I’ve rounded up some of my go to places for lunch dates in South Berkeley and North Oakland. Once I finish writing today, I’m meeting my husband for a date at La Note. My mouth is already watering for the the gingerbread pancakes with poached pears and a latte served in a bowl so deep I could swim in it.
Though this will be our first time sneaking away from our workday to meet at La Note, my husband, Alec, and I have developed a pretty good routine of seeking lunch dates where we can find them.
We can do these lunch dates because our children are in summer camp and preschool — so childcare is already covered — we’re double-dipping!
Of course working parents have all kinds of time and location restrictions to work around. Alec and I didn’t always have the flexibility of a semi-regular lunch date. When neither of us worked from home, we could sometimes squeeze in a downtown San Francisco lunch date or an after-kids-are-dropped-off but before-we’ve-left coffee date.
Another favorite location for a flexible work day is Temescal’s Bakesale Betty. We adore eating the buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches (or sometimes “salad” with no bun) with our little stools pulled up to the ironing board tables along Telegraph Avenue. What’s better than that? Maybe a strawberry shortcake to share or a cookie for the road. Or a walk around the block to Doughnut Dolly? All good. Dolly and Betty, we thank you for this date!
Two other fast and easy options are Flacos Tacos and Easy Creole on opposing sides of Ashby BART. Easy Creole is a friendly, casual joint with creative Cajun-Creole fare served over rice, vegetarian options included. The menu changes regularly, sometimes even in the middle of the day based on what’s fresh and what’s done simmering in the kitchen. The staff will let you taste as many as you want before deciding on a plate for your meal. Don’t fill up too quickly!
Flacos Tacos is a small, healthy Mexican place that serves all vegan all the time. Hold up, vegan Mexican? You have to try it! You might remember seeing their food trucks at various farmers markets around town. They made their debut at the farmers markets before opening this little restaurant with some table seating inside and out. Tuesday is Taquito Tuesday — my fave — but there are many great choices.
If we have a little bit longer to lounge for our weekday date, I love West Berkeley’s 900 Grayson. Again, I’m stuck in a bit of a food rut but here I have three favorite menu items that I keep cycling through: the Chopped Cobb salad when I’m feeling healthy, the Grayson Burger when I’m feeling carnivorous, and the Demon Lover chicken waffle combo when I’m torn.
Favorite ME time lunch date spots:
- Easy Creole. 1761 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley. Open for lunch and dinner.
- Flacos. 3031 Adeline St, Berkeley. Open for lunch and dinner.
- Bakesale Betty. 5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland. Hours unpredictable.
- 900 Grayson is in West Berkeley at 7th St. Breakfast and lunch only.
- La Note. 2377 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley. Breakfast and brunch most days; weekend dinners.
I’m sharing my favorite ME time lunch date spots with my husband in hopes of inspiring you to take time with your partner away from the kids. Can you double-dip on any of your preexisting childcare arrangements? Here’s hoping you can!
Where do you like to sneak in the East Bay for lunch dates?
Thanks again to Domain.ME for inspiring 510Families.com; all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. (ICYMI: Whit’s favorite destinations for ME time with adult family, my round-up of favorite East Bay ME time spots for myself, and Whitney’s faves for ME time with friends in the 510.)