A guide to the north, south, east and west sides of campus

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Desiree Diaz/Staff

Say you live at Unit 1 and constantly eat at Pappy’s or Crossroads. To you, La Val’s is probably unheard of. Or maybe you’re an engineering major and you live in an apartment next to Cory and Soda Halls. You might not know what Sather Lane even is. Campus is big, and exploring it probably isn’t your favorite pastime when presented with rare free time. Here’s a quick outline of what the north, west, south and east sides of campus offer, so you can get out of your comfort cardinal direction and enjoy campus to its fullest! In case you’re in a rush, a tl;dr —too long; didn’t read — is provided at the end of each review.

North’s nature

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Some campus buildings: Cory Hall, Sutardja Dai Hall, North Gate Hall, Tolman Hall, Koshland Hall, Soda Hall, Etcheverry Hall, Stebbins Hall, Euclid Hall, Hoyt Hall and Goldman School of Public Policy

Notable food/cafes: La Val’s, Brewed Awakening, Northside Cafe, Chez Panisse, Cheese Board Pizza, Menchie’s, La Burrita, Celia’s Mexican Restaurant, Stuffed Inn, Hummingbird Cafe and small restaurants in Hearst Food Court

Nearby locations: (Some) Foothill residence halls, Graduate Theological Union, Jesuit School, Yun Lin Temple, Pacific School of Religion and Berkeley Student Cooperative’s central office

tl;dr — It’s relaxed and less rushed than most areas on campus. There are many residential areas, and more calm humans rather than stressed-out students. It’s quiet and quaint, with a cozy feel to all the restaurants and cafes and several religious groups represented in the surrounding area.

West’s wonders

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Some campus buildings: Barker Hall, Li Ka Shing Center, Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Mulford Hall, Morgan Hall and Valley Life Sciences Building

Notable food: Sliver Pizzeria, Ippuku, Top Dog, Bongo Burger, Starbuck Coffee, Purple Kow, Thai Noodle, Paris Baguette, Sandwich Spot, BOBO Drinks, Pat Brown’s, Yali’s Cafe, Sunny Side Cafe, La Note and Toss

Nearby locations: Downtown Berkeley BART station, Games of Berkeley, Trader Joe’s, Verizon Wireless, Shattuck Cinemas, Mike’s Bikes of Berkeley, Body Time, Berkeley Public Library and various banks

tl;dr — There are many tall buildings, along with people rushing everywhere and getting on and off public transportation. There’s an even split between classy dining and delicious fast food, and there’s much more of a bustling city feel. It’s pretty much the only place around campus where you’ll find some chain restaurants and name brands.  

Southside

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Some campus buildings: Sproul Hall, Barrows Hall, Boalt Hall, Hearst Memorial Gym, Wurster Hall, Kroeber Hall and Zellerbach Hall

Notable food: Pappy’s Grill and Sports Bar, Sheng Kee, Top Dog, Chipotle, San Francisco Soup Company, Yogurtland, Pieology, The Melt, CREAM, Cafe Durant, Pasta Bene, Crossroads and Cafe 3 (for meal points). Down into the Elmwood district there’s Ici, Elmwood Cafe, Summer Kitchen and Bake Shop, La Mediterranee and Trattoria La Siciliana

Nearby locations: Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Recreational Sports Facility, Tang Center, residence halls, People’s Park, Underhill Field, Zellerbach Playhouse, Sather Lane, the Asian Ghetto, Cal Student Store (both of them), Career Center, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel and Zee Zee Copy. Down into the Elmwood district there’s Jeremy’s, Goorin Bros. Hats, Lululemon Athletica, Jeremy’s, Your Basic Bird and Dream Fluff Donuts

tl;dr — There’s a great variety of food and a mixture of stressed-out students rushing to class and freshmen central. Drunk partiers stumble everywhere on Friday and Saturday nights. Ambulance sirens sound at literally every time of day. People’s Park is always around the corner. If you go farther south, you’ll reach the nice, quiet residents and cute shops and restaurants of the Elmwood district.

East’s elements

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Desiree Diaz/Staff

Some campus buildings: Haas School of Business, Lewis Hall, Latimer Hall, Pimentel Hall, Stanley Hall, Bowles Hall and Hildebrand Hall

Notable food: International House Cafe, Clark Kerr dining commons, Ramona’s, Foothill dining commons and Fifo @ Haas Cafe

Nearby locations: The Big C, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, Lawrence Hall of Sciences, Frat Row area on and around Piedmont Avenue, Clark Kerr Campus, Foothill residence hall, California Memorial Stadium and Hearst Greek Theatre

tl;dr — There are a lot of nature and hiking options available. It’s the quietest of all four sides, except when there are concerts and on weekends on Frat Row. Hike up to Cheapskate Hill for a free view of performers on concert nights. There is great dining hall food at Foothill dining commons. It feels isolated and above the rest of Berkeley — and, to some extent, it is.

Contact Linsha Qi at [email protected].