Berkeley's North Shattuck Neighborhood with Kids - 510 Families
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Berkeley’s North Shattuck Neighborhood with Kids

Living in Berkeley, we really are spoiled for choice when it comes to family-friendly places to eat. We like to try out cafes and restaurants all over the city, but the North Shattuck neighborhood in North Berkeley (Shattuck Avenue north of University), is definitely our favorite place to go when we’re looking for a bite.

There are so many fantastic options whether we want a quick snack, a sweet treat, a take-out meal or a dine-in option. Here are a few of our favorite places in North Shattuck to go with children.

Pro Tip: While exploring North Shattuck, don’t forget about your parking meter. The meter maids are always driving around, even in the mornings.

Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto kids - Cheeseboard Parklet in Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto with kids
Cheeseboard Parklet | Photo by Sally Mason

Take Out: Grab and go food in North Shattuck


Cheeseboard is our absolute favorite place to visit in the Gourmet Ghetto. We drop by for baked goods in the morning, we meet up with friends in the parklet out the front, and, just like everyone else in Berkeley, we join the long line for pizza! Ah, Cheeseboard pizza… It doesn’t get any better than this! The long line for pizza at Cheeseboard can be pretty daunting, but as there is only one type of pizza available each day the line moves pretty quickly. Light bake pizzas are available in the bakery, so I’ll often stop by for pizza earlier in the day and heat it up at home for dinner.

Seating has always been a bit of an issue at Cheeseboard due to its popularity, but with the opening of the parklet in front of the store, this has been alleviated quite a bit.

The bakery part of Cheeseboard does not have bathrooms, but the pizza section does. While the pizza section is not open for pizza all day, the seating and bathrooms are still usually available for customers to use. Baby change tables are available in the bathrooms. Website>

Cheeseboard bakery has all kinds of baked goods
Cheeseboard bakery has all kinds of baked goods | Photo by Sally Mason

Kirala 2

Kirala 2 in Epicurious Garden on Shattuck Avenue is the take out branch of popular Japanese restaurant Kirala. With ready made sushi, sashimi and sides, plus hot food including bento boxes, donburi and noodles, Kirala 2 is the perfect place to stop by lunch or dinner on the go. Bench seating and tables are available over three levels of decked garden out back. Epicurious Garden, is a popular spot with families. Kids love the novelty of sitting outside to eat, and the pond and waterfall in the garden will delight. Toddlers may need reminding that the water features are just to look at, not to play in – which can be pretty tempting on a hot day. Bathrooms are available inside Epicurious Garden. The bathrooms do not have baby change tables. Website>


Poulet, on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Virginia Street is THE place in North Berkeley to go for roast chicken. With the tastiest roast chickens (sold whole, half or as pieces) and freshly made, healthy salads and sides, Poulet is a great place to pick up dinner when you don’t have time to cook – which, let’s face it, can be more often than not with kids and their often busy after school schedules. Roast chicken is available all day Monday through Saturday and fried chicken is also available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A variety of frozen take home meals and soups are also available. If you prefer to dine in Poulet has you covered too with a small dining area. Bathrooms are available but there are no baby change facilities. Website>

Thursday Farmers Market

farmers market produce
Produce selection at farmers market | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Every Thursday, year round, the streets are blocked off from 3 pm – 7 pm at Shattuck and Vine St. for a lovely organic Farmers Market. Sometimes there are food trucks there too. Pick up your weekly veggies, fresh bread and hot tamales to for an easy meal. Website>

Dine In: trying to sit and eat with kids

Barney’s Gourmet Burgers

What’s more kid friendly than burgers and fries, right? We love this outpost of the local favorite burger joint for its low-key outdoor seating and huge menu so everyone can find something they like. They also have hot dogs if your kiddo isn’t into burgers. There’re also a ton of different types of fries to choose from, as well as salad, soups and more. Website>

Cafenated Coffee Co.

This relatively new cafe offers some beautiful outdoor seating and tasty coffee and treats. We like to get hot cocoa and a few pastries, though they also have lunch fare as well, like sandwiches and salads. It’s a great place to sit and people watch, or maybe to sit and color quietly while mommy enjoys a cup of coffee. Website>

Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

Saul’s is a firm favorite with many Berkeley residents. Reminiscent of a New York diner, Saul’s serves a classic Jewish menu including brisket, pastrami on rye, matzo ball soup, and the most delicious potato latkes.

The kids’ menu offers a good range of kid approved food including hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&J, turkey sandwiches, matzo ball soup and bagels. After 4pm dinner options such as chicken of the day are included. Side serves such as apple sauce, plain noodles, cheese and turkey are perfect for the littlest diners – or super fussy eaters! There have been plenty of times when all my youngest wants for lunch is a few slices of turkey and a cup of apple sauce! My kids love that breakfast is served until 2pm (2:30 pm Friday -Sunday) meaning that a pancake for lunch is totally an option! The kids’ paper menus feature fun kid-drawn illustrations and crayons are available for coloring. High chairs are available for the littlest diners although if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll want to sit in a booth because, hey, booths are more fun! Outdoor heated seating is also available. Baby change facilities are available in all of the bathrooms. The delicatessen part of Saul’s offers a great range of take out foods including bagels, cookies, knishes and blintzes. Website>

Saul's in North Berkeley is very kid-friendly
Lola at Saul’s about to dig into that pancake | Photo by Sally Mason


More pancakes for lunch! Well, crepes to be precise. Or pancakes, because they have those too. Crepevine is my 5 year old’s favorite restaurant. She loves the kid friendly menu, which features all the typical meals you’d expect to see on a kids’ menu including mini pancakes, mini burgers, spaghetti, chicken tenders and grilled cheese. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for family dining and there are plenty of large tables plus high chairs for little ones. Both the women’s and men’s bathrooms at Crepevine have baby change facilities. Website>

Da Lian

Da Lian is a large, family friendly Chinese restaurant and one of our favorite places to eat out with other families. The menu offers a large range of dishes including plenty of not so spicy ones that kids love such as pot stickers, chow mien, beef with broccoli, sizzling rice soup and spring rolls. The noodles are always fresh and tasty and nothing feels overly oil which can be common at Chinese restaurants. The serving sizes are pretty large making them perfect for sharing. The atmosphere at Da Lian is pretty relaxed and there are plenty of large tables with is great for families. My kids love getting a round table with a lazy susan in the middle. Passing the salt is definitely more fun with you can spin it over to the next person! Clean bathrooms are available but there are no baby change facilities. Website>

Sweet Treats: so many choices for dessert in the Gourmet Ghetto

CupCakin’ Bake Shop

Uniquely flavored and delicious cupcakes galore from this Black woman-owned bakery. Choose between flavors like key lime pie, chocolate salted caramel, and funfetti. They also bake cakes with an advanced order and their cookies are incredible!  The mini cupcakes are beyond adorable, and perfect for little kids. They also offer gluten free options, which is nice, as well as vegan and more adult flavors (think Drunk Pumpkin).  Order ahead for a birthday party or special event to get dessert done in a snap. Website>

Lush Gelato 

Lush Gelato in the Epicurious Garden is one of our favorite places to stop for a sweet treat on a warm day. Or a cold day. It’s always a good day for gelato! The gelato and sorbetto flavors on offer vary daily and many are quite gourmet. Many of the flavors are better suited to an adult palate and at times can seem quite experimental, but there are always a few classic flavors on offer like strawberry and chocolate that kids will enjoy. My kids like to taste a few different flavors before ordering but they almost always end up ordering the same thing (strawberry sorbetto and ricotta and lemon zest gelato) unless there’s a special flavor like donut or popcorn, chocolate and salted caramel available. The garden out the back is the perfect place to sit and enjoy gelato on a warm day (or any day) and as I mentioned earlier, there are bathrooms available inside the Epicurious Garden building. Website>

Lush Gelato and other great places to eat in the Gourmet Ghetto with kids by 510-families
Lush Gelato is good any day | Photo by Sally Mason

Love at First Bite

Located in Walnut Square on the corner of Walnut and Vine Streets, Love at First Bite makes some of the tastiest cupcakes around. Each day, little (and big) cupcake lovers can find anywhere between 12 – 15 flavors on offer including classics such as vanilla, chocolate and red velvet, alongside new favorites like hummingbird cake, PB affair, lemon pistachio and matcha green tea. Dairy- and egg-free vegan options are also available. While there is no seating available inside the tiny store, there is bench seating out the front. Walnut Square is a lovely, quiet spot to sit and enjoy a cupcake. Away from the bustle of Shattuck Ave, Walnut Square really feels like a little secret hideaway, and you know that kids love secret hideaways! Website>

Where to Shop


This cute little boutique is a locally, family owned kids boutique located in Walnut Square right by Pete’s Coffee. It’s the type of place where you might find that perfect little dress for the upcoming recital or party. They also have a bunch of great gift options for all ages, from newborns to preteen (and some women’s clothes). Pick up some art supplies and have your kiddo do some coloring while you enjoy a latte at Pete’s! Website>

Grove Street Kids

A fabulous re-sale store for gently used kids’ clothes, Grove Street Kids is so fun to explore. They have clothes, shoes, toys, maternity wear, and more. We especially love coming here to hunt for Halloween costumes and accessories. One year we found a pretty epic princess ensemble, and another year we scored the perfect insect costume, which we hadn’t been able to find anywhere! Such a fun place to browse. Website>

Where to Play and Entertain Kids

Victory Point Cafe

board game cafe with people
Victory Point Cafe interior | Photo: Francisco D. via Yelp

This place is so fun! If your kids love to play board games, this is the cafe for you. You pay a small fee ($7.50 per person) and then you can stay as long as you’d like to play all the games. They also have some tasty food to keep everyone happy, including coffee and beer for adults, ice-cream, snacks and pizza for everyone. Your kids will never want to leave! Website>

Books Inc.

Okay okay, not a place to “play” specifically, a bookstore is still a great place to engage children’s imaginations and spark joy. Browse the shelves of books or sit on the floor and read a story. The children’s area is very well stocked. Occasional children’s book authors visit to read their books, so check out the calendar to see what’s coming up. We like to browse after eating at Saul’s a few doors down. Website>

Van Der Zwaan Dance Studio

If you’re looking to get your kid into dance or ballet, Van Der Zwaan Dance Studio is a great place to start. They offer several beginning ballet classes where your little ballerina will learn the basics and enjoy twirling around in their adorable outfits. Fair warning though, you don’t get to watch them, and you can’t even see in the studio. But, they do have recitals, which are very well done. Website>

Live Oak Park

After eating all that delicious food, kids need to run around and play. Nearby Live Oak Park is our favorite place to go after we’ve filled our bellies on North Shattuck. Live Oak Park features something for everyone.

playground and grassy field
Live Oak Playground in Berkeley | Photo: Julie Herson

There are two playground areas: a fenced in toddler playground with sand, toddler swings, bouncy rides and a small climbing structure, and a larger playground for older children, with a large climbing structure, slides and swings. Adjoining the playground areas are basketball courts, tennis courts, plenty of flat grass for running around on, and Live Oak Community Center which has bathrooms available during its opening hours.

On the other side of Live Oak Community Center lies a large sloped grassy area filled with shady trees, meandering paths, gathering areas with tables and grills, and, the highlight in the eyes of most kids, Codornices Creek. The shallow creek is accessible by stairs, or by scrambling down the side, and is perfect for wading on a warm day.

Live Oak Park & other family treasures of the Gourmet Ghetto
Lola in the creek at Live Oak Park | Photo by Sally Mason


North Shattuck hosts a ton of events throughout the year as well. From weekend music, Sunday Streets, Thirsty Thursdays, and even a Snow Day in December, North Shattuck is a wonderful place for families. Check out upcoming events here>

What are some of your favorite spots in the North Shattuck neighborhood? Let us know in the comments!

[Photos by Sally Mason where indicated, all rights reserved, see more awesome stuff from Sally on]

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