Corndogs or Caviar?

Get the best bang for your buck — cheap eats and indulgent splurges

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Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen 

One of the most exotic gourmet foods in Berkeley would be found in Angeline’s Kitchen. Straight from the South, this is food from the Louisiana bayou. They serve alligator, gumbo, jambalaya and everything you would expect from New Orleans cuisine. Their best dish is the hush puppies dipped in honey butter. It’s fried, bready heaven in buttery deliciousness. Another popular dish is mac-’n’-cheese topped with bread crumbs, served still bubbling from the oven. Angeline’s has a wide variety of desserts specific to Louisiana, but the must-order desserts are the beignets, French pillowy donut-like pastries covered in powdered sugar.

The restaurant captures the ambience of New Orleans with a dimly lit, romantic interior and brick walls. The upbeat waiters are enthusiastic about the food they serve. It is a restaurant that cannot be found elsewhere in Berkeley and is definitely worth trying … you’ll go home extremely full and happy.

Cecilia Wong

Trattoria Corso

Berkeley has no shortage of gourmet restaurants, but finding a place that balances fine dining with a fresh vibe can be a challenge in this foodie-filled city. Look beyond the traditional picks (yes, that means turning a blind eye to the tempting Chez Panisse), and try Trattoria Corso on for size.

Don’t expect your nonna’s spaghetti and meatballs — Italian cuisine has truly grown up at Corso. Instead, enjoy a menu that offers dishes based on the season’s best, where authentic Italian recipes get kicked up a few notches through bold flavor profiles. It’s old world meets new world, and a total crowd-pleaser. When ordering, don’t feel timid if you can’t pronounce the names of the dishes!

Be adventurous and try the rabbit or indulge in a grilled peach salad — you won’t be disappointed. And even though you’ll probably want to stuff yourself with all of Corso’s savory offerings, save room for dessert. No meal is complete without “affogato,” a scoop of gelato drenched in fresh espresso. Close your eyes, have a taste and you’ll be instantly transported to a sidewalk cafe in Rome. Buon viaggio!

Jillian Wertheim

Guerilla Cafe

The walk up the hill justifies everything you are going to eat at Guerilla Cafe (or you can take the 7 bus straight there to Shattuck and Cedar.)

Featuring a rotating display of artwork from up-and-coming artists and table decorations with information about the revolutionaries of the 1970s, Guerilla immediately sets a very Berkeley vibe.

Either get a latte in a bowl or bring along a friend to split a pot of French Press coffee (they serve San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee and various other brands).

For people not hooked up to a caffine IV, they offer a selection of a la carte brunch food that includes challah French toast, a rotating menu of unique waffles topped with seasonal fruit, breakfast sandwiches and local free-range poached eggs with toast.

A smaller breakfast than standard, but I love to go and get a latte and eggs with toast, and do my reading in style.

— Erica Chase

Nude Sushi

I have never had Nude Sushi before midnight.  That is, in some ways, the point of Nude Sushi.  Delivering from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., their purpose is to serve the hungry night owls.

When Late Night is closed, or when greasy food just doesn’t sound appetizing, Nude Sushi is there with an array of sushi rolls, nigiri and classic Japanese entrees.

While their fish and rolls aren’t something I rhapsodize about, the food is good, and their door-to-door delivery has fueled my late-night study sessions more than once.

Plus, they carry my favorite: the cherry blossom roll made with salmon and avocado inside and draped with tuna outside; Nude Sushi does it well enough that it always hits the spot.

For the late-nighters that still haven’t gotten over the fear of raw fish, they also have a good chicken terriyaki and other nonsushi options.

So next time you realize that you are hungry, everything is closed and you have no food, call Nude Sushi.

Erica Chase

Ann’s Kitchen

For cheap eats that start your day right, it’s hard not to think immediately of Ann’s Kitchen. Conveniently located just a few blocks away from campus on Telegraph Avenue, Ann’s is the place to go for a breakfast that fills up your tummy without emptying your wallet. You can’t go wrong with the cinnamon french toast or the impressive variety of egg dishes. A few bucks go a long way here, which is great considering that just about everyone can identify with the starving student stereotype — this is college, after all.

Huge portions (seriously, they’re not joking around when it comes to massive sides of home-fried potatoes and plenty of toast) are one perk — the fact that the food’s also really darn good is another. In addition to the grub, the low-key atmosphere makes Ann’s a prime spot for doing a little reading or writing while you’re nomming, so feel free to bring some work and hang out for a bit.

We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — why not embrace the morning? Give your snooze button a break, and chow down at Ann’s Kitchen.

Jillian Wertheim

Cafe Intermezzo

 I like my heavy burritos and burgers, but the one place that consistently draws me back is Cafe Intermezzo. It is one of the best
places in Berkeley to grab soup, salad and sandwiches, especially because the size of the meal is disproportional to its price. The portions are huge, but taste is not sacrificed in the process. This is a great place if you are low on cash but want some quality, healthy food. Leah Snyder, a junior at Cal, shares, “I could split the Veggie Delight into three meals. It’s hard to do that with $7!” The best part of the meal is that it comes with a huge chunk of honey oat bread, so deliciously soft that eating it plain is enough to cry out with pleasure.

The cafe itself has a very charming atmosphere. With plenty of natural lighting, and a quaint, wooden interior, it is the perfect place to meet up with friends to chat over a huge bowl of salad or sandwich. The line sometimes looks long, but the staff is very friendly and efficient, so the wait is never too extensive.

Cecilia Wong

Image Credits:
Corn Dogs: PERSIA SALEHI/STAFF
Caviar: BELINDA GU/STAFF
Angeline’s Kitchen: PERSIA SALEHI/STAFF
Trattoria Corso: PERSIA SALEHI/STAFF
Guerilla Cafe: ERICA CHASE/STAFF
Nude Sushi: PERSIA SALEHI/STAFF
Ann’s Kitchen: PERSIA SALEHI/STAFF
Cafe Intermezzo: JEFFREY JOH/STAFF
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