If you’ve been meaning to venture out of your cuisine comfort zone, Berkeley is just the place to do it. Unbeknownst to many, there a quite a few restaurants that will satisfy your international culinary cravings found along a stretch of our very own University Avenue in Downtown Berkeley. Whether you want to try Indonesian, Salvadoran, Southern Indian or Brazilian food, this street has got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to a few of our favorites.
Jayakarta is a self-proclaimed “hole in the wall” that offers fantastic, flavorful Indonesian cuisine. With dozens of tasty noodle and rice dishes to choose from, you might just feel like your grabbing a bite to eat from a local street vendor in Indonesia’s capital. And if spicy food is your forte, you definitely have to check it out. Its spiciness is ranked on four levels, from “American spice level” to “Indonesian spice level,” which the chefs will only make for you upon special request. Trust them when they say the spiciest level is comparable to getting pepper-sprayed in the mouth. Our favorite dish from this vegetarian-friendly restaurant is the Mie Tek-Tek, spicy stir-fried noodles with veggies and a fried egg with runny yolk.
Platano Salvadoran Cuisine
If you’ve never had pupusas, you’ve been missing out and should definitely go try your first at this Salvadoran spot. Pupusas are thick corn tortillas filled with special cheese, veggies and protein and are great comfort food. Go for lunch and get its lunch special: any two pupusas with plantains and beans. Also be sure to check out the folk art on its walls, which comes directly from El Salvador.
Udupi Palace is a unique vegetarian restaurant specializing in Southern Indian cuisine. It serves specialty foods that can’t be found in other Indian restaurants around campus. We at the Clog are obsessed with its vadas — fried lentil donuts. Also try one of its dosas — flat, savory pancakes wrapped around yummy fillings like spiced potato and served with chutney.
Pedro’s Brazil Cafe
If the Olympics have you craving a little taste of Brazil, look no further than Pedro’s Brazil Cafe. Whether you check out its stand or restaurant location, you can’t go wrong. Try one of its sandwiches or rice bowls that feature its tasty cilantro-garlic sauce. Also be sure to grab a guaraná, a Brazilian soft drink, with your meal. If you want to avoid its long lines, you can order on Eat24 before you head over.
Now you’re ready for your culinary tour of Berkeley.
Contact Juliet Hemmati at [email protected].