Power ranking of Berkeley breakfasts

Karen Chow/Staff
Karen Chow/File
Karen Chow/Staff

La Note

The big guns. Reserved for two occasions. The first being when you’re willing to wait a solid hour and a half for breakfast. The second being when your parents are in town to pick up the tab so that you don’t have to fork more than $24 for a single meal.

Amanda Chung/Staff

Amanda Chung/Staff

Luckily for La Note, there are a couple of major redeeming qualities that compensate for the wait and high expense. If you’re anything like every other human, the great internal conflict that afflicts us all when choosing between sweet and savory whilst at brunch haunts us in our sleep. It’s the classic catch-22. You can either choose French toast and somehow manage to suffer the anomaly of a lethargic sugar high for a majority of the rest of the day, or you get an omelette and hate yourself every time a server passes by with a plate of syrupy pancakes. Diners at La Note get to sidestep this terrible predicament thanks to the amazing offering of dishes that include sugary carbs and savory eggs. Praise the brunch gods above.

Also, the rosemary garlic potatoes will rock your socks off and blow them right into the fifth dimension. Anyone who chooses toast over potatoes is a pleb who would be eliminated from the species by social Darwinism.

Cafe M

Cafe M has got it all. We seriously can’t speak highly enough of this place. The menu ranges from savory crepes to massive wet breakfast burritos, with chocolate chip pancakes in between. The portions are huge, the price is worth and the post-breakfast food coma is real. You haven’t seen a triple threat like this since Justin Timberlake. Located in the heart of adorable 4th Street, the scenic surroundings make this place even more enjoyable. Bonus: the gluten free blue corn pancakes are off the chain. Those suckers are good enough to get even the most passionate wheat enthusiasts convert. We can guarantee that you’ll walk away satisfied.

Cafe M

Amanda Chung/Staff

Elmwood Cafe

This is more of a morning snack than a serious meal. That being said, there’s nothing on the menu that we’ve tried and didn’t like. The place is super cute, making it perfect for Instagram posts and Snapchat stories. We advise you hit up Elmwood for a scrumptious appetizer before your real-life breakfast.


Rick and Ann’s

It’s cute, it’s good, but it’s not great — nothing to write home about, but we’re not mad at it. The thing about Rick and Ann’s is that everything’s almost on point. The wait is usually 3o minutes long, the portions could be bigger and the prices could be cheaper. While none of these on their own are major deal breakers, it’s enough to have us looking toward other breakfast joints.

Amanda Chung/Staff

Amanda Chung/Staff

Berkeley Social Club

Berkeley Social Club is all hype and no payoff. We’ve given the place multiple chances and are grossly underwhelmed every single time. No matter how hard we try to make it work, the food is always functioning as one type of extreme or another. It’s either extremely spicy, extremely salty or extremely underwhelming. If we really hit the motherload it’s all three at once. To top it all off, the portions are small and it’s always expensive. If we wanted a tiny and terrible tasting meal, we’d just cook for ourselves and save the $25.

Contact Amanda Chung at [email protected].

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  • dhcases

    You missed #1—900 Grayson. Where EVERYTHING is done just right. #1.

  • Claire Lochner

    I completely disagree when it comes to Berkeley Social Club. A couple weekends ago I had friends in town and they liked it so much the first time we went back again during the trip (they even serve brunch on weekdays!!!). The portions are in no way small (I definitely had leftovers) and it’s delicious. I’d say the food is rich, not overly spicy or salty.

  • Papa Bear

    When visiting we would go to La Note. But only on a weekday and first thing am. Our student loved it but he would not have gone there on his own dime.

    We also liked Venus and Durant Cafe but thought La Note the best for breakfast.

  • Alexej

    You are missing Crossroads and the international house :D

    • Nunya Beeswax

      Not to mention the Homemade Cafe on the corner of Sac & Dwight. A bit far from campus, but all the better for that.

    • s randall

      For those of you that haven’t been to Berkeley for a while, Crossroads is the dining commons for Units 1 and 2.

  • mic

    Kids shouldn’t try to critique food. They don’t know anything. The best breakfasts adjacent to campus are the Durant Cafe and the breakfast at the Telegraph/Durant northeast corner restaurant.

    There is more to life than sugar and maple syrup . Grow up teenagers. !!!!

    • C Bierbauer78

      Mic the wanker, wings it again.

      • mic

        Are you the writer of the article? Is this your pseudonym? Is yanking your crank your only good work? Very sad indeed. OOPS here comes your mama !! You flaccid again? ;=( Poor Boy doused in too much horseraddish. Mama tried, good lord mama tried.