The East Bay Express’s Best Of issue came out recently, and we wanted to show some Berkeley pride for all the wondrous food and services our crazy town has to offer. Also, we wanted to throw our own two bits into the mix. Figures.

Ecstatic seat-wiggling and tummy-grumbling awarded to:

* Best Salads: Chez Panisse
Salads with homemade mozzarella and golden beets! Can Intermezzo top that? We’ll answer that for you: no.

* Best Bookstore: Pegasus Books Downtown
We love the cheap books here. In fact, just last week we went crazy and bought four books and a mag for under $25. Also won readers’ choice.

* Best Cheese Shop: Cheeseboard Collective
Is there any other choice?

* Best Breakfast/Brunch: La Note
Anytime you combine cream cheese and eggs with a side of grilled tomatoes, you’ve got yourself a winner.

* Best Comfort Food: 900 Grayson
Finally, our favorite haunt gets some (other) deserving attention.

* Best Ice Cream/Soda Fountain: Ici
So maybe it’s unethical to say this considering that yours truly works at Ici, but it’s totally worth the wait. You’ll drown in Fenton’s servings and thick syrupy messes, but the ice cream here is sophisticated and bold.

* Best Takeout: Gregoire
We told you so.

And here’s a hearty sample of the rest of the best:

* Best Bike Shop: Missing Link Bicycle Co-op
Also won readers’ choice. We’d like to mention Recycle Bicycle on Sacramento Street.

* Best Comic Book Store: Comic Relief

* Best Desserts: Crixa Cakes
The horn of Damascus is to die for.

* Best Pharmacy: Elephant Pharmacy
Also won readers’ choice.

* Best Record Store: Amoeba Music
Also won readers’ choice.

* Best Vintage Clothing Store: Mars Mercantile

* Best Brewpub: Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse

* Best Cafe/Coffehouse: Musical Offering

* Best Chowder: Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto

* Best Cocktails: Cafe Gratitude
Don’t be fooled–they mean smoothies here, not real cocktails.

* Best Deli: Saul’s

* Best Indian/Pakistani Restaurant: Kabana

* Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Alborz Persian Cuisine

* Best New Restaurant: Digs Bistro

Image Source: ulterior epicure under Creative Commons
Best of the East Bay [East Bay Express]

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