American, B/L, $.
Old Clam House really is old — it's been in the same location since the Civil War — but the seafood preparations are fresh, in an old-fashioned way. Matchless cioppino. Sports types cluster at the bar, under the shadow of a halved, mounted Jaguar E-type. (Staff) 299 Bayshore, SF. 826-4880. Seafood, L/D, $$, MC/V.
Peking Wok is a great Chinese dive in Bayview, right smack on the way to Candlestick. Not counting the 18 special combos for $3.25-$4.50, there are 109 items on the menu. At least 101 of them are under five bucks. (Staff) 4920 Third St, SF. 822-1818. Chinese, L/D, ¢.
Soo Fong features good inexpensive Chinese food. For the heat-seeking diner, its fiery Szechuan specialties will hit the spot. Nice chow fun and other noodle dishes too. (Staff) Bayview Plaza, 3801 Third St, SF. 285-2828. Chinese, L/D, ¢.
Taqueria el Potrillo serves one of the best chicken burritos in town, if not the best. You can get your bird grilled or barbecued or have steak instead or tacos. Excellent salsas and aguas frescas, and warmer weather than practically anywhere else in town. (Staff) 300A Bayshore Blvd, SF. 642-1612. Mexican, B/L/D, ¢, cash only.
Young's Cafe A restaurant full of cheap, big, decent Chinese food, Young's serves up 15 rice dishes, most of them for $2.95, and 64 other standard Chinese things. Only four of those are more than five bucks. (Staff) 732 22nd St, SF. 285-6046. Chinese, L/D, ¢.
Ajanta offers a variety of deftly seasoned regional dishes from the Asian subcontinent. (Staff) 1888 Solano, Berk. (510) 526-4373. Indian, L/D, $, AE/DC/DISC/MC/V.
La Bayou serves up an astounding array of authentic New Orleans staples, including jambalaya, (greaseless!) fried catfish, and homemade pralines. (Staff) 3278 Adeline, Berk. (510) 594-9302. Cajun/Creole, L/D, ¢-$, MC/V.
Breads of India and Gourmet Curries The menu changes every day, so nothing is refrigerated overnight, and the curries benefit from obvious loving care. (Staff) 2448 Sacramento, Berk. (510) 848-7684. Indian, L/D, ¢, MC/V.
Café de la Paz Specialties include African-Brazilian "xim xim" curries, Venezuelan corn pancakes, and heavenly blackened seacakes served with orange-onion yogurt. (Staff) 1600 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 843-0662. Latin American, BR/L/D, $, AE/MC/V.
Cafe Rouge All the red meat here comes from highly regarded Niman Ranch, and all charcuterie are made in-house. (Staff) 1782 Fourth St, Berk. (510) 525-1440. American, L/D, $$, AE/MC/V.
César You'll be tempted to nibble for hours from Chez Panisse-related César's Spanish-inspired tapas — unless you can't get past the addictive sage-and-rosemary-flecked fried potatoes. (Staff) 1515 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 883-0222. Spanish, D, $, DISC/MC/V.
Cha-Ya Everything chef-proprietor Atsushi Katsumata makes, from the pot stickers and nigiri sushi to the steaming bowls of udon, hews to strict vegan standards. (Staff) 1686 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 981-1213. Japanese/Vegetarian, D, $, MC/V.
Chez Panisse may be an old-timer, but a devotion to the best seasonal ingredients (often organic), grilled on its wood-fired open hearth, means the restaurant's distinctive Franco-Cal-Ital signature remains unmistakable and unmatched. (Staff) 1517 Shattuck, Berk. Café, (510) 548-5049, L/D, $$; restaurant, (510) 548-5525, D, $$$. California, AE/DC/DISC/MC/V.
Christopher's Nothing Fancy Café Chicken, beef, veggie, and prawn fajitas are the sizzling specialties. (Staff) 1019 San Pablo, Albany. (510) 526-1185. Mexican, L/D, $, AE/MC/V.
Clay Pot Seafood House specialties include steaming clay pots full of fascinating broths and such ingredients as meatballs, Chinese sausage, and whole fish. (Staff) 809 San Pablo, Albany. (510) 559-8976. Chinese, L/D, $, DISC/MC/V.
Holy Land transforms falafel, hummus, tahini, tabbouleh, and other Middle Eastern standards into gourmet-quality yet home-style delights. (Staff) 2965 College, Berk. (510) 665-1672.