Chez Panisse Restaurant
Chez Panisse Restaurant

Chez Panisse Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.chezpanisse.com/
  • Phone: (510) 548-5525
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 8:45pm, Friday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 9:15pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Organic, Californian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Alice Waters
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The dining room can be reserved for private parties of up to 50 guests
  • Private Party Contact: Jennifer Sherman 5105485066x
  • Special Events: Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music.
    Special fixed menu.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cedar Street
  • Public Transit: Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse.

    AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station
    AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Chez Panisse Restaurant
Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971, started by Alice Waters and a band of idealistic friends. A neighborhood bistro named after a character in Marcel Pagnol's 1930's trilogy of movies (‘Marius,’ ‘Fanny,’ and ‘Cesar’), the Restaurant and Café are a homage to the sentiment, comedy and informality of these classic films. From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they would like them done at a dinner party at home. Through the years, Chez Panisse has stayed true to this original inspiration and is now part of the global Slow Food movement.

Chez Panisse Restaurant, located downstairs, is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, by reservation only. The set menu changes every night, reflecting the season. Our produce, meat, poultry, and fish come from farms, ranches, and fisheries guided by principles of sustainability.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
  • Diners' Choice WinnerCalifornian
Chez Panisse Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
68 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (56)fit for foodies (51)romantic (47)neighborhood gem (29)notable wine list (28)hot spot (5)late-night find (4)great for lunch (4)good for groups (2)vibrant bar scene (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Chez Panisse was outstanding.
    Diner
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    Chez Panisse was outstanding. We had the truffle tasting menu last Friday and it was exceptional. All of the dishes were fairly simple, but the ingredients and flavors really stood out. The turnip and green cauliflower soup with truffle oil was excellent, as was the dungeness crab with creme fraiche and greens. The duck was the highlight of the meal. The service was quick, attentive, and very good. The inside of the restaurant is beautiful; the wood beams and copper Frank Lloyd Wright-style fixtures have amazing character. The front dining area was restored after the fire perfectly in keeping with the original style. Great meal, great restaurant, and would come again anytime. Can be expensive with the wine pairings, but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprises
    Bodegabayvisitor
    Dined on 1/22/2014
    What I enjoyed most about the food was that much of it was a surprise. Most of the dishes I had never tried. Many I had never heard of, like watermelon radishes (lovely), gold beets, and unusual artichokes. I didn't know you could eat broccoli sprouts. The sauces were divine and I found myself enjoying things I never thought I would taste. The pear galette was to die for. My husband tried to distract me so he could steal mine! The lamb was a little rarer than I would have liked, but good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As always.. Great experience
    Alfeir
    Dined on 1/21/2014
    This is my second time, I toke my daughter there and we had a great dinning experience and wonderful time and great food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A lackluster Monday
    AjwsfVIP
    Dined on 1/20/2014
    This place is an icon, and I have wonderful memories of past meals. This Monday meal did not rank as highly. Yes, Monday's are a simpler and more affordable menu. But a simple boiled chicken here should be the BEST boiled chicken ever. Instead it was overcooked and dry, lacking in flavor, the pork stuffing was unpleasant in texture, and the accompanying vegetables were entirely unremarkable. Any ordinary home cook could have done as well or better. Service was pleasant and hit the right balance between attentive and unobtrusive. Half bottles of wine offered a nicely curated selection to meet the needs of the lighter drinker. Overall, I left feeling a bit let down by the grande dame. I'll return, but not again on a Monday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1st time downstairs
    Arby
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We took out daughter and her friend to Chez Painesse as she was resuming school at CAL and we wouldn't see her for a while. We had eaten in the café before but never the dining room. Everything was fine, the food, the service, the ambiance. We were seated by the kitchen and it was a bit noisy/busy/hot by that door but nothing that took away from the total experience. I wouldn't eat there except for special occasions as our tab was enough to cover my daughters books for a semester or more at Cal!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Organic Slow Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    The best in the bay for mixing simple, organic ingredients. Healthy, local, and well paired.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A dinner to be remembered!
    16120
    Dined on 1/15/2014
    I had heard so many things about this place and finally made it to a dinner on the 15th; needless to say, I was absolutely satisfied. Every dish was crafted and cooked to perfection, the service was great and the ambiance was wonderful. I was warned by a friend that the portions were small for the price but the portion size was also satisfying and was well enough to make us full, contrary to my expectations. The only downside to our visit was the sudden increase in noise level caused by the very loud party of six behind us, but everything about this restaurant other than that was worth the visit.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Virtually Perfect
    Grunteled
    Dined on 1/13/2014
    All the dishes were so good as to stretch the imagination, with one exception. The seafood stew, while good by general standards, fell far short of a good San Francisco cioppino. The service was attentive and skillful.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great to be back
    mccalmoVIP
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    The food was spectacular. The service was fine, even good at moments, and always pleasant. They did kind of forget about us a couple of times, but we did not really mind. It gave the evening a nice pace.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • not what i thought
    redhammer
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    i have always wanted to go to this restaurant. i thought that the tastes would pop of freshness in my mouth. instead, it was rather flat and old world. this place is resting on it's laurels
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Legendary
    FNut8
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    This restaurant is a destination adn lives up to if not excedes all manner of the philosophy of it's founder Alice Waters. I have been a disciple since the 60's
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An iconic restaurant delivers
    jafb
    Dined on 12/23/2013
    I first ate at Chez Panisse in the mid-70s before it was popular to serve meals of simple, fresh, farm to table entrees of seasonal ingredients. Alice was one of the first to espouse this. . She retains her touch, her ability to extract and distill maximum flavor. You have little choice on the menu of the evening. Her kitchen focuses on THE menu for that day, period. A perfectly tossed salad of greens I'd never heard of--straight from Sonoma County; luscious lamb and fish stew. No delays or idling under a heat lamp. Floating islands for dessert. Wine list is reasonable. A wonderful Ackerman zinfandel, not available in retail outlets because their production is so small. Thoughtful service delivered by knowledgeable servers of course.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hard to get
    catass
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    I wish it was easier for selecting menu and date to visit there. I looked at the future menu at their website and decided which course or date to make our reservation. However, all the dates so near to the present was all booked, and I had to make a reservation whenever is soonest without knowing what was going to be served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Iconic restaurant, a must
    foodie58
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    Iconic restaurant, a must on any foodie's bucket list. You may have tried the Chez Panisse Café, but you have to try the downstairs fixed menu Chez Panisse restaurant at least once. Made our reservations for two 3 weeks ahead for a Tuesday night and only 5:45 pm and 9:30 times were available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Monday Evening Dining is Special
    monmex2
    Dined on 12/16/2013
    I recommend the Monday evening event at Chez Panisse. They discount their prices and feature an adventuresome three course menu. In our case, it was a holiday celebration with a Mexican flair: mushroom empanadas and turkey mole capped off with a lovely flan desert. Wonderful!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chez Panisse is not just a
    Mike
    Dined on 12/10/2013
    Chez Panisse is not just a restaurant, its an experience. Its where the chef(s) will show you what they mean when there is a connection between food and art and they will skillfully connect the two....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointment downstairs
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 12/9/2013
    Since the fire, I've eaten at Panisse Cafe four times and every time has been superb. Last Monday night Dec. 9 I had dinner downstairs and it was quite a different story. The first course was fried squid. The squid had clearly been fried well in advance, because it was served room temperature and the oil had congealed. It was rubbery and greasy, and wasn't helped by being thrown onto a heap of lightly dressed lettuces, mostly white and light green. White on white. The main course was spit roasted pork that was just okay--chewy, and served with an absolutely tasteless polenta. Dessert was a pear tart, and I would challenge anyone to know they were eating pears if they hadn't seen it on the menu. No discernible pear flavor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • our Anniversary Dinner!
    brownie
    Dined on 12/9/2013
    Ambience,service and food was simply wonderful. However, next time I'll request a non-dairy menu as I had 4 days of unpleasantness----my fault entirely. Of course butter makes everything taste better! We are going again----upstairs this time where I'll have choices..Thanks for asking, marilyn Brown
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The last time we dined at
    Live2EatVIP
    Dined on 12/3/2013
    The last time we dined at Chez Panisse was over 20 years ago and 20 years later it is still the best restaurant we ever dined at. From the curly endive and chanterelle salad, the Dungeness crab and smoked black cod chowder followed by the Zinfandel marinated duck breast and ending with the black walnut ice cream crepe it was truly an epicurean delight! Alice Waters and her staff are commended for delivering an outstanding meal...it was the perfect ending to a delightful epicurean vacation in the Bay Area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still going strong
    UCgradVIP
    Dined on 11/25/2013
    The frisee salad with lardons and poached egg was a great start. Then the duck breast was the best I have ever had. The third course , the dessert finished a wonderful meal. The meal was so much better than the description in the menu because the chefs manage to make even foods we don't normally like taste delicious. The service was professional and friendly. The beautifully restored room we sat in towards the front of the house absolutley glowed, making our experience even more enjoyable. All of this wonderfulness comes at a price, of course, and $24 for a glass of champagne seemed to be a bit too much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always special
    funkygirl
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    Great food. Great service. Always a special treat to dine at this restaurant. Only complaint is that I felt some of the portions on some entrees were rather small and I wished that I could have had more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Service
    Brad
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    Totally a great experience. Would suggest one improvement - when the customer adds another tip to the bill along with built in tip, we suggest that the server reconfirm with the customer if that was their intention. This would avoid over tipping and creating a negative experience in an otherwise excellent experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful as always
    Dale
    Dined on 11/20/2013
    Very happy to put ourselves in the hands of the chefs at Chez Panisse. Love Alice Waters and her whole philosophy. Our company had a very important dinner here, and we brought our favourite client. Dishes were wonderful, and our whole team and our guest had a wonderful time. Thank you Chez Panisse!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent but missing wow factor
    Torchure
    Dined on 11/20/2013
    We had a delicious four course meal which included a chickory & pickled lettuce salad, grilled sea bass, lamb chops and a lemon meringue tart. Service was excellent and the ambiance was warm and cozy. However somehow I just didn't feel that it was such a fabulous, unforgettable experience. Perhaps I had set my expectations too high but I wanted to see what all the hype about Chez Pannise was about and just didn't feel like I found it. The food was good but not much better than say, Wood Tavern. I feel like Chez Pannise is worth trying but isn't so wonderful that I'm anxiously looking forward to a return visit. Perhaps the air conditioning vent blowing at my feet during my entire meal lessened the experience and hastened my exit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The service was very underwhelming
    PLinEmeryville
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    I was really looking forward to dinner at Chez Panisse--it's been on my list of restaurants to go to for years. Unfortunately the service was extremely underwhelming--the waiter could hardly be bothered to explain what he was serving to us--when putting out dessert on the table, we actually had to stop another waiter to explain what was just left for us--NOT cool. And we never did get any bread. For the money spent (which includes a pre-calculated tip) and the reputation that precedes Chez Panisse, I expected impeccable service, not what we got.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Finally had dinner at Chez Panisse
    vickiha
    Dined on 11/13/2013
    I have eaten in Chez Panisse's upstairs restaurant several times. Try to make it there any time I'm in the Bay Area. But this was my first dinner in their prix fixe restaurant. Price was a bit steep, but the service, ambiance, and of course. the food was worth every penny. It was a special dinner with my brother and husband and we all enjoyed it. THANK YOU!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chez Panisse price fixe
    Laurie
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    Downstairs Monday night 3 courses for $65 was tasty but tiny. Black cod salad had 2 bites of fish. Dessert called apple crepe had 3 tiny apple slices. Wine pairing was $30 for two half glasses barely and was then charged $40 not $30. Service excellent but disappointed we left hungry after paying $232. Ruined our anniversary after much anticipation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • inspired food
    dinnertime
    Dined on 11/6/2013
    It's no surprise that I am giving this restaurant a great review....plenty have before me. The service was fantastic and the food was truly inspired. The group I was with really enjoyed everything that touché their palate. We also were able to meet our wine importing idol and as we are all viticulturists and winemakers, it was a true delight. All in all, I'd say it was money well spent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best restaurant experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/5/2013
    The food was the best I have ever had at any restaurant. The service was amazing. The overall experience was the most memorable and best dining experience I have ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hands down one of my favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/4/2013
    Hands down one of my favorite restaurants. The wine pairing was awesome. Four stars because second course was luke warm, not hot enough.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I live in Chicago, but if
    Aquitaine
    Dined on 10/30/2013
    I live in Chicago, but if I ever get the chance to be on the West Coast, I always make it an absolute to dine at Chez Panisse. The food and service are always fabulous! I have long been a fan of Alice Waters and what she brought to the dining table. Always a pleasure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chez Panisse So-So
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/30/2013
    Went to Chez Panisse for our anniversary. Hadn't been there before so expected to be "wow-ed" and found it to be just so-so. The food was good, not great. The service was certainly not fast, but found myself waiting between courses and trying not to drink too much of the bottle of wine in order to enjoy it with my food. It was good to do once, but do not think that I will be back again for the cost.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My Favorite by far!
    SAFdines
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    Chez Panisse maintains the highest quality dining experience year in and year out. Their daily menu is intriguing without being pretentious. Their meticulous food preparation yields simply delicious results. Their staff are knowledgable, helpful, friendly, and attentive. Chez Panisse is my favorite restaurant by far.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stellar Berkely Gem
    opentabler7VIP
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    Once again this intimate space surpassing all that has gone before-perfect friendly service and each course absolutely divine. I don't know how they do it-the freshness and execution of each dish is astonishingly good. I envy diners who have yet to Immerse themselves here. Merci!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Have they stopped trying?
    Shed
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    Chez Panisse was extremely disappointing; a restaurant that's resting so hard on its laurels its practically doing yoga. Wanted to love, but it just didn't try hard enough. Under-seasoned, lazy composition (and I do mean lazy rather than simple), components of dishes that were poorly executed (wet, mushy aubergine puree with no emollient lipid content whatsoever, undressed mixed leaf salad just dumped on top of the main course, chargrilled peppers that could have come straight out of the Wholefoods counter, two loose and under-flavoured sauces, illes flottant atop a vanilla-free "vanilla custard"). Also a bit mean that their matched wine option doesn't match to every course - no dessert wine. I was told by a friend to avoid it - wish I had.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time back...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    It was a perfect evening! The food was as marvelous as ever, service perfect and the room really beautifully restored after the fire.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb
    ozma
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    We wanted a perfect evening, and we got it: perfect food, perfect service, perfect wine pairings. There is nowhere else like Chez Panisse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eat before you eat
    CraigVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2013
    Very good flavors. Very small portions. At $100 a pop one shouldn't have to fill up in advance or on the bread. I'm not a big eater but there was hardly enough on the plate to savor. I do want to compliment the service staff, they were friendly and knowledgeable and gracious. When our waiter knocked over my glass of wine just after pouring, she brought a brand new bottle.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chez Panisse
    jambo
    Dined on 10/22/2013
    Over all was excellent. Only not impressed with the ice cream dessert. Sincerely,
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Who needs it
    citydweller
    Dined on 10/17/2013
    High prices, slow service, and a month's waiting list for reservations? Good bye chez pannise. There are too many other exciting dining experiences. I will try the cookbook though. Need more characters? Am I at 50 yet?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet