Most people see summer as a time to diet and work out, but if you really think about it, summer is actually three months’ worth of free time to splurge on food. Instead of rushing to GBC to grab a quick snack before your next class, you finally have the ability to take a trip to Cheese Board and empty your wallet. Treat this list as your bucket list of food to eat before the summer’s over. Check out these delicious and seasonal foods throughout your stay in Berkeley this summer, and be amazed at what the city has to offer beyond the areas around campus.
1. The seasonal flavor at Smitten
In case you aren’t as in tune with the ice cream world as you should be, the San Francisco favorite Smitten recently opened its second and much larger shop in Rockridge. Smitten uses a special machine and liquid nitrogen to freeze each scoop on the spot. Its list of flavors varies from day to day, but July’s flavor is honey nectarine.
2. Pancakes from La Note
This charming little brunch spot features a French-influenced menu. The variety of flavors and ingredients in its dishes makes casual brunch with friends something of an adventure. Try the lemon gingerbread and poached pear pancakes for an interesting take on the breakfast classic. The tart of the lemon, combined with the tangy gingerbread, rounded out by the sweetness of the pears, will surely surprise you.
3. Mediterranean meza at La Mediterranee
Though we recommend the vegetarian version of this mediterranean sampler plate, the meat version is also delicious. This amazing dish offered at this charming little restaurant combines the best of all the appetizers into a meal that’s perfect for sharing. Dolma, spanakopita, levant sandwiches and many more come with sides of hummus, tabouleh, baba ghanoush and more. The fun of this sampler is mixing and matching sauces and foods to create the perfect bite.
4. Corn pizza at Sliver
If you want to have some flavor to your pizza, the corn pizza at Sliver is the way to go. With red pepper, chile pasilla, mozzarella and cotija cheese, limes, cilantro and garlic olive oil, this pizza is sure to please your palate.
5. Seasonal ginger housemade soda at Saul’s
Saul’s breakfast, brunch and lunch menus are full of delightful classics that will keep you full all day. While you nibble on one of the massive scrambles or sandwiches, ask the server for a seasonal, housemade soda. You can request strawberry and ginger for a combination that will truly refresh you.
6. Peach waffle at Elmwood Cafe
The peach waffle captures everything that’s good about a waffle and fruit and molds them into one exquisite breakfast dish. The sweet waffle and syrup play nicely with the fruity flavor, creating waffles you’ll want every morning.
7. Kale caesar salad at the Pasta Shop
Kale has long been the lettuce of choice among health-conscious people. When it’s mixed into a Caesar salad, something amazing happens. This salad is so wonderful that you’ll want to eat the entire bowl. The creamy dressing and grated Parmesan cheese play well with the slight bitterness of the kale.
8. Grilled chicken and citrus salad at Venus
Venus serves the epitome of California food. What make this restaurant so special is its fresh, flavorful and healthy ingredients that makes each dish taste great. They also serve a plethora of vegan and vegetarian entrees as well. This salad features a mandarin rose vinaigrette, gem lettuce, pistachios and avocado.
9. Mexican chicken pizza at Blondie’s
This pizza at Blondie’s is worth checking out. The shop that’s famous for its big, quick slices has also integrated a system of daily specials that combine exciting new ingredients and keep customers coming back. This slice has grilled chicken, olives, corn, jalapenos, red and yellow peppers and the standout cornmeal crust.
10. Potato boat at Rick and Ann’s
Rick and Ann’s is a favorite Southside brunch spot, and it’s easy to see why. The food and atmosphere are both inviting and will keep you coming back. One of their specialties is the potato boat, which consists of home fries topped with pesto, broccoli, jack and cheddar cheeses, grilled onions, sour cream and green onions. While the pesto might seem like a wild card, it really makes the dish special.
Image Sources: Maggie Soun, Cesar Ruiz, Michelle Kim, Lorenz Angelo Gonzales and Foodspotting.