The 7 Best Restaurants In Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California is home to college sports, eco-friendly living, and a plethora of noteworthy restaurants. At least, according to Andy Paragani – ex-chef Bon appetite Editor, viral culinary content creator, and cookbook author. It’s safe to say that dude knows a thing or two about good food. In fact, if you want to learn from the teacher himself and increase your culinary skills, you can snag his new book, the cook you want – For sale now.

Growing up in Berkeley, Paragani explored the culinary scene of the Bay Area like no other. So we asked him to give us his top recommendations in town (the birthplace of world-famous Chez Panisse. From freshly baked sweets to vegan pizza to natural farmers’ market goods—read about Baraghani’s favorite places to eat in Berkeley, California.

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Cheeseboard Group Pizza

Cheeseboard Collective Pizzaria has been a place in Berkeley for over 45 years. It’s an institution and I’ve been going to it since I was a kid. What’s great about it is that it’s collectively owned – very Berkeley in that sense.

Their pizzas all have a sourdough crust, no red sauce, and are always vegan. They only have one kind of pizza per day and it changes daily. It’s all very seasonal—it’s late spring, so it can be asparagus with gremolata and mushrooms. In the summer, the heirloom can be tomatoes and corn.

monterey market

There are many farmers markets and natural food stores around Berkeley, but Monterey Market holds a very special place in my heart. The majority of their produce comes from local farms. They have a nearly complete corridor of all mushrooms, from the obvious cremini to the less obvious black trumpet and lobster varieties. Big reasons why I also love all the samples: wedges of refreshing citrus for a bite in the winter or chunks of fragrant peaches and tomatoes in the summer, they don’t hold back!

diamond pastries

A small pastry shop near Cheeseboard Pizzeria, Masse’s Pastries makes traditional European pastries – eclairs, mille-feuille, and macaroons to name a few. It’s their cake even though it’s out of this world. The guava ricotta cheesecake and white chocolate passion fruit cake were the favorite desserts for very special occasions at my parents’ house. Now when I get home, I get an espresso (they don’t drip!) with a few of their small offerings and a glass of soda.

Gregoire’s Restaurant

Gregoire’s Restaurant

I spent a lot of my teenage years going to Grégoire to load up on potato puffs. The French fast food restaurant has been around for 20 years and is the perfect place to grab a sandwich (like steak with white cheese) or a salad. There is no indoor seating but a few seats outside.



I never want a picky burger. Smokehouse doesn’t try to bring back or make modern burgers. Instead, they do the classic way really well: thin pancakes, cheeseburgers, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, sliced ​​raw onions, and a sesame-sponge bread. They are perfectly proportioned, grilled on a flat surface so that they are completely caramelized all over and the potatoes are thick. They put mustard on their burger, which imparts a certain level of acidity, which makes you drool and makes you want to keep eating it. She is very smart.

Top Dog

Top Dog Berkeley
through scream

Top Dog is where a lot of students go and it’s all I could afford when I was a teenager. You would spend like $2 on a hot dog. They have sesame buns, and all kinds of different hot dogs like linguica, beef, chicken and lemon peppers, sausages, etc.

One thing to note, is that you need to know your order before going up, even if there is a line forming. Otherwise whoever works will pounce on you and send you to the back of the line. You can tell who’s totally a novice and an expert when it comes to ordering because you need to know fast!



This entire list could have been dedicated to my favorite Mexican spots, but I had to go with Tacubaya on Berkeley’s Fourth Street. Much of the menu is beloved dishes sold by street food vendors in Mexico: taco al pastor, tortas, and soba de tortilla. If you go on the weekend, don’t miss ordering the menudo, the beef broth infused with tripe, tripe and all the ingredients.

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