Powered By OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations. Right this way.
Restaurant Reservations - Free • Instant • Confirmed
  • Chez Panisse Cafe

  • Online Reservations

Chez Panisse Cafe
Chez Panisse Cafe

Chez Panisse Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chezpanisse.com
  • Phone: (510) 548-5049
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Organic, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Alice Waters
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Chez Panisse offers private party bookings in the downstairs dining room for up to 50 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Jennifer Sherman (510) 548-5066
  • Special Events & Promotions: Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music. Special fixed menu: $55 for three courses and hors d'oeuvre.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Vine Street
  • Public Transit: Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Chez Panisse Cafe
The Café at Chez Panisse, located upstairs, opened in 1980 to offer an alternative to the set menu served in the Restaurant downstairs. The Café offers a moderately priced à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. It has an open kitchen along one side of the room with a charcoal grill and a wood burning oven. The menu changes daily and is inspired by local, seasonal ingredients. Reservations are recommended.Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos >
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We came here for our one year anniversary, and we are still talking about how special it was. The wait staff was calm, professional and patient with our questions, a demeanor you dont see much anymore. The food met the high expectations we were coming in with for the freshness and local sources chez panisse champions. You just cant find food that notably fresh very often. The wines, esp the dessert wine that was paired for us by the waiter was unique in its balance of sweet and stone fruit flavor. Everything was special and perfect place for our occasion. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "The food was good, but way overpriced and over-hyped."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner at the Cafe. We were seated right away and were greeted quickly by our waitress. We enjoyed the baked goat cheese with fresh greens, one pasta dish that was exceptional, a great pork dish with polenta and a wonderful fish dish! We all decided to each get our own dessert as well. Get the rhubarb galette with vanilla ice cream... So yummy! "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "I was very excited to land a weekday lunch reservation at the last minute not being from the area. The salads were very fresh and tasty. Presentation was great on all our parties plates. But..... my lamb was full of fat and not edible. Tables very close together. I will give it another shot."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Great food goes without saying. I most appreciated the consideration given to my request for a quiet table. I don't think there is on upstairs but we were given a corner table and that worked"
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "While the check I received from the waiter clearly showed that service was already included, I only reviewed the tab to be sure we got what we paid for. Admittedly, it was my oversight that missed the service charge, but the waiter did not mention this to me at all. Having missed it, I added a good tip on top, so the waiter got a huge gratuity. My fault, but again, no one mentioned this. So beware and check your bill."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • ""If I had a time machine, I'd use it to be here and now," said one of the 13 year-old boys with us while eating his dessert. "Forget the dinosaurs and Big Bang!" What higher praise could there be for a restaurant than that?! Yes, we were a family of tourists, trying not to embarrass ourselves too much. From the moment we walked in the door, we were made welcome and treated with genuine, warm hospitality. This is a place where you WANT to be seated by the kitchen. We delighted in watching the staff prepare each meal with great focus, precision, expertise, pride, and joy. Everything about Chez Panisse represented balance and harmony, including what was on our plates. What a great pleasure for us all!"
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "Heard a lot about this restaurant and thought the trip from Sonoma to Berkeley during rush hour would still be worth it. It was. The staff was very friendly and the food fresh and delicious. Only thing I would say is save your pennies. Since Sonoma and Napa restaurants give Chez Panisse a run for their money, I may not make the trip over again - almost 2 hours in the evening - but would recommend to other to at least try once."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Citrus salad was best salad I've ever had. This whole meal was amazing. Delicious wine. Gorgeous view. Great service."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "As always we had a wonderful dinner at Chez Panisse"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I have long dreamed of coming to this cafe/restaurant and found it to be pleasant, elegant and also homely. The food was seasonal and fresh with a light touch, flavours delicate and well balanced. Like the best home cooking from a dream kitchen garden, it was well presented without being too cheffy or fussed over. I suppose I expected the whole place to feel as inspirational as its reputation, and to have a slightly more unusual and quirky or contemporary ambience. It was quite plain and conventional, and a just a tiny bit gloomy and staid, with dark wood dining booths, mirrors, and starched white cloths. But all clean and smart. Our waitress was fabulous, chatty and ready to give honest opinions about what was worth eating that day."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We always dine at chez panisse when we visit Berkeley;) the highlight of our visit! I have never been disappointed."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Hi Chez Panisse, When I was an undergraduate at Berkeley, my Aunt Barbara used to pick me up at North Gate (I was a Geology student at McCone Hall) and take me to Chez Pannisse Cafe for lunch. At that time (1979-1981) things in the foodie realm were not so common. Since then I have lived and loved food everywhere! I live in Sydney now, but now working back at the ALS now and then, I can come down and enjoy the Cafe again. What a pleasure. It was even better than I remember and wish my Aunt was there to join me. All my best, Tracy"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Returned after several years to the Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch. Overall a very good experience. Appetizers were very good to excellent, but entrees were fair (chicken underdone and a bit rubbery, and sauce thin, and fish not so flavorful). I found the vegetable ingredients to be very good to excellent (e.g. beans with chicken, salad greens, etc) and the sauce flavors to be very good. Soups we had were also very good. Dessert was tiny but excellent (mousse). Coffee was excellent. Service was attentive and effective. We had wines by the glass and the selection was a bit small, but the wines were very good. This is a rather pricey restaurant and one tends to expect things to be consistently outstanding, which they did not quite achieve."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "My wife and I have been fortunate in that we have eaten at some of the best restaurants in he world...the food does not compare for innovation like El Bulli, nor for 3 star food as in France...it is simple, very fresh food, lovingly prepared.....great ambiance..pleasant people, as my wife said it was leading edge maybe 30 years ago when it opened.... the receptionist was especially charming...we would happily return."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "I phoned that we would be a little late and they held a nice, private corner table for us. The French champagne by the glass was excellent. Our first course Italian-ish bean soup and composed salad were complex and excellent. We both had the leg of lamb - perfectly cooked and deeply flavored. The pureed vegetable accompaniment looked like potato but wasn't. Whatever it was it tasted great. I forgot to ask what it was. For dessert we had the ginger cake with kumquat and a highly refined semi-sweet chocolate pudding. The espresso was as good and concentrated as it gets. The service was attentive without being overdone. Overall it was as nice a dinner as I could have hoped for. Even though the tables are close it was easy to talk privately."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I still haven't tried the full restaurant, but I see nothing special in the Cafe's food.... they'd run out of the one dish that intrigued me, and I didn't think the ingredients on one of the items I ordered (pizza with arugula and fresh sardines) worked well together. Yes, all was fresh, but fresh ingredients are no longer a novelty."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I don't do a lot of fine dining so I was worried about visiting a place as iconic as Chez Panisse because I really didn't want to screw up. I was thinking like the hoity-toity places from the movies. When my friend and I arrived the host was incredibly welcoming and the entire staff made us feel like we were at home. I thought I was going for the food, but I realized that the purpose of the restaurant was to feel the comfort of "home". The environment was warm, the staff was peaceful but attentive, and the food was incredibly comforting. I was most impressed by the complex, underlying flavors behind each dish, so memorable. For anyone going in the future, I encourage you to not think about food but as the experience of coming home."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Chez Panisse Cafe has been our famiy "go to" restaurant for special occasions. We were disappointed by our most recent meal there. The salad was fine, but nothing special. The clams were fine, but boring. The tart was superb, as was the service. However, as more and more innovative restaurants open in the Bay Area, sadly, Chez Panisse becomes a less interesting option."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "I've been hearing about this restaurant my whole life! We finally got there and it was worth planning the whole trip around this dinner! They did not disappoint in any way! I was intimidated about making a reservation, because I'd heard stories of a "year in advance" -- not true! I called a week in advance when we decided to come up to Oakland for an event. We'll come again! Also a very nice neighborhood..."
    Dined on 9/26/2013
  • "Great for vegetarian and non vegetarian diners. Lovely presentation. Flavors and textures perfect."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "This is such a great restaurant for friends, romance, whatever. Food is delicious and service is stellar. Last December, between Christmas and New Years, my lifelong best friend and I finally celebrated our Big Birthday year, with lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe. We had a 1:00 reservation and did not leave till the dinner people were coming in, a little after 5:00. Great food and wine, great friend and great conversation! An afternoon does not get better than that . And, tonight my husband and I will celebrate our milestone anniversary at Chez Panisse Cafe, perfect place for us to dine."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "One would expect for Chez Panisse to be magnificent and it's so nice when your expectations live up to themselves. It was wonderful across the board. Table was ready when we arrived, service was spectacular as was every bit of food. It's a bucket list restaurant to get to."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "really enjoyed my visit to chez panisse - i'd heard great things from one of my hometown favourites, mr ottolenghi, and wasn't disappointed. ambience was lovely, upmarket but not at all stuffy, the server attentive, and most importantly, the food was a joy. our cauliflower soup was light, and paired beautifully with the dense, crusty bread we were brought, baked goats cheese rich and textured, and the fava bean, chick pea and ricotta appetiser was one of the best things we ate all week. my lady's pea ravioli was delicious though a little on the wet side, and my pork loin was succulent, with lovely crispy onion rings. ginger cake for afters was solid, if unremarkable - i wished i'd gone for the bowl of mandarins instead - and coffee was good"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "What a delight to eat at the birth place of sustainable California cuisine! I suggest reading about the Edible Schoolyard before heading over for your special dinner so you feel that much more connected to this wonderful place!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We've been to CP Cafe a number of times, usually for lunch. This time the food was stellar -- all four dishes were memorable. Great job, Chez Panisse !!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "My experience at Chez Panisse lived up to high expectations. The cafe was packed but service was impeccable and food faultless. It is hard to make a bad meal out of such fresh and well-sourced produce, but the dishes managed to be simple and impressive. The meal was memorable for its well-executed harmony of delicate flavours. I hope to be able to return at some point in the future!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "I'd heard about Chez Panisse for years. When I finally visited, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I had just flown in from Seattle and drove directly to the restaurant for lunch on my own. The food is legendary but what may be less well known is the wonderful service at Chez Panisse. From the moment I arrived (late!) I was warmly welcomed. The wait staff is very knowledgeable but more importantly they know how to make the experience right for each person. I can not recommend Chez Panisse enough! You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned much about the food-- it was all excellent! There's no way you can go wrong! Whatever you choose will be delicious and the service will be excellent! Enjoy!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Great food in the Cafe. Noise is a little much but not unbearable. Crowd is lively and the service is good. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "I have eaten at Chez Panisse on special occasions over the years. I no longer live in Berkeley and felt it was time to revisit an old favorite. I still miss the wood fired oven and the calzone."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Forgot just how wonderfully delicious the food is. A number of years have passed since our last visit..don't ask me why. Beautiful ambiance to complement the innovative fare. Parsnip soup delightful on the cool rainy day Beet salad and pasta...delicious! Apple tart ...yummy. Must hurry back!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Thanks so much for a memorable dining experience. My brother from Hawaii was visiting. - we had one of the best seats in the upstairs dining room. We were seated in the newly built balcony area. The food was excellent and the wait staff friendly and courteous."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Chez Panisse is one restaurant that I've wanted to go to for many years . It is worth the wait! Wonderful to finally get the chance and every morsel was delicious. So comforting to know that their menu uses local, fresh, and mostly organic sources. Wish I could dine like this every day. I now know why Alice Waters is a hero in the foodie world."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "We were lucky enough to have a day in Berkeley on our recent trip to the Bay area. 'Able to get a table for lunch in the Cafe, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! It was a perfect experience from beginning to end!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Dining at Chez Panisse Cafe was like coming home for me. Hadn't been in a while, though I've been dining there for years. Despite the spate of wonderful new restaurants in the East Bay, Chez Panisse Cafe is still, in my opinion, the most consistently excellent, in food and service. The waitstaff is attentive and friendly, without being overbearing. The food was outstanding-- not a single less-than-wonderful dish. The quality of the ingredients and the care taken with the presentation of each dish distinguish this restaurant; the fact that they have been doing this consistently for so many years is especially impressive."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "It's not often that I get to go to Chez Panisse, but it is always spectacular. Each dish that came to our table was creative, balanced, and of the freshest, most perfect quality. The staff make it warm and inviting, not up tight and humorless the way many upscale restaurants can be. And I love the beautiful interior with windows looking out to the bay at sunset."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Highlight of my Bay Area visit. The actual experience lived up to my anticipation. Wonderful, inventive plates, knowledgable servers and the Rose' was just ideal."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Simply the best. Alice Waters is a treasure. The food, service and overall feeling is unmatched."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Chez Panisse can be counted on for flawless preparations and seamless service. First disappointment in many years: Ordered same fish entree; overcooked on edges. Veg. accompaniment an uneven portion on each entree. Plating was messy; impression veg. hurriedly added. Plus 20 min. bet. starter and entree. Timing is usually spot on. Hope this experience was a one-time glitch."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I think that Chez Panisse and the Chez Panisse Cafe are both good restaurants. But the hype they receive is ridiculous and undeserved. I have been to any number of restaurants in the East Bay that I would rate higher than either the restaurant or the cafe. The food is good, not GREAT. The atmosphere (upstairs) is average. Haven't seen downstairs since the fire, but pre-fire, it was nothing to shout about. The service is fine. The prices (upstairs) are reasonable. But I only go there when somebody else is DYING to go to the iconic Chez Panisse in some form or other. It's apparently heresy to say this in Berkeley, but I think that the gourmet ghetto Chez Panisse spawned is far better than what the restaurants themselves are."
    Dined on 3/22/2014