Middle Eastern/Kosher, L/D, $, AE/DC/MC/V.
Lalime's is a long-standing institution in East Bay haute cuisine culture, but there's nothing institutional about the attentive service or the creative and gorgeous dishes. (Staff) 1329 Gilman, Berk. (510) 527-9838. French/Mediterranean, D, $$, AE/DC/MC/V.
Locanda Olmo Fine versions of risotto, gnocchi, and soft polenta pie, terrific thin-crust pizzas, and good traditional desserts have made Locanda Olmo a reliable anchor in the burgeoning Elmwood neighborhood. (Staff) 2985 College, Berk. (510) 848-5544. Italian, D, $, MC/V.
La Note Unique egg dishes and pancakes, big luncheon salads, fancy baguette sandwiches, and hearty weekend dinners. (Staff) 2337 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 843-1535. Country French, B/BR/L/D, $$, AE/MC/V. Restroom not wheelchair accessible.
Rick and Ann's serves some of the best shoestring fries on earth, along with excellent (if nouvelle) renditions of such Americana as meat loaf and chicken potpie baked under a cheddar cheese biscuit. (Staff) 2922 Domingo, Berk. (510) 649-8538. American, BR/L/D, $, AE/MC/V.
Rivoli is a near-perfect balance of the neighborhood eatery and the eclectic California cuisine destination restaurant. (Staff) 1539 Solano, Berk. (510) 526-2542. California, D, $, AE/DISC/MC/V.
Sam's Log Cabin Daily special egg scrambles, great griddle cakes and corn cakes, and exceptional scones and muffins top the morning fare, which also includes gourmet sausage and bacon, hot and cold cereals, and organic coffee. (Staff) 945 San Pablo Ave, Berk. (510) 558-0494. American, B/L, ¢, cash only.
Vik's Chaat Corner For less than the price of a scone and a latte, you can try lentil dumplings, curries, or a variety of flat or puffed crisp puris with various vegetarian fillings. (Staff) 726 Allston Way, Berk. (510) 644-4412. Indian, L/D, ¢, AE/DC/DISC/MC/V.
Your Place Venture away from typical Thai menu items toward neau yang num, laab gai, blackboard specials, and at lunch, the "boat noodles" soups. (Staff) 1267-71 University, Berk. (510) 548-9781. Thai, L/D, $, AE/DC/DISC/MC/V.
Zachary's Chicago Pizza The stuffed pizza is simply out of this world. The fact that both Zachary's outlets are always busy speaks for itself. (Staff) 1853 Solano, Berk. (510) 525-5950; 5801 College (at Oak Grove), Berk. (510) 655-6385. Pizza, L/D, $, AE/MC/V.
Arizmendi is a worker-owned bakery where bread rolls out in seemingly infinite varieties — potato, Asiago, sesame-sunflower. (Staff) 3265 Lakeshore, Oakl. (510) 268-8849. Bakery, B/L/D, ¢. Not wheelchair accessible.
Asena Restaurant Good dishes at Asena, a charming Med-Cal cuisine spot, include individual pizzas and grilled marinated lamb sirloin in a burgundy-rosemary demi-glace. (Staff) 2508 Santa Clara, Alameda. (510) 521-4100. California/Mediterranean, L/D, $$, AE/MC/V.
Le Cheval Shrimp rolls and peanut sauce, the fried Dungeness crab, the marinated "orange flavor" beef, the buttery lemongrass prawns — it's all fabulous. (Staff) 1007 Clay, Oakl. (510) 763-8495. Vietnamese, L/D, ¢, MC/V.
Connie's Cantina fashions unique variations on standard Mexican fare — enchiladas, tamales, fajitas, rellenos. (Staff) 3340 Grand, Oakl. (510) 839-4986. Mexican, L/D, ¢, MC/V.
Garibaldi's on College focuses on Mediterranean-style seafood. (Staff) 5356 College, Oakl. (510) 595-4000. Mediterranean, L/D, $$, AE/MC/V.
Gerardo's Mexican Restaurant offers all the expected taquería fare. But a main reason to visit is to pick up a dozen of Maria's wonderfully down-home chicken or pork tamales. (Staff) 3811 MacArthur, Oakl. (510) 531-5255. Mexican, B/L/D, ¢-$.
Mama's Royal Cafe Breakfast is the draw here — even just-coffee-for-me types might succumb when confronted with waffles, French toast, pancakes, tofu scrambles, huevos rancheros, and 20 different omelets. (Staff) 4012 Broadway, Oakl. (510) 547-7600.