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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Gregoire in Berkeley is a tiny, takeout-only spot where you can get perfect picnic food.
Pho K & K
Pho K & K in Berkeley is your go-to for a hangover curing Vietnamese brunch or an affordable, casual dinner.
Emilia’s is the best pizza in the Bay Area. Getting it is a huge pain in the ass. But it is 100% worth it.
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Sons & Daughters
Fine dining that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sons & Daughters is definitely our speed.
Sorrel is an upscale California-Italian place in Pac Heights that’s designed to impress, even if they do everything a little too by the book.
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Zuni Cafe in the Civic Center is still an icon, and it sits firmly at the top of our list of favorite restaurants in this town.
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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