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Most Affordable California Cuisine 

Cafe Muse

Just think "Californian cuisine," and your wallet feels $60 lighter. Vegetables with pedigrees cost, man. But not at Cafe Muse, the Berkeley Art Museum cafe, where you can enjoy raw and organic meals and a break from the campus craziness while immersing yourself in a concrete-slab idyll. Owner Daryl Ross, who also owns the Free Speech Movement Cafe on the Cal campus, is on a mission to serve healthy, tasty food that students can afford. Nothing on the menu costs more than $8. The modern raw-foods movement originated on the East Coast, but its two biggest celebrities, Juliano and Roxanne Klein, made their names in the Bay Area. The multiculti nature of the raw dishes -- such as lasagna with shaved zucchini pasta, Southwest chicken wrap topped with cashew "sour cream," and pad Thai (young-coconut noodles) -- are about as Californian as you can get. How he manages to put out such high-quality, high-ethics lunches at these prices is a trick we wish Governor Schwarzenegger would learn.

Readers' Pick:
California Pizza Kitchen
Multiple locations

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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