Photo source: Benjamin Soto for Diablo Magazine
As these last few weeks of school are in session, we’re all counting down the final days until summer! Summer Kitchen Bakeshop on College Ave is a great place to grab a bite to eat with your friends during the leisurely summer days. It’s a bright, sunny restaurant, with communal tables to eat at. They serve salads, sandwiches, and pizza made to order, but also have a deli-type counter with salads and sandwiches to go that are made fresh every day. There are a few dinner options, but Summer Kitchen is definitely better suited to the lunchtime crowd.
Their Kale Caesar salad with Acme sourdough croutons and Grana Padano cheese is an all-time favorite. There’s a perfect amount of thick and creamy Caesar dressing coating the kale. The dressing is made with avocados, making it have enough bulk to stand up to the heavy kale. This salad is made even better by the addition of crispy chicken. Their crispy chicken fingers are one of their signature dishes, and people often order those as a snack or their whole meal.
The Little Gem salad with spring peas, shaved fennel, watermelon radish and candied pumpkin seeds with creamy tarragon dressing is another example at how Summer Kitchen excels at salads. Although this many ingredients could clash, they work together perfectly. The peas and radish make it feel light and summery, great for hot weather. The dressing isn’t too heavy—there’s enough to give the salad flavor, but not too much that it overpowers other parts.
Their amped-up version of a classic BLT is my favorite thing at the restaurant. With apple-smoked bacon, avocado, piquillo pepper, wild arugula, and homemade mustard and mayo on Acme bread, it’s a vibrant and exciting sandwich. The bread is toasted on the outside but soft on the inside, creating the perfect bite. The saltiness and crunch of the bacon contrasting with the smooth, creamy avocado makes the sandwich memorable. Summer Kitchen is very committed to quality, with each ingredient perfectly prepared.
The signature Summer Kitchen drink is sparkling mint lemonade that pairs well with all of their menu items. On a hot day, its a great refreshment!
They also have a wide assortment of desserts and pastries, including mini lemon merengue tarts and different flavors of cupcakes. If you’re not in the mood for a cupcake, you can head over to Ici right next door for a scoop of ice cream! Conveniently located around many other restaurants and shopping, Summer Kitchen is one of my favorite lunch spots in Berkeley.
2944 College Ave