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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Mise En Place Kitchen
Mise En Place Kitchen in Downtown Berkeley is a cafe serving soups, salads, sandwiches, and incredible tartines.
Cheese Board Pizza
Cheese Board Pizza in Berkeley does only one type of pizza every day. It tends to be kind of unusual, but it’s always worth the long wait.
Tigerlily is an Indian restaurant and bar in North Berkeley with a small patio and interesting cocktails.
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Rosamunde Sausage Grill
Unsurprisingly, the choices at Rosamunde Sausage Grill in the Mission are sausage and sausage.
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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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