Gather is the type of place that’s mocked on Portlandia: everything is from a local farm (and they make sure you know it), they use a lot of recycled materials, and the building is, according to them, the greenest in Berkeley. All that might make you expect some sort of bland health food, but that’s not what’s going on here at all. The main attraction is actually the pizza, which is more like flatbread topped with fresh vegetables and meats. The space is bright and welcoming, and has an upscale but unpretentious feel. Come for dinner with your parents.
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Thai Basil is famous among Berkeley students as a perfect spot for late-night eats, but their pad thai is great any time of day.
Chez Panisse Cafe
Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley is the more casual (and possibly better) sister spot to Chez Panisse, which is located just downstairs.
Cheese Board Pizza
Cheese Board Pizza in Berkeley does only one type of pizza every day. It tends to be kind of unusual, but it’s always worth the long wait.
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You’re going to wait in line at the Shake Shack in Cow Hollow, but at least there are awesome burgers and ice cream at the end of it.
Hard Water is a good place near the Ferry Building to hang out with a bourbon drink and a snack.
Suggested by our writers
Despite the hit-or-miss menu, Little Gem is an amazingly pleasant place to eat in Hayes Valley.
Blue Barn Gourmet
If you’re looking to be healthy - or at least feel like you’re being healthy - hit up Blue Barn.
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