry from Ferry Terminal - SF)
    • Alcatraz (Ferry from Ferry Terminal - SF)
    • Golden Gate Bridge (Walk)
    • Bay Bridge (East side - Walk)
  • Parks
    Federal, state, and regional, there's interesting stuff all over!
    • Tilden Regional Park - MANY activities.
    • Gate Park - Encompasses many museums and attractions, including the DeYoung Museum, The California Academy of Sciences, and the Japanese Tea Garden, to name a few. Also many regular and special events, and a very nice park to walk through, spanning many SF neighborhoods.
    • Stern Grove - A park in San Francisco, particularly noted, June - August, for a music festival
    • An East Bay hiking guide.
  • High Tea
    An American version of Tea, where we pretend we know what we're doing. Usually involves premium teas, various edibles of different qualities, and well-dressed company.
  • Specific parts of town
    A breakdown of interesting parts of town in the SF Bay Area
    • San Francisco:
      • Chinatown
      • Japantown
      • North Beach
      • Richmond District
      • The Mission
      • Noe Valley
      • Hayes Valley
      • The Presidio
    • Oakland:
      • Piedmont Ave
      • The Grand Lake
      • Lake Merritt
      • Chinatown
      • Temescal
      • Jack London Square
      • Rockridge
    • Berkeley:
      • UC Campus
      • Gourmet Ghetto
      • San Pablo
      • Solano (Kensington and Albany)
      • Adeline
      • Telegraph
      • College & Claremont
    • The Bay:
      • Alcatraz
      • Angel Island
    • North Bay:
      • Cavallo Point
      • Sausalito
      • Marin
      • Napa
      • Yountville
    • Other:

To Do

For page restyling and to dos.

  • Complete sections by converting them to sortable tabular format and filling all data in
  • Add Jardiniere to list