The Bay Area is an amazing place to live but it’s outrageously expensive. As a student, it’s even worse. Between tuition and housing, it can be a challenge sometimes to find extra funds for eating out and activities.
That’s why we’ve pulled together some great spots in Berkeley to hit up if you’re hungry and want to make the most of your money.
Gypsy’s has been serving Cal students forever and has become part of the Berkeley experience. They’re fast, cheap, filling and delicious. They’ve got a large selection of Italian dishes (vegetarian and meat), salads, and personal pizzas (calzones too). Their extensive menu makes them a great spot for groups with different tastes as well as a place that you can always find something new to try. If you’re a fan of Italian food don’t miss out on Gypsy’s.
There really is not a shortage of Thai restaurants when it comes to Berkeley. There definitely is a shortage when it comes to good cheap Thai places. Lucky House on University is where it's at (though a good contender is also Thai Basil). It’s hard to find a place with such consistently good dishes and consistently low prices. For portions and quality that you’d normally find at other places in the Bay Area at around $12-15 you can get it here for nearly half that. Their soups are always popular, but it’s worth trying their noodles, curry, and basil chicken.
There are a lot of places in Berkeley for dessert at a decent price. John’s is special because it’s one of the hardest deals to beat. For $1.25 you get a nice big scoop of one of their many delicious flavors (they have some pretty creative and colorful options). The best deal is usually to get two scoops in a cup for the maximum amount of ice cream for the least amount of money.
Saigon makes the list for their incredible $3 sandwiches. While they also have extremely generous deals on the majority of their Vietnamese dishes, you really can’t find a cheaper spot for a quick sandwich like the ones you’ll find here. If you’re ever in downtown Berkeley and want something a little different (and cheaper) than all the other nearby sandwich spots you should stop by.
Berkeley has its share of great Chinese restaurants. However, when it comes to Chinese at a budget-friendly price quality can be hard to find. Fortunately, Chinese Express near Telegraph continues to offer delicious Chinese for just a few dollars. They may not look particularly impressive on the outside, but they will surprise you with their sweet and sour chicken, chow mein, and really everything else on their menu.
There is no shortage of pizza spots in Berkeley. However, when it comes to cheap, filling, and nearby it’s hard to go wrong with Seniore’s. Big slices and small prices are what you get here as well as a lot of variety. The combination of these three factors is really what helps set them apart from the competition. It also helps that they offer fast delivery into the early hours of the morning (something very few places do in Berkeley). If your goal is to keep yourself full for the rest of the day for a couple of dollars and you want a hot combination of bread, cheese, and meat you should give Seniore’s a try.
If you’re after Indian or Pakistani cuisine for under $10 then House of Curries has you covered. Lots of great flavors (both spicy and mild) with rice or naan can sate your hunger easily. An added bonus is that they’re right next to campus and the dorms so it’s easy to get to. Their chicken tikka masala and vindaloo are really good and worth a try.
If you’ve spent any time on Telegraph you’ve probably seen Noah’s big storefront near campus. The place isn’t exactly a secret but the value it offers may still surprise you. Seriously, for around $15 you can get yourself a dozen bagels and two types of schmear. That’s nearly two weeks of breakfasts for less than twenty bucks. Noah’s has other great stuff too but come here for this.
The next time you’re hungry and want to see what the city has to offer start here. Berkeley has a fantastic collection of restaurants and you shouldn’t have to deny yourself an important part of your Cal experience (the local food) due to your budget.
As always, you can find this list and many other great community lists on the Gojurn app (available for iOS and Android). If you discover a place you think deserves a spot on this list let us know here.