Embrace the local green ethos at Gather, a three-year-old eatery in a LEED platinum-certified building, where recycled materials ranging from leather belts to bottles line the dining room. An on-site “source book” details the history of the locally raised animals and foraged produce served in unique dishes like cream of salt-roasted rutabaga soup ($9) and wild boar terrine with bourbon and peanut mustard ($14).
Settle into the peaceful back rose garden at Slow, a pint-size two-year-old café where down-home BBQ technique meets farm-to-table flavors in the form of pulled pork sandwiches topped with ginger-pickled jalapeno and arugula ($6.75). The dinner menu offers tasty but expensive small plates, so stick to the lunchtime sandwiches ($6.25–$8.25), served on crispy bread from the popular Acme bread company, for a better deal.
Taste the fruits of Berkeley’s Communist-meets-cosmopolitan mindset at the Cheeseboard Collective, a 43-year-old worker-owned bakery that draws huge lines for California-style pizza ($2.50 per slice) topped with upscale ingredients like dinosaur kale, Bosc pears, and sage oil. There’s only one type of pizza served each day, so check the weekly schedule before you go to see the menu and find out which local bands are playing in the small café area.