Chez Panisse Restaurant
Chez Panisse Restaurant

Chez Panisse Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.chezpanisse.com/
  • Phone: 5105485525x
  • 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 WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Chez Panisse Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
67 reviews since April 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (56)fit for foodies (46)romantic (36)notable wine list (32)neighborhood gem (21)hot spot (5)late-night find (4)good for groups (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • 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!
    Denise
    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
  • 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.
  • Meal of a lifetime
    chocolateheart
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    After hearing about Chez Panisse since I was a kid, I was beyond excited to have dinner there last week. I took my mom as my date and we had one of the best meals I've ever enjoyed. I've eaten all over the world- but there was something truly magical about Chez Panisse... The incredibly polite and welcoming staff, the beautiful dining room, the gorgeous, one-of-a-kind menus bedecked with colorful illustrations of flowers and trees, the wonderful presentation and service of the three courses- each one better than the last! My mom had the first caught wild salmon of the season, and I had delicious handmade pasta with exotic mushrooms and fava beans.Ah, the dessert french concoction of cream, meringue, fresh strawberries and candied rose petal
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best restaurant in California
    Logannora
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    The freshness ingredients which makes this restaurant stands out for all others. The price is also very reasonable. Highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 41 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 487 reviews are from the Chez Panisse Restaurant reviews archive.
  • Best lamb I have ever tasted
    HungryVIP
    Dined on 4/21/2014
    As always, Chez Panisse delivered. Particularly noteworthy was the lamb main - simply the most delicious lamb I have ever tasted. Beautifully sweet meat (loin and chop), simply prepared.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    After living in the east bay for 4 years and city for 3, finally had a chance to go and it was amazing.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Chanel
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Dining at Chez Panisse has always been a wonderful expierence when we are traveling to San Francisco. However, we were so disappointed with our last visit there. We ended up sandwiched between two loud tables . I couldn't hear a word my husband was saying . The food was also disappointing as it didn't even come close to previous dinners we've enjoyed so much in the past . In all fairness , we had a very nice waiter and the restaurant was apologetic for the noise level. At the same time I believe we should have been seated in a different location in the restaurant before our arrival . The food was also not up to Chez Panisse standards.. I adore Alice Waters and this hasn't been an easy review to write . It is however a truthful one.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Romantic, delicious, sustainable
    Susty
    Dined on 4/9/2014
    Melt in your mouth dishes, wonderful values for food and staff, cozy atmosphere We were absolutely thrilled to finally eat at Chez Panisse given its cultural significance in the sustainability movement. The food was incredible - and we aren't foodies, so noticing such a big difference must mean something. Every dish was carefully and artistically rendered with care, each dish built toward the next, and the wine pairing was just perfect. It was a very special and memorable experience. It is an investment financially, but the food and service were phenomenal. Love the mission statement, and how well they treat each of their staff members. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Simply Marvelous
    HowieD
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    The 4 of us have wanted to dine here since moving to the Bay area and Chez Pannise did not disappoint. The food was sensational, the service impeccable and overall the entire experience was irrefutable. The staff even went the extra mile and gave us a personal kitchen tour which made our evening that much better. A+++ on all fronts. Lived up to expectations, which were very high to begin with.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Copper Colored Berkeley Gem
    opentabler7VIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    The copper hued dining room amazes with each visit. This was the first time I've had duck sliced very thin-a treat! A round creamed spinach disc was very unique. This place is sheer magic-one of the worlds finest and famous spots. I envy people who have yet to go here and be amazed! Superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still an exceptional experience
    Eugeria
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    This remains one of the greats. No sliping on any level, and the staff treats you like you are a regular.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    mprince676
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    It is true that when you book your first reservation at a restaurant that has a legacy, the bar is set very high. Nonetheless, Chez Panisse completely lived up to its reputation on all counts. Service was fabulous, with the staff very intuitive as to when to be there and when to give us a bit more space. Each course was something to look forward to and there was always just enough without being too much of anything. And given that the menu is always changing, there is little or no chance that you might repeat something the next time you visit. Among all of the delicious presentations, the lamb sausage was perhaps the most notable both in terms of taste and texture.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mother-Daughter Dinner
    jennya3
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    I received a gift certificate for Chez Panisse from my employer and was so excited because I had always wanted to eat there. I decided to take my daughter to celebrate her recent graduation. We had a wonderful time. Both of us were just in awe of the quality and freshness of the food and the quality of the wait staff. Yes, it is expensive but well worth trying at least once in your life.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chez Panisse Delight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    The food was awesome. My salad was, perhaps, the most beautiful I've ever had. It looked like a sparkling gem on the plate. And it was delicious. The courses, one vegetarian and one not, were all creative, well-prepared, luscious, and beautifully presented. It was a dining treat in all respects.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chez Panisse
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    While I found the food undeniably innovative and delicious, I was very disappointed in the attention from the staff, particularly our waiter. I felt it was more on the lines of a chain restaurant. Perhaps spending $85 for a meal is not a lot to some, it is to me. I felt the personal touch was missing for a restaurant of Chez Panisse stature. I still enjoyed the experience, however, felt with a warmer waiter the experience could have been more memorable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Steve
    Steve
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    Extremely overpriced. Minuscule portions! This restaurant is an elaborate scam to guilt people to spend a mortgage payment to eat a skeleton meal made from local ingredients. Even without the price component, the taste was below average.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • does not measure up
    yoyo
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    We have wanted to try Chez Panise for a long time, and finally did for a special occasion. It's supposedly know for their great food. We were extremely disappointed and maybe should not have had high expectations. Food was simply put - boring and fair at best. My money is better spent elsewhere. Restaurant environment was charming and service was very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food/wine but room to improve
    JCBoston
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Decor - 1920's American chic with top half mirrors and wood trimming. Seating and everything else is comfortable. Food/Menu - Suffice to say, the food was incredible. All flavors have been expertly chosen and prepared by the chefs to blend together harmoniously. Although the menu is set in the restaurant (where i visited), the more casual cafe on the second floor provides for an a la carte menu. Great red & white list of old & new worlds including a dessert wine list of the world's quintessential regions. Cost - Including a split bottle of wine, two glasses of dessert wine on top of the set menu, the total cost was $125 per person including gratuity. Service - not very warm - no smiling, and lack of attention.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic