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‘Tastes just like home cooking’: Restaurant openings in Berkeley this past May

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A guide to restaurant openings in Berkeley this past May, including Cafenated Coffee Co., Sandwiches-A-Go-Go, Sesame Tiny Bakery, The Cheese Steak Shop and What the Cluck.


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JUNE 07, 2023

Cafenated Coffee Co.

From its extensive coffee menu to caffeinated breakfast plates, Cafenated Coffee Co. located at 2960 College Ave. serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on weekends, according to CEO Mak Jamasbi. He said this “luxurious cafe” is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With the business first opening four years ago at 2085 Vine St. in Berkeley, this new location also provides a “comfortable (and) clean environment” for the community to taste “high-end” coffee, Jamasbi added. He also explained that the restaurant serves food that is made in house and offers an “excellent” selection of beer and wine.

The restaurant’s mission focuses on supporting female coffee farmers from across the world and providing the local community with a variety of food and drink, Jamasbi said.

“We’re trying to bring the best beverages — including coffee — and quality, delicious foods, so I think from that perspective, we combined the two things together in the best way possible,” Jamasbi said.


Located at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way facing UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, Sandwiches-A-Go-Go at 2490 Bancroft Way offers an assortment of sandwiches. The lot was previously occupied by Subway, which received heavy foot traffic due to its proximity to campus.

Sesame Tiny Bakery

A pocket-sized bakery at 2533 Seventh St. near Parker Street, Sesame Tiny Bakery offers a selection of rotating sweets and cakes that are made with seasonal fruit. Such treats include different types of galettes, apricot cake and cherry crumb cookies.

“Please patiently join us as we dip our toes into the space and get ourselves and you, situated in our new bakery,” reads a Sesame Tiny Bakery Instagram post.

The Cheese Steak Shop 

Serving authentic Philadelphia-type cheesesteaks on Amoroso rolls, The Cheese Steak Shop located at 2014 Kala Bagai Way works to “stay authentic” to its brand, according to district manager Bob Biddle. The restaurant, which is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., also offers salads, vegetarian sandwiches and an assortment of fries and sides.

Biddle explained that while the restaurant first opened in Berkeley in 1983, the expiration of its previous lease caused the restaurant to move to another site. He expects the restaurant’s new location near Shattuck Avenue and University Avenue to have a lot of foot traffic due to its proximity to campus.

While the restaurant’s other locations in the Bay Area serve a majority of takeout meals, Biddle said the dining area at the Berkeley location can seat about 40 customers.

“It brings a real authenticity from the Philadelphia area,” Biddle said. “The fact that we use Amoroso rolls and the dessert option is Tastykakes, which is a Philadelphia staple as well, we bring a real hearty, filling meal-type sandwich.”

What the Cluck 

Working to bring the “mai pen rai,” or care-free spirit, of Thailand to the Bay Area, What the Cluck at 2114 Shattuck Ave. offers “fun, healthy, affordable, delicious” food for the community to enjoy, according to the owner of What the Cluck Inc. Bob Dilokjeerapan.  The restaurant, which is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday in Downtown Berkeley, is the company’s fifth location.

The owner of the Shattuck location, Vajirawich Wongpuvarak, said the restaurant’s most popular item is steamed chicken and rice, though it also serves crispy chicken and chicken and rice soup. The restaurant primarily serves takeout, he noted, though there are a few tables for dining in.

Dilokjeerapan explained that the restaurant is inspired by Thailand’s street food and serves as the “perfect option” for customers who are uncertain what to order. He added the business targets customers of Asian heritage in the San Francisco area but serves any community that wants a “healthy and affordable” meal.

“We use only the best ingredients, and it’s always freshly prepared to ensure it tastes just like home cooking,” Dilokjeerapan said in an email. “For all those times you want something easy and delicious, we hope you enjoy What the Cluck.”

Contact Matthew Yoshimoto at 


JUNE 07, 2023