Jupiter Restaurant Berkeley
"Out-of-this-World" Eatery in Downtown Berkeley
Cari Lynn Pace, Best of Bay Area
Among Berkeley’s abundant “pizza ‘n brew” options, Jupiter is from another planet altogether. This historically classic 1890 livery stable excites the eyes, ears and palate. Enter the gothic-inspired bar’s arched brickwork, hammered tin walls, and high ceilings for a selection of a dozen house brews (and more) at the copper-topped counter. Catch a glimpse of the wood-fired oven roaring in the corner, with cooks pulling puffy pizzas from the flames. Wander back to the popular multi-level beer garden, colorfully punctuated with red umbrellas by day. After dark, heat lamps and strings of festive lights from the trellises keep the tables filled. You won’t wait long for attention, as the friendly wait staff is quick to take your order or offer suggestions from the enticing choices of fresh salads, unique pizzas, and “guest” specialty beers.
We shared the Caesar salad, which was crisp and balanced with just the right amount of asiago cheese and dressing, and the beet salad, a colorful arrangement of perfectly cooked roots on a bed of local greens, topped with feta and red onion. We followed that up with individual pizzas, one with house-made fennel pork sausage and traditional marinera sauce, and the other a four-mushroom delight with an olive oil crust that was simply perfect. If we had been hungrier, we would have been tempted to try the soups or appetizers, which included BBQ pork riblets or fontina-and-beer fondue. We barely finished as it was; Jupiter’s portions are quite generous.
Jupiter grooves with local alternative jazz musicians around the outdoor fire pit on Tuesdays through Saturday evenings, and hosts bluegrass Sunday afternoons from April through October.
For a quieter ambiance, Jupiter’s upstairs dining room glows with soft lighting and panels of hammered tin. Diners can look out over the ever-bustling action from Shattuck Avenue and the BART station below. Downtown Berkeley’s street life never fails to amuse!
If you plan to enjoy a show a Berkeley’s theater district on Addison, Jupiter is a few blocks away. Salads and drinks arrive quickly, but each pizzas is individually made to order, and may take as much as 20 minutes, according to the staff.
WHAT: Jupiter Berkeley’s Popular Pizza and Beer Garden, www.Jupiter.com
WHERE: 2181 Shattuck Avenue (at Center Street) across from the Downtown Berkeley BART station, Berkeley
WHEN: Bar hours are 11:30 AM to 1 AM, later on Friday/Saturday, and Sunday, Noon – Midnight. Kitchen hours are Monday - Thursday, 11:30am – 11 pm, Friday, 11:30 am – 12 midnight, Saturday, Noon – 11 pm, Sunday, Noon – 10 pm