Chez Panisse Cafe
Chez Panisse Cafe

Chez Panisse Cafe

  • 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: Organic, Californian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Alice Waters
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), 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 510-548-5066x
  • Special Events: Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music.
    Special menu.

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. Please call and let the reservationist know if anyone in your party requires special accommodation to access our upstairs Café dining room.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Chez Panisse Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
435 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (360)special occasion (299)neighborhood gem (211)great for lunch (200)romantic (151)notable wine list (118)hot spot (55)good for groups (38)great for brunch (31)late-night find (21)kid-friendly (10)scenic view (4)great for outdoor dining (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Always first rate.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I always look forward to dinner at CP Cafe. Very distinctive, seasonal food. Friendly, relaxed, and knowledgeable staff. I love the booths for a party of four.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sophisticated Charm
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    During my last visit, I was struck by how well Chez Cafe is able to pull off an elegant sophisticated fine dining experience on the one hand and homey cozy charm on the other. It is rare to get both experiences in the same restaurant. So classy yet so comfortable. Of course the food is always very good but this time it was truly exceptional. I ordered an appetizer that consisted of grilled endive and marinated beets to start and an African spiced lamb dish for my main course. Both were fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Remains excellent
    mccalmoVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    We had an outstanding meal at The Cafe. Simple and simply excellent and elegant food. It was delightful. The service was friendly and effective is mildly inattentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappoints
    critiqueVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I get tired of people saying they are over Chez Panisse -- or never liked it to begin with. Nowhere has better perfected the art of simple, pure flavors. Things are the essence of their original selves. I always leave happy, inspired, relaxed and sated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Open Mondays, two days advanced notice? Awesome!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    I was frantically looking for a last minute place to celebrate my wife's birthday on a Monday night. It was Saturday and I struck out several times. Then Chez Panisse popped up on Open Table with an spot at 8:30 Monday. Bang - amazing evening with my wife and two teenage kids. Nobody could stop talking about the food and excellent service. My wife and I have been lucky enough to enjoy incredible meals around the world and this immediately became one of our favorites. My kids both loved the community garden at King Middle School started by Alice Waters and the amazing food they would harvest, prepare and enjoy - often for the fist time. No question they were going to eat anything that came from that garden. Thank you for being part of our wonderful Berkeley community!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Every little thing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    seemed like it was handled with care before being presented.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Par Excellence
    LongtimeBerkeleyan
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    Over the years, Chez Parnisse maintains it's excellent standard in all aspects of restaurant dining--good food and attentive service. The latter is particularly commendable. One time I dined with a party of four and we decided to order different entrees to share so each of us could try the other dishes. The servers gave us new dishes for each entree as they came along, with patience and grace! Job well-done!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chez Panisse at the Top of Its Game
    Mallday
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We we went to lunch in the Cafe' on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon. The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating. The food more than lived up to the standards established by Alice Waters. Do yourself a favor and visit this gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Return again
    opts
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Because we had our first date ten years ago at Chez Panisse Café, we decided to return. After 10 years, the quality remains outstanding. Attention to details of cooking and ingredients as well as aesthetic detail in ambiance mean that we enjoyed a brilliant meal in beautiful and relaxed surroundings, Adding to the pleasure was our knowledgeable Server When we asked her, she could tell us every ingredient in each food and how each was prepared. We shall return again and again in the coming year.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our best meal on a wine country vacation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    A simply perfect lunch in the upstairs cafe. The service seems effortless. The food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expectations
    LocalSourceVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    No matter what your expectations or your reasons for dining there, chez pansies will meet and exceed them b
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Heaven
    Eliza
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Always a festive experience to go to this wonderful restaurant. Everyone I'd happy and enjoying themselves
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than ever
    stg916
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    It's been ages since I ate at Chez Panisse, and it was even better than I remember. Every single aspect of the experience was perfect. The staff is incredibly professional, the space is the very picture of gorgeous, understated elegance, and the food--swoon! The wine list, which has minimal mark up, is so brilliantly paired with the food. I can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • True Dining Experience
    Claire
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Our family went here to celebrate multiple birthdays. The food was fantastic! Several of us had the rock fish (cooked to perfection) with a turnip (thought I'd never eat it) salad. I now love raw turnips. My son had the poultry grill, and the quail was the best I've ever had and I've had quail quite a bit (my husband was a hunter). Everything fresh, sumptuous, perfect! Be sure to save room for dessert. We had the panna cotta, apple/pear gallette and drum roll....bittersweet chocolate pave w/toasted almond ice cream and chocolate sauce. Hands down, it's my favorite dessert of all time. Here's hoping my mom splurges for this unique and fabulous dining experience. Ambiance is beautiful, gorgeous craftsman style.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JimMc
    JimMc
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Excellent dining experience in all aspects. Dined in cafe -- lovely Craftsman styled interior. Excellent service. Wonderful meal at a reasonable price for the quality.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I have eaten here several times (upstairs cafe), and the food & service is always excellent! We thought that our Open Table reservation was for the downstairs formal dinning room, so a bit disappointed. Guess well just have to go back again to try the formal dinning!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always worthwhile
    sgtmothersirVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I have been coming here since shortly after I graduated from UC Berkeley in the mid-1970's and Chez Panisse is a wonderful and constantly evolving (yet now classic) restaurant. The food is wonderfully prepared and the staff a pleasure. Love coming here!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food
    Pigleto
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We had a reservation for lunch because my friend recommended it. It was so good that we went back the next day after my daughter got into town. Food was great, salad was so fresh. The wait staff was very helpful. When we return we had a different waiter but the first one came over and said he was sorry he had a different station and cannot wait on us. Makes one feel good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food great, service not so much
    chefdarin
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The food was great, the service was bad at best. Having a service charge added to the check made it very clear that the server couldn't care less. Hardly any contact with us, no suggestive selling, no information on the menu at all. I am glad I know food and what to order because if I didn't it would had been a bad experience in total. Work on the service staff to engage the customer, not just to be there to serve. The prices are what they are, disagree with the dessert price points on what you get for 12 dollars. Had to try it because it is a major institution in the food world and I live in the area. Will we be back? I am not sure, very doubtful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a Winner
    HappyDiner
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    There is a reason this restaurant garners the acclaim it receives. The flattering golden lighting sets the mood and the service was impeccable from the moment we walked in the door. The food was delicious and the prices in the Cafe are surprisingly reasonable for a restaurant of this caliber. I enjoyed everything!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tipp routine
    johnpatty
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Establishment auto adds 17% tip to bill. Even though it is clearly marked on the bill, I did not notice it and added my usual 20% on top of it. I did this both in the bar ,,, and again in the restaurant. It is clearly marked on the slip, but no server mentioned it to me. So both servers ended up with 37% tip! Wonder how many times this occurs? Otherwise great experience.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hmmmm
    MsFoodieVIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I hate to say anything negative because I've had so many fabulous meals here, but my recent experience was a little "off". The service was lurching - too fast, then too slow, and oddly enough, some spilled lettuce from the salad sat on the table the whole meal until the very end when the server brought out the crumb scraper. The persimmon, arugula, hazelnut salad was wonderful and the arugula salad was also good. The portions seemed smaller than usual. The squid was very tender and tasty, but not really entree-sized. It is always so noisy that it is hard to talk, but they did honor my request for the quietest corner which pleased me. Benches are uncomfortable for old backs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food is where its at.
    Lexx
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    The kitchen staff do a great job of utilizing the fresh and organic meat, produce, and dairy products that they hand-select. The cooks are creative and seemed passionate about there work. The menu changes daily, which makes for an exciting experience and worth a re-visit. The food tasted real and was seasoned very well.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    EatDrinkandBeHappy
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Was so excited to go to Chez Panisse and was underwhelmed. Food was fine but nothing to write home about. Service was perfunctory but not overly friendly or helpful. Definitely a disappointment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday Treat!
    GoBears
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Our group of six were all delighted with our celebratory dinner for my wife's birthday. Every dish from the starters through dessert were prepared perfectly and delicious in taste. Not our first time and certainly not our last time to dine at this Berkeley star!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love it!
    up2dateVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Chez never misses. I have loved eating here ever since my first visit in 1972. The food is always amazing and the service is all one can ask for - efficient, courteous, friendly and thoughtful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My Second Home
    DiningZenxpertVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Once again a memorable meal. I just adore their nettles and pecorino pizza. Everything there is always so thought out before that combinations of food you would never think of working are just amazing. It is like the Zen of Food. Everything here on the menu has had such thought and creativity go into it. All ingredients are the best quality money can buy and at their peak of freshness. Love this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Love Chez Panisse
    AJB3001
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The service is warm and friendly - without overdoing it. The food is clean, simple and elegant. The restaurant is lovely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • wonderful evening as always!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Impeccable service and beautiful meant a truly wonderful evening, thank you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My favorite restaurant
    pinknarfVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Chez Panisse (cafe) never ceases to impress me every visit! Food is always kept simple, but it is thoughtful and you can feel the love poured into every dish. Ingredients are fresh and superior, and flavors are on point. Highly highly recommend, can't wait until the next special occasion!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very pleasant dining experience
    Dinerella
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Was afraid we couldn't get a table at Chez Panisse Cafe as their website suggested at least a month's lead time for reservations. Glad we booked a table originally for 6 people and later changed to 7 (very nicely accommodated by Shannon the day before our visit). Food was absolutely spot on - we had the duck confit, rockfish and buttermilk fried rabbit and they all revealed the restaurant's commitment to fresh food cooked simply yet so well. The flavors of the food were intact. My brother, not knowing what the place was about, ordered his usual Coke and was told "sorry, we don't do Coke." He ordered grape juice instead and was blown away by how good it was. Except for our table being crowded for our group of 7, our experience was superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner in a relaxed setting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I had pretty high expectations for the dining experience and they were exceeded. Service was spot on, the food was fresh and delicious, and we never once felt rushed. Definitely a place worth checking out if you love cuisine made with seasonal local ingredients!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice meal, with a surprise.
    wentwest
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Our dinner was very pleasant, and the wait staff was all helpful and cheerful. It was a pleasure to have them serve us. The surprise was that no one took a moment to point out that the bill already included a service charge of 17% (party of 4), and in the general good cheer of the moment it was overlooked by us and we tipped anyway. I feel it is very important for the wait staff to point out the added service charge.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • so good I wish there was more of it
    Gardenerlola
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We chose the Upstairs this time, because in the past we've spent $250 Downstairs and come home hungry!! Well, we managed to get away with $105 this time with two salads, two main courses one dessert and no wine. I was still a little hungry. . . . the persimmon/frisee salad included some shaved persimmon pieces, but not enough. I did enjoy the bread and the sparkling water a lot!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • GREAT FOOD
    Lunch
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    The food was great and the service friendly. I wish I lived closer to Berkley
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food but awkward service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Took my mom here for her birthday lunch, both of us had never been. We ate at the Cafe upstairs and had a wonderful view. The woman who sat us at our table only gave us one menu, she said she would be right back with another but then we had to ask our server to bring us the second menu ultimately. We had decent service until the restaurant got busier at about 12:30, then they kind of forgot about us. Our server seemed a bit scattered and busy with other tables. Understandable, but never feels that great on the receiving end as the customer. The food was fantastic, as expected. For all the excitement in trying Chez Panisse for the first time, I would have hoped for better service, ultimately.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth the drive
    Drive2eat
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We drove down to Berkeley fom sacramento after hearing alice waters speak. We had a lot of fun, and the food was some of the best I have ever eaten. It was well worth the drive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner at Chez Panisse
    WLCM
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    There was such a nice waitstaff the evening we dined. Everyone made us feel welcome. The food was outstanding, especially the chicken with shell beans and collard greens. We loved the apple galette with quince. There was an adequate wine list, but we chose to bring our own wine. For a memorable evening, we highly recommend Chez Panisse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very unimpressed!
    mimi56augusta
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We had been told that this place was a MUST when in the San Francisco area. Reservations had to be made 30 days in advance. What a huge disappointment! Nothing special at all. Food was only average. Staff was very nice and service was good. Very few choices on menu and food was nothing special. Not worth a seventy dollars round trip Über fare plus the cost of the food and gratuity. Save your money and eat in the city.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic all around restaurant Aaa
    Dman
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    One of the best meals of the year. Halibut and organic greens hard to top!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.