Breakfast at Bette’s Ocean View Diner in Berkeley

by foodhoe on March 27, 2011

1807 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 | 510.644.3230 | website | twitter
Hours: Mon – Fri: 6:30am – 2:30pm | Sat – Sun: 6:30am – 4:00pm

I’ve posted about this utopian breakfast spot previously here, but the breakfast is really just peerless – the best to be found this side of the bay.  Seriously, we’ve never had a bad meal here… ever!  The interior is retro and feels a bit like you are in a cozy train zooming along a fast-track towards a delicious gustatory destination.  They are famous throughout the land and despite having been recently featured on Guy Fieri’s Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives, and Check Please! Bay Area, the lines seem the same… long, but not too long, and definitely worth the wait.

I love that there are huge larger than life sculptures of food like the gigantic pancake hanging on the wall and a humongous slice of pie that dangles a bit precariously over the counter/register.  Hint, the wait is shorter if you are willing to sit at the counter, which I prefer because of the interaction with the staff and the better photo opportunities…

I had a hard time deciding between the lemon ricotta pancakes and the crab cakes with poached eggs, but in the end went the savory route.  The crab cakes were small but meaty and luscious, each was topped with a perfectly poached egg drizzled with a bright lemony hollandaise that was light and velvety and sprinkled with fresh chives.  The spring salad mix was tossed with a zesty Dijon vinaigrette and served with slices of buttered sourdough toast.

Mr. K ordered an egg-white omelet that was filled with spinach, cheese and fresh herbs ($7.95).  The home fries here are so outrageously delicious.

Thin slices of potato and onion that are browned until crispy and caramelized and then tossed with fresh herbs and topped with a dollop of sour cream. 

One of my favorite things to order is the Bagel platter with smoked salmon, cream cheese, sliced cucumber, tomatoes and red onions ($9.95)

Everything is perfectly fresh and the proportions are just right… but it’s the luscious silky lox that I dream about with this dish. The attention to detail here really is outstanding, the vegetables were all fresh and thinly sliced, just how I like them

Mr. K prefers a more basic breakfast of two fried eggs, bacon and toast ($7.5), cooked exactly to your specifications.

The bacon is always crispy on the edges but still chewy and even, dare I say, juicy?  Juicy bacon!

They also serve a variety of delicious drinks besides fresh squeezed OJ and freshly brewed coffee.  Once I heard someone order a screwdriver, a very serious morning beverage and I was completely transfixed watching  the waitress hand mix a chocolate milk.  The waitstaff’s shirts proclaim the truth.

Next door is Bette’s To Go, which is a wonderful place to pickup a coffee and peruse their interesting displays of lunch and snacky things while you wait for your name to be called next door at the diner.

They have a wide variety of pies, tarts, macaron, salads, pizza by the slice, sandwiches and all manner of treats….

But the thing that caught my attention is their homemade Chocolate Espresso Twinkie ($3.95)… I think you can buy a box of the golden sponge cream filled tubes for less, but just one of these babies will do you right.

This is a heavy dense cake, like devil’s food cake, and filled with rich espresso cream and dipped in a rich dark chocolate coating.

You can buy their cookbook, The Pancake Handbook, or some of their delicious pancake and scone mixes, along with t-shirts and coffee mugs.  Next time I really must try to pass on breakfast and order from this very promising and delicious looking, yet decidedly frivolous counterpart.

Bette's Oceanview Diner on Urbanspoon

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