Prompted by “the Bauer”‘s praise for Wood Tavern, reader Ira Serkes has his suggestions for restaurants that help give their neighborhoods “soul” and make for happy locals. Here’s his list — some of which stray slightly out of Berkeley proper, but who’s on border patrol?:

Send us your favorite local haunts and we’ll compile a list. (To add to our forthcoming, possibly rather short, round-up of Berkeley restaurants that deliver.)

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Thanks for the tip, Deirdre. I drove by Digs the other day and wondered what it was like. There used to be something else at that location a few years ago that I also wondered about and never tried. Will make an effort.

  2. Downtown Berkeley – Venus, La Note and Zatar.
    North Berkeley – Saul’s, Cheeseboard, Chez Panisse and Cesar
    4th Street – O Chame, Bette’s Diner, Tacubaya

  3. If you’re considering the corner of Dwight and Sacramento, you must also include the wonderful Digs Bistro. An absolutely charming, intimate atmosphere, wonderful food and diligent service. Worth a visit.

  4. I don’t know how restaurants become trendy, but it’s obviously not just the quality of the food. Breads of India is fine, but everyone I’ve taken to Meahk (just across the street) finds the quality of the food equal to if not better than Breads of India (and, Mehak delivers!). People will stand on busy Sacramento to eat at Breads of India, but won’t wander across the street to a great restaurant with no lines.

    And it’s not just me: On Yelp, both restaurants earn 3.5 stars, but Breads has 104 reviews and Mehak only 61.

    I’d suggest that both Bread and Mehak give Sacramento and and Dwight its soul (plus you can’t leave out Homemade Cafe, which has been on the corner since the 70’s).