Simply Bowl

2156 University Ave, Berkeley
(510) 647-9494

Recent Reviews

Joanna W.

Simply Bowl was my ULTIMATE comfort food when I was in the central campus area, and I'm so glad that a friend had recommended this wonderful place to me back in Fall 2016. This restaurant serves the best and freshest poke in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Please trust me when I say this as a past sushi restaurant worker who has tried numerous poke places but have only found solace in 2-3 places. Every time I eat at Simply Bowl, it makes me feel at home again. The ambience is perfect for a friend meeting, listening to music/podcast, or reading. Most people come in and out and eat there in between classes or lunch breaks. Price-wise, it's average for the type of food served. All in all, I miss Simply Bowl when I'm homesick or not around and I hope more and more people find this spot a hidden gem in their undergraduate journey :")) My favorite orders: 1) Waffle Fries: amazing spicy mayo and ketchup combo sauce on the side 2) Takoyaki: crispy, aromatic, and filled with perfect texture 3) MANGO SALMON POKE BOWL!!! My ultimate favorite, they add just the perfect amounts of each ingredient 4) Hot curry bowl: Need I say more? Feels like home for any Asian kid.

Connie Mi

I love the poke here - my go-to order is the spicy ahi tuna. I come here quite frequently, and I can confidently say that if you love poke, give the spicy ahi bowl a try.

Heather W.

Wow! Wow! This place had delicious poke salad. It was a good portion of fresh lettuce, cucumber, avocado, tomato, poke, masago, almonds and (odd choice but delicious) cranberries in a tasty light dressing for 11.50. The place is simple with many young Asians eating here. The person at the counter was friendly. The place looks clean. It's not loud even though there was a TV playing on low. Decent restrooms. Free WiFi. I would recommend. My date had shoyu poke over brown rice and was also very happy.

Clark S.

Extremely sub par poke (especially by Bay Area standards) for high quality poke prices. See the issue? I wish I did too - right before I ordered food from here.

Wendy P.

It is pretty good. The hot bowel is great and it will feed you really full. But I dont really like the poke. It is not that fresh like what I had before. But overall, good!

Savant Krishna

Good Japanese bowls

Linda Boone

Incredible restaurant & service! I had the carbonara and my daughter had the raviolis. Both were outstanding & I'd highly recommend this restaurant!!

Brian S.

The salmon bowl was not fresh, which is an issue for fish. We ordered Salmon Mango and Ahi Tuna bowls. The tuna avocado was a bit better but nothing special. Unless they improve the quality I would not return.

Elaine K.

I come here a couple times a week with my friend because we both work nearby. Great place to eat and catch up with friends as well. Food here is always consistent and nice portions for the price. Staff is also very friendly! They have a nice selection of food! Alot of different poke bowls and japanese bowls. Even bowls with other asian influences as well. My favorite is the Spicy Pork. Super BOMB!! Better than spicy pork at korean bbq places. Something about the quality of the meat is just soo good compared to other places. Has a good bite and sauce to meat ratio is on spot. It comes with half rice and half salad. Goes reallly well with their brown brown. I do ask for no salad dressing tho because I think it already tastes really good with just their spicy sauce. They have a big selection of appetizers as well. (There's a whole list on their paper menu at the counter) my favorite is their waffle fries and gyoza *_* waffle fries come in a huge portion! Enough to share with a friend. My friend usually gets their poke bowls. Their fish is always fresh and they make their own sauces too. I hate eating raw fish so I never tried a whole poke bowl but I did try their fish at my friend's urging and I would say that it was pretty alright (which is saying alot!! Considering that I gag at even the thought of raw fish Lol) Their spicy mayo and wasabi mayo is really good. My friend always asks for extra sauce and staff is super nice about it. This is one of my favorite lunch spots, food here is consistent, great quality, and great staff!!

김승윤

Palatable taste, reasonable price

Tanya A.

I got the mango salmon poke bowl to go. All in all, it was a decent and filling bowl. The salmon was really good, but what I didn't enjoy as much as the mango (too mushy) and the crabmeat (too much compared to everything else). It would also be awesome if they let you customize your bowls here and pick and choose each item to go into the bowl; I'm not sure it was an option when I was there.

Johanna Coleman

Massive portions of rice and small amount of meat in a chicken teriyaki bowl. Chicken was dry and didn't have much flavor.

Thomas L.

Simply Bowl is pretty close to the UCB campus and my lab near the west base of campus. So, I frequent there more often because of the proximity convenience than anything else. I classify the quality, portion and price as average/fair. I tend to get a Spicy or Ahi Poke Bowl for poke or a Teriyaki Duo Bowl (this tends to fill me up more than the poke). The turn-around from order to walking out the door is pretty good, but does feel a like it takes longer than it should sometimes (usually because of DoorDash/Postmates/Uber Eats order which seem to be popular for Simply Bowl). It worth it when I don't want to walk too far and in the mood for poke.

김승윤

Palatable taste, reasonable price

Mattin D.

More of a 2.5/5. Simply Bowl is an okay place to get poke + other bowls. I came here frequently this past summer since WeWork members get 10% off, and it was for the most part alright. AMBIANCE: It's decently cute inside, though it may look a little dated. It's usually pretty clean, too. Not much else to say about it. SERVICE: The employees here are always friendly, and I've never had an issue with the service here. You only really interact with them when you place your order and pick it up. FOOD: Simply Bowl always leaves me feeling unsatisfied/still a bit hungry afterward. The prices are a bit high for what you get when you order the poke bowls, though the fish does taste pretty good. Besides the poke, their Chicken Teriyaki Bowl was one of my go-to's, but after a while I couldn't really eat it anymore. The chicken was consistently pretty fatty, which I really just can't stand. Their other bowls are pretty alright, too. The katsu curry left me feeling fuller than others, but also kind of bloated + heavy. I also tried the lumpia one time, and I didn't particularly enjoy it. I don't know if I'll come back. It feels harsh to say, but there are better places to get poke in the immediate vicinity.

Ninoska Adam-Glynn

Nice food in a relaxed ambiance. Super clean. Wonderful Poke Bowls.

Christopher Clark

They have a more straighforward poke bowl approach which is nice if you're indecisive. The menu isnt very complex.

RONNIE LEWIS

The curry chicken Bowl is great

Maria S.

My go-to spot when I'm craving an unagi bowl! I always come back here because their servings are huge and they give you big pieces of unagi along with cucumbers, yellow radish and carrots. Service is pretty quick too and everyone is always nice.

Jennifer L.

overall: 3.5/5 (it's a bit better than your average 3-star rated restaurant, not quite at 4?) i would come here during college when i didn't know what to eat LOL. their salmon, teriyaki chicken & steak are quite good! i would always get one of the following: 1. mango salmon poke bowl 2. ahi poke bowl w/ salmon instead of tuna 3. teriyaki duo bowl (teriyaki & steak over rice + salad) 4. shrimp surfer bowl i like to ask for no cucumbers too b/c i don't really like cucumbers that much. but it's pretty good for the price! they have both white rice and brown rice options. my only request would be for sushi rice to also be an option (poke parlor in southside berkeley has this though!) occasionally i've ventured outside of the 4 items above, but they were kind of meh

Geno Cai

I ordered the curry beef bowl. Taste good, and I added one pack of wasabi in the curry. Then it taste great. You should try it. Of course, you can eat spicy.

Ju Hyun Y.

Was craving for some thick, juicy beef served with hot rice so I decided to come here for the first time. SO glad that I did! Completely satisfied with the portion, quality of meat, and customer service. :)

Latosha Sanchez

Love this place! Food and staff are great!

Karoline A.

I was pretty surprised that this place had such good reviews. I think that this place should be rated 3 stars when comparing it to other poki places out there. What i liked about Simply Bowls was that it was pretty decent in price ($10-$13/bowl). It was average in price for poki. However, I would have to say that the food itself was subpar. Not the greatest poki I've ever had. The fish was pretty dry, and didn't taste fresh. The rice was also pretty dry. the bowl was not very well seasoned so i had to drench it in soy sauce and siracha. I probably wouldn't come back here as i have had poki that is significantly better in taste that is around the same price. Unfortunately this place did not live up to my expectations. I would probably rather spend my $12 elsewhere.

Annika Vanderberg

Great vegetarian dishes. Delicious Vegetable Tofu!

Albert L.

Just like the business state "Simply Bowl" is all about the bowls. Atmosphere is modern matt warm colors with over-the-top service. No table service just order up front and you'll be given a vibrating pager. Menu isn't scramble to the point that you'll be confused. Everything mentioned is what in the bowl and you can ask for extra toppings, but some items might cost extra. Bowl is pretty good with choice of white or brown rice. Freshly made and toss in kitchen can hear the metal food bowl scraping and clinging. There wasn't anything smelly or masking just fresh bright color salmon fish. I just wish mango wasn't so small like little square pebble otherwise this is a complete meal of it's own. Anyway, this would be my last poke bowl meal in bay area, I'm set to head back vegas as soon as doctor sign me off and I glad I had the opportunity to try Simply Bowl while back in berkeley.

Naomi J.

I love coming here because they have an unagi bowl! The unagi is tender and the sauce is on point too. The portion is pretty filling and I love how it has crab meat. My only complaint is that there is too much rice and adding other components would diversify the bowl a bit more.

Meme W.

Tried this place for the first time while exploring in Berkeley and was very satisfied. The restaurant AND the restrooms were clean. The staff seemed very friendly too and helpful with selecting an order. I ordered a poke bowl with salmon and mango. I could tell the ingredients were fresh and I could tell they put care into their meals. I plan on returning to try some other options from their menu

Jess Richardson

Quick, cheap, quality. Not a fancy place but it's reliably good and reasonably healthy.

Jaecheol Lee

Compared to the poke venue in Telegraph, the quality cannot be rated as better. The place is clean, staffs are kind, that's good but could not find some specialty in their menu. Honestly, I have tried just Ahi poke so please consider the three stars as a rating for the poke menu only. I'll update this review as I try other dishes too. At least, the ahi pike was not that recommendable for several reasons. First, vegetable is not sufficient considering its price I guess. Second, pieces of cucumber were connected, which was annoying for mixing rice and other ingredients.The price was about 10.95 without tax but I think it should have been 9.5 ish.

Bora Y.

Verdict: It's...okay. Its not as fast as other poke places. Portion WAY smaller price higher. I paid $15.99 or smth for a poke bowl thats mostly rice (ahi tuna/salmon/mango). Literally it was half rice, sashimi pieces, mango, tobiko, super tiny bit of seaweed salad--thats it. Doesnt even have green sald, ginger, each topping thats gratis at other poke bars are extra 1-2 bucks. Real plain, flavor not there either (i dont believe they put sauces mixed in, didnt taste it). You can get a better deal/portion somewhere else. Theyre kinda ripping u off. The wasabi (those cheap packetsh and sauce is or on the side of the checkout counter I prefer poke bar much much better. Not a fake review. Nor am i angry. This the truth. Good thing abt this place is the location, kind of.

Borah Y.

Verdict: It's...okay. Its not as fast as other poke places. Portion WAY smaller price higher. I paid $15.99 or smth for a poke bowl thats mostly rice (ahi tuna/salmon/mango). Literally it was half rice, sashimi pieces, mango, tobiko, super tiny bit of seaweed salad--thats it. Doesnt even have green sald, ginger, each topping thats gratis at other poke bars are extra 1-2 bucks. Real plain, flavor not there either (i dont believe they put sauces mixed in, didnt taste it). You can get a better deal/portion somewhere else. Theyre kinda ripping u off. The wasabi (those cheap packetsh and sauce is or on the side of the checkout counter I prefer poke bar much much better. Not a fake review. Nor am i angry. This the truth. Good thing abt this place is the location, kind of.

Kyle W.

This is one of many average food places around UC Berkeley, and I am not surprised by the mediocre quality because you kind of get what you paid for. For the most part, the poke bowl looks pretty good, and it is quite simple as it mostly contains ahi tuna, cucumber, masago, squid salad, imitation crab, and brown rice. The cucumber somewhat hindered my dining experience as it is one large shredded piece, and it did not really compensate for a more beautiful bowl. The tuna is not the freshest, as there are some pieces that felt a bit stale. They added spicy mayo to the top of the tuna to somewhat mask the less fresh flavor. Imitation crab was a bit bland. The squid salad is probably one of the best ingredients in this bowl, as it is decently salty and has a soy sauce flavor. It was not that spicy, but it definitely provided a great spicy feeling.

Toshi P.

Simply Bowl is, as their name suggests, simple. But in no means is this a bad "simple," but rather a no-nonsense kind of simple where it's easy to go in, make your order, and leave satisfied. Their flavor combinations and the portioning of individual ingredients is fantastic and they have a flair for creating poke bowls that taste great. Although the ratios of fish to rice to veggies is good, I do wish the overall serving size was a bit bigger, because it really is delicious. Probably the only thing that gets on my nerves (and it's not even that big of a deal) is how they cut the cucumber. It makes for an attractive and aesthetic display, but it's annoying to eat. Definitely give it a try if you're in the area or need a nice poke pick-me-up.

Stephen S.

Love the place they are fast with orders, reasonably priced, great portion sizes and accessible through the Yelp app. Steak tastes like steak chicken tastes like chicken. Also customer service is to notch. As long as they are open and I keep coming to the neighbors I might just keep eating here.

Bella B.

I love the poke salad, free delivery from caviar ! Prefect time . Fast food. Fresh . Satisfied ! Thanks Simply Bowl

Eufemia M.

Great selections of foods! A must try especially if you are in a hurry! I really love their Caesar salad and my grandson loves his own salad as well. Everything is a must try.

Valerie T.

My go-to place for poke when I still lived in Berkeley! It's conveniently located in downtown, near where I lived, so it was really quick and easy to get something to eat if I was hungry. What's different at this poke place is that there's pre-set bowls, instead of an array of different ingredients for you to choose from. I always get the Mango Salmon poke bowl, with white rice. I really like how the mango and salmon taste cold and fresh in comparison to the warm sushi rice underneath it.

William Gaillard

It's good. Not as good as other poke bowl places but the price is lower than others. I'll be going back.

Chelsea McCallister

Great food and fast Service. My colleagues and I eat here almost every time we visit Berkeley