Chez Panisse is a bucket-list restaurant that everyone should go to once, but for return trips, our first choice is Chez Panisse Cafe. This place is upstairs from the mothership restaurant and unlike downstairs, it’s much easier to get a reservation at because it hasn’t reached near-mythic status (yet). Also unlike downstairs, the menu up here is a la carte, so you’re not stuck with whatever they’re serving on the tasting menu with no other options. The food is as close to perfect as you can get with things like pizzas with salt cod mousse, incredible lamb, and chocolate cake that we want at our birthday parties for the rest of our lives. And that’s an option too because it’s much more affordable up here and absolutely worth crossing the bay for if you live in SF.
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Jupiter in Berkeley is known for its amazing patio and live music situation. It has a ton of beers on tap and serves decent pizza.
Berkeley’s Chez Panisse is famous for starting the whole "farm-to-table" movement, and it's still doing an incredible prix fixe menu.
Ippuku is a small, casual yakitori spot in Berkeley that might leave you smelling like smoke for days, but the food is worth it.
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The Pink Elephant
The Pink Elephant in SoMa meets the bare minimum requirements for brunch. And a minimum security prison.
Brickhouse Bar & Grill
Brickhouse is a bar in SoMa where you won’t feel any shame showing up for a pulled pork sandwich during lunch.
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Rich Table is a restaurant in Hayes Valley that, no matter how many times you go, will always surprise you in the best way possible.
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