Over at Nash Square you’ll find the quiet and hidden Berkeley Cafe. It’s narrow store-front doesn’t catch your eye which is a shame since it feels like a Raleigh classic with some history. Not on the scale of the Mecca but you can tell the place has been here a long time and has been nicely maintained. While the Berkeley Cafe usually has a decent live music schedule, it also dishes out some good, solid eats by the previous owners of Sadlacks. Yep, that NC State favorite on Hillsborough has been partially transplanted out here to Nash Square!
Inside Berkeley Cafe’s long, narrow space you’ll find a nicely polished bar and back stage area. Grab a seat on one of the mod metal stools along with a menu. The offerings will look really similar to the old Sadlacks: deli sandwiches, wraps along with now some new grill offerings. I go with a tried and true Western burger with sweet tater tots for lunch!
As I wait for my meal the TV’s overhead has ESPN and Miami Vice playing out. The space here at the Berkeley Cafe is really clean and interesting, a bar with some decent food. While it doesn’t look at all like the old Sadlack’s, you get the feeling that the spirit lives on in the Berkeley Cafe.
When my lunch comes out it looks solid. 1/4 lb. burger on a kaiser roll, a nice sprinkling of red onion, lettuce and cheese atop with a spritz of barbeque sauce. The sweet tater tots are identical to Sadlacks, served with some apple butter. All in all it’s a satisfying meal but a bit pricey at $12 for lunch. Berkeley Cafe may be better suited for an evening meal since that money wouldn’t be a big deal after 5pm. But still, I’m glad to have the Berkeley Cafe take the place of Sadlacks. While it may not be food that makes you lift an eyebrow, it’s a good choice for basic sandwiches and grill items along with some live music. Rock on, Berkeley Cafe!
217 W Martin Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Location on Google maps