[quote]”One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf [/quote]
And there’s no better place to understand what Woolf meant than in the Gourmet Ghetto of Berkeley. The Gourmet Ghetto is the birthplace of the American slow food movement spearheaded by Alice Waters and her pals. It’s also a state of mind, given the community that this type of place attracts. It all began in the late 60s and early 70s when Chez Panisse, The Cheese Board Collective, and Peet’s Coffee opened in the neighborhood that runs along Shattuck Avenue from Rose Street to Hearst Avenue.
This small group of pioneering foodies gave Americans a shocking (and much tastier) alternative to the canned food, Velveeta, and Folgers coffee that was the standard fare of the day. Nearly a half of a century later, the Ghetto remains a hallowed pilgrimage for foodies around the world.
Since we only were able to spend 24 hours in town, we hooked up with Edible Excursions tour company that offer walking food tours in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. From celery soda to potato pizza, here are a few of our favorite places and things to eat in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto:
For more about Berkeley’s foodie Mecca, read on for the 10 things we learned in the Ghetto.