Berkeley - Weekday Business Lunch options

Doesn’t need to be fancy or formal, but I’m always ears for new ideas. A drinkable wine by the glass is a requirement.

I just had a repeat lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe this week, and while it was delicious as always (and the fried chicken breast was perfect), the upstairs back corner was becoming difficult for conversation near the end of the meal. It was fine for this particular lunch but wouldn’t be for others. I’ve been to Gather a couple of times for lunch, and it was perfectly ok, but I’ve never been in a rush to return. Stella Nonna has worked ok, too. I’ve yet to have a weekday lunch on or around 4th Street.

I think Cafe Rouge, Iyasare, and Zut Tavern could all work. Ajanta?

I actually mentioned the first two as suggestions to the host, who decided she wanted to return to “the usual!” Who am I to turn down being a guest at CP? I’m still waiting for Zut Tavern to get its sea legs before I eat there, although maybe it now has.

Saul’s is my perennial lunch favorite. Best to go around 1:30 so it’s not too crowded/noisy.

Thanks for the feedback. 1:30 really defeats the purpose for business lunch, however.

4th St. – I’ll second Robert’s mentions of Café Rouge, Iyasare and Zut Tavern. All three work for me.

There’s also 901 Grayson, farther south. Problem with a business lunch, however, is that there’s no reservations . . .

Also, what about FIVE?

If you’re not restricted to Berkeley proper, consider China Village. I just had a nice long lunch with an old college roommate there. It wasn’t very crowded and the food was great.

Albany is equally convenient. Chinese (other than ordering lunch specials) isn’t often conducive to business lunch, depending on the companion(s) because of family style service.

I never even think about FIVE. It fell off my radar after an epic service fail quite some time ago, but I suppose it is worth another shot. Have you been for lunch?

In truth, no – only dinner. But here is a link to their lunch menu . . .

Is Uptown Oakland, or places on Grand/Lakeshore doable?

Sometimes, but I’m trying to keep this to a general discussion of business-suitable lunch spots near home/office.

OK, so in the generalized spirit of thread drift, I offer the following suggestions (slightly farther afield than optimum):

Shakewell, 3407 Lakeshore, Oakland
Tribune Tavern, 401 13th St., Oakland
Flora, 1900 Telegraph, Oakland (but open for lunch Fridays only)

Shakewell’s now open for lunch Wed.-Fri., could be a great option if it’s not as noisy as at dinner.

I had a memorably good meal there and keep talking about going back.

It’s definitely quieter at lunch! ;^)