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Berkeley California lodging, CA accommodations, short-term lodging, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland

Berkeley Lodging is located in the heart of Berkeley's world renown Gourmet Ghetto.  It's the section of Shattuck Ave bordered by Rose street on the north and by Hearst Ave on the south. 

Most say that Alice Waters, inspired by the food and lifestyle of Provence in southern France, and her restaurant Chez Panisse are mostly responsible for the birth of the Gourmet Ghetto, the area boasts several other food "must haves".  And "revolutionary" is really the right word -- the Gourmet Ghetto was born in the late 60s and early 70s in Berkeley, when the counterculture was changing everyone's life.

When Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971, the Gourmet Ghetto already featured attractions such as Peet's Coffee, Tea and Spices and the Cheese Board which both opened in '67.  In They're both still in the neighborhood, as is Chez Panisse, and with the addition of the new Epicurious Garden, there are many more places to wine and dine to your heart's content within walking distance of Berkeley Lodging.

A mile west of the actual Gourmet Ghetto, there's a corner outpost you could call the Gourmet Ghetto West. It has three businesses intimately connected with Chez Panisse: the small Cafe Fanny; Acme Bread, which has supplied Chez Panisse almost since it opened; and Kermit Lynch, the wine importer who provides most of Chez Panisse's wine. 

Restaurants and Such


Chez Panisse: What more can be said about the restaurant that not only inspired an American revolution in food preparation but whose proprietor, Berkeley resident Alice Waters, is one of America's best and most beloved cook-celebrities. Fixed price, get your reservations well in advance, eat what they serve you. Amazing ingredients, perfectly fresh and of the highest quality, prepared with imagination and profound respect, will make you remember the experience for years. 1517 Shattuck Ave., 510-548-5525 (dinner reservations only). (This Weeks Menu, Top 100 Restaurants 2002 / Web site)


Chez Panisse Cafe: Upstairs from the restaurant in the same shingled house, the cafe applies the same principles to less formal ends. 1517 Shattuck Ave., 510-548-5049. (This Weeks Menu)


The Local Butcher Shop


Epicurious Garden has been a long awaited arrival in Berkeley amongst locals and food connoisseurs alike.  The Gourmet Ghetto has a very nice very fun new addition to its family.

It's home to a handful of various fantastic gourmet restaurants and some upscale retail stores.  It already has a garden complete with waterfall where you can sit and enjoy your takeout meal, a culinary school, and eventually it will have a roof top organic garden.


Current Garden Residents

For fifteen years, it's been consistently voted one of the Best Japanese restaurants in the Bay Area.   Now they draw on that same passion, dedication, and experience in their newest location, serving only the best quality fish and food to the Epicurious Garden clientele.


Soop specializes in fresh homemade soup.  It's made from hand-picked fresh produce and carefully prepared.  It is a slow and unhurried cooking process.   Soop strives to use the best organic and locally-grown produce available.  Each week they hand mix six or more fresh soups, chowders and chili's and each weekend they offer a special "weekend stew".  

(Current Soop Menu)


Fine American and European chocolate is available.  Enjoy the aroma, the texture, and the taste - it will bring you an amazing harmony!

Ciao Bella is dedicated to creating the finest gelato and sorbet.  Their chef Danilo, a native-born Italian, uses the finest ingredients, recipes from back home, his imagination, and the latest trends to create small batches of unique and delicious flavours.  BOUN APPEITITO!

Come enjoy San Francisco's world renown Imperial Tea Court right in the comfort of this wondrous garden in Berkeley.

Kitchen on Fire offers instruction on entertaining and cooking like a professional for family and friends alike.  They offer fun and educational hands on classes on cooking, culinary lectures, demonstrations in cuisine-- all taught by top chefs and food professionals. 


Epicurious Garden Neighbors

Cesar: A fun, sophisticated place open late for high-quality snacking and drinking. Delicious and unusual martinis. The menu offers 14 savory tapas, three bocadillos, and five mouth-watering sweets. Really nice design, with a beautiful simple bar, wooden tables and mesmerizing tiles. Open 3-midnight daily. 1515 Shattuck Ave., 510-883-0222. (Top 100 Restaurants 2001)


Cheese Board Collective: There is a big board -- not for cutting cheese, but a chalk board listing dozens and dozens of types of cheese.  They're members of a collective, not employees, and they're the cheese elite of the world . A little knowledge is a dangerous thing; a huge amount of knowledge can be scary. Founded in '67, collectivized in '71 or '72, and in its present location since about '75, the Cheese Board helped define the Gourmet Ghetto we know today - political activism and passion about food. They also offer olives, bread, coffee and sugary things to eat with it, and prepared foods such as blintzes. Some tables outside. 1504 Shattuck Ave., 510-549-3183. (Web site)

Cheese Board Pizza: A couple of doors down from its parent, the Cheese Board Pizza sells delicious pizza by the slice or pie, or half-baked to bring home. There's only one kind daily, always vegetarian. Fresh vegetables and herbs, high-quality cheese and lots of olive oil make it really hard not to overindulge.  Smile at the counter and they might give you an extra slice if they think you are nice.  Local musicians entertain while you are in line, most often playing jazz and other groovy tunes.   Some tables outside; on sunny days people picnic along the grassy, tree-lined street divider. 1512 Shattuck Ave., 510-549-3055. (Web site)

Gregoire: There are few places to sit at tiny Gregoire. Rather, diners walk to the counter and fill out a menu -- flash-fried shrimp rolls with wasabi cream, cedar-baked salmon with wild mushroom stew, lamb chops or duck confit, for example -- then wait as food is cooked to order and packed in their very recognizable octagonal boxes. His potato puffs are legendary!  Orders can also be faxed or phoned. Gregoire Jacquet, who has cooked professionally in France and the U.S., changes his menus with the season and uses as much organic and locally grown food as he can—we’ve included links to the current menus.   2109 Cedar St. (near Shattuck), Berkeley; (510) 883-1893. (Web site, This Months Lunch Menu, This Months Dinner Menu)


Chester's Bayview Cafe: Hidden away inside Walnut Square and just from Vine Street, Chester's offers an eclectic array of dishes. Breakfast options range from eggs Mexicali to Belgian Banberry Split waffles; lunch from stir-fry salad to pesto chicken pasta. Dinner dishes (Wed-Sat) include blackened catfish and Mediterranean crepes. On clear days the view from the cafe's intimate terrace extends beyond nearby rooftops to the Bay and San Francisco. 1508-B Walnut St., 510-849-9995. 

French Hotel Cafe: A lively scene, with the customers caught up in caffeine-inspired political or philosophical discussions. This is where the true north Berkeley residents get their morning Latte fix.  Famous cappuccinos, other drinks, and pastries. 1538 Shattuck Ave., 510-843-8958.  

Cha Am: A very well-loved Thai restaurant perched above Shattuck in a wooden building that feels like a tree house. Recommended by old Southeast Asia hands. 1543 Shattuck Ave., 510-848-9664. (Menu)

Juice Bar Collective: This tiny storefront offers quick lunches: sandwiches, hot food such as soups and chili, and, juice. Assortments of carrots and oranges await juicing at your command. An institution. 2114 Vine St., 510-548-8473.

Liaison Bistro: The atmosphere in this chic, lively bistro is warmly festive. The food is unpretentious and first rate, and the customers all seem to be embroiled in their own exciting conversations. Maybe it's the effect of warm colors, glowing lights, happy faces, and the sight of all those earnest chefs in their white paper toques stirring, whisking, and sautéing in the open kitchen.  1849 Shattuck Ave., 510-849-2155.

Masse's Pastries: They do taste good, but it's the way the pastries and cakes look that you remember. Unusual flavors such as mango and cassis mix with more traditional cake ingredients such as chocolate and caramel. The individual serving-sized cakes are lovely little sculptures. The French go in the mornings for real croissants -- but get there by nine or you'll miss out. Some indoor and outdoor tables. 1469 Shattuck Ave., 510-649-1004.

Peet's: The very first Peet's ever!  It might seem like other Peet's outposts -- until you realize that they all seem like it, with dark wood, coffee machines and mugs lining the walls, and teas in bulk. Sunday mornings, townies come to bask in the sunshine along the sidewalks, caffeine-up and schmooze. 2124 Vine St., 510-841-0564. (Web site)

Phoenix Pastificio Restaurant: Yum! The staff is genuinely nice instead of urbanely professional, and it can take a while for the lone cook to get your food together, but when it comes it's well worth the wait. The offerings are minimal: four or five pastas, vegetarian soup of the day, salads, and water, juice drinks, tea, coffee or espresso to drink. Everything is made there. The restaurant is nicely designed but not separated from the retail or pasta-production spaces, so you get a nice feeling of involvement. Lunch only, but word is that dinner might be offered sometime soon. 1786 Shattuck Ave., 510-883-0783.

Poulet: Though known best for its ready-made dishes, Poulet also offers casual lunch and dinner to eat in. The menu includes fresh salads, chicken many ways and other main dishes, and desserts. The smell of freshly cooked chicken is a happy presence in the North Berkeley neighborhood surrounding the Café.  Catering too; North Berkeleyans have been relying on Poulet for parties for the past 20 years. 1685 Shattuck Ave., 510-845-5932.

Saul's: As close as you can get in Berkeley to a genuine New York deli. The deli counter has all sorts of salad and meats, and the restaurant serves huge sandwiches as well as matzo ball soup and other staples. 1475 Shattuck Ave., 510-848-3354.

Virginia Bakery: A refreshingly old-fashioned bakery, a local favorite for 50 years. Big, fluffy cakes, and cookies by the pound. . Be sure to reserve the butter rolls well in advance for your next special dinner. 1690 Shattuck Ave., 510-878-6711.

Gourmet Ghetto West

Acme Bread: Started by a Cal student who baked bread for Chez Panisse, Acme has been making outstanding bread for over 20 years. Though you can buy their breads (now made with all organic flours) in upscale markets all over the Bay Area, it's fresher and tastier if you go to the source.  All the food snobs agree: it's the best there is. 1601 San Pablo Ave., 510-524-1327.  

Cafe Fanny: This tiny cafe is named after Alice Water's daughter Fanny and modeled on French cafe bars. It serves breakfast -- bowls of cafe au lait, Acme levain toast and some heartier items -- and sandwiches and salads for lunch. Lines can be long and it's hard to find a place to stand or sit, but the food is worth it. 1603 San Pablo Ave., 510-524-5447.

Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant: A very nice big red brick space for browsing among the bottles. Because Kermit Lynch is an importer and travels to many of the wineries personally, the depth of his knowledge is impressive. The staff knows their way around a decanter too. Every wine here is extraordinary for the price; if you're looking for bargains you can find them, and if you want to splurge on something special you can do that too. Mostly French and other European bottles; some cookbooks and a few European food items. 1605 San Pablo Ave., 510-524-1524



Nearby Attractions and Fun Things To Do During Your Stay

Live Music

Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center

Ashkenaz offers  international and domestic music and dance on one of the best dance floors in the Bay Area.  Hot and cold food, beer, and wine served. Minors are welcome, and there's free admission for kids 12 and under.  (510) 524-8180
1317 San Pablo Ave.

Shopping near Berkeley Lodging

Earthly Goods: A big, airy store (actually two adjoining stores) selling everything you need to equip a chick for the North Berkeley lifestyle, 24 hours a day, including shoes, lingerie, jewelry and PJs. Mostly natural fabrics and a comfortable silhouette, with a few more extreme items for the fashion victims among us. 2100 Vine St., 510-845-4564 and 2106 Vine St., 510-644-8378.

Lobelia: Well chosen, casual clothing at a reasonable price -- a rarity in this neighborhood! Colors tend to be bright, the fabric, cotton, the atmosphere, upbeat. 1483 Shattuck Ave., 510-848-1555.

Virginia Cleaners: Another beloved institution, helping the food-obsessed locals impress their favorite maitre d' for over 100 years. Really! They operate their own plant, and you can drive through to drop off or pick up your duds. 1650 Shattuck Ave., 510-848-1345.

The Walk Shop: The Walk Shop carries a huge selection of shoes designed to keep your feet happy and at least moderately fashionable, including the expensive but reputedly life-changing Mephistos. A quadruple-E width doesn't even make them blink; the narrow-footed might have a harder time. 2120 Vine St., 510-849-3628. (Web site)


Other Attractions

Lawrence Hall of Science

Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) is a singular resource center for preschool through high school science and mathematics education, and a public science center with exciting hands-on experiences for learners of all ages.

Established in 1968 at the University of California at Berkeley in honor of Ernest O. Lawrence, UC's first Nobel laureate, Lawrence Hall of Science is a national leader in the development of innovative materials and programs for students, teachers, families, and the public at large

current must see exhibit:  FORCES THAT SHAPE THE BAY

Explore the Lawrence Hall of Science's new science park, Forces That Shape the Bay. Play Mother Nature as you ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion, and scope out the Bay with our powerful telescopes.

At 1,100 feet above sea level with a 180 degree view of San Francisco Bay, the Forces That Shape the Bay exhibit not only allows visitors to enjoy this spectacular view at their leisure, but our facilitator-led, hands-on activities; telescopes; signage and guided events greatly enhance it. The exhibit's centerpiece is a waterfall that represents water flowing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. You can control how the water flows. Other geologic features include hands-on erosion tables; earthquake and plate tectonics simulators you can ride; a 40-foot-long, 6-foot-high, rock compression wall; and more. The major themes are water, erosion, plate tectonics, and mountain building.

Berkeley Iron Works:  One of the oldest indoor rock climbing gyms in the world, the Iron Works, formerly known as City Rock, offers fantastic bouldering, climbing, classes ranging from Yoga to Pilates to Performance Indoor Cycling and Yoga classes.  Its truly a must experience in the world of indoor climbing.  National and International competitions are regularly held here, and some of the most talented and world famous climbing personalities call this gym home.  (Web site)

Berkeley Iron Works (above)

Berkeley Farmer's Market

The Farmer's Markets are not only a great source of wonderfully fresh produce, eggs, dairy products, and sauces, but  also a great place to find Berkeley's food enthusiasts. Strike up a conversation with a fellow shopper and you might find out the most delicious way to cook your freshly purchased fava beans or mustard greens. 


There are three Farmer's Markets in Berkeley. One is held every Saturday on Center St. above Martin Luther King Jr. Way  right next to MLK Jr. Park.   The second is held at Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck on Thursday afternoons. Another is held every Tuesday on Derby St. and MLK Jr. Way. The Berkeley Farmer's Markets are sponsored and organized by The Ecology Center.

Hours: Saturdays: 10am-2pm, Tuesdays: 2pm-7pm

Aquatic Park

Just South of the Berkeley Marina is Aquatic Park. The park, on the city's original shoreline, is a great place for paddle boating, bird watching, biking or picnicking, as well as making your kid's playtime fantasies come true. Just constructed there is a magnificent all wooden kid's playground. The playground was a project of the Berkeley Partners for Parks organization. The design was based on the ideas of Berkeley school children and The Dreamland For Kids was built entirely with community donations and labor. Other Park facilities include, picnic tables, a frisbee Course, a par Exercise Course, a dressing area for the Water Ski Group, a boat Launch Ramp and grassy areas for free play. The park is a wonderful place filled with both aquatic and terrestrial adventures for kids, teenagers and adults.   

Location: Bolivar Way at the foot of Bancroft Way

Aquatic Park (above)


Indian Rock Park

Indian Rock Park is one of the best places to go rock climbing in Berkeley and it has one of the most gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay. The park's facilities include, a large rock formation with carved steps, outcroppings for rock climbing, picnic tables and grassy play areas.

Indian Rock Summit (above)

History: The park was dedicated in 1917. It was a gift to the City from the Mason-McDuffie Real Estate Company during its development of the Northbrae area. Dick Leonard, the “father of modern rock climbing,” and David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth, learned rock climbing and developed their mountaineering techniques at Indian Rock. Brower used this special knowledge to prepare training manuals in the Second World War. The information he provided was critical in enabling the 86th Regiment of the U.S. Army to surprise the Germans at Riva Ridge in the North Apennines in Italy. This was the major action disrupting German lines in southern Europe.

Location:            Indian Rock Avenue at Shattuck Avenue


Berkeley Rose Garden

Besides row upon row of gorgeous fragrant roses, the Berkeley Rose Garden has a redwood pergola, four tennis courts, a picnic area, scenic hiking trails, foot bridges, a semicircular terraced amphitheater, a breathtaking view of the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge and an ornamental pool fed by Codornices creek which runs through the garden. The garden is a wonderful place to hold events, weddings and celebrations. The Berkeley Rose Garden is considered by many, to be the finest rose garden in Northern California with its 3,000 rose bushes and 250 varieties of roses. The roses are pruned in January in preparation for Mother's Day when the garden is in its most spectacular state.

History: The Rose Garden was one of the first Civil Works Progress Projects under the Works Project Administration (WPA), the Rose Garden was conceived in 1933 and completed and dedicated for public use in September, 1937.  East Bay rose societies and community members donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time.  The terraced amphitheatre and 220-foot-long redwood pergola was suggested by architect Bernard Maybeck; the final design and execution were the work of landscape architect Vernon M. Dean and rose specialist C. V. Covell.  For many years the parks department held "Rose Week" activities there each May, with a Rose Day Celebration on Mother's Day.  Traditionally, the annual winners in the All-American Rose Society were planted at the Garden; others were supplied by growers from all over the world.

Location: Euclid Ave. and Bayview Place, right next to Codornices park

Tilden Park

One of the area's three oldest parks, Tilden has been called the jewel of the local parks, and its recreational activities have become a happy tradition for generations of East Bay youngsters. From a pony ride to a carousel ride, from a picnic and swim at Lake Anza to a stroll through the Botanic Garden, Tilden has variety to delight everyone. Yet there are plenty of quiet places in Tilden's 2,077 acres to shelter the wildlife and preserve natural beauty. Tilden was named for Charles Lee Tilden, first president of the Park District Board of Directors. The park is reached via Canon Drive, Shasta Road, or South Park Drive, all off Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley.

Live Oak Park: A lovely restful place to go to escape the rigors of the commercial life (no matter how organic and sustainable). Picnic tables and lawns for consuming your gourmet lunch, and basketball courts for working it off. The small theater has plays (mostly children's), and Shakespeare and craft fairs occasionally take over the lawns. Across Walnut Street at the east end of the park is the Berkeley Art Center, a jewel of a building set over a creek and among oak trees. Most exhibitions feature local artists; the center also hosts poetry readings and musical events. Park is midway between Rose and Eunice, Shattuck and Walnut; the Art Center is at 1275 Walnut St., 510-644-6893. (Web site)  

Live Oak Park (above)

Berkeley Short-Term Lodging


Phone: (510) 525-6416