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Where to Eat and Drink in Downtown Berkeley

From Indonesian classics to vegan comfort food, this neighborhood has it all

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There are many reasons to be in downtown Berkeley. Whether you’re seeing a movie, a play, or a concert, chances are that downtown Berkeley is your destination — and you’re going to want a great place to eat beforehand and grab a drink after. Thankfully, this slice of town — centering on Shattuck Avenue up to Hearst Avenue and down south to Dwight Way — offers an incredibly diverse array of dining options, from upscale Mexican cuisine to fabulous Burmese. Here are 21 of the best restaurants, bars, and cafes in downtown Berkeley.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ippudo Berkeley

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2015 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

The only East Bay location of this explosively popular ramen chain specializes in Hakata-style ramen. Thin noodles arrive cooked according to your preference in a rich tonkotsu broth — and the lines aren’t even that bad anymore.

2. Asha Tea House

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2086 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 549-9137
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Asha takes its tea seriously, whether it’s Hong Kong-style milk tea, oolong from Taiwan, or boba tea. The matcha drinks are particularly popular, with options like matcha lattes, matcha affogato, and pure ceremonial matcha.

3. Imm Thai Street Food

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2068 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 898-1123
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Often packed with college students, Imm Thai Street Food serves exceedingly affordable curries, noodle soups, salads, and snacks in a contemporary setting.

4. The Butcher’s Son

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1954 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 984-0818
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Probably the most popular vegan restaurant in the Bay Area, The Butcher’s Son makes its own faux-meats and cheeses for its loaded deli sandwiches, from buffalo bacon ranch fried chicken to hot roast beef with French onion dip. Brunch draws big crowds, too, and the restaurant also stocks a small market area so folks can make their own vegan creations at home.

5. Jayakarta Restaurant

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2026 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 841-0884
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One of the Bay Area’s few Indonesian restaurants, Jayakarta offers a huge menu of traditional Indonesian dishes, all served in heaping portions. Try the mie tek-tek (stir-fried noodles), beef rendang, and eggplant drenched in sambal.

6. Platano

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2042 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 704-0325
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This bustling, colorful restaurant serves many dishes from El Salvador, but it’s hard to not order the cheesy pupusas. The $11.50 combo plates offer a great deal, delivering you both pupusas and a choice of sides like sweet plantains, an avocado salad, or a chicken tamale.

7. Lucia's Berkeley

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2016 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 225-9467
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A major East Bay destination for lovingly blistered, chewy neo-Neapolitan pies, Lucia’s also makes delicious pastas, brunch fare, and surprisingly good gluten-free crusts in a cute, laid-back setting. Don’t miss the Sprouty Scamorza, a white pizza loaded with Brussel sprouts, lemon slices, hazelnuts, and smoked mozzarella.

Lucia’s Lucia’s

8. Comal

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2020 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 926-6300
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Great cocktails, a gorgeous patio, and an emphasis on Oaxacan dishes makes Comal a perennial favorite in Berkeley. Choose between large-format dishes — served with beans, rice, tortillas, and salsas — or smaller items like enchiladas covered in mole or tripe guisado.

9. Comal Next Door

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2024 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 422-6625
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Comal’s chill taqueria incorporates many popular Comal items — the carnitas, for example — and packages them up in a more accessible, affordable format. There are tacos, tortas, and bowls, but the burritos are particularly good, with each combination of fillings pre-determined so it hits all the right notes.

10. Tharaphu Burmese Street Food

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2037 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 356-4860
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A no-frills, welcoming spot to try some wonderful Burmese food. The tea leaf salad and pyay paratha (crispy roti on top of chicken-potato curry) are both strong bets, but Tharaphu also serves some hard-to-find dishes like tofu nway, a creamy tofu porridge with noodles.

pyay paratha at theraphu Omar Mamoon

11. Ippuku

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2130 Center St
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 665-1969
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This izakaya is a Berkeley classic, with charcoal-grilled yakitori served in a custom-designed wooden interior that creates a lively but intimate environment. Don’t forget to take in the epic list of shochu, sake, whiskey, and beer.

12. East Bay Spice Company

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2134 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 94720

East Bay Spice Company’s Indian snacks pair well with the bar’s main attraction: cocktails with big flavors like turmeric, ginger, coconut curry, and tamarind. Spirit-wise, the emphasis here tend to be on rum, mezcal, and gin.

13. Gather

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2200 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 809-0400
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It’s no surprise that Berkeley’s most sustainably designed restaurant also focuses heavily on sourcing from reputable farmers and ranchers, butchering whole animals, and providing plenty of vegan options. The thin, crispy pizzas are always a good option.

14. Zino

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2086 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 649-9466
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Located inside Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Zino is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant serving a range of dips, mezze, and more, inspired by 22 different cuisines. The setting is bright and airy, fitting for a full meal or a cocktail with grilled octopus at the bar.

15. Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

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2261 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 548-6900
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Longstanding New Orleans-style restaurant Angeline’s is a reliably fun dinner option in Berkeley, with classics like crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and po’boys. The buttermilk fried chicken is justifiably popular, as are the beignets at brunch.

Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen/Tracy Wong Photography

16. Tupper & Reed

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2271 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 859-4472
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The quality of the cocktails at Tupper & Reed falls in line with what you’d expect from SF’s Future Bars group (Bourbon & Branch, Pagan Idol). Whether you’re ordering a classic or creative cocktail, you’ll get something made with care and top-notch ingredients.

Tupper and Reed

17. Maison Bleue

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2020 Kittredge St c
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 900-1845
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Savory, buckwheat crepes are the main draw at Maison Bleue, but the cafe also serves tasty French sandwiches, breakfast items, and buttery pastries. Consider stopping by for a leisurely lunch with a glass of wine on the large patio or for a quick coffee and pain au chocolat.

18. Great China Restaurant

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2190 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 843-7996
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Crowds line up for dinner at sleek and modern Great China, which has earned national accolades for its impressive wine cellar. The focus here is on Northern Chinese fare — the Peking duck is one of the best in the Bay Area.

19. La Note

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2377 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 843-1525
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Whether you’re coming for brunch or dinner, La Note channels the spirit of Provence. The flower-filled back patio is a particularly charming place to order a basket of pastries and fluffy lemon-gingerbread pancakes.

20. Saha

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2451 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 900-2457
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You can build your own prix-fixe feast every night at Saha, Berkeley’s post of a San Francisco original. The Middle Eastern restaurant is known for its creativity, especially with sweet-savory dishes like the duck bastilla, salmon baklava, and lobster knaffe.

21. Way Station Brew

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2120 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 982-1905
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An ideal daytime hangout spot, Way Station Brew serves house-roasted coffee, beer, wine, and light cafe fare like toasts and salads. The interior is plenty pleasant, but what really makes Way Station stand out is its spacious, dog-friendly patio. Plus, free wifi.

1. Ippudo Berkeley

2015 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

The only East Bay location of this explosively popular ramen chain specializes in Hakata-style ramen. Thin noodles arrive cooked according to your preference in a rich tonkotsu broth — and the lines aren’t even that bad anymore.

2015 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

2. Asha Tea House

2086 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Asha takes its tea seriously, whether it’s Hong Kong-style milk tea, oolong from Taiwan, or boba tea. The matcha drinks are particularly popular, with options like matcha lattes, matcha affogato, and pure ceremonial matcha.

2086 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

3. Imm Thai Street Food

2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Often packed with college students, Imm Thai Street Food serves exceedingly affordable curries, noodle soups, salads, and snacks in a contemporary setting.

2068 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

4. The Butcher’s Son

1954 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Probably the most popular vegan restaurant in the Bay Area, The Butcher’s Son makes its own faux-meats and cheeses for its loaded deli sandwiches, from buffalo bacon ranch fried chicken to hot roast beef with French onion dip. Brunch draws big crowds, too, and the restaurant also stocks a small market area so folks can make their own vegan creations at home.

1954 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

5. Jayakarta Restaurant

2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

One of the Bay Area’s few Indonesian restaurants, Jayakarta offers a huge menu of traditional Indonesian dishes, all served in heaping portions. Try the mie tek-tek (stir-fried noodles), beef rendang, and eggplant drenched in sambal.

2026 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

6. Platano

2042 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

This bustling, colorful restaurant serves many dishes from El Salvador, but it’s hard to not order the cheesy pupusas. The $11.50 combo plates offer a great deal, delivering you both pupusas and a choice of sides like sweet plantains, an avocado salad, or a chicken tamale.

2042 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

7. Lucia's Berkeley

2016 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Lucia’s Lucia’s

A major East Bay destination for lovingly blistered, chewy neo-Neapolitan pies, Lucia’s also makes delicious pastas, brunch fare, and surprisingly good gluten-free crusts in a cute, laid-back setting. Don’t miss the Sprouty Scamorza, a white pizza loaded with Brussel sprouts, lemon slices, hazelnuts, and smoked mozzarella.

2016 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

8. Comal

2020 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Great cocktails, a gorgeous patio, and an emphasis on Oaxacan dishes makes Comal a perennial favorite in Berkeley. Choose between large-format dishes — served with beans, rice, tortillas, and salsas — or smaller items like enchiladas covered in mole or tripe guisado.

2020 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

9. Comal Next Door

2024 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Comal’s chill taqueria incorporates many popular Comal items — the carnitas, for example — and packages them up in a more accessible, affordable format. There are tacos, tortas, and bowls, but the burritos are particularly good, with each combination of fillings pre-determined so it hits all the right notes.

2024 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

10. Tharaphu Burmese Street Food

2037 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
pyay paratha at theraphu Omar Mamoon

A no-frills, welcoming spot to try some wonderful Burmese food. The tea leaf salad and pyay paratha (crispy roti on top of chicken-potato curry) are both strong bets, but Tharaphu also serves some hard-to-find dishes like tofu nway, a creamy tofu porridge with noodles.

2037 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

11. Ippuku

2130 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704

This izakaya is a Berkeley classic, with charcoal-grilled yakitori served in a custom-designed wooden interior that creates a lively but intimate environment. Don’t forget to take in the epic list of shochu, sake, whiskey, and beer.

2130 Center St
Berkeley, CA 94704

12. East Bay Spice Company

2134 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94720

East Bay Spice Company’s Indian snacks pair well with the bar’s main attraction: cocktails with big flavors like turmeric, ginger, coconut curry, and tamarind. Spirit-wise, the emphasis here tend to be on rum, mezcal, and gin.

2134 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 94720

13. Gather

2200 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94704

It’s no surprise that Berkeley’s most sustainably designed restaurant also focuses heavily on sourcing from reputable farmers and ranchers, butchering whole animals, and providing plenty of vegan options. The thin, crispy pizzas are always a good option.

2200 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 94704

14. Zino

2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Located inside Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Zino is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant serving a range of dips, mezze, and more, inspired by 22 different cuisines. The setting is bright and airy, fitting for a full meal or a cocktail with grilled octopus at the bar.

2086 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

15. Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

2261 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen/Tracy Wong Photography

Longstanding New Orleans-style restaurant Angeline’s is a reliably fun dinner option in Berkeley, with classics like crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and po’boys. The buttermilk fried chicken is justifiably popular, as are the beignets at brunch.

2261 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

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16. Tupper & Reed

2271 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94720
Tupper and Reed

The quality of the cocktails at Tupper & Reed falls in line with what you’d expect from SF’s Future Bars group (Bourbon & Branch, Pagan Idol). Whether you’re ordering a classic or creative cocktail, you’ll get something made with care and top-notch ingredients.

2271 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720

17. Maison Bleue

2020 Kittredge St c, Berkeley, CA 94704

Savory, buckwheat crepes are the main draw at Maison Bleue, but the cafe also serves tasty French sandwiches, breakfast items, and buttery pastries. Consider stopping by for a leisurely lunch with a glass of wine on the large patio or for a quick coffee and pain au chocolat.

2020 Kittredge St c
Berkeley, CA 94704

18. Great China Restaurant

2190 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Crowds line up for dinner at sleek and modern Great China, which has earned national accolades for its impressive wine cellar. The focus here is on Northern Chinese fare — the Peking duck is one of the best in the Bay Area.

2190 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

19. La Note

2377 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Whether you’re coming for brunch or dinner, La Note channels the spirit of Provence. The flower-filled back patio is a particularly charming place to order a basket of pastries and fluffy lemon-gingerbread pancakes.

2377 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

20. Saha

2451 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

You can build your own prix-fixe feast every night at Saha, Berkeley’s post of a San Francisco original. The Middle Eastern restaurant is known for its creativity, especially with sweet-savory dishes like the duck bastilla, salmon baklava, and lobster knaffe.

2451 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

21. Way Station Brew

2120 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

An ideal daytime hangout spot, Way Station Brew serves house-roasted coffee, beer, wine, and light cafe fare like toasts and salads. The interior is plenty pleasant, but what really makes Way Station stand out is its spacious, dog-friendly patio. Plus, free wifi.

2120 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

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