Top Choice Californian in Berkeley

Chez Panisse

Foodies come to worship here at the church of Alice Waters, the inventor of California cuisine. It’s in a lovely Arts and Crafts house in the Gourmet Ghetto, and you can choose to pull out all the stops with a prix-…
Top Choice Japanese in Berkeley


Specializing in shōchū, a distilled alcohol often made from rice or barley, Japanese expats gush that Ippuku reminds them of izakaya (Japanese pubs serving food) back in Tokyo. Choose from a menu of skewered meats a…
Deli in Oakland


If you want to eat outside on a sunny day, grab a sandwich from Ratto’s, a vintage Oakland grocery (since 1897) with a deli counter (and a few sidewalk tables) that attracts a devoted lunch crowd.
Diner in Berkeley

Bette's Oceanview Diner

A buzzing breakfast spot, especially on the weekends, serving yummy baked soufflé pancakes and German-style potato pancakes with applesauce, plus eggs and sandwiches. Superfresh food and a nifty diner interior make …
Californian in Berkeley


Smack in downtown, this is an ideal spot to start an evening. While the California fare is solidly good, it’s not particularly innovative, but the bar makes great cocktails and the tasty appetizers appeal to …
French in Berkeley

La Note

A rustic country-French bistro downtown, La Note serves excellent breakfasts. Wake up to a big bowl of café au lait, paired with oatmeal raspberry pancakes or lemon gingerbread pancakes with poached pears. Anticipat…
Californian in Oakland


Kick-back-chic Camino’s short daily-changing menu showcases the best of local organic produce and meats, most cooked over an open fire in slow-food-meets-California-now style. The tables are of recycled old-g…
in Oakland

Wood Tavern

The daily-changing New American brasserie-style menu features what’s in season, with earthy, soulful dishes like pan-roasted lemon-rosemary chicken, chopped salads, cheese boards, charcuterie plates and a dam…
in Oakland


The carefully crafted antojitos (Mexican tapas) aren’t your usual Mexican fare. Expect flavor-packed spins on familiar dishes, like tostadas and tacos (try the shrimp), served in a stylish brick-walled space.…
Cafe in Oakland

Caffe 817

Bowls of steaming café au lait, poached eggs en croute (in pastry) and crunchy baguette sandwiches – if you’re looking for Paris in Oakland, you’ll find it at this deliciously unpretentious…