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Chez Panisse Restaurant

4.5
4.5
595 Reviews
$50 and over
Californian
Established in 1971, Chez Panisse was opened in homage to the comedy and informality of classic Italian films with a character of the same name. In an effort to mimic a dinner party hosted at home, Chez Panisse pays great attention to detail and creates a unique four-course meal appropriate to the season and featuring fresh fine ingredients. The menu changes daily and no two weeks have the same menu. Guests are invited to return often and try the new and exciting dishes Chez Panisse chefs create. Some possible menu items include duck leg with savoy cabbage, potato gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms or sheep�s milk ricotta with chicories, walnuts persimmon and balsamico.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Fine Dining

  • Cuisines

    Californian, Organic, Mediterranean

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 8:45pm, Friday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 9:15pm

  • Phone number

    (510) 548-5525

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Alice Waters

  • 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

  • Neighborhood

    Berkeley

  • Cross street

    Cedar Street

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Public transit

    Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse. <br /><br />AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station<br />AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 595 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.5
4.5 based on all time ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. OW

    OliviaW

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 13, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Have been wanting to go to Chez Panisse for a long time and I finally made it. Totally worth the wait. The food and the service are awesome! Definitely plan to come back again.
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 12, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Superb food. Impeccable, attentive but not-constantly-interrupting service.
  3. CA

    ChristopherA

    New England

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 1, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chez Panisse is the best restaurant I have ever been to. Even coming in with high expectations, I still found myself blown away. Literally everything was perfect. The food was fresh and delicious, the service was impeccable, the wine pairings were fantastic. Obviously it's pricey, but it's well worth every cent.
  4. J

    Judyp

    Jacksonville

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on July 1, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chez Panisse lived up to its reputation. Beautiful setting and innovative food. The chef even catered to my food allergy and the change in ingredients did not compromise my selections. This is a must do experience for foodies. Despite its reputation the service is personal and without airs. The food is innovative and the chef continues to strive for excellence. Never stuffy but always friendly.
  5. P

    Phreddiva

    San Francisco

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on June 29, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chez Panisse is everything you've heard it is. Spend your rent money on it. It's unicorns and puppies and everything nice. It's your long-lost parent finally coming back from the store from getting a pack of smokes 20 years ago and letting you know they've amassed your fortune and you'll never have to work again. It's one of those weird gel mattresses covered in plush faux fur with a massage underneath. It's incredible. It's amazing. The courses will arrive, perfectly timed, and you won't know that you're slower than everyone else in the restaurant because no one will indicate a rush. We were there for over three hours. It was glorious. Every moment. There's one menu a day, which I didn't know. I thought we were getting appetizers and choosing our mains. I am apparently a pleb. The bread was delicious, and yet, we somehow didn't fill up on it. The starter sparkling wine was elderflower and peach leaf and made from the cry-laughing tears of angels. The Halibut Salmon course was delicate and so light it floated on the tongue. The lasagna, which was the dish I was going to order, was somehow delicate and hearty at once, with truffle. The lamb... must literally have been Mary's Little Lamb. I have never tasted anything like it. Who knows what you'll get. It's amazing. The service is fantastic, attentive, and not intrusive. Born and raised in the Bay Area, I've always wondered what all the fuss is about. Now I know. We'll go back every year.
  6. MB

    MikeB

    Portland

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 28, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Well it's Chez Panisse so if you get a chance to go to the restaurant you really should. I'm absolutely not a foodie (that'd be my wife) so I won't try to describe the meal but I like good food. What they do is incredible, the service is flawless. It's that perfect blend of unpretentious class that allows you to relax and enjoy amazing food with friends without worrying if you can pick up the bones so no morsel of that oh my god this is the best thing I've every eaten quail goes to waste (of course I did). Do it. Seriously.
  7. SV

    SamV

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 28, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chez Panisse is an institution. My expectations were very high, and I was not disappointed: it's easy to see how this style of food changed the game.
  8. L

    Lynne

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 22, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chez Panisse continues to be my favorite restaurant for a special occasion. This was my third visit "downstairs". Everything about the meal was outstanding: food, ambiance, service. The food is carefully prepared, but not pretentious. I have to admit that I was disappointed when I read the menu for the evening and the entree was duck. I have never liked duck, but after eating this succulent grilled duck breast I am a convert. The entire staff is so knowledgeable and approachable, but not overbearing. The entire evening was delightful.
  9. ST

    SamT

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 20, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful. Truly amazing dining experience. Absolutely worth it.
  10. JM

    JohnM

    Minneapolis

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 17, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of our most memorable meals of food and wine parings.
  11. S

    Sk69

    San Francisco

    13 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2016

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    It's very hot in the restaurant. It can be uncomfortable.
  12. B

    Buddy

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2016

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    This was my first visit to Chez Panisse. Very positive experience ! Exceptional quality of food. Innovative and interesting selections of product. The dessert was heavenly !! Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Ms. Waters was in the kitchen for a brief visit with her staff. I am disappointed that she couldn't find her way into the dining area to greet her guests.
  13. s

    skypriority

    Cincinnati

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on June 14, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious and famous, Chez Panisse did not disappoint. My wife and I enjoyed the prix fixe menu and wine tasting accompaniment for our first month wedding anniversary. We loved it from the beginning, with the beautiful architecture and plants outside, to the final decadent dessert that was decorated with a printed anniversary note. The service staff was attentive and thoughtful and not pushy at all. We love their emphasis on freshness and variety and elegance.
  14. MW

    MarshalW

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 14, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our whole party's first visit to Chez Panisse and it couldn't have been better. The food was fantastic and just the right amount, the wine was fairly priced for a restaurant of this caliber and the service was fantastic.
  15. CC

    ConstanceC

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2016

    overall4food4service3ambience5
    We were impressed during our first visit about 5 years ago. Now the experience felt over priced. The food was prepared well.
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 9, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic service and ambiance. We will definitely be back!
  17. L

    Leoatl

    Atlanta

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on June 9, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Can't express how wonderful of a meal and experience it was. Never knew duck breast or a host of other ingredients tasted that amazing. Reaffirms that ingredients and sourcing of ingredients matter and in the hands of craftsman, it can lead to something special. Evening was topped off by Alice Waters giving us a few minutes of her time while we toured the kitchen. She was gracious and of course that was the creme de la creme of the night. Can't wait to return.
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 7, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I have my birthday at Chez Panisse every year and it actually makes me look FORWARD to getting a year older! Plus I dream about their hand-rolled raviolis for 364 days afterward.
  19. MW

    MazenW

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 1, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, like visiting somebodies home
  20. A

    Alfeir

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 20, 2016

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    This is my third time with my daughter , this time it was her graduation , we always had a great dining experience .and lucky to find a reservation , thank you open table.
  21. SG

    SG145

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 19, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The best fine dining experiences I've had. The service was exceptional and the food was delicious.
  22. BN

    BeccaN

    San Francisco

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on May 18, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I've been wanting to try Chez Panisse for years now, and finally had a chance to make it there. We made reservations a month in advance, and I was so excited to see what the menu was that I checked it every week, knowing that they don't post the menu until the week before. When the Monday before our reservation came, I was so ecstatic to finally know what I'll be having, and boy, was I excited when I read the menu. We got there about 10 minutes before our 8:30 reservation (parking gods were good to us that day). When we were seated, we started with a port and crab crostini. I don't remember exactly what kind of port it was, but it was sweet and fruity. The crab crostini was just amazing, I wanted more. Our first course was a shaved porcini mushroom and endive salad with Meyer lemon, parsley and Parmesan cheese. The dressing was so light and refreshing. Next was a grilled Halibut in a fig leaf with fennel, becurre blanc, cucumbers, and fried capers. Again, the sauce was so light and refreshing. The halibut was grilled perfectly, and the fried capers really made the course come together. The main course was duck 2 ways - roasted breast and braised leg, with parsnip puree. I wasn't a fan of the roasted breast, I thought it was too chewy, but the braised leg was delicious. The meat just fell off the bone. Lastly for dessert, it was almond cake was lemon verbena ice cream and strawberries. The almond cake was just absolutely amazing, but they only served a small piece of it. I kept craving for more. All in all, the experience was very nice. Our server was very attentive and answered any questions we had. We were allowed to visit the kitchen, which was pretty cool. There wasn't really much to look at by the time we finished, but I'm sure if you went during the rush of dinner time it would've been cool to watch the chefs prepare dinner. I would definitely recommend Chez Panisse for a special occasion.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 18, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    As advertised. Amazing in every way. Toured the kitchen, people were friendly and explained the tasks they were doing there. Of course this is highly recommended.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 16, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Both foods and service were excellent! I've heard that it is difficult to make a reservation for this restaurant. But OpenTable enable us to do it. Thanks!
  25. PL

    PaulL

    Sacramento

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a fabulous dinner! Great food and service to match!
  26. A

    Arlingtonian

    Washington DC

    88 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    88 reviews

    Dined on May 10, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Others have said it so many times and in so many ways that this review is likely superfluous, but Chez Panisse continues to turn out exquisite food in a warm inviting setting. A goat cheese "pudding" was meltingly delicious; poached salmon in a nage was a textbook demonstration of how simple preparation of prime ingredients can soar to great heights; and rarely have I had duck breast as perfect as the version we were served here. Service was warm, efficient and charming. The room is a temple of "arts and crafts" decor. If you can afford it pout this on your bucket list.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 9, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life. It lived up to all my expectations and then some.
  28. MW

    MikeW

    Raleigh

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on April 30, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went to Chez Panisse for a special occasion. While visiting my daughter, who is a PhD student at UCB. She had just been awarded a NSF fellowship and also passed her qualifying exam and it was also my wife's birthday. My daughter is somewhat allergic to seafood and when I made my reservation online I left a note regarding that in hopes they would have a different entree the night of our reservation. They called me and said they were it planning on a seafood entree that night but we're going to have crab in the appetizer, and I said that would be fine my wife and could eat her appetizer. When we were seated 2 weeks later on the evening of our reservation our server informed us they had prepared a special appetizer for her that had no crab. That was unexpected and shows the level of customer service they have. Of course the food was very very good. The wine, cappuccino, and dessert as well. It was rather expensive, as expected. I would recommend it but be prepared to spend more than you think especially if you order wine, coffee, or other drinks.
  29. B

    Bond

    San Francisco

    79 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    79 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It had been a long time since we last went to Chez Panisse. Everything was outstanding. My quibble is that the portion size seems small for the price.
  30. LR

    LisaR

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 20, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent cannot find better. Food is fantastic . Would highly recommend
  31. R

    maryR

    San Francisco

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chez Panisse was gracious about substitutions for the gluten-intolerant and vegetarians. We had a lovely meal that made us feel pampered by the special service we received and the delicious food. One of our group called it "perfect."
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 11, 2016

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    We thoroughly enjoyed our meal the other evening. My dining companion and I enjoyed the Monday menu greatly, and the wine pairings were really well chosen. The service was attentive, casual, and really great. They let us enjoy our date and not worry about service, which is always lovely. The only thing that stayed with me was the value - I had always felt like Monday evenings were a good value downstairs, but wine+menu pushed it well north of one-hundred per person, which broke a barrier for me when one considers the multitude of tasting menus in the bay area. Of course, will be back again, but maybe just stick with a late night snack upstairs.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 5, 2016

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    The place was excellent! We had a wonderful experience. The food was fabulous, specially the crab cakes. The soup and greens were outstanding!
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 5, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I booked this reservation for my mother and close family and friends they were overly pleased with the food and service!
  35. s

    suba

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 1, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    All four courses were really excellent but my favorites were the Dungeness crab salad with Meyer Lemon vinaigrette and chervil and the Fava bean risotto with fried sage and La Quercia ham. The interesting combinations of foods and herbs led to a delicious blend of flavors. The service was excellent, professional, attentive yet friendly and not overbearing. Our friends eat gluten-free and they had called ahead to let the restaurant know. With each plate that was served, they were told what was left out or was substituted to make sure their dish was gluten-free, yet just as delicious.
  36. KN

    KimNYC

    New York Area

    26 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2016

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Being a foodie and longtime admirer of the chef I was so excited to eat here. I must be honest and say it was a bit of a let down. The atmosphere and service was wonderful and the little details such as fresh churned butter impressive. The food was of course very good but not the "wow" I had hoped for. Perhaps it was our menu that night but it was, dare I say, a bit bland. Our entire group of six expected, given the restaurant's history and reputation, to have those "oh, my God" melt in your mouth moments and the meal just didn't deliver that. And when you spend $1000 for dinner one would expect it. Happy I went and experienced Chez Panisse but I don't think I would go again.
  37. F

    Francophile

    Los Angeles

    28 reviews

    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    30 years ago, I was a regular (every other Friday night) at Chez Panisse downstairs. My life has changed and I seldom get there these days. But, I was delighted with the food, the servers, the ambiance last Wednesday night. It's amazing that the quality has remained that good, that long. Bravo, Alice and crew!
  38. s

    sbayursbites

    Denver

    26 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on March 17, 2016

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    The food was good, but a bit (just) inconsistent. They did get me with the smoked cod salad-really good, but my quail was under cooked some. I watched the gentleman grill all the portions and he was watching, but there were a lot of them to cook. The service was over the top amazing. They took time and understood everything, I was seriously impressed. It was a bit pricy north of $300 for two people. We'll definitely do it again, but this is a special occasion place.
  39. N

    Neeneenee

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 7, 2016

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    My intent was to reserve for upstairs (Cafe), but when I arrived I was informed that my reservation was for downstairs, which is considerably pricier. Open Table declined my request for an 8 pm reservation and assigned 8:30, which I assumed would be for upstairs. Upstairs couldn't take my party for an hour, and I wasn't going to be unpleasant, but this was a snafu and would've been a deal-breaker for some people. Fortunately the food and wine downstairs were pretty much flawless and the service both impeccable and friendly. Two in our group are hard of hearing and we found ourselves next to a very rambunctious group, but that couldn't really be helped. Open Table should be clear about whether reservations are for upstairs or down. Perhaps I overlooked something -- I'll check.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 3, 2016

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    Food, very simply, done well. My husband and I have been to other higher end, much more expensive restaurants in SF and Napa and they cannot even come close to chez Panisse. Although white line tables, the atmosphere felt relaxed; not stuffy or uncomfortable. The food was absolutely fabulous....presentation, freshness, etc. my husband, mr foodie himself and self proclaimed home chef, said he was so glad that we ate downstairs and had the 4 course dinner. He said otherwise he probably would not have selected some of the dishes served and was so surprised at how much he liked them. this is one of the few higher end restaurants we have gone to that my husband loved and has promised that we will be eating here frequently. His only complaint was that he felt the servers were a little too attentive.....

FAQs

Chez Panisse Restaurant is rated 4.5 stars by 595 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Cedar Street

  • Neighborhood

    Berkeley

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 8:45pm, Friday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 9:15pm

  • Cuisines

    Californian, Organic, Mediterranean

  • Dining style

    Fine Dining

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Public transit

    Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse. AC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART stationAC Transit bus connection or taxi at BART station

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Alice Waters

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (510) 548-5525

  • 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

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