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Berkeley is a culinary travel wonderland, with top chefs and restaurants setting the table for local, sustainable farm-to-fork dining. The city's drinks scene pairs perfectly with this tasty edible heritage.
California microbrewing was born in Berkeley. It all started in 1985 at Berkeley’s Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse, America’s oldest brewpub. The downtown brewery, pub and restaurant enjoys a cult following for its artisan, house-brewed beer (you must have an IPAX) and alehouse fare. Just down the street is Jupiter, serving its own handcrafted beers and ales along with award-winning wood fired pizzas, sandwiches, salads and more. Jupiter's open-air back patio is one of the best places in Berkeley on a sunny afternoon.
Trumer Brauerei Berkeley is the sister brewery to the 400-year-old Trumer Brauerei Salzburg. It turns out that Berkeley’s water is nearly identical to Salzburg’s – exceptionally soft with minimal sediments and impurities. Make a reservation to tour the brewery and taste award-winning Trumer Pils.
For a truly unforgettable craft-beer experience, look no further than The Rare Barrel in West Berkeley. This microbrewery plays the long game to create an array of all-sour beers. Sour beers take longer to make (they age for 6 months to 3 years), but their unique flavors are well worth the wait.
Gilman Brewing Company is another great venue for getting hoppy -- located in West Berkeley as well, and pouring a selection of a dozen or more brews in rapid rotation. Additional and notable Berkeley beer venues include the Westbrae Biergarten, Hoi Polloi, Pacific Standard Taphouse, and Gaumenkitzel (a great German slow food resto with comprehensive "bier" list).
The art of urban winemaking is alive and well in Berkeley. Broc Cellars, Donkey & Goat, and Urbano Cellars are three great examples of how Berkeley's dynamic food scene paired with the bounty of great fruit from California's top grape growing regions makes for a barreling good time. Takara Sake was established here in 1982, and is now the largest sake brewery in the U.S. Takara Sake's tasting room and museum is open daily, 12 to 6, except holidays. The Mead Kitchen produces small batch, handcrafted meads (honeywine) made from local honey and blended with fruit, spice and whole-cone hops. Visit for some "tasty meads."
In 1966, Berkeley was a place of free speech, flower power and revolution. One of those revolutions was inspired by an immigrant from Holland who was about to invent craft coffee. Mr. Alfred Pet changed the way America consumed coffee when he opened the first Peet's Coffee & Tea in 1966, just ahead of the Free Speech Movement and Summer of Love. The revolution of craft coffee started in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto and really, has it slowed down at all? Wave after wave of coffee innovation continues to crest, including Artis on Fourth Street and 1951 Coffee Company (multiple locations, including the newest on the Downtown BART Plaza).