I found the greatest place in downtown Berkeley to have lunch. My fave meal is the fantastic Mediterranean panini sandwich and good sized portion of baby green salad, all for $4.75. The Med panini bread is infused with rosemary, and the ingredients of the sandwich include: roasted eggplant, red bell peppers, mint (wowee!), and tomatoes. Mm..it's so good. Other items to try are the mint Moroccan iced tea, minestrone vegetable soup (comes in a big bowl--no cup!), roast beef sandwich with fantastic mustard and the fontina cheese panini. The breakfast pastries are delicious too--I don't know any other cafe in the area that offers fresh croissants with homemade preserves. Kristine, the owner, is very friendly, and jazz plays softly up above. It's below street level, and you feel tucked away and can enjoy your meal without the buzz of others. On the weekends, the cafe is open during performances. Hrs 10am-8pm daily.
Location: 2087 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94704 (located in between Berkeley Rep/Aurora and the corner of Shattuck and Addison)