Food
It's impossible to briefly summarize the food scene in any city, let alone the Bay Area. We'll focus mostly on practical stuff, and also highlight some of the classic, more famed places you might hear whispers about.
Note: UC Berkeley Food Pantry is in MLK Student Union if you need it

Grocery stores, in rough order of importance

    1.
    Berkeley Bowl – Did you know there are like 10 varieties of grapes? I didn’t. This place is a Berkeley icon (along with its sister, Berkeley Bowl West). Produce and bulk supplies are HELLA cheap, and the selection is *unbelievable.* I think there are like 10 kinds of spiced corn nuts in the bulk bins. Peruse the aisles and enjoy the patchouli wafting off other shoppers; they’ve got so many high-quality delicious options here you won’t want to leave.
    2.
    Trader Joe’s – Lots of savings and high-quality product. It is what it is. There is a TJ’s on University Ave, less than 10 minutes' walk from BWW, which makes it easy to pick up groceries on your way home from school. The next-nearest TJ’s is on College Ave. next to the Rockridge BART station.
    3.
    Safeway – I think it is just Von’s or Ralph’s but with a different name. Standard supermarket. Sign up for the rewards card to save some money (including gas rewards points, with which you can get a discount of 10 cents per gallon). One location in North Berkeley, and another exactly at the border of South Berkeley and North Oakland. 5% discounts with your Berkeley ID.
    4.
    KP’s – Large Korean market in Downtown Oakland. Great deals on produce, tofu, snacks. Fresh (and some live) seafood for those inclined. If you ever need to buy soju or sake…
    5.
    Small markets in Chinatown – Chinatown contains many corner stores/small product markets selling a variety of products, typically for low prices. There is even a market specializing in vegetarian meat replacements near Broadway and 8th.
    6.
    Farmer Joe’s (in East Oakland) - Similar to Berkeley Bowl, but smaller. Really good produce and meat, but probably get your staples (cereal, canned/frozen foods) at Safeway.
    7.
    Grocery Outlet – Quite cheap, new selections every week. Not the most consistent in getting what you want (e.g., sometimes they don’t have vinegar), but it’s great for the most part.
    8.
    Sprout’s – I feel like it’s a cheaper Whole Foods? Also high-quality products, similar pricing to Safeway or Grocery Outlet for some products. Bulk buys for grains, nuts, cereals, flours.
    9.
    Whole Foods – It’s Whole Foods -- I mean, Whole Paycheck. There's one in south berkeley and another in west berkeley / albany.

Farmers’ markets

Lot of good ones in this area, though obviously tend to be pricey.
    1.
    Berkeley – Happens near city hall every Saturday.
    2.
    Jack London Square – Run by CUESAC. Happens every Sunday from 9–2 at the pier.
    3.
    Kensington – Every Sunday morning. Located a short walk from El Cerrito BART.
    4.
    North Oakland - Every Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Alcatraz & Adeline/MLK
    5.
    San Francisco - Ferry Building - a classic outing to SF. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays there's a farmer's market, but there are bougie restaurants and snacks all day all week.

Grocery delivery:

    1.
    Imperfect Produce – Do you know how your apples are all so perfectly round? Turns out they were picked from a larger batch. IP sells the rejects and delivers them to your doorstep every week (or other week, depending on what schedule you want) in a recyclable cardboard box. You can tailor what comes in each box somewhat. Good deal. (this is a local company! Started by a guy who used to sell produce out of his apartment in emeryville)
    2.
    Amazon Fresh – If you don’t feel like going to Whole Foods but still wanna give Jeff Bezos that money.
    3.
    Instacart - it’s okay in a pinch. They shop from whatever store you choose, and it’s not hugely expensive. But they might not get everything you want and they might not be the right thing

Locally famed restaurants

Pizza

    1.
    Sliver – Berkeley staple. Rebellious child of Cheeseboard. One kind of pizza per day. Locations on Shattuck, Telegraph, and Broadway. Vegan option too if ordering a whole pie.
    2.
    Cheeseboard – Berkeley staple. Leftist parent of Sliver (it’s a co-op). One kind of pizza per day. Located on Shattuck, near the Safeway in North Berkeley. Doubles as a cheese and pastry shop. Vegan pizza option if ordering a whole pie.
    3.
    Zachary’s – Renowned deep dish in Rockridge and Albany. Good stuff.
    4.
    Jupiter -- Right here on shattuck. Great thin crust pizzas and beer taps.
    5.
    Pizzaiolo – In Temescal. Fancy but delicious. Try the house cocktails. Easy to get a reservation
Ethiopian & Eritrean
    1.
    Café Colucci – On Telegraph near Alcatraz. Bring a friend and share a sample platter. Lots of vegetarian options. Try the Ethiopian beer (St. John’s) if it’s available.
    2.
    Lemat – On Adeline past Berkeley Bowl. Do the Ethiopian coffee ceremony after a meal if you want to drink some excellent coffee (and not sleep at night).
    3.
    Kaffa Ethiopian Restaurant – One-woman shop serving one dish per day. Very cozy atmosphere with excellent food.
    4.
    Barcote. Best vegetarian combo ever.
Vegetarian & Vegan:
    1.
    The Butcher's Son -- on university, vegan sandwiches with really impressive "meats" that compete with the real thing.
    2.
    Golden Lotus – Vegan Vietnamese food in Downtown Oakland. Amazing.
    3.
    Nature Vegetarian – Vegetarian Chinese food in Downtown Oakland/Chinatown. Amazing.
    4.
    Long Life Vegi House – Vegetarian Chinese food on University Ave. in Berkeley. Great stuff.
    5.
    Donut Farm – Vegan donuts in West Berkeley.
    6.
    Souley Vegan – Vegan soul food in Jack London Square.
    7.
    Millennium – located in North Oakland (Rockridge). On the pricier side, but most definitely worth it.
    8.
    Flacos - Vegan mexican food near Ashby BART on Adeline & Ashby
    9.
    Timeless Cafe -- Vegan breakfast and pastries. In Oakland’s piedmont neighborhood and a new location in Berkeley
Chinese:
    1.
    Huangcheng Noodle House – Hand-pulled noodles in Oakland’s Chinatown. Phenomenal food at good prices.
    2.
    Great China - giant lunch specials for only $10!
Japanese:
    1.
    Musashi - super affordable happy hour and weekly dinner special under $10 until 7pm.
    2.
    Manpuku – South Berkeley (Elmwood neighborhood). Amazing value for authentic Japanese food
Korean:
    1.
    Dosirak shop on Grand in Oakland
Vietnamese
    1.
    Saigon Express – A short walk from BWW, right near BAMPFA. Cheap and tasty.
Thai
    1.
    Thai Noodle I/II – Same restaurant in two locations in Berkeley. One nearly across the street from BWW; the other on Telegraph.
Indian
    1.
    Vic’s chaat - It’s a super casual indian street food/grocery store and the food is really authentic! (Great for vegetarian options as well!)
    2.
    Guru Curry House on Grand in Oakland; free chai! spicy IS spicy.
Ice cream
    1.
    Fenton’s – On Broadway in Piedmont. Insanely large ice cream sundaes (order the 20-scoop "kitchen sink"). Take your international friends here for ultimate culture shock.
    2.
    Frozen Ice – In Oakland Chinatown. Come for Durian, Chrysanthemum, and other such flavors. Rolled ice cream, too.
    3.
    Humphrey Slocombe - College and Ashby, also Broadway and 24th or so next to Drake’s. SF based.
    4.
    Smitten - liquid nitrogen ice cream, by the Rockridge BART. SF based.
    5.
    Tara’s Organic - College and Alcatraz, also on Telegraph in Temescal

Breweries & Bars:

    1.
    Triple Rock – It’s across the street from BWW!
    2.
    Rare Barrel – In West Berkeley. Sours only
    3.
    Fieldworks – In West Berkeley.
    4.
    Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room – In West Berkeley. Tasting room for Sierra Nevada.
    5.
    Oakland United – Serving ½-liter German-style beers. In Jack London Square
    6.
    Cornerstone - Huge selection of beer, cider, and cocktails. Fun game room. On Shattuck in downtown Berkeley.
    7.
    Takara Sake - in West Berkeley, for sake tastings
    8.
    Cask – South Berkeley, at the corner of College and Alcatraz. Part-store and part-tasting room.
    9.
    Hoi Polloi -- on Alcatraz in N Oakland. Live DJ spinning vinyl on weekends
    10.
    Novel -- on San Pablo in Oakland near Emeryville. Good vibes and good brews
    11.
    Temescal Brewing -- on Shattuck Ave in Temescal. Lots of patio space and more of a hop forward selection
    12.
    Ocean View -- on San Pablo in Albany. Bright, small space with patio and live music on weekends
ROOFTOPS
    1.
    620 Jones
    2.
    Charmaine’s
    3.
    Dirty Habit
    4.
    El Techo
Last modified 2yr ago