Best New Outdoor Drinking Spot

Westbrae Biergarten

As soon as it opened in June, Westbrae Biergarten, a new outdoor beer garden in West Berkeley, began attracting large crowds from the surrounding neighborhood and beyond. It’s hard to ignore the appeal. The beer garden — modeled after a successful one in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood — presents a relaxed, family-friendly environment with the surprisingly calming backdrop of BART trains whizzing by on nearby elevated tracks. The joint offers a rotating beer selection of pints ($6) and one-liter steins ($12), as well as draft wines by the glass ($11) and carafe ($45). Berkeley favorite Pedro’s Brazil Café has set up a stand-on site, serving delicious tri-tip sandwiches, “flying pigs,” i.e. chicken nuggets wrapped in bacon, and other snacks that pair well with beer. And going to Westbrae Biergarten feels like attending a family barbecue — there’s even a beanbag toss and small basketball hoop to keep kids entertained. The joint is also just a short walk away from the Ohlone Greenway and offers a great new outdoor spot to spend a weekend afternoon with friends or family.

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