Where to Eat in Berkeley: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Merry Kessler

The counter-culture, flower power center of the 60s, bohemian Berkeley has evolved into a culinary and cultural travel scene. Shift into low gear and people-watch along quirky Telegraph Avenue while checking out the bookstores and cafes. After strolling through the UC Berkeley campus, the Berkeley Rose Garden and the Downtown Arts District, head into the hills for an outdoor adventure in Tilden Park or cruise down to the waterfront park, where the San Francisco skyline sparkles across the bay.
Things to do in Berkeley

1. Zachary's Chicago Pizza

5801 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618-1602 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 26 +1 510-655-6385
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 587 reviews

Zachary's Chicago Pizza

Reviewed By Genevieve D

I have been coming to Zachary’s for years and never tire of the food. We always order the deep dish stuffed pizzas because they are as delicious as you can imagine. They take about 35 minutes to cook so if you have time to sit and chat with friends then this is a great place to spend a couple of hours. If you are more strapped for time, you can preorder ahead. Zachary’s is employee owned and have a few restaurants in the East Bay.

2. Cheeseboard Pizza

1504 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709-1517 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 26 +1 510-549-3183
Excellent
73%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 676 reviews

Cheeseboard Pizza

Reviewed By dwisland - Saint Louis, Missouri

Cheeseboard is a happening. Music changes daily as does the pizza. No choosing toppings, no delivery, no worries. What fresh and organic combination of cheeses and veggies they choose is always amazing. Our latest visit offered butternut squash on the pizza, the visits before than had peaches. Don't let the daily toppings or the huge line deter you - this is verifiably one of the most popular pizza places in America. And, always ask for a side of Green Sauce ($4 and worth x

3. Townhouse Bar & Grill

5862 Doyle St, Emeryville, CA 94608-2530 Television, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Highchairs Available American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 39 - SGD 105 +1 510-652-6151
Excellent
47%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 168 reviews

Townhouse Bar & Grill

From the Emeryville fireman's dream of a Speakeasy that he built in 1926, to Steve Vernetti, the original Townhouse Speakeasy bartender who along with his family ran it for 35 plus years after Prohibition ended, the TH has been and remains an East Bay institution. Next came the 70's and 80's when country and western bars, music and dancing were at their peak and the theme at the TH. This period is fondly remembered by Cal graduates who continue to visit the Townhouse and reminisce about their dancing days but do not miss the peanut shells and sawdust on the floor. 1990 was the year that Ellen Hope Rosenberg, the current executive chef and owner, took over an ailing TH and resurrected it from top to bottom. From her inspired American-California style menu to the maintenance of the original construction both in and out. This is a restaurant that has a unique story whose food and ambiance is as authentic as the staff are courteous and genuine.

Reviewed By kleic - Brooklyn, New York

We don't live in the Bay Area any more but this spot is a "must" whenever we return. Even when things come and go from the menu, it's consistently good, unpretentious, and reasonably priced. The outside looks like a dump and the neighborhood seems nondescript at best but the inside is warm and welcoming. The avocado bruschetta deserves special mention, as does the warm bread. The wait staff is always good; attentive but not too chatty or pushy. A great place to go with couples; probably less good with kids.

4. Rivoli Restaurant

1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707-2119 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Dinner SGD 33 - SGD 52 +1 510-526-2542
Excellent
71%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 282 reviews

Rivoli Restaurant

Rivoli strives to be a hands on, moderately priced restaurant with simple and creative food, carefully selected wines and comfortable service in a warm and lively atmosphere. Rivoli’s distinction comes from the heart and soul of its owners and staff. The menu relies on what is seasonal, local and fresh, using mostly organic produce, sustainably caught fish and naturally raised meats and poultry. The wines are selected for their affinity with the food, and offer the best values from the cooler regions of California and the Old World. The dining room staff provides friendly and attentive service and the chefs and cooks are skilled artisans of their craft.

Reviewed By Sylvia L - Berkeley, California

Came to celebrate another family birthday at a favorite local spot.

Wendy Brucker's dishes continue to deliver time after time. Especially liked the lobster souffle and lamb ragu over house made ravioli.

For those who haven't been here, expect delicious food and great service in a cozy dining area facing a lovely outside garden.

5. Wood Tavern

6317 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618-1331 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 28 - SGD 39 +1 510-654-6607
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 387 reviews

Wood Tavern

Reviewed By Thomas T - Burlingame, California

We had called several days in advance to make a reservation for 6 persons, and the manager suggested 8:15, which we accepted. Unfortunately, we had to wait 20-25 min after 8:15 to get to a table. It was busy, and the occupants of the table designated for us stayed. Be prepared to wait, even with a reservation

The waitress was friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. I had the sausage/bean soup as a starter and the pork chop, which strangely came in a sauce containing most of the ingredients in the soup.The soup was quite good, but I would have liked a different sauce with the pork chop. My pork chop was tender and juicy, but 2 at out table and the adjacent table said that theirs were somewhat fatty.

As the evening wore on, the fan and air flow directed cold air toward the table. We asked if the cool air could be reduced, but it did not happen. We all had to put on our coats. Avoid the round table in the back corner for dinner, unless it is a warm evening.

6. Zachary's Chicago Pizza

1853 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707-2306 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 26 +1 510-525-5950
Excellent
63%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 356 reviews

Zachary's Chicago Pizza

Reviewed By Danielle D - Berkeley, California

We ordered a half baked deep dish for take out. We got the Spinach and Mushroom which was a hit. This pie includes spinach, mushrooms, cheese and tomato sauce. This was easy to finish baking in the oven at home. With gentle treatment the crust stayed together and sat on the rack just fine.

7. Burma Superstar

4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609-2023 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Asian, Burmese, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 510-652-2900
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 314 reviews

Burma Superstar

Reviewed By CaitlinRebecca88 - Lyon, France

Great meal and atmosphere, we tried the well known salad which seemingly came immediately after we ordered. Coconut rice and shrimp were so good and the dessert was so copious with coconut ice cream and fried bananas, a personal favorite. Almost forgot the thai iced tea cocktail which was a highlight of my night! Will return asap.

8. Chez Panisse

1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709-1516 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar French, American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 33 - SGD 131 +1 510-548-5525
Excellent
69%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Chez Panisse

Reviewed By operalover939 - Toronto, Canada

Chez Panisse is an elegant restaurant, with the interior design reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright interior architecture. The food is simply outstanding. There is but one option, the night‘s four-course prix fixe at $100 (plus taxes and 17% gratuity). The main course tonight was lamb with trimmings: excellent! Everything else was also very tasty. You have the option of bringing your own wine and paying a $35 corkage fee. The service is very good though not impeccable. The food is simply superb.

9. Berkeley Bowl

920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710-2717 Takeout, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch +1 510-898-9555
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 113 reviews

Berkeley Bowl

Reviewed By dhtchk - Berkeley, CA

You've never seen anything like it...the widest selection of produce anywhere and available every day. The Berkeley Bowl is one of the big reasons we live in Berkeley. Need oranges? How about 10 varieties? Same with apples or more. Need that hard to find ingredient? The Bowl will have it. It also has the best meat and fish counter in town and a great assortment of prepared foods. You can get breakfast lunch or dinner there or just stock your kitchen.

10. Rick & Ann's

2922 Domingo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705-2454 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover American, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Drinks SGD 7 - SGD 26 +1 510-649-8538
Excellent
51%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 281 reviews

Rick & Ann's

Our menu offers simple, comforting foods with universal appeal. We are conscientious of the ingredients we us and the diversity of our patrons, so we can accommodate a variety of diet restrictions. We love using organic and local produce. We truly are a Berkeley business. Whether it’s our cornmeal pancakes or gingerbread waffles for breakfast, our grilled flank steak sandwich or our Turkey burger for lunch, or our pan-seared red snapper or our chicken pot pie for dinner, we have something to please everyone! If you have a special event in your future, please check out Ann’s Catering menu on our website. We also feature local artists’ work in the restaurant that is available for purchase.Oakland Magazine named us the Best Breakfast in the Bay Area!

Reviewed By Joan88 - Mill Valley, California

We went for breakfast on a holiday weekday and waiting thirty minutes was pleasant as we were lucky to have seats at a table to chat! Staff does a great job handling everyone! Many choices of really delicious food at breakfast. Special blueberry pancakes! Great egg dishes. Well deserved fine reputation! Reasonable too!

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