Friday, August 18, 2017

80 North: Berkeley, International House


International House  2299 Piedmont Ave./Bancroft Way, (510) 642-9490.  Opened to controversy in 1930 as a co-ed multiracial dorm, this I-House is one of the country’s four largest International Houses.  It was the second to open  (after one that opened in 1924 in New York City) and the first to open west of the Mississippi.  Founded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., its mission is to foster intercultural respect.  More than 600 students from the U.S. and more than 80 other countries are housed inside this lovely Spanish-Moorish building.  On the first floor, The Great Hall sitting room offers quiet respite, and internationally-oriented events are scheduled regularly and open to the public.

exterior of International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
exterior of International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia

The Great Hall at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
The Great Hall at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia

Two dining facilities are also open to the public:
    ●Cafe  On 1st floor.  Daily 7am-10:30pm; $.  If you’re not so hungry or want just a light snack, this is the place to go.  The menu is minimalist, but you can count on a few sandwiches and salads, plus drinks, pastries, and fruit.  The hamburger is ok but is served bare (no fries), and the butternut squash sandwich I ordered was tasty but the squash wasn’t well-cooked (who wants hard squash?).  I’ve heard good things about the inexpensive breakfast burrito, and the pastries do look tempting.  A seating area in the back offers big windows to the sidewalk and street traffic, and you can even see a bit of the bay.  Some outdoor seating is available adjacent.  This cafe is operated by an outside facility.

Cafe at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
Cafe at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia

Cafe at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
Cafe at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
International House Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Dining Room  On 2nd floor.  B-L-D M-F, Br&D Sat-Sun.  B/$8, L/$10, D/$12.  Menu  www.ihouse.berkeley.edu/dining/menu.php . Join the residents who live on site for an all-you-can-eat, buffet-style dorm meal that features a salad bar, pasta bar, daily soup, and rotating entrees.
There is a good selection of salads, soups, and breads.  Ethnic and international dishes are sometimes offered, as well as vegetarian and low-fat options, plus lots of different fruits, too.  The room itself is old-style European with a high ceiling, oversize Spanish-style chandeliers, and long dark-wood dining tables.  It is bright and airy with big windows offering bay views, and there is plenty of seating as well as a spacious outdoor terrace.  The vibes are good, and I enjoyed hearing people speaking many different languages.  All food is prepared in the kitchen, with the exception of most of the baked goods.

steps up to Dining Room at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
steps up to Dining Room at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
Dining Room at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
Dining Room at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia

Dining Room at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
Dining Room at International House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia


A few doors south, at #2307, is the Thorsen House.  Built in 1909 by the Greene and Greene architectural design firm, this bungalow-style home became the Sigma Phi fraternity house in 1942. 

Thorsen House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia
Thorsen House on U.C. campus in Berkeley, Calfornia



More things to do in Berkeley.
 
Way more thing to do in Berkeley.

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


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