Although the University of California dominates Berkeley's heritage
and cultural life, the two are not synonymous:
The city of 100,000 facing San Francisco has
a myriad of other interesting attributes. Named for George Berkeley,
the Irish philosopher and clergyman who crossed the Atlantic to convert
Native Americans to Christianity, Berkeley is a fascinating place
to spend a day, a cultural and intellectual center framed by green
hills on one side and the San Francisco Bay on the other.
The Walk Shop is located
smack in the middle of what is known locally as the Gourmet Ghetto,
a three block stretch of gourmet shops and restaurants. Listed below
are just a few of the eateries you'll find here:
Chez Panisse: Just
around the corner from us is Chez Panisse, the internationally renowned
french restaurant. The famed Alice Waters, who personally invented
"California Cuisine", remains the mastermind behind this
legendary eatery. In the downstairs restaurant, where redwood paneling,
a fireplace and lavish floral arrangements create the feeling of
a private club, dinners are fixed price. Upstairs in the cafe the
prices are lower, the crowd livelier, and the menu simpler. (Call
510-548-5525 for reservations, which are essential at the restaurant.
Closed on Sundays.)
Cha-Am: If you're in the mood for
something more exotic, a short walk down the street will bring you
to Cha-Am, felt by many to be the best Thai restaurant in the Bay
Area. The prices are moderate, and the food comes fast. Try and
get a table in the glass enclosed room overlooking Shattuck Ave.
Saul's New York Deli: Feeling a little
home sick? Saul's has piping hot chicken soup (served with matzo
balls or noodles), extra thick pastrami and corned beef sandwiches,
and fresh egg fizzes that are to die for. Such a bargain.
The Cheeseboard Collective:
Just need a quick snack? The Cheeseboard features a mind-boggling
array of cheeses from around the world, and as if that wasn't enough,
they bake their own fresh baguettes, scones, and muffins several
times a day. My mom drives 45 minutes every Sunday for a hot baguette
and a slice of Stilton.
shopping trip requires a pick-me-up at some point during the day.
You'll find none better than the dark brown mix served up at Peet's.
This is the original location where Alfred Peet first open his store
more than 30 years ago. Known to some in the neighborhood as rocket
fuel, it is the stuff that has kept many of our own salespeople
going during a busy Saturday at the store.
Well, what did you expect from a university town? And because
U.C. Berkeley is the number one public university in the country,
we have some of the finest brew pubs in the states.
Pyramid Ale Brewery: Home
of Pyramid Ale. Located on Gilman St., this palatial brew pub and
restaurant lets you sip a pint while you look out over the 30 or
so giant stainless steel brew tanks. If you like beer, you must
stop by. It's amazing. And on Saturday nights they show really bad
movies in the parking lot.
The Triple Rock:
A smaller brew pub with more of a neighborhood feel. Get some
nachos and have a pint up in the beer garden.
Jupiter's: The cosmopolitan
brother of The Triple Rock, with a larger selection of home-brewed
beer as well as some european brands.
Of course, the University is the center of the community. The first
of nine campuses to be built for the University of California (which
is why we get to call ourselves "Cal"), it's not unusual
to see the guy who just discovered the world's oldest human remains
(he calls her "Lucy") just five minutes after seeing a
naked man singing Frank Sinatra ballads in Sproul Plaza. An experience.
The Berkeley Art Museum: This
museum houses a collection of work spanning five centuries, although
the emphasis is on contemporary art. Don't miss the series of vibrant
paintings by the abstract impressionist Hans Hofmann. On the ground
floor is the Pacific Film Archive, with programs of historic and
The U.C. Botanical Gardens: More
than 13,500 species of plants from all over the world flourish in
the 34 acre gardens. Tours are given weekends at 1:30. This is
the best place in Berkeley to have a picnic.
The Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology:
Changing exhibits may cover the archeology of ancient America
or the crafts of the Pacific Islanders.The Museum also houses the
collection of artifacts made by Ishi, the lone survivor of the Yahi
Indian tribe. Located in Kroeber Hall.
Sather Tower: Popularly known
as the Campanile, this is the campus landmark, and it can be seen
for miles. The 307-ft structure was modeled on St. Marks Tower in
Venice and completed in 1914. Take the elevator up to the observation
deck for an unrivaled view of the campus and of the Bay Area.
The Lawrence Hall of Science:
A dazzling science education center with hand's on displays
for children. Interactive exhibits let kids look at insects under
microscopes, solve crimes using chemical forensics, and explore
the physics of baseball. On clear Saturday nights from 8 to 11 the
museum sets up telescopes for it's popular Saturday Night Stargazing.