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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, 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) 548-5066
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Took a friend to lunch for her 40th birthday and it was perfect. The service, food, and wine really made the day. Thank you Chez Panisse."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "rude staff and unattentive service. food ok but not wonderful. reputation is unearned."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Excellent, fresh food in THE most comfortable and beautiful environment we know of. Nothing else ever lives up to this. We've been totally spoiled over the decades that we have enjoyed dining at Chez Panisse."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "I was really excited to go to the Cafe at Chez Panisse. Sadly, the best things about the whole meal were the bread and butter and the spritzers. The salads were tasty but the portions were miserly and embarrassing to look at. The pork meals were bland and uninteresting. The chicken was good but not extraordinary. Salmon was good. Dessert again was not great. Ginger cake good but not special and the 3 tiniest slices of peach (and not very good tasting at that). For the reputation and the money this was a pretty big disappointment. Oh, and the service was a bit snooty and lacking. Chez Panisse, qu'est-ce qui se passe!!!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Quite simply, perfect. Everyone who loves fresh, seasonal, tasty food must go to the roots of this movement. It remains at the top of my dining list, year in and year out."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Even in their fifth decade Chez Panisse continues to serve great food. The stars of the cuisine are not the chefs nor the recipes but the instead the ingredients are allowed to show themselves in all their glory. It's simple food done exceptionally well. the entire experience is very well thought out and crafted. The interior is all hand crafted copper and redwood. You won't see a computer because they are all hidden in wooden boxes. They don't sell bottled water because it's way more ecological to serve water filtered on site. Yes, they automatically charge 17% for a tip, but the waiters earn that with their great service. No, I don't work there but have enjoyed visiting for over 35 years."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Celebrated a milestone birthday in style with eight friends. The menu easily accommodated the needs of the vegans, the dieters and other special needs. The place is so classy and professional that it appeals to the serious foodies. The arts and crafts setting feels personal and noise level does not feel out of control. The focus on local farms creates a feeling like its a community effort."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Dined at Chez Panisse 4 times over 7 days while visiting The Bay Area! Always Outstanding!"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Chez Panisse is still one of the great places for foodies in the Bay Area - outstanding quality of the food, relaxed atmosphere, excellent service. The only thing that strikes one as odd is the 17% service charge - indicated in small print at the bottom of the invoice. I wonder how many non-regulars (like myself - I usually go once a year, when visiting the Bay Area) leave the usual 20-25 % tip - which makes for a nice 40 % tip ..."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "We arrived much earlier than our reservation, as we came from 90 miles away, and the maitre'd was very gracious and found us a table in short order. We had a fabulous meal and the service was impeccable. We weren't rushed and lingered over our meal as this was a special occasion. We were very glad to be seated early as this allowed us to head home earlier than expected."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "It's not 60 days in advance reservation, it's not 275$ fix menu per person, it's not in a unique building BUT it's the best food I can ask for. and the best service. The Salmon entree was the weakest part of the meal but the rest was great. the Chocolate Custard was the best dish (and I am not a dessert person). the bill was 150$ with two glasses of Spottswood SB. I will be back."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Délicieux dîner. Le pain cuit au four, la vinaigrette de la salade, le sandwich au porc et le dessert étaient un délice. Un repas dont je me souviendrai. Le vin était aussi très bon."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Very nice restaurant - very hard to get a reasoanble time to eat. There were plenty of openings before and after we arrived even though those times were not available when we were bookin. Very good food and service - The benches are uncomfortable to sit on - fuller cushions would help."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Chez Panisse is definitely a gem. The food is unique - very healthy as one would expect with Alice Waters behind it. But, the dishes are also very tasty and have unique flavors. This was our first time there but we will definitely go back. We went for lunch which was upstairs. The service was prompt and very helpful Overall, we loved the atmosphere, the food, and everything about our time there."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The gray lady of the California cuisine dining scene has still got it! Professional service, superb flavors and not blaring soundtrack. A complete adult experience."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We went to chez Panisse to celebrate my husband's birthday. The food was great, I had the chanterelle Pasta and my husband got the beef. The only downside was the wait to be seated, the greater (same gentleman who has been here forever) was a little stressed and not as nice as usual."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Unfortunately we sat in the large dinning room area. There was one group that was extremely loud and made it unpleasant for us. Although the service is always great at this restaurant we were reluctant to request a change of seat because we already were seated one half hour late. The food was excellent except for the salmon dish. Somehow the combination of the fried green tomatoes and sauce did not work for us. The fish was a nice piece, but somewhat surprisingly tasteless."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "For many years I have wanted to eat at Chez Panisse. The original dinner venue downstairs remains a goal, but OpenTable provided the opportunity to make the Cafe the centerpiece to an afternoon in Berkeley. The food was as befits the legend. The integrity of every component ingredient was not only kept but enhanced by the complementarity of tastes in each composition."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said before. Alice Waters and Chez Panisse lives up to everything you've read and heard, it was absolutely wonderful."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Took my family here while they were visiting, at their request, because they remembered how good the food was. Their last visit was 2 years ago. They were disappointed w/ the food, it was not as good as we remembered it being a few years ago - especially given the price. We were not visited by the maitre d', otherwise would have used that opportunity to share our experience. Also, a 17% gratuity is included in the bill."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "I had dinner at the cafe with my old friend. It was nicer than I expected. The price was reasonable. I would like to have dinner at the restaurant next time."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Loved every moment. A romantic lunch with my husband was made even more special by the lovely food and fantastic service. Thank you Chez Panisse!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Fresh and delicious meal. Our server had super weird energy and that was the only downside. Wine list is diverse, reasonably priced, and fantastic."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "We had an excellent experience at Chez Panisse. We tried many dishes and each was excellent. The waiter answered all our questions and made suggestions considering dietary restrictions and individual preferences. It was a wonderful dining experience for the four of us."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "After reading mixed reviews of the cafe and restaurant I was somewhat nervous about how this older place would live up to my high expectations. No need, food and service was outstanding. Lover the beet soup, roasted chicken, and vegetarian entree. Had not realized sole was breaded and fried. It was good but not what expected. Strawberry ice cream with Dirty Girl Strawberries was best restaurant desert I've had in a year. My farmhouse saison was perfect, companions enjoyed wines by the glass which were good (Pinot) and just ok (French). I own 3 Alice Waters cookbooks that Have been among my favorites for yeasts and really enjoyed my first visit to Chez Pannise Cafe."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Wonderful food and very pleasant atmosphere. Fresh farm ingredients prepared with skill."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "I've been to chez panisse several times and was recently there for a special occasion. The food was good but not exceptional and the service was uneven and rude. I feel like the restaurant attitude was they were doing me a favor by letting me dine there. I will not be returning"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "My first visit to Chez Panisse Cafe exceeded my expectations. Amazing food, first rate service. Reservation through Open Table was easy as always. I will definitely return."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "One of the five best meals I've ever had. It started with a salad of cucumber, dill, and gravlax followed by an entree of grilled chicken with fried green tomatoes and corn. Dessert included chocolate pave with cognac ice cream."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "This is where it all started. a respect for food and for the people who labor to make the best. A care and concern what we put into our bodies. I ate lunch here often when I worked & lived in Berkeley. I left Berkeley to marry & move to Sonoma County in 1990, lunch at Chez Panisse was then only a few times a year. The creativity of food often surprises me, but I have never been disappointed. It's always a joy to bring friends to Berkeley to dine."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Our experience was everything a trip to the Mecca of modern restaurant dining should be - spiritually uplifting. Yes, the food was fabulous. The service was impeccable. We met a woman dining alone who had wanting to come by for 25 years and chose that day to come in. Another pilgrim as ourselves. Everything - corn souffle, salad and of course, the wines - were memorable. The staff even told me the name and roaster of the Chez Panisse blend from the coffee roaster Siteglass. But they would not tell us who paid our lunch bill for us. Someone anonymously paid for our lunch. We were shocked at first and surprised at someone who would be so kind. We wish we could thank them. We spent the rest of the afternoon with our new friend in Berkeley."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "I have never had anything at Chez Panisse Cafe that was short of exceptional. Alice Waters deserves her revered position in American Cuisine."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Chez Panisse. The food was of unparallelled freshness - the dishes wonderfully prepared. My rabbit was moist and tender. The avocado, beet salad was surprisingly delicious. Service was perfect,"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "This is such an iconic restaurant and I had been wanting to eat here for a long time. Chez Panisse did not disappoint!!!! I ate the cold beet soup, house-cured salmon and boysenberry sorbet. The flavors on everything were vibrant, clean and amazing!!!! I cannot say enough good things about my meal!! The service was also beyond expectations!!! I highly recommend that everyone should eat here!!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Late night dinner at the Chez Paniesse Cafe is a great option for those nights when it is late, you don't want to cook, and you yearn for a delicious meal in a relaxing atmosphere and great service. We've gone twice this spring and will be back again in the summer - very affordable for the quality of the food (on a weeknight)."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "This was my 2nd visit after 20 years to Chez Panisse Cafe and 1st visit for my family. We were traveling to the US and San Francisco area for holidays and I definitely made sure that we would have lunch here. The reservation through OpenTable was very simple and convenient. I had a very fond memory of the cafe (and of the restaurant). Our table was ready at reserved time. The service was very attentive and excellent. The food, yes, was definitely the star and really worth the cafe's reputation. We had several starters, entrees, and desserts. All were nicely prepared and the taste were really excellent. We would love to be back again especially to have dinner at the restaurant downstairs. Thank you very much."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We had a late reservation, after 10pm. When we got there Steve attempted to seat us near the front of the restaurant but the table was not ready. He took us to the back and sat us next to the loudest person you will ever hear in a restaurant. He had been drinking quite a bit and at the beginning we thought, "this is going to be awful". After a while he and his friend engaged in conversation with us and were quite entertaining albeit, obnoxiously loud. Steve kept coming by looking rather worried. I appreciate his concern, for if it were my restaurant, I would also have a hard time telling a patron to shut up. We have been to the cafe' many times over the last 10 years and the food never disappoints as well as the service."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Eclectic seasonal menu, fresh ingredients, great atmosphere, wonderful host."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "The food here is good as always but the haughty attitude of the server detracted from our experience."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Our lunch at Chez Panisse was a wonderful experience. Each dish we ordered contained items that were seasonal and perfectly prepared. Our fig, yellow wax bean and sage salad was absolutely superb. The mushroom pasta contained freshly made pasta and had the most wonderful mushrooms and sauce. A simple grilled chicken grilled and seasoned perfectly. The nectarine gallete had the most perfectly ripe nectarines encased in a wonderful pastry crust. Finally, the strawberry/blueberry short cake was simply beautiful. Lastly, our waitress overhearing that this lunch a gift for our daughter being accepted to UC Berkeley, kindly delivered the nectarine gallete with small decorative item worded "Congratulations"."
    Dined on 7/1/2014