Three words: Brunch, booze, and Millionaire's Bacon. That was technically four words, but if you're into any of these, you're in for a good surprise!

Steven Hoyul Choi, owner of renowned San Francisco restaurants Sweet Maple, Kitchen Story, and Fred's Place Coffee Shop, has blessed the eclectic Berkeley food scene with a new spot: Berkeley Social Club.

pizza, coffee
Luna Zhang

Located on University Avenue, just a few shops past Asha Tea House, is the Korean-fusion restaurant founded by Choi and his partner, Andy Kitsadaviseksak, and it is the perfect location for brunch. But before we talk about food, let's talk ambience.

coffee, pizza, beer
Luna Zhang

The moment you walk in, you are greeted with friendly faces and a comfortable, open space, tastefully decorated to fit a refined industrial ambience. Venture further, and you will find their back patio, populated by lush succulents and air plants.

Luna Zhang

At night, Berkeley Social Club turns into a Korean restaurant and mini-theater. The founders plan to start screening movies on their brick wall outside so that you can experience a classy, yet laid-back outdoor dining experience with your friends and other members of the community. 

While I was thoroughly captivated by the sophisticated décor and impeccably clean atmosphere at Berkeley Social Club, I was even more impressed with what I ordered. Each item on the menu is a unique dish crafted with creativity, care, and quality.

Mascarpone Blueberry-Stuffed Crunch French Toast

sweet, cake, cream, pastry, chocolate, dairy product
Luna Zhang

Perhaps the most beautiful dish at the Berkeley Social Club is the Mascarpone Blueberry-Stuffed Crunch French Toast. It is composed of two slices of fluffy Texas toast, stuffed with fresh blueberries and mascarpone filling, finely crusted with cereal flakes. Maple syrup is served on the side, and dusted powdered sugar tops the dish off.

Not too sweet, nor heavy on the palate, this is the kind of French toast you won’t feel guilty ordering first thing in the morning.


egg, vegetable, ramen, rice
Luna Zhang

For our Korean-food-loving (and vegetarian) friends, the Dolsot satisfies the criteria for properly made stone pot rice. Berkeley Social Club's version includes caramelized red onions, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, and bean sprouts, all nicely sautéed until soft. The vegetables are neatly arranged on a bed of perfectly cooked rice that acquires the slightest crunch from the stone pot, yet retains its soft texture.

Finally, the Dolsot is topped with a single yolk that binds the vegetables and rice together with its creaminess. A house-made red pepper sauce is served alongside as well. In just one bite, you’ll get the goodness of all ingredients, complemented with a subtle, but fragrant taste of sesame oil and the sweet spiciness of the sauce.

rice, vegetable, seafood
Luna Zhang

#SpoonTip: If you are sharing Dolsot with your friends or family, be careful with the hot stone pot — it stays hot for a really long time. 

Blackstone Benedict with Millionaire's Bacon

vegetable, meat, fish, sauce
Luna Zhang

The final thing I ordered was the Blackstone Benedict. It consists of two poached eggs on their famous Millionaire's Bacon, asparagus, and a slice of ciabatta bread. Myer lemon hollandaise tops this delicious concoction, and crispy Yukon potatoes are served on the side.

egg, egg yolk, bacon, meat
Luna Zhang

What is Millionaire's Bacon, you may ask? Think bacon, but on crack. It's thick-cut bacon that is rubbed generously with dark brown sugar, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, slow-baked for 3 to 4 hours. The result is a smokey, candy-like bacon that melts in your mouth. All in all, this dish comes together beautifully and is one of the best twists of a classic eggs Benedict.

beer, wine, turkey
Luna Zhang

Here at Berkeley Social Club, there is something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a classic Western-style breakfast, traditional Korean comfort food, or a mix of both, Berkeley Social Club has got you covered with both its wide selection of food and drinks — not to mention draft beer on tap, soju, and bottomless mimosas.

The next time you're looking for a nice brunch or night out near campus, Berkeley Social Club is definitely a place to try with your friends, family, or significant other. Why not drop by this place that will treat you well and send you home with a happy belly?

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