The Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley has always been bustling with wonderful restaurants and adorable shops, and it seems to have only improved with time. Recently I lunched with an old friend and she introduced me to Summer Kitchen & Bake Shop, a welcomed new addition to both my tummy and the hood.
The food is delicious and the adorable space is perfectly styled and appropriately simple so for good reason there is usually a line out the door. Zoned primarily as a to-go eatery, there is limited seating which can feel tight at times (especially when you are dealing with strollers) but if you are a smaller party, the counter is often available and a comfortable option. I asked about their menu (which changes monthly and showcases seasonal/local ingredients) and generally includes meat entrees, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, sweets and side dishes.
As an environmentally responsible business, not only do they go to great lengths to source the best ingredients and cook what's in season, all of their meats are grown in a humane manner and are free of hormones and antibiotics, the menu is free of trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup, they serve Blue Bottle Coffee that is fair-trade and roasted locally in Oakland, and all to-go packaging is 100% compostable (AMEN).
The way I look at it, it's basically the best place you can go to indulge in a kale caesar salad with fried chicken and not feel too guilty (while also saving room for the lemon meringue cupcake, of course :). I love this place and can't wait to go back!