Despite being a broke college kid, I’ve never been more eager to eat out upon coming to Berkeley! Compared to that of LA, the food here around the school seems pricier, but is actually considered to be average when compared to other food places within the area.
Though I normally go back to my dorm’s dining hall to eat, here’s a small compilation of foods I’ve tried so far, and hope you can also take these in consideration the next time you visit Berkeley!
1. UJI Time Dessert
Location: 2575 Telegraph Ave. (shares a storefront with Vampire Penguin)
I Ordered: Lychee Ice Cream in Fish Cone (stuffed with red bean)
Apparently known as a “must-try, basic” dessert place here in Berkeley, the fish cone ice cream was super amazingly delicious! It was unique in its lychee ice cream and combination with the fish cone, which was stuffed with sweet red bean paste. My friends ordered the little fish taiyaki and parfaits, which I also included pictures of down below! The restaurant itself is small and nothing too special, but UJI Time’s desserts have cute aesthetics and are really yummy 😋
2. Koja Kitchen
Location: 2395 Telegraph Ave.
I Ordered: Kamikaze Fries
Didn’t get to take a picture before eating, but the portion size was not worth the money. I ordered the fries to-go for about $7, and the seasoning + waffle fries were not bad, but weren’t filling and left me still feeling hungry from the tiny portion size.
Location: 2334 Telegraph Ave.
I Ordered: Free Water Cup; Burrito Bowl (Customized; 2x Salsa, no beans)
COOLEST food place ever!! You download the smartphone app “eatsa” to order, and the method of ordering is essentially an virtual vegan version of Subway or Chipotle, with different bowls and burritos and a variety of other foods you can choose from! After ordering and selecting a pick-up time, you go to Eatsa to pick up your order from 100% robot-controlled glass boxes in the wall (you have to see it to believe it). The store itself is tiny, but futuristic-looking, with only one employee acting as a supervisor. The food – quinoa, salsa, grilled corn, etc. – is filling and of pretty good quality, but not spectacular.
4. Little Lotus House
Location: 2517 Durant Ave.
I Ordered: Sweet and Sour Chicken
Reminded me of home, when mom would cook something like this for us! A warm and cozy small restaurant, I came here for a friend’s birthday and ordered the Sweet and Sour Chicken, which was very filling (so much rice!) and reasonably priced in accordance with its portion size and quality. Overall, it wasn’t exceptionally amazing, but was nice in that it really tasted and felt like a homemade meal.
5. Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana
Location: 2519 Durant Ave. (inside Asian Ghetto)
I Ordered: The Bronx Tale (To Go)
Almost always packed during dinner time, this restaurant has been awarded several times for its amazing Italian food and pastas. Being a pasta lover, I ordered The Bronx Tale for about $10, which consists of marinara sauce, meatballs, and penne pasta. Every order seems to come with a slice of bread with some kind of yummy mix of nuts/garlic on top! They come in huge servings, and although the picture above isn’t as pretty because I ordered it to go, it was really one of the best pastas I’ve ever had.
6. Jamba Juice
Location: 2514 Bancroft Way
I Ordered: Açaí Bowl
Although Jamba Juice isn’t uncommon, I rarely had the opportunity to try it at home. Coming here, it was my first time ordering their Açaí Bowl ($7), and it was SO good – partially because the cold smoothie + fruit mix cooled me down from the 90 degree weather. The fruit and ingredients are almost always fresh, and while the Açaí Bowl may not be something I’d normally want to spend $7 on, it was worth it when I was out with friends on a super hot day.
7. Caffe Strada
Location: 2300 College Ave.
I Ordered: Small Cappuccino; Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
Came here to meet a friend after a long day of classes, tests, and skipping both breakfast and lunch – the large double chocolate chip cookie was $2, and it came down to a total of $4 for the cookie and a small (it really was pretty small) cappuccino. I’m not a coffee person at all, but I like Caffe Strada a lot now!
8. Bear’s Ramen House
Location: 2521 Durant Ave. (inside Asian Ghetto)
I Ordered: Kimchi Ramen
After coming back from San Francisco to Berkeley for lunch, I stopped by Asian Ghetto to try out the Kimchi Ramen from Ramen House. While it wasn’t too bad, the flavor was a bit bland and not what I was expecting. It was just vegetables and noodles and slightly watered-down soup, so I don’t really recommend this dish at all. However, it kept me full, so that was a pretty good thing!
I still don’t eat out very often, but will definitely update again in the future with new ventures, both food and non-food related! Hope to see you all soon 🍜