Sometimes, all you need after a long week is a good drink and good company. I like going to bars with past and present friends to catch up and unwind amid the hectic intensity of our lives in the daytime.
I like going here when I’m feeling the most social and outgoing. It’s my go-to when hanging out with someone for the first time outside of school because it’s super casual and there’s a lot of other people there, making it less intimidating than a proper meet up. Raleigh’s has a lot of yummy cocktails to choose from; I like the spicy margarita. Taco Tuesdays are fun with a group with cheap eats and drinks. On the weekend, this seems to be where everyone heads to first. I think for people looking to make new friends, this is a great place to do so because of how busy it gets. The mixture of alcohol and people having a good time makes the environment more friendly and outgoing.
The Tap Haus:
I like The Tap Haus when Raleigh’s is a little too crowded for my social battery but I still want to go out with my friends. The bartenders have been especially nice to me, helping me figure out what my signature drink should be when I don’t know anything about liquor. I’ve surprisingly really liked learning how to play pool here. I get bored and sleepy sometimes when I’m out past my normal bedtime, so having an activity makes it a lot more fun.
East Bay Spice Company:
Toward the downtown side of campus is East Bay Spice Company. I really like their specialty drinks here, and similar to Tap Haus, it’s great for the evenings where you just want a chill night out. I like that they have outdoor seating and that you can order from your phone, as ordering drinks can sometimes make me nervous because I feel like I’m bothering the busy bartender. I like to come here before a full night out for appetizers and a drink before we head over to the Southside. My favorite drink is the Jackie Moon, paired with their tikka masala flatbread!
Jupiter is my go-to place to take someone who is visiting Berkeley. They have talented, mellow live music every week and really good food. It’s a great place for dinner and drinks with a group or just a friend, and it’s even better for date nights. I like to get a pepperoni pizza with a light beer, and most importantly, their bread with spinach artichoke dip. I’m nearly brought to tears of joy thinking about the bread; it’s seriously so good.
Tupper & Reed:
The dark atmosphere with subtle music makes me feel as though I’m in a foreign country in a black and white movie as a spy. James Bond would love this place. The vibes are sophisticated and the drinks are really pretty. Tupper & Reed is a great place to feel like a grown-up getting a fancy drink after a long day.
Gilman Brewing Company & Fieldwork Brewing Company:
These breweries are a bit farther from campus, but I love them for how casual they are. I love to grab a group of friends and share small appetizers and a glass of beer at either of these places, usually with a deck of cards or UNO. I think it’s nice to leave the immediate area of campus once in a while. The physical separation from the stress of it all sort of removes it completely for a short amount of time. Sometimes, when I’m still close to campus or my house, I feel this immense guilt that I should be studying, but when I’m at one of these breweries I just need to make sure to have a good time. Breweries are good to test out what beers you like too. The bartenders are usually really nice, educated on beers and nonjudgemental as they help you find something you like.
I’m not a big drinker or known to be up past 10:00 p.m., but I want to try to go out more. I feel when I get myself out of the house at night, it makes me appreciate the college experience much more, and I realize these are the moments I’ll look back on and be really thankful for the times I had here. I get so caught up in the grind of studying and working that I feel as though I’m spoiling my time here at Berkeley by not taking moments to enjoy it, so this is definitely something I want to improve on this summer and fall.