If you want yakitori in the East Bay, go to Ippuku as soon as it opens at 5pm and order as many of the Japanese grilled skewers as you can. The space is small and casual, and you might smell like smoke for a few days after eating here, but the food is great. You can play things safe and get fried chicken, but you should order some of the more interesting skewers, too - like chicken cartilage or bacon mochi. Take your closest friends and spend three hours drinking sake and trying foods you didn’t even know you could get in Berkeley.
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Bette’s in Berkeley is an upscale 1950s-style diner that does a boozy brunch worth the guaranteed 45-minute wait.
Gregoire in Berkeley is a tiny, takeout-only spot where you can get perfect picnic food.
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The Shota is one of the more expensive omakase spots in the city, but it’s absolutely worth the high price of admission.
Ace Wasabi Rock-N-Roll Sushi
Ace Wasabi’s is a fun izakaya in the Marina with sushi, hot things, and plenty of sake bombs.
A fairly corporate Financial District Japanese spot that's perfectly suited to dinner with your boss.
Suggested by our writers
Onsen is a Japanese restaurant attached to a communal bathhouse in the Tenderloin. And it’s definitely better than it sounds.
Nojo is a great example of our favorite type of restaurant: excellent food and easy to get into.
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