Albany >Restaurants > Fonda
1501 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA | Directions 9470737.891054 -122.287273
Good food, but not for the price – I have been anxious to try Fonda as I have heard good things about the food. After trying it last night, I have to say that it's a lot of hype. Yes, the food is good, but the portions are extremely small and overpriced. I can get food this good at El Huarache Azteca for about 1/4 of the price. Our server was great - very friendly and attentive and the drinks were also good. They have an extensive, and somewhat unusual, cocktail menu, which is nice. However, I can't say this place was worth it. If you are looking for comparable food and don't care about the atmosphere, go to El Huarache on International. If you want even BETTER food and atmosphere, check out Limon in the Mission.
Fonda Solana is a fantastic – My wife and I have been to Fonda several times now and we have always been pleased with the experience. The drinks are great and a good value given the taste/quantity of alcohol. The plates are not large (given that Fonda serves tapas) but we feel that they are a good value given how good they are. Several reviewers have remarked that the tapas are ridiculously small and highly priced, but my guess is that these people have not eaten at many other tapas places. Compared to Acote or Cesar, the tapas at Fonda are cheaper, and just as large if not larger. You can certainly leave with a full stomach without spending a ton of money (4 tapas + 3 drinks = $55-60).
Good experience! It's about who you're with! – I took my friend for dinner around 7p on Thrusday. We were greeted/seated as we walked in. The service and attention we received, although the place was busy, was exceptional! Thanks Ivan. The food was experimental in my view, but tasty - new combinations for me. Plates are definitely small. I expected small but these were smaller than anticipated. We had 4 mixed drinks and 6 plates - $104+plus tip. Ambiance was nice, little noisy but not too bad. Get the comfy soft chairs if you can, more relaxing that steel tables and wooden chairs. Overall had a great time there and would visit again. If you're out to have fun with friends or just hangin' for drinks and snacks, this is a good option. If you're looking to 'fill up and get stuffed' you'd better plan to spend a lot.
Great for drinks, pan-Latin in the East Bay – This is our neighborhood joint and a favorite...often when we're heading out for the evening, we find it hard to get further than Fonda. The drinks aren't cheap, but they are fresh, tasty and plenty strong. The food is great--try the prawns, duck tacos and especially the mushroom quesadillas (nothing like a quesadilla you'll get in most restaurants, but awesome nonetheless). As some have said, portions aren't big (similar to other small plates places with a cocktail focus), but everything is yummy. The service varies--I would say that this is a place to hang out and enjoy, not a good option for a quick in-and-out meal (although I have sometimes had very rapid service). At any rate, the regular manager/host, Michael, is a great guy who'll go a long way to please. Overall, we always have a laid back, fun time at Fonda and walk away happy.
Disappointing... – I was looking forward to a great meal based on the comments left by others, but I have to say I was really disappointed in the quality of food and the service. Everything was sooooo slow and we had three different wait staff helping us. The food was just okay really...nothing compared to the many other amazing places I've eaten in the Bay Area. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exciting either.
An Absolute Gem – This is the restaurant of my dreams...we had an amazing meal last night. Ordered several dishes and they were all exceptional.
Latin American food with complicated ingredients and flavors. Just enough spice. If it's not hot enough for you, they make their own hot sauces! You have to have the shrimp plate! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. A perfect blend of flavours.
Great service and generous drinks. I think this place would be perfect for a date or ladies night out!
Hipster style, cool Pan-Latin tapas and top-shelf margaritas bring big-city buzz to Albany's Solano Avenue. – In Short
A long bar, high ceilings, an open kitchen and bi-level seating all give the spacious restaurant a chic warehouse vibe. Solano Avenue's 20-somethings flock here in droves for the small plates. Slim sticks of cucumber and jicama drenched in lime juice and ground chili make a good starter. Highlights of the main courses include grilled quail dabbed with smoky peanut mole, a seviche-style seafood cocktail of tangy sea bass, crab and scallop, and seared flatiron steak.
Fond of Fonda... – This nice spot is tucked away across from a Safeway supermarket on Solano. Decor is hip and colorful with little metal tables, an upstairs loft and patio out front. Small Latin American plates are the draw here, we tried the chips/salso, duck tacos and prawns negra, all very spicy and good! Service was very professional and courteous. Overall a nice experience at an eclectic little spot, good for smaller parties.
Tasty food but tiny portions! – While Fonda delivers tasty tapas, the portions are ridiculously small and the prices very high.
Each dish is usually not more than a few bites (a few SMALL bites may I add!). Don't expect to get
full here unless you blow big bucks. Their cocktails are pleasing and the ambience is cozy but is not
a good value for your money at all.
yummy – The molotes are delicious as is everything on the menu. Pricey, but well worth it. The shot of tequila with the spicy orange/tomato juice chaser is refreshing. although they recently downsized the size of the chaser glass which was the best part. It can get loud, but its a cool place to hang out with friends as well...
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