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
Pho K & K
Pho K & K in Berkeley is your go-to for a hangover curing Vietnamese brunch or an affordable, casual dinner.
Gregoire in Berkeley is a tiny, takeout-only spot where you can get perfect picnic food.
Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana
Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana serves good and cheap Italian food right next to Berkeley’s campus.
More American spotsSee more
Fifth Arrow in Union Square is a bar and bowling alley with pizza that you’ll actually want to eat.
One of the better lunch options in the Financial District, get Heyday into your midday rotation.
Liholiho Yacht Club
Liholiho Yacht Club in the Tenderloin is where you should go for a blowout meal with a group.
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.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more