I saw the signs for Johnny B's Cafe appear around University Avenue in West Berkeley about a year ago, but I didn't figure out where exactly it was until last weekend. Now I'm obsessed.
The next time someone asks me — as they often do — what's a hidden gem you want to tell every new-to-town parent about, I'm pretty clear on my answer: Strawberry Creek Park: A playground with coffee in Berkeley.
With ample parking, a huge field in which to scamper, a creek to explore, a playground, and now, a cafe onsite, Strawberry Creek Park is a perfect destination for a lazy Saturday. Especially if your Saturday is so lazy that you cannot pack a picnic.
Sure, Frog Park has College Avenue and Live Oak Park has North Shattuck, but this location offers access to coffee inside the park perimeter.
Johnny Bs will hook you up with bagel sandwiches, wraps, soups, and salads. I had a turkey wrap with bacon, avocado, apple, cucumber, onion, and homemade pesto. My son had a plain bagel with plain cream cheese. Win, win!
photo – Shirlee on Yelp
There is a terrace with bistro tables, indoor seating, and of course, a huge square of grass on which you can spread a blanket.
Cafe hours are from 9 am to 3 pm, so if you are already fully caffeinated by 8 am, this won't help, but if you frequently head out on playground-seeking adventures with a preschooler, treat yourself to lunch at Johnny Bs.
Strawberry Creek Park is one block south of University Ave on Addison. Also accessed where Allston dead ends right after Bonar. Strawberry Creek Park has no relation to Strawberry Canyon Pool.
Cyclist and strollers can use the West Street path to navigate into the park.