It’s hard to write about the best of the 2020-21 school year when we all still have a foot stuck in last spring and an eye on this summer. The following contains our guide to the Best of Berkeley, voted on by the public, and yet it seems to contain two different Berkeleys: one before the pandemic and one in the imagined after.
This dichotomy, though bittersweet, is something we must embrace. In honoring this year’s winners, we look to both the future and the past. Let this compilation be a guide to UC Berkeley and the city for when normal activities can finally resume, as well as a celebration of the memories made over the past years. Let this be a warm welcome to Berkeley’s latest class of freshman and transfers — some of whom went through a whole year of college without stepping foot on campus — and a heartfelt goodbye for the seniors who sat in class more than a year ago and never knew it was their last one.
Most of all, let this be a sincere thank you to the workers and small business owners who kept many of these establishments running over the past year. In a time when a trip to the grocery store or Friday night takeout can make the difference between a good week and a bad one, we have nothing but love for the Best of Berkeley: the people who keep this city alive.
— Lauren Sheehan-Clark
UC Berkeley is home to more than 20 libraries sprawled across campus — large and small, known by many and known by few. When it comes to which is best, it’s difficult for Doe Memorial Library to not come out on top.
— Kathryn Kemp
Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas, with its faux-Egyptian decor and friendly staff, remains the perfect location to watch a movie in Berkeley.
— Grace Orriss
Yes, you guessed it — Tacos Sinaloa yet again won out as the best Mexican food in Berkeley for the fifth year in a row. But, we promise, it’s not without good reason.
— Sebastian Cahill