Ah, homecoming, a time when students, parents and alumni come out to show some UC Berkeley pride. The uproar fills the stadium every year and the exhilaration of events can only mean one thing at the end of the night — hungry students who are in debt yet want to continue the celebration with their loved ones. We can pretend all we want that our on-campus jobs give us enough money to sustain ourselves or we can just let our parents take care of the check, just like the good ol’ days. Here are some of the most expensive restaurants to have your parents pay for to truly show the luxurious life that Berkeley has to offer!
Located conveniently on Shattuck Avenue, Chez Panisse is the heart of tasty French food that will make you yearn for more than fancy cheese and buttered baguettes. Chez Panisse has both a café and restaurant, serving delicious organic food and expensive cuisine. We want to showcase the restaurant, however, as the fixed menu consists of three to four courses and changes nightly, each designed so that the ingredients are in season. As it is homecoming season, this weekend Chez Panisse is serving food ranging from “smoked black cod with baby red romaine lettuce and flowering coriander” to “roasted Black Mission figs with early fall chicories and shallot-sherry vinaigrette,” according to the Chez Panisse website, so make sure that your parents have already reserved a table! The ingredients are always incredibly fresh and paired perfectly together so that each dish is a unique explosion of flavors. This restaurant is definitely the priciest on our list, but it’s totally worth every penny. The combination of a textbook Californian craftsman ambiance, stunning customer service and a delicious variety of French food will make you and your parents long to travel to France.
Nestled in a quaint part of North Berkeley, Corso is a wonderful, cozy and private dinner venue. The hosting is pleasant and comfortable and you can make reservations a few hours before you go. The Italian menu selection has options available for several food accommodations, while always having a constant rotation in its menu. The portion sizes in the appetizers are certainly large, while the dinner portions are at most average-sized — great for filling up those bear-sized stomachs that all UC Berkeley students have — so ordering an appetizer is the way to go. We recommend any Italian pasta dish, as any of the ones being served each night are guaranteed to fill up your tummy and your happiness! The desserts are absolutely delicious, especially the panna cotta with vanilla cream, topped with sliced strawberries, crushed pistachios and honey. The amazing texture paired with an incredibly soft and creamy bite is a marvel to end the night with.
An absolute classic Chinese restaurant that always has a line out the door, Great China is located on Bancroft Way, and your party will absolutely fall in love with this place. The menu consists of every classic Chinese dish, from beef to duck to seafood, so you can’t go wrong with whatever item you pick. Some notable dishes include the Peking duck, presented in a perfect, skinless and deboned way, with the excess is arranged in perfect squares and chopped for easy eating. There is also the salted crab, which consists of a plate of steaming, chopped-up crab with an egg cracked over it. The waiter stirs the egg and crab together and the steam cooks it up. The service is quick and consistent, the restaurant is not overly decorated and the seating accommodates your family and maybe even some free-loading friends.
Limewood Bar and Restaurant
Overlooking the San Francisco Bay and featuring a thoughtful menu of small bites, craft cocktails and wines-by-the-glass, the Limewood restaurant (located in the Claremont Club and Spa), is the perfect spot to unwind after the festivities of the day. We understand that your parents are really tired and might want to eat at the hotel. The small selection of food ranges from different kinds of meats and pasta divided into mostly appetizers and entrees. The Fanny Bay oysters are a must-have because the pink peppercorn, shallot mignonette and grilled lemon are perfectly combined to make your mouth water throughout. The grilled prime New York strip is definitely a dish from another time as the pomme purée, grilled caulilini and red wine jus give a juicy and sophisticated mouthful. The drink selection is at its highest quality, consisting of a variety of imported, expensive drinks that have developed a high, acquired taste.
Have a great homecoming, Bears! I hope these four expensive restaurants do your stomachs justice!