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Itinerary: For the Sweet Tooth

Trying the best of Berkeley’s sweets can be an all-day affair with so many local choices. Start the day in the Gourmet Ghetto with a croissant at Masse’s Pastries, a world class European-style bakery, paired with a robust cup of coffee from the original Peet’s Coffee and Tea on Vine Street. Tucked away in the Epicurious Garden, the artisan truffles of Alegio Chocolate are inspired by European technique and centuries of cocoa cultures. “Terroir” has become increasingly recognized as an important flavor note, and Alegio does it justice with products featuring cult cacao from select plantations around the world.

If you find yourself closer to Fourth Street, look no further than Chocolatier Blue, featuring owner Chris Blue’s gourmet chocolates made with only the finest and freshest ingredients. Truffle favorites include peanut butter and jelly, and organic fruit, nut and espresso combinations. Blue also makes vegan chocolates, substituting nuts for the cream and butter. For a nearby savory interlude, try one of Berkeley's great lunch spots, such as Bette's Oceanview Diner or Tacubaya.

California produces more ice cream than any other state in the US! Berkeley has certainly done its part to raise the bar for ice cream. Ici Ice Cream (pronounced ee see) on College Avenue is a truly unique ice cream shop where ice creams, sorbets, candies and cookies are house-made in small batches, using quality fresh and ingredients. Milk, butter, cream, and eggs are certified organic, and fruits, nuts and chocolate exceed organic standards. Even the cones are organic, but what would you expect when the owner is a former Chez Panisse pastry chef?

Perhaps the perfect close to three days of sipping, savoring and “sweeting” through Berkeley is dinner at Skates on the Bay. The Berkeley Marina restaurant has the best waterfront views in Berkeley, sparkling fresh seafood and Angus steaks. Start with something from the cocktail menu, linger over dinner and enjoy the SF skyline panorama outside the window.