Vega Pizza — Photo courtesy of VEGA PizzaWhat do you get when you mix traditional Italian recipes with a hip Berkeley attitude? Vega, a cozy neighborhood restaurant with an experienced and attentive staff. The buoyant vibe of this restaurant comes from the husband/wife owners, Giuseppe Manna from Rome, Italy and Vega Freeman-Brady from Berkeley, CA.
Giuseppe relies on his mother, who almost daily provides him with recipes from her home in Italy, including the can't-miss gnocchi alla boscaiola, a homemade gnocchi w/ mushrooms, Italian sausage, parmigiano and a touch of white truffle oil. And while Giuseppe works his magic in back, Vega makes sure that customers get a good dose of Northern California hospitality by visiting tables to offer that "at-home" dining experience.
This is a small, busy restaurant, so be sure to call ahead for reservations. And once your belly is stuffed with good Italian food and your heart full of happy California vibes, walk that meal off with a pleasant stroll up and down Cortland Avenue, the main strip of the quiet but interesting Bernal Heights neighborhood.
Although Bernal Heights isn't as well known as North Beach or The Mission or Chinatown, you've got a much better chance of running into homegrown San Francisco locals who can give you the true lowdown about their fair city by the bay.