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.
More spots in BerkeleySee more
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.
Mise En Place Kitchen
Mise En Place Kitchen in Downtown Berkeley is a cafe serving soups, salads, sandwiches, and incredible tartines.
More American spotsSee more
Son’s Addition is a neighborhood spot in the Mission that serves everything from charred octopus to a solid cheeseburger.
Scoma’s in Fisherman’s Wharf is an old-school seafood spot with some of the best Dungeness crab in the city.
Trick Dog is an awesome cocktail bar that is sometimes overwhelmed by the masses. Go on a quiet night and you’ll have an awesome time.
Suggested by our writers
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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