Cup Story - Korean - 2384 Telegraph Ave, Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA - Restaurant Reviews

Cup Story   - Korean - 2384 Telegraph Ave, Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA - Restaurant Reviews

My friend enthusiastically recommended this place so had to check it out.It's pretty cheap. Just like my friend.But serious probably nowhere else can you get some pretty authentic kimchi ramen for just $4. Can't believe we still have this kind of affordable korean place around campus.They have very few seats though. Kind of like the ramen house in Asian Ghetto.


Time: 2:17pm/64°F sunnyPurpose: Walking up the street bump into a sign touting dorosik ramen/bento for $5. Thinking tonkatsu for $5? How good or bad can it be? Made my way in as curiosity got the best of me. Ambiance: Average size place for that area, any bigger may result in food price increase. Kitschy decor with picnic style table in center that sits eight. Front window counter sit another five with backless stools. Ceiling had upside down mounted speakers of different sizes tweeter, mids, woofers all can be seen just no music playing. Kitchen area counter partition glass covered with newspaper. In front sits another five. Menu posted next to cashier along with self help utensils/condiments. Self help water jug with plastic cups. No music or tv you sit there quietly enjoying while watching the street happening. Staff: Two guys for the place, chef and cashier. Chef didn't talk or say anything when eye contact was made. I didn't expect to exchange words with a chef anyway. Cashier guy with accent hard to hear, but we understand each other. Didn't seem to care if I buy or not. He was attentive though. Asking me if everything was ok when it became apparent that, I'm halfway through. Cleanliness: Grade B, utility cart near by had filth and odor. Makeshift sign indicate self cleaning is mandatory, but not limited to. Water dispenser had green algae near the spout. Eats/Drinks: Budae ramen bowl with egg $6.50. I ask what was budae? The clerk told me a mix of all the meat. Sounds great! When done and handed to me it was a disappointment. There were meat of different shapes and form. Most notably Libby's weiner sausages half the size of your pinkie size. The rest were spam, imitation crab, black fungus, pickled daikon, bean sprouts, ramen and egg. I find broth was to salty as I had to sip water each time slurp. Noodles had a coated waxy film cutting it with my teeth was a challenge. In short a bowl that I could've made on a lazy night at home with all necessary items available.Main Features: Dorosik bento/ramen. Products/Service: Limited items, see picture.Punch Lines: Zippy service, kitschy decor, occasional sporty service, minimal seating, imaginable toppings, good portions, no kids menu, lackluster ambiance, not as great, pretentious, quite bland, off putting, street parking, minutes to downtown, hordes of students.Tradeoffs: Larger portions doesn't mean better quality, it just means goods bought bulk, but same cheap item. Final Thoughts: So today was my first time having a cheap bowl of ramen. Well, I did had cheaper, but that was at home. Lesson learn here when no pictures are posted, it means they're hiding something from you. I this case they did a good of presentation on my bowl, but the quality wasn't there to commensurate it. Meh, one time was enough for me. Place really wants to make as much as possible. Eliminating dishwasher position by offerings plastic bowls/cups, eat and toss method. Great for starving students though.

Ceiling top speakers... Ceiling top speakers... Picnic table seating Picnic table seating Front counter seating people watch.. Front counter seating people watch.. See all photos from Albertino M. for Cup Story 9/13/2013

WOW I am mindblown by how much better this cup form factor is. You can grab one and eat while walking, or you can sit at the counter and actually have table space to read your textbook while eating. ALL FOOD SHOULD BE SERVED IN CUPS.At a glance it doesn't seem like the cups would hold that much food, but it's a surprisingly good amount. I got a large combo fried rice and it definitely filled me up for lunch. The food was great! They didn't skimp on the meat and it the rice was perfectly cooked. My one issue is that the food is a bit pricy, $7.60 for a cup of fried rice doesn't really seem too worth it in my mind.That said, I'm probably going to come here again. It is super convenient and the service is super fast. It's perfect if you're in a hurry.

Combo fried rice Combo fried rice Menu Menu 10/27/2014

Crunchy fried chicken and express service might be fundamentally incompatible. Cup story is an interesting concept. You can get tasty Korean snacks on a cup, perfect for a quick meal on the go. The main problem is that because of this, the food is not made to order, which for fried chicken in sauce is not ideal. If you are lucky to order when a fresh batch has been recently made, perhaps the story would be different, but the chicken I got was soggy and dry. Premade food can sometimes work, but here it did not. It was just not fresh, and it definitely showed.  The noodles were strange as well, more like Chinese food court chow mein than anything  I've seen at Korean restaurants.On the plus side, the portions are definitely large enough to fill you up.I hope they improve.


Recently Cup Story underwent some sort of renovation, both in terms of its indoor layout/decoration + it's menu and food quality. You can get a bowl of ramen for just $4, or $5 after the current discounts end. For its price, it's as good as it gets. Alternatively, you can get a bento box for just $5 (or $6-7 after the current promotion ends). It comes with a small salad, your choice of meat, and a substantial amount of rice. I was actually already a fan of this place because their Korean bulgogi was delicious...but now not only is it a bargain, the quality has improved as well. The chicken katsu and chicken teriyaki is comparable to other Japanese places such as Tako Sushi, if not better. If you're on Telegraph and feeling some Korean and Japanese that's fast, cheap, and decent, go here!*They have weird hours though... I think it closes on Wednesdays at 5:00 PM.


It's like Panda a BIG CUP! Ok, so it's not Chinese, but Korean, but the delicious fried Korean chicken kind of reminds me of orange chicken, but way tastier.I forgot exactly what it said on the menu, but it was a really big cup with stir-fry noodles and the korean chicken with potatoes. I came in a little later in the night, so it seemed like the food had been sitting out for awhile. The chow mein was not too memorable. Typical. The Korean fried chicken was good. Not super fresh, but I really liked the sauce. Had a tangy spicy kick to it and it was good with the chunks of potato. Overall, the food did the job. I was craving something asian and slightly greasy and this fit the bill. =PThe cup was a lot bigger then I expected, I paid about $8 and I could have gotten two comfortable meals from the cup.Service was nice. The guy behind the counter offered free chicken samples, and he also was quick to help a girl that spilled sirarcha sauce all over the floor.If you are craving some portable food options, Cup Story is cheap and quick!


Since they've opened, they've fluctuated in quality, their menu offerings, and price. As of recently, their food quality/quantity has vastly improved, and they've lowered their prices (probably because they don't get that many customers). Their menu offerings have changed to about half Korean and half Japanese. They've always been pretty nice in terms of service, from my experience.Ordered the vegetarian ramen. Good, would return.


You can expect frozen veggies and all that for this cheap and quick food joint. I paid $5 for a small cup of veggie fried rice, but unfortunately the cashier and everyone else didn't speak English very well and weren't able to understand my dietary restrictions.It's a good amount of food you get and cheaper than anywhere else. A bit too oily but it's filling. Vegan wise, I think only the healthy up and vegetarian cup are ok - you have to ask them to put no eggs and don't use butter.

Vegetarian cup Vegetarian cup 11/16/2013

The concept of your food in a cup sounds cool, but in reality, it just looks really sloppy and your food looks unappetizing. Ordered:Fish cake soup: watered down, bland, and the fish cake was so mushy and flavorlessKimbap: I have been to Korea and had really delicious Kimbap. I know I'm not in Korea ...but the Kimbap here was not good at all. Even worst, it's in a cup and the rolls are falling apart, not very appealing.


Upon finding out that my favorite dukbohki (spicy rice cake) place Cafe Expresso Experience had closed down, I tried this place out with a coworker's recommendation. First off, I think that the cup concept, albeit not a new concept of fast/convenient easy to take out, is a really good one, especially for UCB students who are looking to get a quick bite before classes or people who are working nearby. The cups were really easy to eat from juggling walking, talking, and eating. Multitasking for a fatty win. :) For the food itself, I actually really enjoyed what I got. I got a medium cup of spicy rice cake and kimchi fried rice to share with a friend. I thought that the amount of food was good. I can see how people saying the ingredient distribution for the spicy rice cake was uneven, but it was a good dish. The flavor of the sauce was really yummy and even though they do precook it, the rice cake wasn't too, not quite sure how to describe it, but swollen? Basically if you leave noodles or rice cakes in a form of liquid, it soaks up water. Anyway, it was solid- I just wish they would have dumplings on the menu because I LOVE the spicy rice cake with some manduuu.I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the kimchi fried rice. YUM. There was no sparcity of ingredients here! Spam just makes everything so much better...Really good balance of the flavors and the ingredients. I can't remember if there was an adding of the eggs option, but if there is, I would recommend it. Thinking back I think it would have been so good with a fried egg. MMMMOverall, I would definitely go back to grab a quick lunch. The two mediums came to around $10, which is definitely not bad at all for two people. I am very sad to see a loved Korean place leave Berkeley campus, but am very glad that a new Korean place popped up! And how cute is a name like Cup Story?


The owners must've loved Yogurtland/Jamba Juice so much that they decided to serve up their Korean food in CUPS! CUPS I TELL YOU! This takes "eating on the go" to a whole new level. Cup Story is entirely deserving of its fast food label as I got my order less than a minute after I ordered. That means everything on the menu has been made previously and are all sitting on warmers. Your food will be fast, but does it mean it's still customizable? You won't be able to get any meatless kimchi fried rice, but you can easily add Korean chili sauce (go chu jang), ketchup, and even teriyaki sauce to your cup.The kimchi fried rice utterly surprised me when it was served in a cup and was surprisingly tasty! There was a fair amount of spam, veggies, and egg, and the kimchi was evenly distributed across the cup of rice. If you like Korean food and listening to kpop while you eat, come check this place out!

Other side of the menu Other side of the menu Menu, card, and the medium size Kimchi Fried Rice! Menu, card, and the medium size Kimchi Fried Rice! 9/19/2013

This place is.. interesting. I guess they replaced Pasta in a Box and took their idea too? (BTW, I loved Pasta in a Box. The owner was so sweet and I was so sad to see him go...) Ordered the spicy rice cake because it is a childhood favorite of mine and I am usually hesitant to get it. I got the medium size, and it was about 80% sauce, 18% vegetables, and 2% rice cake. In my medium cup, I had three pieces of it. Disappointed. The sauce was good, but it probably would have been better if there was MORE FREAKING RICE CAKE IN MY RICE CAKE CUP.


Cup Story is about portion control. the cup doesn't runneth over. as a foam tray would when topped off. thus more profits from using cups. curious the flyers outside the store shows a higher price than posted prices inside. (temporary promotion?).menu (korean):  many varietals of fried rice,  pan fried noodle, dukbokki, pumpkin soup, bulgogi eats: kimchi fried rice  (m4.99) *flyer-5.99-mushy fried rice (short grain rice) with bits of kimchi, zucchini, corn, carrot, green bean, eggs.kind of tasty , not a great value (rice is cheap, plain rice at chinese eatery, 16 oz, (1)-not so filling. one hour later, angries again.frying pan notes:-worked previously in parents' eatery doing grill and stir fries-mostly fried ricepartial to cantonese version of texas rice which makes fried rice more chewy, not so favorable to korean fried rice which uses short grain rice-more mushy texture.-all foods premade, ready to scoop from steam table.-korean sauces, teriyaki, et al. available, self serve-free water available.


When I saw this place first open, I made plans to try it but never could find time. Since then, I heard mediocre reviews about the place and was hesitant. However, I still decided to give it a try one random afternoon.My friend and I came in and were intrigued. To have everything served in a cup was an interesting idea but we decided to go with the rice bowls instead. I got the spicy chicken rice bowl and the bulgolgi rice bowl. I had expected to get my food quick but it actually took some time since they cooked my order in front of me (which I guess is good since the food would be fresh). The orders both came with a generous serving of rice, meat, and these noodles. Not much variety but for $6, it wasn't terrible. They both tasted okay too. Definitely not the best Korean food I've had but once again, it's pretty cheap.If I get bored, I might try something else on the menu but there are other Korean restaurants in Berkeley that I would choose over this one.

Curry with Rice! Curry with Rice! Bulgolgi rice bowl! Bulgolgi rice bowl! Spicy chicken bowl! Spicy chicken bowl! 11/25/2013

I expected a Korean fast food place and it met expectations.I ordered the Dukboki and a side order of bulgogi. You could tell the Dukboki was sitting in the sauce for a while as the outside was a little gooey, but what else can you expect (it is suppose to be fast food). The quantity made up for the quality. At other places, I get 9 rice cakes and pay $10, while I got the same amount of cakes here for ~$4 (discounting the quality). The bulgogi was simply delicious, but I am not sure if it was suppose to have so much sauce. The place is quaint and clean. The worker was very welcoming and had a smile for me. The food is catered for on-the-go kids and mainly stored in cup containers while some special items are stored in small tubs. It was annoyingly difficult to fish around for the cakes at the bottom of the cup. I am stuck giving this place between 3-4 stars.

dukboki and bulgogi dukboki and bulgogi 9/6/2014

Tried the Korean style boneless wings and wasn't impressed with it, the chicken was cold when I got it and the flavor isn't great. My friend got the bulgogi with rice and the meat was dry and also cold. The cashier that took my order was nice, he noticed we were kpop fans and started interacting with us until another customer came in. He even asked us to check out his own dance group, who's name I forgot...


Their version of mild Ramen was absolutely burning my throat. When I asked to remake it they said that's as mild as it gets. Kimchi fried rice was good, but also on the spicy side. Don't go unless you like very spicy food.


Really good food for a decent price and exceptionally nice staff. They are not stingy and want their costumers to be happy. I came here for the first time and felt welcomed and the employees allowed me to try items. My friend got noodles, rice and chicken and loved it. Will definitely be coming back!

Chicken meal with rice and noodles Chicken meal with rice and noodles 8/17/2014

Should have known this wasn't going to be good when the same boneless wing was all breading a lukewarm. But I went on to have the worst bi bim bap I've ever had. It was closer to chicken chow mein than bi bim bap. Large chunks of chicken with overcooked straps of Napa cabbage and carrots. Not bi bim bap at all. Gets 2 stars because service was friendly, and the bathroom was clean.


The quality has gone down significantly since Cup Story opened. I remember coming in when they first opened and I loved the quality of the friend rice, bulgogi and beef steak (which they no longer ever offer). The convenience of the cup (which they no longer actually use) and the fact that you saw the meal being cooked (now it seems like most dishes are premade and scooped into the bucket) made the place great. The friendly staff was also a huge plus!This visit I was so disappointed I decided to write my first ever review. The "fried" rice was soggy and scooped out of a bucket, then mixed with bulgogi because they didn't have beef steak, even though it is still on the menu. The staff was barley awake, but they got the food to the bowl, so that's a plus. Overall it's no longer worth the prices and you should pick another restaurant.

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