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Located in a gorgeous 1920s building opposite the UC Berkeley campus, Freehouse (formerly Adagia) is a Mecca for inventive, affordable comfort food. All the classics you’d expect are well represented on the menu: mac ’n’ cheese, burgers, potpie, chili—you get the picture. But refreshingly, these comfort staples often come with an unexpected twist: The grass-fed steak sandwich is served with horseradish crème fraîche, while the cider-brined pork chop is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Specials should not be overlooked, either, particularly the creative seasonal salads. This is not the place to come for wine (there are a mere two on the menu), but the beer selection is extensive and impressive. The vibe is casual, and the amenities—two flat screens, a pool table, and a patio with fire pits—attract a young and at times noisy crowd. The service can be frustratingly slow, but overall, Freehouse satisfies. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Mon.–Sat.
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