Chez Panisse Cafe
Chez Panisse Cafe

Chez Panisse Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chezpanisse.com/
  • Phone: 5105485049x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Organic, Californian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Alice Waters
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Chez Panisse offers private party bookings in the downstairs dining room for up to 50 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Jennifer Sherman 510-548-5066x
  • Special Events: Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music.
    Special menu.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Vine Street
  • Public Transit: Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Chez Panisse Cafe
The Café at Chez Panisse, located upstairs, opened in 1980 to offer an alternative to the set menu served in the Restaurant downstairs. The Café offers a moderately priced à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. It has an open kitchen along one side of the room with a charcoal grill and a wood burning oven. The menu changes daily and is inspired by local, seasonal ingredients. Reservations are recommended. Please call and let the reservationist know if anyone in your party requires special accommodation to access our upstairs Café dining room.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Chez Panisse Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
433 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (344)special occasion (296)great for lunch (208)neighborhood gem (191)romantic (139)notable wine list (120)hot spot (49)great for brunch (35)good for groups (32)late-night find (21)kid-friendly (13)scenic view (6)great for outdoor dining (4)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • excellent
    willreturn
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    The food, salmon and duck which my friend and I ordered was delicious and fresh. The presentation was simple but inviting.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Maitre d is second to none
    212georgia
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The bread amazing, the service flawless, the food beyond compare, the intentions noble. All summed up in the Maitre d.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Wonderful meal. Top service. No a/c. It was a bit warm in the cafe. The food made up for it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb food and ambiance
    Deliabond
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    We ate lunch at Chez Panisse opting for the set menu at the cafe. It was absolutely delicious and has been one of our best dining experiences in San Francisco. The ambiance and service matched the quality of the meal. I would definitely come here again the only problem is that I live in London.....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Food was perfect, especially the strawberry ice cream. Service was quite slow for no apparent reason, and tables seated before us were served well before our food arrived.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Memorable lunch
    lovelunchwiththegirls
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Truly remarkable -- so reliable and yet so fresh and new every time. Best in class goat cheese salad and beet salad, duck superb, seafood pasta perfectly prepared with just the right amount of sauce clinging to each noodle, and to die for fig tart with fennel ice cream! Lovely service. Had a perfect lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • All it is cracked up to be.
    Sherm
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Everything is outstanding at Chez Panisse Cafe. The wine list is excellent and reasonably-priced, the service is personable and attentive, and the food is simple and complex at once. A nice surprise was the $30 Prixe Fixe menu that makes it easier to choose from the many wonderful menu items.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Still amazing !
    EatOutALotVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    It's hard to believe that Chez Panisse continues to improve and evolve after all these years, but it does. With so many delicious options in the Bay Area, many of them CP derivatives, it's wonderful to know that the original continues to be original. We had a memorable dinner at the cafe last week with the freshest most beautiful ingredients. Our server might possibly be the best waiter ever...he timed the food perfectly and even stood back to avoid interrupting our conversation. Standouts: the squid --nice to see it as an entree; thin summer squash salad; the salmon. CP holds a special place in my heart but it's not just sentimentality that brings me back after 28 years as a Bay Area resident. Chez Panisse cafe was and is the best!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spot On
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Chez Panisse has been on my dining bucket list for as long as I can remember. Everything about this meal was spectacular. I could dine there every day and never have a repeat meal. Absolutely fresh, delicious, local, and overall amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never Dissappoints
    PamelaVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I am always amazed how the average or seemingly humble ingredient is elevated to the extraordinary! All of our dishes were outstanding, the service impeccable, and the ambiance unpretentious and upbeat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bucket list
    Tbomari
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    My first time but not my last. Everything that I had expected and more. The sauce on my grilled poultry plate was superb. The plouot tast with apricot kernel ice cream interesting and devine. My only negative feeling was thr noise level. A bit loud but that would not prevent me from returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely perfect day
    helloVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I brought my friend who had just retired for a celebration and everything was PERFECT. The server was engaging and fun. We started with the goat cheese salad, very crisp and creamy and beets which were beautiful. Lots of goodies and flavors on the plate. We both had the noodles with mushrooms and the texture was perfect and flavor out of this world. Chocolate pave for dessert was so light and the apricot ice cream was like biting into an apricot! She said she wished she had a 'ground hog movie day' of this day and meal to repeat over and over! Thank you!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service slipping
    food4people
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Food is always good but service has been slipping in the last few years.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • simplyadorable
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    I come once a year while workshopping at Cal, and the Cafe has never disappointed. Always a treat in every respect!
    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.
  • Perfect
    diningadventures
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Took a friend to lunch for her 40th birthday and it was perfect. The service, food, and wine really made the day. Thank you Chez Panisse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    rude staff and unattentive service. food ok but not wonderful. reputation is unearned.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spoiled patrons
    hardtopleaseVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Excellent, fresh food in THE most comfortable and beautiful environment we know of. Nothing else ever lives up to this. We've been totally spoiled over the decades that we have enjoyed dining at Chez Panisse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A disappointment
    Dinahdiner
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    I was really excited to go to the Cafe at Chez Panisse. Sadly, the best things about the whole meal were the bread and butter and the spritzers. The salads were tasty but the portions were miserly and embarrassing to look at. The pork meals were bland and uninteresting. The chicken was good but not extraordinary. Salmon was good. Dessert again was not great. Ginger cake good but not special and the 3 tiniest slices of peach (and not very good tasting at that). For the reputation and the money this was a pretty big disappointment. Oh, and the service was a bit snooty and lacking. Chez Panisse, qu'est-ce qui se passe!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JudyVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Quite simply, perfect. Everyone who loves fresh, seasonal, tasty food must go to the roots of this movement. It remains at the top of my dining list, year in and year out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent and Fresh
    BB99
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    The food was great. So very fresh. I had the Moroccan Tagine as the main course, the gazpacho as appetizer, and fruit as dinner. We had beer. This place is definitely more wine friendly but the beer was good. Great food, was surprisingly out fast to us, excellent service, no wait for anything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still the best
    BerkeleyTravel
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Even in their fifth decade Chez Panisse continues to serve great food. The stars of the cuisine are not the chefs nor the recipes but the instead the ingredients are allowed to show themselves in all their glory. It's simple food done exceptionally well. the entire experience is very well thought out and crafted. The interior is all hand crafted copper and redwood. You won't see a computer because they are all hidden in wooden boxes. They don't sell bottled water because it's way more ecological to serve water filtered on site. Yes, they automatically charge 17% for a tip, but the waiters earn that with their great service. No, I don't work there but have enjoyed visiting for over 35 years.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfection
    BerkeleyErin
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Celebrated a milestone birthday in style with eight friends. The menu easily accommodated the needs of the vegans, the dieters and other special needs. The place is so classy and professional that it appeals to the serious foodies. The arts and crafts setting feels personal and noise level does not feel out of control. The focus on local farms creates a feeling like its a community effort.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • potbellyVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Dined at Chez Panisse 4 times over 7 days while visiting The Bay Area! Always Outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food (but service charge?)
    Lucullus
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Chez Panisse is still one of the great places for foodies in the Bay Area - outstanding quality of the food, relaxed atmosphere, excellent service. The only thing that strikes one as odd is the 17% service charge - indicated in small print at the bottom of the invoice. I wonder how many non-regulars (like myself - I usually go once a year, when visiting the Bay Area) leave the usual 20-25 % tip - which makes for a nice 40 % tip ...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • special occasion
    italianfoodie
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    We arrived much earlier than our reservation, as we came from 90 miles away, and the maitre'd was very gracious and found us a table in short order. We had a fabulous meal and the service was impeccable. We weren't rushed and lingered over our meal as this was a special occasion. We were very glad to be seated early as this allowed us to head home earlier than expected.
    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.
  • best restaurant in the bay area !
    exrestauranterVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    It's not 60 days in advance reservation, it's not 275$ fix menu per person, it's not in a unique building BUT it's the best food I can ask for. and the best service. The Salmon entree was the weakest part of the meal but the rest was great. the Chocolate Custard was the best dish (and I am not a dessert person). the bill was 150$ with two glasses of Spottswood SB. I will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neen
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Délicieux dîner. Le pain cuit au four, la vinaigrette de la salade, le sandwich au porc et le dessert étaient un délice. Un repas dont je me souviendrai. Le vin était aussi très bon.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Very nice restaurant - very hard to get a reasoanble time to eat. There were plenty of openings before and after we arrived even though those times were not available when we were bookin. Very good food and service - The benches are uncomfortable to sit on - fuller cushions would help.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Explorer
    explorerVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Chez Panisse is definitely a gem. The food is unique - very healthy as one would expect with Alice Waters behind it. But, the dishes are also very tasty and have unique flavors. This was our first time there but we will definitely go back. We went for lunch which was upstairs. The service was prompt and very helpful Overall, we loved the atmosphere, the food, and everything about our time there.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • gourmand
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The gray lady of the California cuisine dining scene has still got it! Professional service, superb flavors and not blaring soundtrack. A complete adult experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappointed
    Froggie74
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We went to chez Panisse to celebrate my husband's birthday. The food was great, I had the chanterelle Pasta and my husband got the beef. The only downside was the wait to be seated, the greater (same gentleman who has been here forever) was a little stressed and not as nice as usual.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not as good as before
    lovenuance
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Unfortunately we sat in the large dinning room area. There was one group that was extremely loud and made it unpleasant for us. Although the service is always great at this restaurant we were reluctant to request a change of seat because we already were seated one half hour late. The food was excellent except for the salmon dish. Somehow the combination of the fried green tomatoes and sauce did not work for us. The fish was a nice piece, but somewhat surprisingly tasteless.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It's Chez Panisse
    manzanita
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    For many years I have wanted to eat at Chez Panisse. The original dinner venue downstairs remains a goal, but OpenTable provided the opportunity to make the Cafe the centerpiece to an afternoon in Berkeley. The food was as befits the legend. The integrity of every component ingredient was not only kept but enhanced by the complementarity of tastes in each composition.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said before. Alice Waters and Chez Panisse lives up to everything you've read and heard, it was absolutely wonderful.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not how it used to be
    berkeleygrad
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Took my family here while they were visiting, at their request, because they remembered how good the food was. Their last visit was 2 years ago. They were disappointed w/ the food, it was not as good as we remembered it being a few years ago - especially given the price. We were not visited by the maitre d', otherwise would have used that opportunity to share our experience. Also, a 17% gratuity is included in the bill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • so nice
    Martha
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    I had dinner at the cafe with my old friend. It was nicer than I expected. The price was reasonable. I would like to have dinner at the restaurant next time.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a treat
    anyonecancook
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Loved every moment. A romantic lunch with my husband was made even more special by the lovely food and fantastic service. Thank you Chez Panisse!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    DakotaBrown1VIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Fresh and delicious meal. Our server had super weird energy and that was the only downside. Wine list is diverse, reasonably priced, and fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Looking forward to returning.
    diningmac
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    We had an excellent experience at Chez Panisse. We tried many dishes and each was excellent. The waiter answered all our questions and made suggestions considering dietary restrictions and individual preferences. It was a wonderful dining experience for the four of us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Did not disappoint!
    EricFromLongIsland
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    After reading mixed reviews of the cafe and restaurant I was somewhat nervous about how this older place would live up to my high expectations. No need, food and service was outstanding. Lover the beet soup, roasted chicken, and vegetarian entree. Had not realized sole was breaded and fried. It was good but not what expected. Strawberry ice cream with Dirty Girl Strawberries was best restaurant desert I've had in a year. My farmhouse saison was perfect, companions enjoyed wines by the glass which were good (Pinot) and just ok (French). I own 3 Alice Waters cookbooks that Have been among my favorites for yeasts and really enjoyed my first visit to Chez Pannise Cafe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.