Samarth's Guide to Berkeley & Oakland

November 24, 2022

As a student at UC Berkeley, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting places to explore, eat, and discover. Let me tell you - Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco are full of amazing destinations! Below I’ve listed some cool places to explore in Berkeley and Oakland. I hope they help you pick your next adventure!

If you’re looking for even more travel inspiration, make sure to check out my San Francisco Guide as well. It’s packed with even more amazing places to visit in the Bay Area.

If you have any ideas of suggestions on places to add, feel free to email me at

Places to Visit

Well-Known Places

  • UC Berkeley
  • Emeryville Bay Street
  • Oakland Ice Skating Rink

Nature-y Destinations


  • Indian Rock Park
  • Clark Kerr Campus
  • Claremont Hotel
  • Tilden Nature Area
  • Top of the Bay Viewpoint
  • Berkeley Rose Garden


  • Lake Merrit
  • Oakland Bonsai Garden
  • Joaquin Miller Park

Personal Favorites

  • Jack London Square
  • Oakland Chinatown
  • Emeryville Marina Park
  • Albany Bulb
  • Oakland Church of Latter Day Saints

Places to Eat


Rose Pizzeria in Berkeley is truly one-of-a-kind. The pizza is delicious and has a unique twist, and the appetizers are outstanding. I don’t often write reviews for pizza places, but this one definitely deserves it. Highly recommend giving it a try.

Angelines in Berkeley is an absolute gem and a beloved mainstay in the community. I’ve never been disappointed by a meal at this restaurant and consistently rank it as one of the top dining spots in the area. If you’re looking for delicious food and excellent service, you can’t go wrong with Angelines.

I was pleasantly surprised by my first experience at Saul’s Delicatessen in Berkeley. As a newcomer to Jewish cuisine, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the food at this north Berkeley staple completely exceeded my expectations. I regret not trying it sooner!

Even though Vik’s has yet to go back to its pre-pandemic glory, I would still reccomend this restaurant as one of the best Indian places near Berkeley. Definetely try their Mango Lassi when visiting, and checkout their connected Indian Grocery Store. While you’re there, grab a can of Thumb’s Up or Limca, two popular indian sodas.

Despite not yet back to its full pre-pandemic glory, I still highly recommend Vik’s Chaat in Berkeley as one of the best Indian restaurants in the area. Be sure to try their delicious Mango Lassi and check out their connected Indian grocery store while you’re there. Don’t forget to grab a can of Thumb’s Up or Limca, two popular Indian sodas, to complete your meal. Overall, a solid dining experience.

Jupiter is a must-try restaurant when dining out with a group. The pizzas are delicious, the atmosphere is lively, and the outdoor seating area adds a unique touch to the dining experience. This Berkeley mainstay is a great spot to have a good time with friends.”

Comal is a great sit-down restaurant with amazing food at extremely reasonable prices. I highly recommend trying the chips with 3 sauces and the delicious fish tacos. The staff is always extremely friendly and it’s always a great experience dining here.

No list of Berkeley restaurants would be complete without Cheeseboard. While the restaurant is somewhat overhyped in my opinion, I can’t deny that the pizza here is pretty good. I recommend giving it a try at least once to at least see for yourself what all the hype is about.

Great Indian restaurant in North Berkeley. The lunch buffet is great for the price, just make sure you show up hungry! Another restaurant experience I highly reccomend.

A great dessert place to visit after any meal. Try some of the Instagram-worthy bingsoo options - you won’t be disappointed. Each visit to U Dessert Story is an experience you won’t forget.


At just $36.95 for a 3-course meal that will blow your mind, MAMA Oakland’s prix fixe menu is a steal compared to the prices that similar quality restaurants charge in the bay. Make sure to get a reservation in advance though, because the restaurant is almost always packed. MAMA Oakland is the perfect place for a date or to eat with friends.

I absolutely love this place. The food is authentic and always delicious. Plus, the prices are reasonable. It’s definitely my go-to spot in Oakland.

If you’re visiting Oakland’s Chinatown, Shooting Star Cafe is a must-try. Not only do they have large portions, but it’s also a local favorite. You won’t be disappointed!

My Hitlist


  • Berkeley Botanical Garden
  • Kayaking on the Marina
  • Point Reyes



Near UC Berkeley Campus:

A Bit Further Away:



I get most of my ideas on places to go to and eat in East Bay from other UC Berkeley students, TikTok, and Eater. I especially love using Eater for interesting restaurant recommendations.

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Written by Samarth, a builder, problem-solver, and amateur gymnast.