Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat after hopping off the Downtown Berkeley BART fresh from a day of interning or simply looking to get out of the Southside slump, the food on Center Street has got you covered. It’s much more than the street that satisfies your frappuccino craving by housing one of the two Starbucks locations near campus. It has a variety of cuisines from different cultures, including Japanese, Korean, Persian and Mediterranean. And whether you come for lunch or just to satisfy your sweet tooth, Center Street covers all the bases. Here are just a few of our favorites.
C U Sushi
There are many sushi options around campus, but this one stands out for the sheer number of rolls it serves. It has many yummy bites from the 911 roll, a spicy tuna roll with avocado on top, to spicy salmon bowls. Its portions are huge, especially if you order their orange special: two rolls served with miso soup and vegetable tempura. Be sure to try one of its rarer appetizers, such as the Monkey Ball, mushrooms stuffed with spicy tuna and served tempura style, for delights you can’t find elsewhere in Berkeley.
Chances are, you’ve seen people walking around campus with a big bucket of boba from Purple Kow. They have a wide variety of boba drink flavors, from classic milk teas to tea cremas. Relative to other boba establishments around campus, this location definitely gives you a larger quantity of tea. Its boba pearls are also nice and chewy. When they ask for your desired level of sweetness, don’t forget that Purple Kow seems to use less sugar than similar places.
If you can’t make the journey over to Cheese Board itself, Sliver is your next best bet for an amazing vegetarian California-style pizza, with a different pie served every day. The spicy green sauce at both pizza places is so similar you may not even notice the difference. It’s therefore no surprise that Sliver, a restaurant that supports the fight against human trafficking, was founded by three former Cheese Board Collective employees. Our personal favorite is its delectable pie featuring corn, chile pasilla, onions, mozzarella, French feta cheese, cilantro, garlic olive oil and key limes, usually served once a week. For a complete night out, visit it on Friday and Saturday nights, when you can catch local musicians playing some smooth tunes.
Oasis Grill provides one of the only Mediterranean food options near campus. Lucky for us, its food is yummy and comes out pretty quickly. With plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available, its food caters to just about everyone. Our favorite is the falafel lavash wrap, featuring fresh, crispy falafel, which you can conveniently eat on your walk back from BART to home. Be sure to ask for its hot sauce to get an extra kick.
With so many options on just one street, now you’ll be sure to find something good to eat during your next Downtown visit.
Contact Juliet Hemmati at [email protected].