I love brunch, and I love Thai food. It’s not often that those two worlds collide, however. Fortunately, Wat Mongkolratanaram (or as it’s known colloquially, the Thai Temple) is there to provide Berkeleyans with mouth-watering Thai brunch on Sundays.
Wat Mongkolratanaram is a beautiful Thai Buddhist temple located in a peaceful residential neighborhood in South Berkeley. The proceeds from the weekly brunches help to support the temple’s monks, cultural programs, and school.
“Thai brunch” is a beloved Berkeley institution, and as such, it fills up rapidly. Although brunch is served from 10 am to 1 pm, some people begin lining up at 9:30 to avoid the crowds. The dining area is located in a spacious courtyard with a garden and some awnings, making it the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
The temple serves noodle soups, curries (vegetarian as well as meat- and fish-based), and sweets (the mango and sticky rice is a favorite). The food is reasonably-priced, as well. A generous plate of food costs $6-$8, depending on how many items you select, and a hearty soup will set you back $7. Before lining up for food, you must exchange your cash donations for tokens, which are then used to pay for individual dishes in the buffet.
At my last visit to Thai brunch, I enjoyed a tasty yellow vegetarian curry and flavorful eggplant with rice. Another perk of Thai brunch is that you can bring your own containers to fill with takeaway food…so I also left brunch with my dinner ready to go: pad thai with sweet and sour vegetables. I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday!
1911 Russell Street (between Otis St. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way), South Berkeley
Sundays from 10am to 1pm
BART: Ashby Station