The Best Outdoor Dining Spots in Berkeley: A Guide to Al Fresco Eating

Berkeley, a vibrant city nestled in the heart of the East Bay, is renowned for its diverse and exciting culinary scene. With a temperate climate and stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, it’s no wonder that outdoor dining has become a beloved pastime for locals and visitors alike. From charming sidewalk cafes to spacious beer gardens, Berkeley offers an array of al fresco dining options to suit every taste and occasion. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the best outdoor dining spots in Berkeley, highlighting the unique ambiance, delectable cuisine, and memorable experiences that await you.

As Alice Waters, the founder of the iconic Chez Panisse Café, once said, “Chez Panisse is more than just a restaurant, it’s a philosophy of food that is all about the finest ingredients, simply prepared.” This sentiment encapsulates the essence of Berkeley’s dining scene, where fresh, locally sourced ingredients and innovative culinary techniques come together to create unforgettable meals.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Dining Spot

When selecting the perfect outdoor dining destination in Berkeley, there are several key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Ambiance and atmosphere: Whether you’re seeking a lively, bustling patio or a serene, intimate garden setting, Berkeley has an outdoor dining spot to match your mood.
  2. Menu offerings and cuisine types: From classic American fare to international flavors, Berkeley’s outdoor dining scene caters to a wide range of palates.
  3. Proximity to other attractions or activities: Many of Berkeley’s top outdoor dining spots are conveniently located near popular attractions, making it easy to plan a full day of exploration and culinary delights.
  4. Family-friendliness and kid-specific amenities: For those dining with children, it’s essential to choose a restaurant that offers a welcoming atmosphere and amenities like high chairs, kid-friendly menus, and ample space for strollers.
  5. Dog-friendly patios: If you’re looking to bring your furry friend along, be sure to seek out restaurants with dog-friendly outdoor seating areas.

Top Outdoor Dining Spots in Downtown Berkeley

Downtown Berkeley is a hub of activity, offering an array of outdoor dining options that showcase the city’s vibrant energy and eclectic culinary offerings.


Known for its lively atmosphere and extensive beer selection, Jupiter is a must-visit for craft beer enthusiasts and pizza lovers alike. The multi-level patio seating, complete with twinkling lights and a central fire pit, creates a warm and inviting ambiance perfect for enjoying a pint and a slice under the stars.

As one satisfied patron noted, “Jupiter is the perfect spot for a laid-back evening with friends, enjoying craft beers and wood-fired pizzas in their lively outdoor patio.”


For those seeking a more upscale outdoor dining experience, Comal is a top choice. This contemporary Mexican restaurant boasts a spacious patio with a full-service bar and a stunning fire pit, making it an ideal spot for intimate gatherings or special occasions.

“Comal’s spacious outdoor patio and contemporary Mexican cuisine make it a must-visit for those seeking a memorable dining experience,” raved one enthusiastic diner.


Eureka! offers a comfortable and inviting outdoor seating area, perfect for enjoying elevated pub fare and craft beverages. The menu features a range of delicious options, from gourmet burgers to creative salads, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Best Patios for Brunch and Breakfast

Berkeley’s outdoor dining scene truly shines during brunch and breakfast hours, with numerous restaurants offering picturesque patios and mouthwatering morning fare.

La Note Restaurant Provençal

Transport yourself to the charming streets of France with a visit to La Note Restaurant Provençal. This beloved bistro features a delightful outdoor patio and an array of French-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes, from fluffy omelets to decadent croissants.

“La Note Restaurant Provençal transports you to the charming streets of France with its delightful outdoor patio and authentic French cuisine,” exclaimed one happy patron.

Bette’s Oceanview Diner

A Berkeley institution, Bette’s Oceanview Diner is famous for its classic American breakfast dishes and bustling outdoor tables along Fourth Street. Whether you’re in the mood for a stack of light and fluffy pancakes or a hearty breakfast scramble, Bette’s has you covered.

Café Leila

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Café Leila, where you’ll find a serene back patio adorned with a tranquil fountain. The eclectic brunch menu features an array of globally-inspired dishes, from shakshuka to breakfast burritos, ensuring a satisfying and memorable meal.

Family-Friendly Outdoor Dining Options

Dining out with children can be a challenge, but these Berkeley restaurants offer the perfect combination of delicious food, welcoming atmospheres, and kid-friendly amenities.

Westbrae Biergarten

The casual, communal vibe at Westbrae Biergarten makes it an ideal spot for families. With ample outdoor seating, a kid-friendly menu, and space for strollers, this popular beer garden ensures a stress-free dining experience for parents and children alike.

Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers

Perched above Shattuck Avenue, Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers offers elevated patio seating with views of the bustling street below. The extensive menu features a variety of burger options and sides, guaranteeing that even the pickiest of eaters will find something to enjoy.


Crepevine’s parklet seating, complete with lush plants and Wikki Sticks for entertaining little ones, creates a delightful atmosphere for families. The restaurant’s extensive selection of sweet and savory crepes is sure to please both children and adults.

Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Spots

While Berkeley’s more well-known outdoor dining destinations are certainly worth a visit, don’t overlook these hidden gems that offer equally impressive ambiance and cuisine.

Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana

Tucked away on a quiet side street, Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for savoring traditional Italian dishes al fresco. The intimate patio setting and attentive service make this spot a favorite among locals.

“Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana is the perfect spot for a romantic evening, with its warm, inviting atmosphere and traditional Italian dishes,” shared one content customer.

Rivoli Restaurant

For a truly special occasion, head to Rivoli Restaurant, where you’ll find seasonal, upscale Californian cuisine served in an enchanting garden setting. The intimate outdoor seating area, surrounded by lush greenery and twinkling lights, creates a magical ambiance for a memorable meal.

Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

Nestled in the heart of Berkeley’s famed Gourmet Ghetto, Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen offers classic Jewish deli fare in a cozy outdoor setting. Grab a table on the sidewalk and enjoy a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup or a towering pastrami sandwich while taking in the neighborhood’s vibrant energy.

“Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen is a beloved institution in Berkeley, serving up classic Jewish deli fare in a cozy outdoor setting,” noted one regular patron.

Dog-Friendly Patios for Dining with Furry Friends

For those who can’t bear to leave their four-legged companions at home, these Berkeley restaurants offer dog-friendly outdoor seating areas.

Skates on the Bay

In addition to its stunning waterfront views and fresh seafood dishes, Skates on the Bay welcomes canine companions on its spacious patio. Enjoy a leisurely meal with your furry friend by your side, taking in the breathtaking vistas of the San Francisco Bay and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

“Skates on the Bay offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience with its unparalleled views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge,” raved one impressed diner.


Gather, known for its commitment to sustainable and organic cuisine, also boasts a large outdoor dining space that welcomes dogs. The restaurant’s focus on locally sourced ingredients and innovative dishes makes it a popular choice among health-conscious diners and their canine companions.

Berkeley Social Club

The Berkeley Social Club’s back patio, complete with heaters and a dog-friendly policy, is the perfect spot to enjoy Korean-American fusion dishes with your furry friend by your side. The restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere and delectable cuisine make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Berkeley’s outdoor dining scene is a testament to the city’s culinary diversity and commitment to creating memorable experiences for diners. From lively beer gardens to intimate garden patios, there’s an al fresco option to suit every taste and occasion. As you explore the best outdoor dining spots in Berkeley, you’ll discover a world of flavors, ambiance, and warm hospitality that will keep you coming back for more.

So, whether you’re a long-time resident or a first-time visitor, be sure to take advantage of Berkeley’s incredible outdoor dining offerings. Gather friends and family, grab a table beneath the sun or stars, and savor the delicious cuisine and inviting atmosphere that make Berkeley a true dining destination.

Key Takeaways:

  • Berkeley offers a diverse array of outdoor dining options, from casual beer gardens to upscale patios.
  • When choosing an outdoor dining spot, consider factors such as ambiance, menu offerings, family-friendliness, and dog-friendly policies.
  • Downtown Berkeley is home to several top outdoor dining destinations, including Jupiter, Comal, and Eureka!
  • For a memorable brunch or breakfast experience, head to La Note Restaurant Provençal, Bette’s Oceanview Diner, or Café Leila.
  • Families will enjoy the welcoming atmospheres and kid-friendly amenities at Westbrae Biergarten, Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers, and Crepevine.
  • Hidden gems like Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana, Rivoli Restaurant, and Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen offer exceptional cuisine and intimate outdoor settings.
  • Dog owners can dine with their furry companions at Skates on the Bay, Gather, and Berkeley Social Club.


  1. What are some of the best outdoor dining spots in Berkeley? Some of the top outdoor dining spots in Berkeley include Jupiter, Comal, La Note Restaurant Provençal, Bette’s Oceanview Diner, and Skates on the Bay.
  2. Are there any dog-friendly outdoor dining options in Berkeley? Yes, several Berkeley restaurants, such as Skates on the Bay, Gather, and Berkeley Social Club, offer dog-friendly outdoor seating areas.
  3. Which Berkeley restaurants offer the best patios for brunch or breakfast? La Note Restaurant Provençal, Bette’s Oceanview Diner, and Café Leila are known for their exceptional brunch and breakfast offerings, as well as their charming outdoor patios.
  4. Are there any family-friendly outdoor dining spots in Berkeley? Westbrae Biergarten, Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers, and Crepevine are all great options for families, offering kid-friendly menus and amenities in a welcoming outdoor setting.
  5. What factors should I consider when choosing an outdoor dining spot in Berkeley? When selecting an outdoor dining spot, consider factors such as ambiance, menu offerings, proximity to other attractions, family-friendliness, and dog-friendly policies to ensure the best possible experience.


  1. Increased focus on health and safety measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many outdoor dining establishments in Berkeley have implemented enhanced health and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of their guests and staff.
  2. Growing popularity of outdoor dining spaces with ample social distancing and ventilation. As diners prioritize safety and comfort, restaurants with spacious, well-ventilated outdoor seating areas have become increasingly sought-after.
  3. Higher demand for contactless ordering and payment options. To minimize contact and reduce the risk of transmission, many Berkeley restaurants have adopted contactless ordering and payment systems for their outdoor dining areas.
  4. Emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to support local farmers and businesses. Berkeley’s outdoor dining scene has long been known for its commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, a trend that continues to gain momentum as diners seek to support their community.
  5. Incorporation of more plant-based and vegetarian options to cater to diverse dietary preferences. As more diners embrace plant-based and vegetarian lifestyles, Berkeley’s outdoor dining establishments are expanding their menus to include a wider variety of meat-free options.


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