Chez Panisse Cafe
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $31 to $50
Chez Panisse Cafe
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.chezpanisse.com/
- Phone: 5105485049x
- 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.
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.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Chez Panisse Cafe - Best Restaurants in Berkeley ›
Chez Panisse Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
445 reviews since June 4, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (351)special occasion (302)great for lunch (212)neighborhood gem (205)romantic (135)notable wine list (123)hot spot (52)good for groups (35)great for brunch (34)late-night find (23)kid-friendly (14)scenic view (6)great for outdoor dining (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- 5 StarsOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/26/2014Delicious, fun, great service, typical Chez Panisse experience!Special Features:
- Good, not OutstandingOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/26/2014Our lunch and experience was OK for the level of restaurant Chez Panisse is, but it lacked in personality and overall delivery. I expect more from a $170 lunch for 2 (including wine!).Special Features:
- Never disappointsOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 9/25/2014I try to go to Chez Panisse Cafe whenever I go to the Bay Area on vacation, but it's been >15 years since I made it back. It was as great as ever--outstanding food (the smoked fish appetizer, haddock as entre, and apple galette with ice cream), friendly/professional service, and lovely Arts & Crafts decor. Overall, another memorable meal and one of my all-time favorite restaurants.Special Features:
- always happy to be thereOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/25/2014My wife and I live in the Virgin Islands. We always try to schedule a visit to the cafe while we are here. We always love walking in to the space. We always love looking at the menu and figuring out how our whole table can taste just about everything and we always enjoy finishing our lunch and crossing the street to visit the cheese wizard Matteo to find delectables to carry home to the food desert of St Croix. This time as we at for some wine while waiting for a table, the woman who greeted us asked me how I was. When I told her that walking into the space always made me happy, she kissed me on the cheek making me even happier than I already was if that were possibleSpecial Features:
- Bucket List LunchBitmoreBrokerDined on 9/23/2014The halibut with meyer lemon zest and celery puree were to die for! We loved every bite of both our meals!Special Features:
- WonderfulStevAVIPDined on 9/22/2014Delicious from olives to dessert and great tastes--fresh, and perfect-- service was tops.Special Features:
- A pleasureSandyVIPDined on 9/20/2014I rarely get to Berkeley but w he n I do, I always try to get to Chez Pannise. It is simple wonderful food that is always stupendous! Thank you.Special Features:
- Chez Panisse still great!Look4vegDined on 9/20/2014A small group of us had lunch there on a Saturday and we were not disappointed. The setting was lovely. Each dish was arranged beautifully and tasted wonderful. The restaurant is famous for simple but wonderful food and we loved each salad, each main dish, each appetizer, and even the dessert. Every item was fresh and perfectly presented. A wonderful dining experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Yes, it is an Icon!BobGVIPDined on 9/18/2014After visiting San Francisco for 25 years, wife and I decided to explore the East Bay. We wondered if this ICON (there, I said it!) would live up to its fame, since it has inspired so many imitators. Quick answer: YES!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BellaBellaDined on 9/18/2014This restaurant was one of the first to start the organic , farm fresh food craze and to this day it remains one of top restaurants in the area, known world wide. Definitely recommend it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- wonderful as alwaysCapitolCherryDined on 9/17/2014Incredibly fresh seafood and delicious, fresh, seasonal dishes. A real treat.Special Features:
- CsamCSamDined on 9/12/2014Negatives: loud, slow service with too many people serving us, food took a long time getting to table(a two hour lunch? Good thing we were on vacation), hard to find parking. Positives: Excellent food, high quality and fresh, excellent wine choices, friendly staff.Special Features:
- Always goodMackieDined on 9/11/2014Chez Panisse has become a staple of my visits to the Bay Area. In one stop, I can enjoy whatever is fresh, local, seasonal- reliably good. I don't know that much about wine, and have learned that the servers will steer me well, so I leave it up to them now.Special Features:
- Still the best in the bay!Local30VIPDined on 9/8/2014This was our first time back since the fire and as always it was wonderful. The interiors are beautiful and the food perfectly prepared. It's always a treat to go there.Special Features:
- Not as simple as it seemsBurgastronomDined on 9/8/2014We had a great lunch. We really enjoyed the sea bass and the grilled quail, chicken and duck. Everything seemed simple at first, but there were details in the sauces and garnishes that showed real sophistication.Special Features:
- Once in a lifetimepierogieDined on 9/6/2014Dining at Chez Panisse has been on my bucket list and it did not disappoint. Everything was top of the line and delicious.Special Features:
- Reliably ExcellentcubbetteDined on 9/4/2014Chez Panisse is where you know you will get excellent service, fresh and delicious food wonderfully prepared and presented.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food but...JCD519Dined on 9/4/2014We went to Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch. Of course we expected the food to be excellent and it was. The ambiance was a let down. The dining room we were seated in was um.. compact and the tables were crowded in on each other. The noise was also an issue with everyone so close. Just having a conversation was difficult without shouting and this isn't some rowdy bar. The briskness of the service put me off a bit too. It felt rushed, mechanical and a bit formulaic: sit, bread and beverages, "have you decided?" "Oh, excellent choice", first course yum yum yum second course immediately after the last bite of the first. Finish that. "any desert?" "Excellent choice" again. Eat, pay bill "thank you" "Next!" That part was disappointing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wow!table4twoDined on 9/2/2014Alice Waters is a hero to so many of us who love perfect fresh ingredients simply but beautifully prepared. We're from the east coast, but I've wanted to dine at Chez Panisse for years. We tend to be food tourists when we travel, and there have been several restaurants on my 'must try' list, many of which don't live up to the hype. Chez Panisse lived up to and exceeded my ridiculously high expectations. Having overspent on a dinner for extended family in wine country earlier in the week, we opted for lunch in the Cafe. What a bargain! Two of us managed to feast on 2 soups, 2 salads, wild mushroom pizza and wine for around $100. My husband now claims that Chez Panisse invented the pizza; all other pizzas were just leading up to this one.Special Features:
- Lunch 8/30/14ralba02Dined on 8/30/2014Vibrant neighborhood, friendly staff, fresh ingredients...pizza was the the best dish. All in all, a dining experience worth having at least once. Service was efficient but I gave it only 3 stars due to the fact that they forgot to put the candle on the dessert (wife's bday) after calling in/following up on the request.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food; so-so serviceevecamaDined on 8/28/2014We were very pleased with all our dishes at lunch in the Cafe. The main dishes were spectacular. One of us had the chicken under a brick, another had the squid, and the third had the sea bass. We started with some heirloom tomatoes which were very sweet and fine and a delicious salad with goat cheese. The dessert nectarine galette and the panna cotta with peaches were also amazing. We had two complaints, however. When we entered, the hostess was very rude to us. After we asked if we could be seated on the porch, she said in an accusatory voice, "Who are you? Do you have a reservation?" After we clarified that we did, she was still very abrupt and never smiled or greeted us. Our other complaint was that the service was extremely slow.Special Features:
- Still wonderfultgarrDined on 8/27/2014I have eaten here many times and it remains vibrant, sophisticated, warm, and transcendant. I'm mot really sure how Alice Waters does it. Chez Panisse continues to wow me.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous food, comfortable ambienceASHCADined on 8/26/2014As usual, the food was delicious, served effortlessly and flavors balanced perfectly.Special Features:
- Disappointment of the dayLovesFoodandShoesDined on 8/26/2014I wish that I was writing a review about the delicious food that we ate but we never made it there. We made a reservation for 2:45 and unfortunately got stuck in traffic (left Santa Cruz at 1:30 on a Tuesday thinking that would give us plenty of time) At 2:30 we called ahead to alert them that we were on our way but running late. We were told that they close at 2:45! We said "but we have a 2:45 reservation!" to which the guy replied "you do? oh, yeah I see it there....sorry we close at 2:45." This was supposed to be a birthday surprise for my sister. I don't understand why I wasn't alerted that the restaurant closed at the exact time I had reservations. I've waited 20 years to try this restaurant, I guess it will be another 20 more.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/26/2014Thank you a wonderful dining exerience. We love David our waiter. I'm sorry I cant remember if it was daniel or David. He made it even more memorable.Special Features:
- lways wonderful foodDebbieDined on 8/23/2014Very lucky to get a reservation on short notice. Food was amazingSpecial Features:
- Delicious.ThomasTravelerVIPDined on 8/23/2014The Little Gems was a master class in salad, with each bite revealing new flavors.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ChezMoniesDined on 8/23/2014Excellent, fresh and healthy. Expensive but worth going for special occasions. I wish our waiter would have let me know that their was already an automatic 17% gratuity added on to our bill. I didn't realize that I had double tipped him even though it says on the bill and on the menu in French. We were leaving and only glanced at it and didn't notice until I got home.Special Features:
- chez panisse...what can you say?TheoswifePVIPDined on 8/23/2014it's perfect. beginning to end. every detail is thought out and precise. what a treat that alice waters herself sat us!!!Special Features:
- Overall ExcellenceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/19/2014We loved our meals, the wine and the service. Only down side was feeling a bit rushed at the end…. bill came quickly once we didn't order dessert. Obviously they turn over the tables quickly.Special Features:
- Best of the AreaEasyBayDined on 8/19/2014You can't leave Berkeley without coming here. While it's everyone's dream to go to the restaurant, I still loved the cafe a lot. Everything is cooked with care. The seating is a little tight but you'll get over it after the food arrives!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Classic!AnjaStimbergDined on 8/18/2014My husband and I visited the café at Chéz Panisse during our honeymoon and it was such a highlight! The atmosphere was chic but at the same cosy and warm, and we felt very welcome. The food was extraordinaire and high quality, as you would expect it to be. We had wild salmon and rabbit and for dessert roasted plum tart and moist almond cake. Everything was fresh and perfect, the vegetables as a side dish we're lovely seasond and you could taste everything in its origin and togehter it was sublime. We would recommend to everybody who loves food and the celebration of it, but in a laid back atmosphere.Special Features:
- great food and elegancetippiDined on 8/15/2014Legendary Chez Panisse never fails to provide a most pleasing meal with fresh ingredients and a nouvelle cuisine bent. The casual elegant atmosphere and the attentive service makes it my favorite Bay area experience (at a reasonable price).
- Outstanding foodPernodDined on 8/14/2014The fresh, locally grown nature of the food assures outstanding flavor. I usually find something unique ,like baked squid, and very tasty, like homemade pasta with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. I have never been disappointed with my dining experience and will always return for special occasions.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 8/13/2014Great produce, perfectly cooked, nothing original. Outrageous starting point for wine prices.Special Features:
- Off NightdadwtwinsDined on 8/13/2014I have gone to Chez Panisse many times in the past and I always enjoyed the food and service. Tonight must of been one of those off days. The food was ok but not great. The service was ok but not great. Eventhough it was not as of a highlight as usual for me, I still will go back hoping this was not a trend but just a off night for the infamous Chez Panisse.Special Features:
- Food Good -- charged for olive oilSusanDined on 8/13/2014Overall, a good experience though at almost $200 for lunch for 4 (no wine) , it seemed cheesy to charge for olive oil when it was requested to go with the bread. I does not really live up to its long heralded reputation though the food and experience was overall good.Special Features:
- Everything was awesome!HepburnDined on 8/13/2014I have been into organic food since last year, and I wanted to have lunch at your restaurant because I am a huge fan of Ms. Alice Waters. Food, space, and people... Everything was just awesome!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/12/2014Worth the wait to score a reservation. Terrific food and first class service. Highly recommendedSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- a bit over-rated1outoftownerDined on 8/11/2014Had an appetizer, a soup and an entree. Everything was *good* but the only real "standout" was the chicken entree (on the lunch menu.) I was expecting stellar food at this price point.Special Features: