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Beta Lounge

This sleek, loungey little wine/sake bar boasts an interesting menu of nigori cocktails, a dozen or so largely satisfying noshes, and an ambient conviviality that belies its proto-IKEA design scheme.

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Turns out, the Hotel at Shattuck Plaza has not only a rock-solid restaurant, but a bang-up — if slightly mannered — bar space as well. Drinks are well-made and undeniably thought-out — you'll be hard-pressed to find a cocktail here with fewer than five ingredients — but it's a pleasant place for an after-work or post-theater cocktail. Plus, there's live entertainment on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Henry's is an old-school hotel bar that's been remodeled and reinvented. While you can still sit at the bar and enjoy a reasonably stiff drink, you might be better off sitting down for a full meal, as Henry's offers a full-size and well-executed take on classic pub fare.

What doesn't this place do? Located beneath the venerable Jazzschool in downtown Berkeley's theater district, the Jazzcaffè, run by German-born proprietor Kristine Seinsch, is part cafe and part bar, and also offers catering and event production services. Each succeeds on its own merits. Originally intended to serve a quick bite to Jazzschool students and teachers, the cafe has grown into a gathering place for the local jazz scene, offering a simple yet sophisticated (and evolving) menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch fare. The bar offers a range of wines, beers, and apertifs.

Enjoy tasty Mediterranean-style pizzas and a wide variety of house brews on tap in this Berkeley outpost’s beer garden, where live bands perform on a brick patio throughout the week. For no cover charge you get atmosphere -- heat lamps, foliage, lanterns, a huge brick fire pit -- and entertainment ranging from experimental laptop music to bluegrass and Americana. Inside, the restaurant is two stories, and there are tables large enough to accommodate groups.

Kip's used to be campus' most unabashedly skeezy bar, complete with neon-colored liquor, auspiciously sticky floors, and unfathomably cheap pitchers. Now, it's cleaned itself up a little and sells such delicacies as salads and imported beer along with those aforementioned $7.50 pitchers of PBR. We'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is an improvement. Either way: KARAOKE!

Lot 68 Lounge

Perhaps most notable for the fact that it's located inside the Shattuck Cinemas movie theater, this bar/restaurant offers a full bar, a comfortable atmosphere, and surprisingly delicious food.

Revival Bar & Kitchen

Amy Murray’s bustling downtown Berkeley venue celebrates the Bay Area’s bounty of fresh, organic foodstuffs with flair and a sense of fun.

Triple Rock has a local vibe, a dozen house beers on tap, comfort food, and the best rooftop beer garden in the East Bay.

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