Breakfast/Brunch

Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Breakfast/Brunch restaurants in Berkeley and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Jimmy Bean's thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Bette's Oceanview Diner, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Breakfast/Brunch.

9 Jordan's
Spice up Sunday brunch at The Claremont Resort & Spa, where a rejuvenated menu inspired by local ingredients and a live jazz band complement Jordan's sensational views of the East Bay skyline. Brunch is especially bountiful, with numerous stations devoted to carved meats, chilled seafood, made to order omelets, dim sum, and fresh fruit. The dessert buffet is a sure-fire hit as well — it's laden with cakes and tortes, éclairs, pies, and pastries. The dinner menu features California French cuisine, plus an assortment of healthy alternatives. Reservations recommended. Brunch buffet Adult $56, Child (5-12) $25. (510-549-8510)

8 Rick & Ann's
Best-described as an upscale diner, Rick & Anne's stands as a departure from the area's other high-profile eateries, eschewing haute cuisine for more traditional American fare. Among the top-flight comfort dishes highlighting the menu are macaroni and cheese served with sautéed spinach and meatloaf with mashed potatoes and roasted butternut squash. Breakfast appetites, meanwhile, take solace in dishes like potato-cheese pancakes, red flannel hash two eggs any style, and hearty omelets. The setting meanwhile is relaxed and comfortable, making it easy to see why so many locals make multiple stops here each week. (510-649-8538)

7 Venus
This respected and popular restaurant has a well-deserved reputation, especially when it comes to brunch. Whether you're an "eggs and bacon" type or a pancakes person, Venus has got you covered. Fresh fruits and veggies play a role in many breakfast dishes, as do homemade sausages and breads. There's even a vegetarian tofu scramble that will knock your socks off — it's brimming with mushrooms, peas, cauliflower, and other good things. Dinner is a surprisingly enchanting affair, replete with innovative salads, succulent roasted meats, and unusual sides. And everything is organic and free-range, to boot. (510-540-5950)

6 Picante Cocina Mexicana
Big and boisterous, this Mexican eatery appeals to adults and kids, with a menu of familiar favorites liberally sprinkled with more traditional dishes. Quesadillas and nachos are reliable, especially with fresh house-made salsa. Enchiladas verdes are second to none, and chiles rellenos are about as authentic as you'll find in the States. Adventurous diners will like the less commonplace selections, such as sopes de hongos (masa cakes filled with creamy mushroom ragout), red snapper tacos, and butternut squash-poblano tamales. And weekend brunch here is great when you've grown weary of plain old eggs and bacon. Try the Enfrijoladas or chilaquiles, along with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate — that'll perk you right up. (510-525-3121)

5 Henry's
At Henry's you'll find great food, a comfortable atmosphere, and friendly service from morning to night. Breakfast is a surefire hit — the Chef's Hangover Special (cheese omelet, pancakes, bacon, fried potatoes, and coffee) is a steal. For something a little different, choose the corn-flake crusted French toast with cinnamon butter. Lunch and dinner options include fabulous burgers and sandwiches, plus entrees like fish 'n chips, meatloaf, and pasta. The pace picks up at night, when Henry's really shows its sports bar side. Draught beer choices include European favorites such as Boddingtons, as well as domestics like Fat Tire and Sierra Nevada. (510-845-8981)

4 Jodie's Restaurant
Homestyle cooking, friendly banter, and a comfortable casual vibe make Jodie's a favorite. There are two menus, a traditional paper one, and one on the walls (ALL of the walls...). Often as not, Jodie fixes what he thinks you should have, which might be eggs and bacon with a side of toast, pancakes and sausage, or a cheeseburger and fries. On weekends, it will almost certainly be fried chicken — that's about all the regulars eat on the weekends, it's that good. Whatever you end up eating, you can be sure of two things: it will have been made with care and love, and it will be the best food you've had all day, maybe all week. (510-526-1109)

3 Bette's Oceanview Diner
Breakfast and lunch never had it so good! Bette serves up all the traditional favorites, like pancakes, waffles, and scrambled eggs, but since it's all made with the absolute freshest ingredients it tastes that much better. No limp, heat-lamped flapjacks here! Make no mistake, this is classic diner food, with the classic diner ambience to go with it, but everything is a notch above. The counters sparkle, the napkin dispensers gleam, the jukebox rocks, and the food sings. (510-644-3230, 866-972-6879)

2 Jimmy Bean's
Brother to Lalime's and Fonda, this casual eatery is deservedly popular at breakfast and lunch. The menu focuses on traditional American favorites prepared with the freshest seasonal produce, with plenty of healthy options too. Egg dishes are scrumptious, with Southwestern flair — along with your two over easy and fried potatoes, you get fresh salsa, chipotle sour cream, and cilantro pesto. Breakfast burritos, several versions of eggs Benedict, and French toast (made with cinnamon challah) are noteworthy, as well. Reservations not accepted. (510-528-3435)

1 La Note
Earthy colors and a rustically elegant ambience suit this Provençal restaurant admirably. Country French cuisine receives expert treatment here, no matter what meal you're having. Breakfast and brunch are hugely popular, and you may encounter a wait, but once you sample the lemon gingerbread pancakes or cinnamon brioche French toast with lavender honey, or a perfect omelet, you won't be sorry. Lunch and dinner finds classic French sandwiches and bright salads on the menu. A fun starter to share might be a platter of fruit and cheese, charcuterie, or crudités, and entrees include ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and snapper with a delicate mustard sauce. This being Berkeley, you'll also find plenty of vegetarian options. (510-843-1535, 510-843-1525)


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1
Jordan's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, California, European, French, New American
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: ELMWOOD
COST: $$$
2
Rick & Ann's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly
Neighborhood: Downtown Berkeley
COST: $
3
Venus 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, California
Dining Options: Catering, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Downtown Berkeley
COST: $
4
Picante Cocina Mexicana 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: BERKELEY
COST: $
5
Henry's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: COLLEGE AVENUE
COST: $
6
Jodie's Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: SOLANO AVENUE
COST: $
7
Bette's Oceanview Diner 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Bakery
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: Berkeley
COST: $
8
Jimmy Bean's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, European, Latin, Mediterranean, Mexican, Southwestern
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: BERKELEY
COST: $
9
La Note 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Downtown Berkeley
COST: $$
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