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  • Venus - Berkeley

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Venus - Berkeley
Venus - Berkeley

Venus - Berkeley Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.venusrestaurant.net
  • Email: venusrestaurant@gmail.com
  • Phone: (510) 540-5950
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 2:30pm; Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 2:15pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:15pm; Dinner: Thursday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Sundays & Mondays: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Organic, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Amy Murray
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Amy Murray (510) 540-5950
  • Special Events & Promotions: Every year Venus hosts a series of unique feasts to celebrate food, wine & the abundant local harvest of the Bay area. Our events include annual Valentine's Day & New Year's Eve parties, as well as seasonal wine tastings & Slow Food inspired dinners.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bancroft
  • Public Transit: 3 Blocks South of Downtown Berkeley BART Station, more information at http://www.venusrestaurant.net
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking, UC Bancroft & Oxford Lots near by, more parking information at http://www.venusrestaurant.net
A word from Venus - Berkeley
Venus features the best of our local foodshed, from local farms, waters and ranches, served in warm and lovely style in the heart of Downtown Berkeley. A favorite dinner spot for theater goers, Venus devotes itself to local and organic purveyors, creating delicious Northern California style dishes. The wine list focuses on bio-dynamic, and sustainably farmed grapes, and a "New World" style of wine-making, where the fruit expresses itself. An open kitchen and banquette seating create a cozy vibe. Chef Amy Murray is a 15 year veteran of the organic, farm-to-table movement.

Menus are created each month to highlight the best of the season and evoke good appetites.

Venus also serves a unique brunch and lunch, and offers uncommonly good beer, wine and light cocktails.

We are happy to do small parties and buy outs, and tasty lunch catering.
Diner Reviews
  • "Can't believe it's been here 13 years and I've never been. Really tasty and nice mix of vegan and carnivore options. Will definitely be back. Very convenient to theatre district. Small and intimate - as in your neighbor's will hear your conversation. But really well done on the food."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "The food was wonderful and service. I ate vegan and My friend had lamb and they both were great. Good to have a restaurant that accommodates both tastes."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "A small restaurant with great and friendly servers. They went out of their way to be accommodating. Great small dishes as well as entrees. Very warm atmosphere where you feel welcomed and appreciated. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We really liked to food selections and the choices we made. Everything was well prepared and delicious.The wine list was brief but adequate, The services was exceptional. Even though it was noisy, we'll be back!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "i have dined many times at venus and the experience has been superb--food, ambience, service, etc., but this last time they slipped on all levels. they were extremely apologetic and advised us confidentially that they had new help in the kitchen and they had not yet achieved the good operating level they (and their customers) were accustomed to. give venus time to "repair"--they're worth it."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "You can go deaf but as long as you don't need lots of conversations, the food is terrific!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Interesting and flavorful food. It was a Sunday night, and the place was packed. I will return again for lunch or breakfast. Try it out!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "It appears to be a hole in the wall, but a great find. We got a 5:30 pm table on way to Berkeley for a Cal Performance event on Sun night. The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and understood our need to attend 7 pm event. We started with small plates of Sardine Marseilles (Japanese Pike) & Lamb Kofta Kebab along with their sake cocktails. For main course we enjoyed their two daily specials: Organic Lamb and Chicken Peri Peri. The proprietor surprised us with a 'on-the-house' spanish sampler. The staff who waited on us was super friendly. She took care of Cal Performance discount (10% off on entrée, I think) even before we asked. Overall a great experience and would definitely recommend it to our friends!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Thank you for a wonderful meal - thoroughly enjoyed by all in our party. The server was so helpful, catering beautifully with healthy foods for my restricted diet (grain free). We will be back (even though we're from San Francisco)."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We went here for a quick dinner before catching a show at the B. Rep. The service was great and the food very good I would go back. Only quibbles would be that it is a mighty small space and so feels a bit cramped. And the beer selection was minimal."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Venus has terrific food, but it's hard to relax when the tables are packed in so tight and the noise is so loud."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Venus does a wonderful job presenting food favorites in a different and interesting way. Vanilla bean and coffee encrusted steak? YUM! Every dish I have ordered- from appetizers, entrees, desserts, beverages, and wine- have been absolutely delicious. If you have dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegan, paleo, etc) the restaurant offers substitutions where applicable- so don't be afraid to ask! This is the first restaurant that I have been to that has offered me an alternative to bread when I said I couldn't eat it."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "We've eaten here quite a few times. it's always a great experience. The staff if friendly and welcoming. The foo id fantastic!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We have gone here many times, but will not be back. We had about an hour wait between courses, and not once did anyone come by and explain the wait or ask to see how we were. Two of us had a curry dish - mine came with very little sauce, the other came with a huge amount of sauce and very little vegetable. The noise level was extraordinarily high."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The "local catch of the day" meal was very bland. The swordfish was dry and tasteless, the chard and peppers had no flavor, the brown rice was mediocre and the sauce the fish was on was really bitter. The lamb kebabs were amazing though and I like that the complimentary bread was oiled and toasted. The setting was really nice as well."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Except for the noise level, Venus is perfect in every way! I wish they'd work on their acoustics!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "we were seated on time. interesting, high energy ambiance. interesting menu. tables are close together so it is hard to navigate with a cane.. the Spanish omelette with red bell sauce was delicious. the lamb special was tasty, the pork chop was intriguing. service was spotty even though several waiters were present. they tended to congregate and chat. we had to ask several times for bread, coffee, then coffee amenities, the check even though we mentioned we had tickets for the Rep. it was confusing who was our waiter as several people served us...."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We were excited to try this place after hearing from some friends about it. My husband ordered the Catch of the Day after the waitress couldn't stop talking about how excellent it was. That couldn't have been further from the truth! $21 for a very bland, soggy piece of fish that left him putting salt and pepper on it. Will not be back."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "Nice choice of food. Not too much. Server was great in recommending amount of food to order. I loved it, he didn't try to oversell. Just said we could always order more."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "The title says it all. The wait staff were good, too."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "We regularly eat at Venus before seeing a show at Berkeley Rep or at one of the nearby theaters. Food is always delicious and they are accommodating on timing. The wine list isn't huge but I always find something I really enjoy. The tables are a little close together buy it is a small place trying to serve many."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "I have had wonderful experiences at Venus but was a little disappointed last time I went. Service was real slow. It took 20mn for the first starter to arrive. We had to wait another 10mn for the other two starters to come in. The mushroom starter was real small, more like an appetizer. The soup was basic, lots of potatoes not much vegetables. The chicken entree was a little dull, the rice was plain and the kale was left unseasoned. The place was crammed and noisy. The proximity of the kitchen allows all the kitchen smells to seep into your clothes, not so pleasant when you get home. Service could be more efficient, the place could use an update (I wonder how the staff can cook in such a tiny spot) and the food could have a little more zing."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "I don't often have the occasion to dine at Venus, but when I do, I am always pleased with the food and the service. Their vegetarian dishes are creative and tasty and they have a nice wine selection (although small). It's a one of my favorite downtown spots!"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Try Venus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Always fresh products go into their dishes expertly crafted. Great coffee and wine list as well. Delicious!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Venus and their staff made my daughter's birthday very special. The food was fabulous and we were treated like special guests from start to finish, even though it was a very busy evening for them."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Originally, We made a res on Valentine's day but changed to next night as the restaurant told me there will be only a set menu at $65++ on VD. Good thing we changed the res to next night as there is no ambience, tiny table being able to hear all conversation of next table (even we do not want to hear). Not good place for a special or romantic occasion. But food was pretty good and price was very reasonable. Great casual dining spot."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I felt like a sardine, I couldn't help but eavesdrop, I had no choice. It was very uncomfortable. The food was just not good enough to forgive the serious lack of elbow room. Not a good value. The service was ok, though, I can't recommend Venus."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I've been here before and it has been better. This time the food was pretty bad - soggy, odd taste -- and the variety was limited since they didn't have everything. The tables are small and crammed together so that one is about 2 inches from the next table. The staff is friendly, but there aren't enough of them when the place gets crowded. Small space - filled to capacity and then some."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "There is something for everyone, the menu is quite comprehensive."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We enjoyed the evening very much. The food was good and probably especially for vegans and vegetarians which we are not. Pleasant waiters and the ambience was nice- not too bright- cozy and friendly place. Foods (kale) I rarely eat but good nevertheless"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "If you are going to Zellerback for an evening concert, start your night by having dinner at Venus. Charming neighborhood restaurant , with good healthy food and attentive staff. Ambience is quaint as it is a small dining area but this makes it cozy. Excellent main courses but you make a meal of just several small plates as well. The lamb kabobs, Spanish meatballs and the kale salad was a great meal. The special catch of the day was a New Zealand sea bass that was flavorful and flaky with sautéed chard ( I told you it was healthy). If you have room deserts are heavenly. A good meal to be had and fairly close to Zellerback. Part of a wonderful evening in Berkeley."
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Everything we ordered was delicious. Seating was very cramped and the noise level made conversation difficult,"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Limited menu with ok food; service was good though."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I took a group of business guests to Venus for a fast, early dinner. One of our party was elderly, and has some demanding food restrictions. Our waitress was kind, humorous, responsive, and completely accommodating of his needs. Everyone's dinner was delicious and an extremely good value. Many thanks, Venus!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "This restaurant is a gem. The food is scrumptious, and so carefully & subtly prepared that you feel satisfied from your first mouthful on. I had a swordfish steak (with a delicate yet pungent pesto sauce) that was so delicious and tender -- I hadn't even known swordfish could be this tender and tasty. Each person at my table was incredibly happy with their meal. What's more, the wait staff seated me right away, on a Saturday night, even though my family hadn't arrived yet. And once it became clear that my husband would be quite late, they very generously and kindly held off on doing our main course, until he could arrive. I can't say enough about this place -- it's become an all-time favorite."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I enjoyed the food and ale that I ordered. The service was fine too. I felt a little cramped as the tables are pretty close together, and I couldn't have anything near a private conversation with my date. Otherwise it is a nice place."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Hooray to Chef Amy Louise Murray for creating such a charming spot with such excellent food. We had a sake cocktail that was simply delicious. Wish I could get that recipe!"
    Dined on 2/23/2013
  • "We had breakfast here on a busy (and chilly) Saturday morning. I made a reservation for 4, asking for a table that was wheelchair accessible. We were seated at the very first table inside the door and even though they had a curtain around the door, there were so many people in and out that we were freezing cold the entire time. I would have liked to see the wait staff pay more attention and keep the curtain closed as much as possible, but they seemed to be oblivious to it. The food was great - my bf and I got the Royale omelet and the Ham omelet and split them. The Ham was pretty good, but the Royale was wonderful. Their biscuits were also amazing - I would go back just for those."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Fantastic service! Amazing whole crab w/ spinach & luscious pistachio sauce. Gave 3 wine tastes before I chose my glass: delicious. 10% off w/ Rep tix."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "I made a reservation for New Years eve with a fixed price menu offered by Venus. All the courses were perfectly prepared and timed expertly. Great job to the chef and wait staff that night. This was our firs experience at Venus and was surprised by the food quality, fitting of a more fine dining area. We'll be back."
    Dined on 12/31/2013