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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Vik’s Chaat Corner
Vik’s Chaat does authentic Indian street food in a converted West Berkeley warehouse. You should be putting it in your lunch rotation.
Berkeley’s Top Dog is an institution: an anarchist hole-in-the-wall that serves incredible hot dogs late into the night.
Tigerlily is an Indian restaurant and bar in North Berkeley with a small patio and interesting cocktails.
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Saru Sushi Bar
Saru Sushi Bar in Noe Valley is tiny and one of our favorite neighborhood sushi spots in town.
Tanuki Restaurant 狸壽司
Tanuki, in the Inner Richmond, serves delicious uni nigiri and vegetarian sushi that won’t make you sad, and also runs a strong delivery operation.
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.
A fairly corporate Financial District Japanese spot that's perfectly suited to dinner with your boss.
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