Nefeli Cafe: authentic food in a student-friendly atmosphere

Hand-rolled Dolmades

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It’s early evening on a weekend and you’re walking around on Northside, desperately searching for some food. True, you can always get frozen yogurt or a slice of pizza, but why bother when you can get a cheap, gourmet meal at Nefeli Cafe, which serves much more authentic food than its Westernized counterparts that surround it.

Baked Polenta with Fontina cheese, mushrooms and home-made tomato sauce

Baked Polenta with Fontina cheese, mushrooms and home-made tomato sauce

Located on Euclid Avenue, Nefeli Cafe is a Greek and Mediterranean cafe that actually serves some of the best tasting Mediterranean food in Berkeley.

Their menu includes Paninis like the Fantasia Panini made with smoked turkey, orange chutney, avocado, roasted peppers and fresh spinach, as well as salads and main dishes such as the fish of the day, lasagna and Mousaka – beef casserole. The menu is also comprised of Tapas dishes, such as hand-rolled Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with Basmati rice, pine nuts and raisins) and Baked Polenta with Fontina cheese, mushrooms and home-made tomato sauce.

Although the main dishes and the salads taste authentic and delicious, the Tapas selection was really what made the meal. Even though some of the dishes share ingredients, they are all cooked and molded in such distinct ways that each order tastes completely different from another. In addition, the dishes were quite small, so you could easily order two or three of them to form a holistic and varied meal.

The cafe is also a hotspot for students during the day. Located just a few minutes away from the North side of campus, it is a great place to relax and get some work done before your next class. The staff is friendly and although the cafe is small, it has a vibrant atmosphere which is only complemented by their good food.

Students are also attracted to Nefeli Cafe because of its affordable prices. A Panini costs around $5, a main dish costs around $8 and on average, a Tapas dish costs $3.

So if you ever find yourself on Northside looking for somewhere to eat, ditch the typical places and try something new. You won’t regret it. Nefeli’s is a quaint little place where your food is worth the money you pay for it. It’s authentic and close to campus, and definitely rivals any Mediterranean joint on Southside.




Contact Spandana Singh at [email protected].