This cozy, woody, British-style pub is so laid-back you could go there in your pajamas; board games... awesome darts and unlimited popcorn, add to the best-friend's-kitchen vibe. Rated top in best beer selection in the Bay Area and listed in top 20 Biggest Buzzes for the Buck which considers the cost of a drink, appeal, decor and service.
— Zagat Survey 2002 San Francisco Nightlife
The Albatross... is one of my favorite bars in the world. It's really cool, it feels real warm inside. There are booths, each table has a little lamp over it and chess boards ready to go. You can go anytime and see people playing anything from Chutes & Ladders to chess.
— Johnny Steele
The combination of the superb Irish coffee and the pub's comfortable atmosphere makes it well worth a spin across the bay.
— SF Weekly Best Irish Coffee Award, 2001
You feel appreciated as soon as you walk in. Everything there says, 'Relax.' People are throwing darts, people are munching on crackers, and there are dozens of board games to play.
— Marshall Platt
Sure, part of what makes the Albatross a nice place is that it does have certain things other bars don't. But what makes it the best in Berkeley is what it doesn't have–a ton of noise.
You'd think other bars in Berkeley would understand a simple fact–most people don't appreciate having their conversations drowned out by over-amped bass lines or blaring techno beats (and, sometimes, waiters that want to be your best friend). The Albatross, understanding the seemingly intuitive fact that conversations among sufficiently smashed patrons tend to be more interesting, stands alone as the sole bar in Berkeley that respects its customers enough to let them hear each others' voices.
— Paul Thornton
Albatross pub goers are a diverse microcosm of the Berkeley community itself. On any given evening, you will find University students, writers, soccer teams, a hang glider club, local business people and lots of foreign accents.
— Angela Wagner Coleman
You feel like you're part of a community when you're here. I would give anything to have this in San Francisco. She added that she's glad it's not, or I'd be an alcoholic.
— Michelle Mulkey
This is my favorite bar in Berkeley and the local place I would always choose first to spend the night with friends. It's a great local neighborhood bar that's extremely laid back, not very pricey, and has great beer. It doesn't sell food, but you can bring food in from other places (there's a great tacqueria across the street). There's also popcorn that's 50 cents and unlimited for snacking. Although this place can get crowded on the weekends, it's never too noisy given the number of people inside. The dress code and crowd are exceeding casual, making it a great place to go just to kick back. The crowd is usually local 20 and 30-somethings.
What really sets this place apart are the various games they provide, including Apples to Apples (my personal favorite), Connect 4, and various word and trivia games. I used to love drunken game nights with friends in college, and this is a great way to recreate that experience. There's also darts. On Sunday night they have trivia night, which is incredibly fun, even if you tend to lose as badly as me. They also have fun bands come in some Saturday nights for a small cover ($3).
Albatross is about a 10-15 minute walk from North Berkeley BART, right next to bus lines, and has plenty of street parking.
— Rat-A-Tat (from Yelp!)
I love this place! Need a game night? Go here!
That's what we did! I'd driven by this place so many times while working, but had no clue what is was like inside. Turns out, the place is great!
If you play darts and like exotic draught beers, this place could be your Eden. They have several dart lanes and even more beers to choose from. Not your things, there are other drinks. There's a lone pool table in the back. Grab a board game, bring your own. It's what you make of it.
Food? You are covered! Bottomless popcorn! Ok, that's not much, but it seems you can bring some food in if you like.
It's a few block from BART and find parking on the street.
— Steve N (from Yelp!)
The Albatross is absolutely, definitively, the shit. The set up and atmosphere is my perfect ideal of what a pub should be. Starting with their beer, they have a fair selection of draught beers, and an outstanding selection of bottled beers. The prices are extremely reasonable, ranging from $3+change for the shit and about $6 for the really good Belgians. Most beers, though, range from $4-5, plus they carry Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, one of my all-time favorites.
The atmosphere in here can't be beat. I love all the wood, which lends this place the feeling that it's much older than it actually is. Both times I've been it has never been too crowded and I've always been able to find a place for me and my party. It probably helps that it is huge.
Lastly, they have a massive selection of board games, and one of the best pub quizzes I've been to. It's a tough pub quiz, no doubt, but it's not like some that are so ridiculously hard you don't even know why you bother trying.
If only The Albatross was within walking distance of my house I would be here all the time. Sadly, I have to make a plan of it when I go. Nonetheless, this is without question my favorite bar in the East Bay. It is everything I love in a bar.
— Mike P (from Yelp!)
The rumors are true. This place kicks the badonka-donk!
I brought my wife here for her 21st birthday a week and a half ago and couldn't have asked for a better environment for a bunch of her friend to meet up and have a good time.
Some people played darts for a few hours. Others had a few rounds and a ton of fun playing the available board games. I'll tell you what, that night I played the most, what I can only call, "collaboratively-competitive" game of taboo I've ever played! In the same game we were both enthusiastic about helping the opposing team give good clues AND vehemently against cheating and giving away answers. GOOD TIMES I tell you!
— derrick i (from Yelp!)
This is greatness in a bar.
Impressive beer selection. Local bay area brews that rotate and a big selection of Belgian bottled beers. This paired with darts (love it), pool, taboo, and popcorn make it heaven.
The bartenders are very nice too. They've often let me sample the beers on tap to help me make the "right choice." And they have a sense of humor!
This is a lovely place to go with friends, coworkers, fun and boring dates, dogs, and everyone else.
— Alisotto P (from Yelp!)