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Chez Panisse Restaurant
Chez Panisse Restaurant

Chez Panisse Restaurant Details

  • 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: Californian, Organic, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Alice Waters
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, 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 (510) 548-5066
  • Special Events & Promotions: Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music. Special fixed menu: $80 for four courses.

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.Continued
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "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!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The staff was very efficient and friendly. The food was as expected - incredible, especially the bay scallops. We wanted a place that would feel special to celebrate our 30th anniversary and Chez Panisse delivered. It is the best food around and a wonderful dining experience."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Travelled by BART from SF and walked up Shattuck on a balmy evening and were relaxed and ready to be dazzled and we were. Great wine, great food, warn and friendly service in a room (the restaurant) with great ambience. Probably the best fine dining experience of our lives and, I would add a very good value for quality of food and service."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Our price fixed menu was excellent. However I thought when the main entree was changed to chicken there should have been an adjustment made to the bill. 100.00 per person is a lot of money for chicken. But it was excellent food in a lovely, friendly, service oriented environment. Thank you."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I have spent 20 years delving through Alice Waters' cookbooks and learning how to cook. I've always wanted to visit Chez Panisse and this experience far exceeded my expectation of the restaurant. Walking into the restaurant was surreal - the visual beauty of the kitchen, the warmly lit, comfortable surroundings and the marvelous staff set the stage for the perfect night. As expected, every single bite was absolutely delicious. Our waitress was so sweet and when she learned my dining partner was a culinary student, she graciously allowed us into the kitchen for a quick, impressive tour. I couldn't have had a more perfect night."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "I brought a group of 6 college culinary students. The service and food were great and it was an unforgettable experience for the students. Thank you to the chef for the tour of the kitchen. We look forward to our next opportunity to dine at Chez Panisse!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "The food was fabulous! They do ask if the fixed menu works for you so it seems they can adjust somewhat to accommodate food allergies or preferences. Service was superb, but somehow I felt not in California or Berkeley, maybe that's the intent, to be a bit snooty and country French. The host who greeted us at the door was neither welcoming nor efficient as he struggled to find our reservation and others as well. It is off-putting to have reserved online with a credit card, confirmed the day prior via telephone, and then be treated like you do not belong because someone cannot find a reservation. Is the intent to keep the riff-raf out or to welcome us into this beautiful restaurant. In all, a dining experience not to be missed!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "The lamb was perfect yet the standout this time was crepes with a white cream truffle sauce-one of the best dishes in recent memory. The wine pairing went very well. - zinfandel with the Lamb. The service as always is exceptional. Already looking forward to another visit! Perfection at a modest price."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Dining at tis iconic restaurant had been a goal of mine for quite some time. Although the food did not disappoint, the service was aloof and snooty, not the earthy vibe I was expecting. Ironically, the service lapsed in many areas. We were never offered a drink, we were left to pour our own wine, etc. We felt more like unwelcome tourists in Paris, than visitors to Berkeley."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "our meal was carefully thought out, and included several unique touches that we haven't had elsewhere, with a Catalan theme. The flavors were wonderful. The dessert was a nice light finish, yet true to a classic recipe."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "This restaurant offers one menu each evening. I was a little worried when I saw this menu on-line as it featured northern Indian flavors, rather than California ones. The restaurant is a class act. The courses were all superb and the only truly hot course was modified in the kitchen for me. Fennel and turmeric fritters were outstanding. Rockfish soup with ginger and garam masala was served to me minus the garam masala, at my request. It was very tasty. Duck breast grilled with coriander and cumin was excellent. Interestingly, the micro greens were my favorite part of this dish. I have never had a salad this good before. Each little green was a flavor burst in my mouth. Wow. The cardamom ice cream and buckwheat crepe with candied kumquats."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Chez Panisse has maintained its status for decades. It is a try gem. Each course was wonderful. A bottle of wine we did not like was cheerfully replaced, no questions or argument."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Great food... The guy at the table next to us proposed to his girlfriend. You don't see that every day! And the food was amazing..."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "On a recent trip from Boston, we visited Chez Panisse to celebrate a family birthday. The food was excellent and as good as we remembered from times past. Very busy with everyone seeming to enjoy their meals. Always a go-to restaurant for special occasions or a foodie outing."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Don't get me wrong, it is an experience worth trying, though I found the food and service to be overrated. We made reservations and the only time left was 8:45 PM on a Monday. When we arrived there were at least five empty tables, which made us wonder why we couldn't get a table for an earlier time. The appetizer included a prosciutto, ricotta, and artichoke, which was incredible. The main course was a shellfish dish with grilled bread in a red wine sauce. It was on the heavy side and lacked flavor. The dessert was a take on a cream puff with blood orange caramel and kumquat. For those who like citrus, it was good but not for everyone. Service was a bit slow in attending."
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "Perhaps this was just an off night, but this was the sixth or seventh time I've eaten at Chez and unfortunately was one of the less inspired meals I'd had there. That said, it was still very good and, as always, the service was excellent. A friend pointed out that perhaps the time of year affected the menu, as there's less local produce available in February than later in the spring and summer. I'll still go back, but will hope for the more interesting and delicious meals I've experienced in the past."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "Of course when you're in the food business and heading for such a great foodie destination as San Francisco, Chez Panisse must be on the list. One month to the day starting at 9am they start taking reservations...at 9:02 they had 1 table left at 5:30., okay then we took it althoughI don't like eating that early. We were seated after a bit of an awkward wait, then my husband left to make a phone call outside, for 15 minutes no one came near our table to ask if I'd like a drink or wine, finally I flagged down a bus girl and after a further wait the wine arrived. Dinner ( salad, quail & risotto and panna cotta) were perfectly fine, but unremarkable, sort of like dinner at home. The bill was reasonable, but I came away feeling dissapointed !"
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "You never know the menu when you book weeks in advance - we wound up sitting for a Chinese New Year inspired menu. The first course was a crab fritter with pickled veg salad. It was OK but we could barely taste the crab through the fry batter. The second course was a bland mushroom noodle soup that you could find at a sub par china town noodle shop. Third course - duck breast and leg. The duck was cooked perfectly, exquisite veg preparation. The ginger ice cream and tangerine sherbet dessert was outstanding - it was the perfect balance of flavors and texture - we would go back and sit through the meal just for the dessert. Service was mediocre."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "We went for the Monday night set price meal. It was excellent and the servers were attentive, courteous and as chatty as you wanted to be. Warm, elegant ambiance. A very pleasant experience"
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Of the handful of must-go restaurants coast to coast, Chez Panisse is a standout and comparatively affordable. From the reservation to final bill, the setting, service and food were impeccable and made for a memorable night out. Our experience was the fixed menu of seafood on the first floor. All was delicately prepared and well portioned. Just right."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "Very intimate setting. My husband and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary and thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience. We can't wait to go back again!"
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "This is my second time, I toke my daughter there and we had a great dinning experience and wonderful time and great food"
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The best in the bay for mixing simple, organic ingredients. Healthy, local, and well paired."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/15/2014