At promptly 11:30 AM on an otherwise inconsequential weekday morning, I arrived at Gather, stomach empty and ready for the experience that would be the Gather lunch menu. Upon entering, I marveled at the simplicity yet charm of the set-up. The indoor seating was spacious but cozy, with plants lining shelves and slatted wood lamps hanging from the ceiling. Outside on the patio, I immediately fell in love with the abundance of plants and natural colors.

Gather’s co-owner Jodi gave us several recommendations—and thank goodness, because the mouthwatering selection made deciding on a dish impossible. Ryne, Gather's chef, is dedicated to following the seasons and using only the best ingredients. He incorporates these into timeless dishes inspired by cuisines all over the world, creating an expansive menu that keeps diners coming back. The dishes we sampled did not disappoint, each one just as beautiful and delicious as the next.


Steven Huang

Gather has an extensive range of alcoholic drink options, ranging from beers and ciders to wines to mixed drinks. Nearly all of their drinks are sourced from California, with an emphasis on the Bay Area. However, they also have delicious non-alcoholic drink options for those of us who are not yet 21. In order from left to right, we ordered a lemonade, Arnold Palmer, and Q Ginger Beer with lime. The drinks were refreshing and balanced, none too sweet or sour—the best pairing for our meal to come.


The importance of using sustainably, ethically, and locally grown produce shines through brightly in their salad menu.

Beet & Quinoa Bowl

Steven Huang

The Beet and Quinoa Bowl was a perfect mountain of golden quinoa and arugula, with wedges of sunset-colored beets placed evenly and strategically throughout. The texture of the beets was the best I’ve ever had, cooked to perfection and dressed well, bringing out the beet’s natural sweetness without overamplifying its earthiness. The hint of citrus from the grapefruit chermoula balanced the sweetness of the golden balsamic vinaigrette, bringing depth to the dish.

Little Gem & Escarole Caesar Salad with Chicken & Bacon

Steven Huang

This salad was a delightful rendition of a Caesar salad. It featured the staples: crisp leafy greens; crunchy, herby croutons; a creamy, flavorful dressing. The addition of chicken and bacon provided exquisite saltiness and bite, bringing the whole dish together. A classic dish, executed flawlessly.

Local Lettuce with Egg

Steven Huang

The last salad we tried was the Local Lettuce, with the addition of a hard-boiled egg. Like the salads before, the quality of the ingredients truly stood out. Made up of locally sourced greens and an herby golden balsamic vinaigrette and topped with ribbons of colorful carrots and a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg, this salad set the stage for the incredible dishes to come.


The perfect lunch meal, Gather's sandwiches surpass expectations with ease.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Steven Huang

A classic American dish, the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich was served alongside house-made fries and ketchup. The ketchup was uniquely delightful–Gather sources it from a local maker, who uses organic tomatoes to make a dip with flavor nuances not found in your standard diner ketchup. The fries were rustic cut, with the skins still on. Immaculately fried, they were not greasy or soggy, with a light texture inside. As for the sandwich, tender, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork was topped with a crisp yet creamy coleslaw and served on a soft, pillowy pain de mie. Altogether, it was a phenomenal culmination of textures and flavors.

Roasted Mushroom Sandwich

Steven Huang

The Roasted Mushroom Sandwich was one of Gather’s many vegan options. The multiple mushroom varieties provided the sandwich with varying texture and flavor. Being roasted, the mushrooms were slightly smoky and had a nice bite, demonstrating their exemplary preparation. The bread, a sublime ciabatta locally sourced from Acme Bread Company, was slathered with vegan basil pistou. The mushrooms themselves laid on a bed of sweet piquillo peppers, creating the optimal balance of savory and sweet. The Roasted Mushroom Sandwich was also served with fries and ketchup.


We finished our meal with one of the most popular items on Gather’s menu. Unsurprisingly, the quality of ingredients and recipes elevated the shareable dish far beyond comparison with any other.

Spicy Tomato

Steven Huang

Another one of Gather’s vegan menu items, the Spicy Tomato Pizza is a classic that has graced the menu for 14 years. Its foundation was a thin crust, which was pillowy and light. The bottom was crispy and an even golden brown, giving each slice the structure to hold its shape when held. The house-made tomato sauce was incredibly flavorful and rich, a feat that can’t be accomplished without the use of high-quality local ingredients. The sauce was topped with a lattice of creamy cashew puree, which was then topped with a scattering of chopped olives and a generous sprinkling of parsley. The spice level melded brilliantly with the savoriness of the tomato and the sweetness of the cashew puree, and the olives and parsley weaved together with the rest of the flavors into a gorgeous pizza. Beyond taste, the components of this pizza came together into a stunning presentation, the cherry on top to prove why this pizza continues to be a favorite, years after its introduction to the menu.


No meal is complete without dessert, and luckily Gather had the perfect one for us to wrap up our eating experience.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Steven Huang

We finished our meal with classic chocolate chip cookies. The recipe, which has followed Chef Ryne to every restaurant he’s worked at, comprised the perfect cookie-to-chocolate ratio. It was topped with finishing salt, which balanced the sweetness while highlighting the caramelized essence of the cookie itself. Each one was the perfect serving size (although they leave you wishing for another), making them an outstanding way to wrap up your meal.

Steven Huang

Gather, an ever-inspired keynote restaurant, continues to impress. True to its devotion to sustainability, it has a cycling menu that highlights different seasonal produce. Its commitment to the community shines through in a welcoming atmosphere that can be felt immediately upon walking in the door. If you can't make it to lunch, Berkeley's Gather also has a dinner menu, for which it is well known. This menu features several more options, including but not limited to appetizers and entrees.

#SpoonTip: If you prefer to enjoy your meals from the comfort of your home, every lunch menu item is available for delivery through Gather’s partnership with GrubHub!