Berkeley’s top five best eats for CalSO attendees

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Timmothy Dawson/File

Berkeley’s food scene is known for being cheap, plentiful, and, most importantly, delicious.  With cuisines ranging from Mexican to Chinese, pizza to gook soo, you’ll rarely find yourself bored by the same old restaurant. While some scour websites like Yelp for what’s good, the best recommendations always come from fellow students.

Cheese Board Pizza

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This Berkeley collective has been building its reputation for excellent pizzas since 1971. Nestled near the Gourmet Ghetto, Cheese Board Pizza serves up one-of-a-kind slices and pies daily. What makes this pizzeria special is that they serve one new kind of pizza and salad — which are both vegetarian-friendly — every day!

The thin crust dough, topped with fresh veggies and cheese, provides texture and flavor with each bite. So for anyone looking for a great piece of pizza, head over to Cheese Board and see what it’s all about!

Gypsy’s Trattoria

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Gypsy’s is a popular restaurant on the south side of campus that attracts students and residents for its quick Italian food at a great price. While the restaurant has a wide menu, you’ll hit the gold mine with their huge calzones and pastas.

The calzones are baked to order, coming hot out of the oven filled with custom toppings. Students recommend the Pesto and Meatball calzones. If you decide to go the pasta route, the noodles are cooked al dente with a sauce made from scratch — favorites include Pollo con Pesto and Gamberi E Capesante.

Top Dog

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Top Dog is another Berkeley establishment that students remember long after graduation. The restaurant’s setup is straightforward and simple: pick your sausage, add chili if you’d like, then add your own condiments at the bar behind you.

The sausages are cooked on a flat-top grill and tucked into a sesame seed baguette, giving them a perfect snap and a juicy filling when customers bite in. The only downside is that the restaurant doesn’t provide seating and only accepts cash payment.  But if you’re a bit tired after CalSO and want a bite to take home with you, try Top Dog!

La Burrita

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La Burrita serves up quick (but quality) Mexican food to students and visitors alike at its two locations in the Berkeley area. With a wide selection  of burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and more, anyone can find a satisfying dish.

Burritos, notably the California and Fajita burritos, are a favorite at this eatery.  If you’re in the mood for something else, however, try any of the enchiladas or quesadillas, which are topped with creamy guacamole and sour cream. Before you leave, make sure to stop by the salsa bar or try an Agua Fresca.

Jupiter

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Another great hotspot in Berkeley is Jupiter, situated in downtown Berkeley on Shattuck Ave. You can relax inside this two-story, sit-down restaurant or chill in a beautiful outdoor terrace filled with greenery.

Jupiter — an establishment known for being very unique and very “Berkeley” — is recognized for its freshly made pizzas. For those over 21, Jupiter also offers a wide array of beers and in-house brews — some of which contain up to 10% alcohol. If you’re looking for a nice place to wind down after a busy day and a great time altogether, make sure to check out Jupiter.

Contact Vera Esail at [email protected]