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Cheap Eats: Comal Next Door


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Photo from Cassie Z. yelp.com

Why go? Berkeley’s Comal serves dinner only, and the wait can be long. But now, you can get a taste of the restaurant’s Oaxaca-inspired fare anytime, with its new fast-casual addition: Comal Next Door.

What’s the vibe like? The small space is bright and airy, with three communal tables and cutlery in galvanized buckets. Online ordering makes takeout a cinch for anyone doing business downtown.

What to order? Burritos and street-style tacos feature tortillas from Concord’s Tortilleria El Molino and several filling options—including tender achiote grilled chicken, and zippy corn with zucchini and poblano chile. But the signature may be the buttermilk fried chicken torta with pickled jalapeño-cabbage slaw, Jack cheese, and chipotle aioli.

Added bonus: A salsa duo served with thick, house-made chips; two choices of refreshing aguas frescas rotated daily; and frozen margaritas made with the same recipe used at Comal.

How much? Tacos (you’ll want two) cost $3–$3.50; burritos and bowls go for $9–$12; and tortas are $12. 
2024 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 422-6625, comalnextdoor.com. Lunch and dinner daily. $

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