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
65 reviews since July 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (52)fit for foodies (45)romantic (43)notable wine list (29)neighborhood gem (26)late-night find (4)hot spot (4)great for lunch (3)good for groups (2)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Always nice but
    MonAmieVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The maître d' was intimidating, no smile. Staff in charge of our table were very nice, and handled their mistake very efficiently. I was not so impressed by their dishes this time. They used to provide us at least one pleasant surprise on how they treat seasonal ingredients, especially vegetables. But not this time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special treat!
    Neigh
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    The food is very simple, clean, classic and no frills. Great local ingredients and a lot of care in developing a new menu every day. I had built it up in my head so much that maybe that got in the way of being completely blown away by the food, but I have no regrets! Simplicity is refreshing sometimes. Service is excellent and the ambience is super cozy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unwelcoming Maitre D' spoils it
    piratebob
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Wait staff & food - superlative. But the Maitre D' set an officious tone that killed the fun. We had a 5:45 reservation, & because my husband is blind, we usually come a little early because we are slow...when we arrived at the desk, we were the only ones there. The MD pointed out that we were early. Then some others arrived, w/ 5:30 res. He sd he needed to seat the 5:30 people "who came before you" (we were the first arrivals). Now people had to squeeze by us - we couldn't go back due to disability - it's dark now. At one point I sd,"If you just seat us, we'll sit patiently, & we'll be out of your way." No. No smile. He seemed to take pleasure in making us feel uncomfortable, & in keeping us "in line." In fact, we felt unwelcome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Amazing food; great service. Romantic atmosphere. Daily menu with farm to table concept that can be tasted in every bite!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the cost?
    Lurch
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Chez Panisse was good but hard to justify the cost. Also, the service was adequate, not great. Not very welcoming. Given the reputation and the cost, I expected much more.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid Food & Horrible Service
    Hannes
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    the food was solid. not great, but solid. it was worth the money but it was not earth-shattering. what really annoyed me about the Chez Panisse was the horrible service. when I'm spending a huge amount of money at a restaurant I expect the service staff to literally hold my hand and whisper sweet stories of food in my ear. I don't want to go into details but the waiters completely failed to cater to my needs. for me the service is half of the experience at a high class restaurant. so if you're like me, keep this in mind when you consider the Chez Panisse.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    mgmmcb
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    The food was excellent and the waitstaff friendly, professional, and punctual. We didn't have to wait very long between courses.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Luck of courtesy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Foods are average, disappointed as expected much higher. The service was nice, so the interior, but too tiny and crowded. 17% service fee on the bill for every table even for 2 and never mentioned to us. Since no response to my email, I called 2 days after and spoke 2 people. Both barely let me complete a sentence and standing firm on the ground that they abide by the latter of the law that it shows on the menu and the bill. After I told that it was my first time dining there, she pretty much ridiculed me not knowing their unchanged practice of 40 yrs. Not expected such unkind reply from CP. She explained how the service fee is used internally. Wish they had a courtesy to mention to the customer of their non-standard practice
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    A memorable experience. We were not sure what to expect since we had not eaten in the restaurant before. The food was some of the best we have ever eaten.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent meals
    Muchalohafromhawaii
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We were amazed out how many tastes were in each plate
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jess
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Amazing! I had never gone to the restaurant before and Open Table happen
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable!
    Feanor
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    It was an evening of celebrations for a table of 6 people: a 30th wedding anniversary, a birthday, and the last chemo session for cancer treatment. The restaurant was intimate and relaxing, the food delicious and service impeccable. The Monday night menu was creative and tasty. We brought our own magnum of 30-year old cabernet and it complemented the entrees we had. Great experience, highly recommended. I'd dine there again mid-week or week-end, and also try the Cafe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I see the appeal, but not my thing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I see the appeal of the restaurant and why so many people love it. The service is excellent. I really enjoyed the ambience of the downstairs restaurant, and the cafe seemed much nicer than I had anticipated, as well. It took us a long time to get a reservation for the restaurant so I was expecting a lot and ended up a tad disappointed. Fixed menus are always difficult because it might be something you don't care for - like rabbit. Overall, I have to say that I was not wowed by any of the night's dishes and it didn't feel worth the money or the wait for me.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    I very much admire Mrs Waters and going for the first time to Chez Panisse was a highpoint for us. Great produce, impeccable execution,solid service, nice place just animated enough. But Nothing original or memorable, bad value compared to the cafe that we tried just before, and outrageously expensive wine list (a lot of guests had water or beer consequently). Maybe other menus are more refined, but this was the level of a very good home cook for me and I was expecting more. The staff was super friendly and polite.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bravissimo
    virgiebxl
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We booked our Monday night downstairs dinner exactly one month in advance and got right in. After having heard and read so much about Panisse, our expectations about a restaurant had never been higher. I was actually quite nervous about being let down which added an extra touch of suspense to the experience. But I shouldn't have worried. It was just perfect : the food and wine, service and everything around it. This was one of the best meals we ever had - treacherously simple and completely up to if not exceeding European standards.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutely solid as expected
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    First let's start with our menu: Local Halibut crudo with cucmber and sweet pepper salsa and anise hyssop, Poulet a la broche (chicken), Black mission fig galette. As soon as I saw the menu (the day before our dinner), I knew there may be a problem. 1st, I never order chicken as most places dry them out. Second, I don't like figs. So here we go. We started upstairs with a couple glasses of sparkling wine (to celebrate finally dining here). First off, the breads were amazing. The halibut was very thinly sliced sashimi which was lightly seasoned and tasted very refreshing. The spit roasted chicken was flavorful and moist as expected. I inquired about the dessert, and the waiter was kind enough to serve me the plum gallette instead.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely Dinner in Berkeley
    AmyI
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    I just moved to SF and decided to try the world famous Chez Panisse. Did not disappoint. The most flavorful tuna I've had and the most tender quail you will ever eat. So many outstanding flavors. The open kitchen in the back is also really fun to be able to walk through!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Storied restaurant still enchants
    MVLVEats
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Chez Panisse is a destination for many foodies - a place that pays tribute to the simplicity and integrity of locally grown, raised and sourced food. It is both a restaurant for people who want an experience and a cafe where one can stop in for a casual and heartfelt meal. I dined there recently with my family to celebrate my mother's birthday. We had a marvelous time and a wonderfully executed meal. The flavors were alive, simple, and perfectly balanced from the Mediterranean inspired salad to the albacore, quail, and finally the pistachio cake. The service was lovely and the entire experience happy, charming, and low key.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfection
    evie
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    The service: warm, friendly, artful, impeccable. The food: freshest possible ingredients, the most gentle and deft treatment by the chefs, simple, tasty, quality (in the deepest sense of the word). The atmosphere: I felt like I was receiving a hug from that warm, glowy, coppery room. I have had Chez Panisse on my bucket list and am so satisfied in the fulfillment of that must-eat experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food and ambience
    PickyDinerVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    After 25 years of living in the bay area, finally made it to the restaurant. And the food was great (except for dessert which was nothing to write home about). The appetizers and main courses were all made with a light touch and were delicious. Other than dessert, my only other beef (pardon the pun) was with the limited to non-existent California wine selection. Somehow the mantra of sourcing local ingredients does not apply to wine. Seems strange when we have such good wines in California which would pair so well with the food here. Why Alice do you dislike California wines?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Grandma
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Chez Panisse was most certainly an unforgettable experience. I've been reading Alice Waters' books and about her work with schools for years. Finally, for my 70th birthday I was able to enjoy the incredible food and the attentive service. Truly a treasured memory!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect
    bbnun3
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    One of the best dining experience we have ever had. Every thing about it was lovely and perfect. My only complaint was about the 2 Jerks sitting near us who loudly picked apart every aspect of their evening and even that was almost comical and a little entertaining. After they left I gave our server Veronica a big hug, because she handled that miserable bores so beautifully. We loved everything about our evening at Chez Panisse. Dining there will always be the way we finish trips to the wine country from now on. It was also pretty cool to see Alice Waters dining with friends that evening
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worth waiting 11 years!
    DeniseVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    My husband and i have been talking about dining at Chez Panisse since we got married 11 years ago. We live in Minnesota so we have not had the opportunity until last Thursday night. Truly, the experience was worth the wait! T
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simplicity in all its goodness
    foodasart
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    I love all kinds of food - spicy, rich, hot, raw, but at the foundation of any great meal is the art of selecting great ingredients and cooking them perfectly. As a fan of Alice Waters (her cookbooks are must-haves) I respect the simplicity and elegance of the offerings at Chez Panisse. You won't find frilly sauces and silly sideshows. Here you will taste the tenderest and most flavorful dishes where seasonings are designed to bring out the essence of the entree, not mask it. The craftsman-style decor also supports the sophisticated simplicity of this great restaurant. The straightforward, knowledgeable service was perfect for our birthday celebration dinner. We wish you many more great years, Alice!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • annoying
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    had been hearing about Chez Panisse for years and could not wait to go for our special anniversary... was surprised when I looked up the menu the day before that they were only serving chicken for an exorbitant price fix menu. By the time the menu was available online it was too late to cancel the reservation without paying a fee. We were expecting the best chicken dish of our lives. It was tasty but not that great that I would recommend it. It was good chicken but not worth the price. A few days later I went to Limon in SF and had much better Rotisserie chicken for a fraction of the overall cost.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 40 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.6
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 505 reviews are from the Chez Panisse Restaurant reviews archive.
  • delightful as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Went to dinner to celebrate moving out of state, and it was delighted by this service, understated elegance. Food was exceptional, as always. No problem substituting a cheese plate for the standard dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the wait
    OTuser
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    We had been given a gift certificate for Chez Panisse after our son was born... He's seven years old now, and we just made it to the restaurant for the first time. What a fantastic meal, from the restaurant location and building to the staff to the succulent food... perfect. This is a must!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • only the acoustics were the problem
    BrunoBVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    This was a fabulous evening with extraordinary food and excellent service. but if you are seated downstairs not in the front room, and not in a corner, you are effectively "in the corridor" of the room and the acoustics are very demanding, so that the more quiet conversation I was hoping to have turned out to be a strain. but otherwise, perfect!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SS75VIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    The best! We are so lucky this gem is in our neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Finest dining experience
    discerningdiner
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    I have waited 3 years to experience Chez Panisse ....was a bit apprehensive about being disappointed , maybe it had become commercialized ...the architecture , the choice of serving pieces, the high level of attention to every atmospheric detail , as well as , every wine choice and ingredient for each scrumptious course encouraged my belief that a restaurant can and will be true to it's ideal: to prepare and serve only the most healthy and delectable dining experience with warm and professional service . Thank you Alice Waters ! Truly , we need your true expertise here in Dallas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Living on its reputation
    Dangerwoman
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    By European standards this is a good but not great restaurant and we ate much better elsewhere in Caifornia for much less money. Adding an automatic service charge is damned cheeky, the service was excellent however . All in all it was a rip off.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bonnie Noehr
    Bnoehr
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Superlative experience not to be missed when in Berkeley.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Satisfied.
    mellbelle
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Much care went into the food and the dining experience. The service was personal and the wine suggestions great. My 18 yr old daughter and I were celebrating an achievement and it was a friendly place to do so. She thought she didn't like duck, but has been converted. Thank you Chez Panisse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    Exceeded all our expectations and would highly recommend
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What can I say? Excellent
    BennyK
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    It's a Bay Area institution - it's worth all of the hype
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not generous
    wgmvb
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    Quality okay, in line with standing of this restaurant. But small portions and a wine arrangement of 60 dollars for 2 half/ third glasses. So little, so petit, a restaurant like this unworthy.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing locavore fare!
    DeeCee
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    Wanted to try Chez Panisse for years and was absolutely in love as soon as we arrived. Super charming building and amazingly nice staff. We had reservation for 5:30 and arrived a few minutes early. The restaurant wasn't seating yet, so we were guided to the bar area upstairs. After 10 minutes, we were seated at a super charming table on what reminded me of a swanky enclosed patio; very bright and inviting on a summer evening. Service was absolutely impeccable and the menu was DIVINE. Salad of cod, asparagus and leeks with a lemon vinaigrette. Pan fried quail with polenta and roasted asparagus. Fruit "soup" with lemon verbena sorbetta. AMAZING. We did the wine pairing and loved every single sip. Hope to return soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Chez Panisse did not disappoint
    exTex
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Although a printed menu comes to each table, there was more to each dish than what was described. Each course seemed somewhat small, but by the time we were done, we were quite full. More... http://bit.ly/1maSj3i
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • As expected, Excellent
    TomatoVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    We ate at the Cafe. Beautiful food and excellent service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • dinner at Chez Panisse
    foodiePagan
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    The food is lovely, beautifully prepared, the service is outstanding, our waiter, Nick, was wonderful. The prices are a little high, but it is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives, especially if you live in the bay area
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.