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
68 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (55)fit for foodies (49)romantic (41)notable wine list (30)neighborhood gem (23)hot spot (5)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)kid-friendly (1)good for groups (1)Show More
  • From start to finish this
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/28/2009
    From start to finish this was a dining experience to remember for years to come. From the halibut crudo, through the roasted quail to the pear and wine grape sherbet this was easily one of the best meals I have ever eaten. The soft linig in the paneled dining room created a warm and inviting atmosphere that would make anyone look good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful experience. Wanted
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/21/2009
    Wonderful experience. Wanted to dine there for years and it didn't disappoint. Worth the wait. Expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful. Food and atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/20/2009
    Wonderful. Food and atmosphere were very good and our waitress was amazing! Tireless in her efforts for us to have an enjoyable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As always Chez was outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 10/9/2009
    As always Chez was outstanding from all point of view. Sometimes the menu is a bit outre but this evening they nailed all my favorites. What a treat to make a reservation the afternoon of the night we went!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall impressive, but not
    divadiner
    Dined on 10/8/2009
    Overall impressive, but not a total hit out of the park.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My first visit was to celebrate
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 9/30/2009
    My first visit was to celebrate my birthday so I was sure to make the reservation early on the first day reservations were available. Offering two seatings for dinner we reserved the first @ 6pm. Expect a wait if choosing the second as the unhurried pace of dining tends to run long. The dining room is small but like scale tables are perfectly placed for cozy privacy and a view of the open kitchen which you are welcome to walk through. Our waiter was gracious and extremely helpful with wine pairings.The food was ample, beautifully presented and at it's peak of perfection. Plan to spend some time; this is not an experience to be rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was an excellent dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/28/2009
    This was an excellent dining experience - lived up to it's reputation! service was top class and the food was devine
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Expensive, but well worth
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/26/2009
    Expensive, but well worth the money. Simply, the best meal I've ever had dining out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yes, I was late (I got lost
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/21/2009
    Yes, I was late (I got lost picking up my husband.) But it took a very long time even to get an appetizer. Everyone was polite and professional; we just didn't see enough of them. Our table was quite close to the next (somewhat outspoken)table, so I didn't really get the feel of a romantic dinner. The food was good to excellent, with good-sized proportions. I appreciated the originality and freshness of the dishes. I also appreciated the availability of half-bottles of wine. Overall, I would go back, largely because of the originality and "surprise" factor; my husband probably would not based on what you get for the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding! This was our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/10/2009
    Outstanding! This was our first time to Chez Panisse. I was unsure how it would pan out due to several recent poor reviews, but we were not the least bit disappointed. Absolutely amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I had great expectations and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/21/2009
    I had great expectations and was greatly disappointed. Putting aside ambience, which was only adequate, the food was weak. The starter was italian ham wrapped around melon. The ham was ok, but should not have been paired w/ melon. That was not creative enough. The salmon was plain and the lamb (main course) was bland. Dessert was a disappointment. Big picture, meal had no creativity. No complexity in flavors. Perhaps I expected it to rival Chanterelle in NY. The comparison isn't even close. I will not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was a hugely disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000
    Dined on 8/19/2009
    This was a hugely disappointing visit. To spend that kind of money for such lack luster food was unbelievable. There was nothing special about the food, all of which is readily available at local farmers' markets or even grocery stores. I had hoped for a "Wow" at some point in the meal and had one meager serving after another meager serving of bland unimaginative food. The restaurant looks dowdy and worn, they could clean the carpet in the entry if not replace it. There are so many good restaurnats with excellent food at reasonable prices I will frequesnt in the future. I will never go back or recommend this restaurant to anyone. Bad show!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I have been to a lot of great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/13/2009
    I have been to a lot of great restaurants but this beats them all!!!!! Outstanding menu and a friendly staff. This is a restaurant that should not be missed. It is a must if you are visiting California.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We were given a gift certificate
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/6/2009
    We were given a gift certificate as a wedding present The dinner was beautifully presented and amazingly tasty, especially the locally caught Monterey Bay (stuffed) calamari dish. It's so pricey we'll never go again, but the memories linger on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wow - the finest ingredients
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/4/2009
    Wow - the finest ingredients available make a huge difference in putting this restaurant far above most others! Amazing food, service, ambience and fun kitchen to visit! Outstanding dining experience!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The entire experience was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/30/2009
    The entire experience was wonderful. From the lovely arts and crafts architecture, attentive and friendly service to the fabulous food, I highly recommend Chez Panisse. Be sure to take a brief tour of the stunning kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dinner was lovely: the service
    LunchgoerVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2009
    Dinner was lovely: the service was especially wonderful. I was wary because the announced menu makes no provision for vegetarians, but I had called ahead and was assured this was no problem. Often enough, that's a lie! But there was indeed a special menu. Preparations tend to be simple: the aesthetic favors a limited number of flavors (a very small number of herbs per preparation, for instance) and low acidity. In the background, salt and fats; in the foreground, careful reductions, often enough by oven. In sum, the food was extremely well prepared. The wine list is not huge but extremely well selected. Not a dud on the list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a dining adventure
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/22/2009
    Always a dining adventure with their nightly change of their restaurant menu. A wonderful experience and friendly staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was my anniversary and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/14/2009
    It was my anniversary and I expected a little bit more. Since I went on Bastille Day I was ready to try a little something different. In this case different was not good. I waited a long time to finally eat downstairs and regrettably it was not worth the wait. I think I will stick with upstairs from now on.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We were given a gift certificate
    Madge
    Dined on 7/10/2009
    We were given a gift certificate for this restaurant; without that, we would probably never have tried it despite its outstanding reputation - the location isn't exactly convenient, parking would be a serious problem, and previous experiences at 5-star restaurants have left us cynical about the kind of welcome we might receive. Golly, were we wrong! The food was fantastic - despite some trepidation about a fixed menu, we found everything well prepared and delicious. All of the service staff were helpful, considerate, and informative without a hint of condescension or pretentiousness - what one might find at the neighborhood restaraunt visited every week. We'll definitely go back - for a special occasion Chez Panisse is without equal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect in a way I didn't
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/9/2009
    Perfect in a way I didn't know food could be, closer really to a religious experience. You really have to eat here to believe it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One o f the best meals I've
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/10/2009
    One o f the best meals I've ever had. I knew that what Chez Panisse pioneered in regard to the freshest of food was special, but you really really can taste the difference. It was incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food is amazing and the
    007bond
    Dined on 6/2/2009
    The food is amazing and the service is very good! Keep up the good work!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Frankly, I was quite disappointed.
    LVFoodSnobVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2009
    Frankly, I was quite disappointed. Chez Panisse had always been ranked so high in the Zagat ratings, so I was looking forward to giving it a try. The food was very good, near excellent. However, the service was so bad, that it actually distracted from the food(for example--it would be nice to know that fish had bones in it! When the host asked us if our waiter told us, he seemed a little surprised when we said no). Our waiter knew nothing about wine--how to talk about or sell it. Wine parings were not published, so you had to guess what they would be and how much they would cost. Also, we were a little more than perturbed when 17% was automatically added to the bill, and the waiter didn't even tell us. I wish we could have left 10%!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • In Berkeley for meetings,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/18/2009
    In Berkeley for meetings, I was a solo diner at Chez Panisse. I had a good table and impeccable service. The food was as fine as I had been led to believe. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Flawless as usual. Just goes
    shep77VIP
    Dined on 5/16/2009
    Flawless as usual. Just goes to show you that food does not have to be fancy in order to taste superb! Gracious and attentive staff always a pleasure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I have been to many of America's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/13/2009
    I have been to many of America's top restaurants. Having heard about Chez Panisse for years, and knowing the reputation it has I couldn't pass up the opportunity dine there recently. The occasion was dinner with a very good friend. Many establishments have a difficult time living up to their lofty status. Not Chez Panisse. The food was marvelous and the service was both very professional and personal. It is one of the finest meals I have ever had. I will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My dining experience was excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/30/2009
    My dining experience was excellent. We had a great time and enjoyed all courses tremendously. Thank you. The servers were very friendly, helpful, and kind.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was excellent! I
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/28/2009
    The food was excellent! I love the warm interior. We ate in the downstairs area
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Sometimes, the Emperor has
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/20/2009
    Sometimes, the Emperor has fewer clothes than everyone assumes. Our first experience downstairs at Chez Panisse was good -- but surely not the transformative experience that the woman at the table next to us was having. Squid with fava beans, followed by quail roasted on fig branches, finishing with chocolate molleaux. All very nice, perhaps worth the prix fixe. The primary server was friendly but busy, and the secondary server was inaudible as she explained the origins of our bread. We poured our own wine from the bottle. In all, good food, but when we return it will be to the Cafe upstairs -- for a little more flexibility in the menu and to let the older Panisse fanatics downstairs remain convinced of their extraordinary meals.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The superb food was matched
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/16/2009
    The superb food was matched by equally attentive service. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Our dining experience was a positive one in every way.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Meal preparation & taste were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/16/2009
    Meal preparation & taste were excellent. Service was friendly and attentive. I highly recommend asking for a wine flight / pairing to accompany the fixed menu. Cheers!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I had high expectations going
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/16/2009
    I had high expectations going in, but Chez Panisse met and exceeded all of them. This was truly the best meal of my life.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A-M-A-Z-I-N-G FOOD AND SERVICE.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/13/2009
    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G FOOD AND SERVICE. WHAT A TREAT/EXPERIENCE....TRUE DINING!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One big downer was the long
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/13/2009
    One big downer was the long wait despite the reservation we made. We waited for at least 25 minutes. We stood at the bar upstairs (was busy but not bothersome) until we got seated. But we loved the ambiance at the restaurant. The food was delicious although did not fancy the dessert (Rhubarb with ice cream) as much. The starters and entree were excellent along with the service. There was vegetarian menu available for us. I am glad I called in advance with the request!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We went to the downstairs
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/9/2009
    We went to the downstairs restaurant and it was the most incredible meal I have ever had! I have been wanting to go to Chez Panisse for 10 years, ever since attending school at Berkeley, and my birthday was the occasion which prompted the visit. Our party had the suggested wine pairings with the meal, and it was simply amazing. I would highly recommend if going to the restaurant to spend the little bit extra for the wine pairings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was difficult to change
    BrunoBVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2009
    It was difficult to change the reservation from 6.00 to 6.30 because they claim to have only two seatings, 6.00 and 8.30, though they finally did. They claimed they were fully booked, but there were many empty tables at 9.30 when we left. This is probably due to the recession, but I would have appreciated greater flexibility. The food was excellent,but not outstanding, but the staff was somewhat slow. It uccurred to me that one could get as fine a meal at three other locations in Berkeley for exactly 1/3rd the price. It is a beautiful restaurant with great ambience, and it is marvelous to be able to look directly into the kitchen and see the preparation of food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We heard at Chex Panisse from
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/28/2009
    We heard at Chex Panisse from friends. I booked a reservation a few weeks ahead of my lady's and my birthdays. The only reservation that I was able to secure was late in the evening. Very Popular place! The atmosphere was very pleasant. Different than I expected! The entire staff was very friendly and helpful. The service afford us was superb. The ambiance romantic, cozy and eclectic. The service first rate, excellent, extremely attentive. The meal much different and better than I expected. I expected more of a health food type enviornment! The courses exquisite preperation and presentation elegant, and delicately served. I thanked the entire staff and my friends for the experience. Thank you
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Having read and heard about
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/24/2009
    Having read and heard about Chez Panisse for years I was a little apprehensive that my expectations were way too high. I need not have worried. The Realities of Restaurant, Food and especially the People more than lived up their reputation. How they manage to deliver unobtrusive, friendly and constant service is an art I'd like to study more closely. So, yes, I'll be going back, with or without an excuse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a lovely time. The
    GoMoreOften
    Dined on 3/19/2009
    We had a lovely time. The food was terrific, innovative, and fun. We are both inspired to go back to My Bombay Kitchen and find ways to replicate our meal. Our server was dandy. The chef came out to chat - what more could you ask? The garlands of flowers were tastefully done. It was a delightful surprise to run into someone we knew eating at the restaurant that night. Added a nice note of belonging.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate