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BERKELEY Restaurants

The Med (iterraneum Caffe) 2475 Telegraph Ave./Haste St.  With a casual atmosphere and untidy decor, this coffeehouse seems to have been serving students forever.  It was here in 1957—long before anyone had heard of Peet’s or Starbucks--that the latte was invented by a barista who added steamed milk to espresso for customers who complained about it being too bitter.  Allen Ginsberg wrote par of “Howl” here, and it shares a scene with Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.”  It catered the Free Speech Movement activists back in the ‘60s as they planned their moves, including Jerry “You can’t trust anybody over 30” Rubin.  But, as everyone knows, times change.  Now it has an ATM on the premises and serves smoothies and ice cream cones.  Try a Berliner--a sort of coffee-ice cream float--and the fabulous chocolate layer cake with rum custard filling.  Short-order breakfast and lunch items are available.

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image copyright John Briggs

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