Your New Favorite Spot

Study Hall Rooftop Lounge in downtown Berkeley is the perfect combination of cozy ambience, comforting but well-prepared meal, and wide range of drinks.


Stepping out of the elevator onto the 12th floor of the Residence Inn in downtown Berkeley, I rounded a corner, where smiling hosts led me to the beautiful outdoor rooftop lounge. A couch was nestled there with small tables placed in front of it, an expansive view stretched out behind me, from the east end of Berkeley’s campus over to the sports fields at the RSF, into downtown San Francisco. As the sun began to slip behind evening clouds, its rays hit the Oakland and San Francisco skylines simultaneously, illuminating dozens of glinting silver structures.

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Blankets were offered when it became chilly after dark, string lights floated above us, and gentle live music began playing around 6:30 PM on a corner of the rooftop. We noticed that there were a variety of seating options, many around the perimeter of the rooftop showcasing stunning vistas of the bay.


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The menu is brief, which is ultimately helpful for those of us who struggle with indecision. The calamari arrived first, a chewy ring wrapped in a satisfying and crunchy exterior. It was drizzled in chipotle mayo, sweet chili sauce waiting on the side. Cauliflower nuggets soon followed, a crispy globe glazed in a sesame sauce whose insides were reminiscent of mac and cheese while still retaining a cauliflower flavor. Shrimp tacos were delivered, each corn tortilla containing slightly salty pico de gallo, pickled onions, and a creamy sauce decorating a golden fried shrimp.

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We were so ready when it came to the main course. Sliders with three different fillings appeared in front of us, containing sweet pulled pork, Wagyu beef, and fried chicken. Each bun had been toasted so that the filling of each slider was hugged by a buttery crispness. The beef version also held an ultra crispy circle of Parmesan in place of the usual melted cheese, the crunch creating a welcome change of texture paired with a creamy mustard.

Other highlights include the delicate, flakey miso glazed salmon within the kimchi rice bowl, the masterful flavor and bite on the french fries, and the maple bourbon bread pudding for dessert. The pudding was dense enough that it felt more like a cake than bread pudding, which we preferred. The maple wasn’t overpowering, adding a gentle breath of sweetness to the dish.


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We tried some of Study Hall’s drinks as well—their Your Inevitable Demise cocktail has a base of green chartreuse, an herbaceous, sage flavored liqueur, and a mix of lime and pineapple juice to bring a pop of brightness. Otra Vez?! is a delicious tequila, hibiscus tea, lime, and agave blend. All of their cocktails can be made non-alcoholic, and one friend ordered the Cat’s Pajamas drink this way. It’s originally a gin and lemon juice concoction with a honey syrup that brings the sweetness to near lemonade levels.

Final Thoughts

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The views, tasteful seating and lighting arrangements, shareable bites, and incredible drinks come together to make Study Hall Rooftop Lounge perfect for a catch-up with friends or romantic evening.

For more recs on good drink spots, check out this article!