The long-awaited Weekender is finally here. A weekend full of meeting up with friends, exploring Berkeley and attending or watching the big football game against Cal requires some places to eat and drink. Here are a few fan favorites that range from breakfast and brunch to lunch, dinner and late-night places.
The Cheese Board Pizza Collective
This fan favorite is a must-go, best-pizza-all-around spot you won’t want to miss. The collective serves a specific pizza per day, offering vegetable options such as butternut squash, caramelized onion, mozzarella, Comte cheeses, thyme oil and fresh herbs. Everyone in Berkeley knows about this place for a reason. Its cozy shop, located on Shattuck Avenue, first opened as a cheese store in 1967, later opening up a pop-up pizza store in 1985. The Cheese Board is also a participant in Sunday Streets Berkeley, a street festival on Shattuck where the community joins together to listen to music, eat and get to know each other better. If you’re looking for an easy, quick meal, stop by The Cheese Board. You won’t regret it.
Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen
Based in downtown Berkeley, this restaurant truly gives you the feel of southern hospitality. Specialties include the jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp creole, crawfish etoufee, hush puppies and beignets. The food is based on traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine, consisting of a mixture of rich sauces immersed in exotic herbs alongside rice, pasta and seafood. Go with friends and family to enjoy a great lunch or dinner on the first day you’re in town. Order the swamp water, half lemonade and half unsweetened iced tea, and if you’re not on a date ask them if they are serving the crawfish. You won’t find better fresh boiled Louisiana crawfish anywhere else.
La Note Restaurant Provencal
It’s gameday, now what? Sleep in and go to La Note for a charming French brunch. La Note serves an all-day brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, so be sure to head over there to order some of the regular pancakes topped with sour cream. Even better, share some of the tasty entrees with friends. Order pancakes or French toast and split the Cote Sud, two eggs sunny side up, spicy merguez sausage, homefries and toast with friends. It’s an amazing combination and will leave you satisfied.
Famous for their catch phrase, “How do you like your poutine?” Smoke’s poutinerie offers the best late-night snack after all the 21-and-over’s have been drinking at the game. Come right after the football game ends to avoid any lines for the perfect fries, gravy and meat combo. It’s open on Fridays and Saturdays until 4 a.m. and Sunday to Tuesday midnight. I can assure you that you won’t regret coming here after a long day.
El Burro Picante
Who doesn’t crave Mexican food on game day? El Burro Picante is known for some of the best Mexican food in NorCal. If you’re too tired from the game and don’t want to stay out longer, use their online ordering system. They are open until midnight except for Sundays, when they close at 11 p.m.
Best bars to watch the game
For all of you who are 21 and up and don’t mind a high-energy rowdy crowd:
Albert’s Sports Lounge
Conveniently located near campus, Albert’s always has a high-energy crowd, great food and service. If football tickets are sold out or prices are too high and you want to catch the game elsewhere, consider coming to Albert’s with some friends.
Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar
Be prepared to dance, drink and have a great time at Pappy’s Grill. Only a five-minute walk from campus, Pappy’s is the go-to for locals and Cal students. The All-American burger combination is a cheap option if you’re looking to get full easily for a good price. Just be prepared for the Cal decor — it’s everywhere. Pappy’s is an all-around a great place to watch the game on the HD flat screen TV.
Check out this timeline for your Weekender.