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TC Garden (Berkeley)

Author: Ken | No Comments
Categories: Berkeley & Albany | Tags: Tags: , ,

2507 Hearst Avenue
(between Euclid Ave & Le Roy Ave. Across from Campus.)
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 540-1124


I started going to TC Garden in 1993, and I could swear that the prices haven’t changed one cent. TC Garden is a small, no-frills, Chinese restaurant serving the UC Berkeley campus, on the Northside, and I love it. It’s tucked into a small restaurant row that every grad student at Berkeley has to know about.

Back in the 90s, Mom and Pop ran the place, with twin sisters cooking in the back. The menu is vast, and the food comes quickly. I remember it for the Tiananmen Square poster they had in the window, and the kindness they showed me, knowing my order, and welcoming me a few times a week.

Mom and Pop retired a while back, but otherwise the place has not changed. Lunch for three, with an appetizer and hot tea for around $16. Seriously.

There’s a long list of vegetarian entrées, from rice plates to chow mein and chow fun. My favorites are the mixed vegetables rice place (veggies in a clear glaze, over rice) and the mixed vegetables chow mein (in a semi-sweet soy sauce) which is excellent.

Da Lian (Berkeley)

Author: Ken | No Comments
Categories: Berkeley & Albany | Tags: Tags: , ,

1674 Shattuck Avenue
(between Lincoln St & Virginia St)
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 883-1883


Da Lian feels like a second home to me and is among my favorite food spots in Berkeley. It fills the missing go-to Chinese restaurant niche in the Gourmet Ghetto.

Ken and I eat here about once a week and it always feels like a treat. There’s nothing too fancy about Da Lian: the surroundings are clean and modern-cozy, maybe even plain. The entrees we get are basic (Americanized) Chinese. It hits the spot every time.

Like a lot of Chinese restaurants, they menu is huge. Our favorite dishes are the Vegetarian Pot-Stickers and the Spicy Garlic Eggplant with soft tofu added. We sometimes get the Dry-Sauteed Green Beans instead. For us, the one, large appetizer plus entree is enough food for dinner.

The food is reliably delicious, the staff is very sweet, the service is excellent, and you never have to wait for a table. They do excellent takeout, and their space is large enough to handle pretty big groups.

Da Lian for lunch or dinner is a perfect venue for a mixed veg/non-veg group. Ken and I go there with all of our out-of-town guests and it’s always a hit. It’s also quite reasonably priced.

I can’t say enough about how nice the people are here. When I call to order take out, they know me by name and usually finish my order for me. One time I called, and after I got through specifying soft tofu for our eggplant dish, the waitress on the phone said, “Oh, we have Ken’s credit card here. I’ll give it to you when you come in.” (He had been looking all around!)

About the Authors

Ken and Kathryn are the authors of VegJapan, a vegetarian TravelBlog in Japan.


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