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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Mentioned in

MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

A legendary address among the foodie set, Alice Waters’ Arts and Crafts bungalow continues to flourish as the Bay Area’s temple of Californian cuisine....
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
PRICE RANGE
$25 - $100
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
CUISINES
French, American
FEATURES
Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (1,452)
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Traveller rating
905
232
142
60
27
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All reviews halibut lamb downstairs restaurant goat cheese note
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Reviewed 29 August 2022

Exceptional in every way. As expected. Take a look at their website to reserve as much as a month ahead of time for a chance to experience their tasting menu. I was not able to reserve initially, but they sent a note a few weeks...in when a table opened up, and they were all very accommodating with adjustments to that reservation a few days before we arrived.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 29 April 2022 via mobile

Flawless Service, impeccable but slightly unexciting food, wine pairings unexceptional The downstairs restaurant has a buzz with a window into the kitchen with an open fire. The food has a heavy emphasis on vegetables which I love, and the quality of the vegetables themselves was...fabulous. The vegetarian menu encompassed : A delightful farm egg starter followed by spaghetti with artichokes, and a grilled asparagus main were delicious but nothing so outstanding that I will reminisce over it in 5 years time. The dessert was too sweet and I didn’t finish it but the closing refreshing tea and treats were delicious. The wine pairings were not as good as anticipated and we regretted in retrospect not getting our own choices from the wine list. An experience which we enjoyed, but expensive for what is on offer. A better choice might well be to go to the Cafe. Service incidentally was thoughtful and understated.More

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed 16 March 2022

Chez Panisse has been closed for two years and was wondering if it could be just as good. It is even better. We went on the fourth day of reopening. Service was outstanding and the staff really seemed happy to be open and welcomed guest...liked they meant it. We were greeted with a glass of Prosecco with Seville orange. First course was a heavenly goat cheese soufflé. The halibut in a clear broth was cooked perfectly. I never order lamb in a restaurant because most do not know how to cook it but the lamb chops were out of this world and were served medium rare. You got three chops. The Apple galette with oranges and vanilla ice cream was so delicious. Each of the wine pairings were perfect. The meal ended with a spearmint tea and little treats. Congratulations to the staff for doing such a great job. The meal and service was flawless.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 22 February 2022

Unfortunately, when we visited Chez Panisse was only doing pre-order and pick up (no in-house dining), but the food was AMAZING nonetheless -- simple, and delicious we had the roast chicken. you have to order 48 hours in advance.

Date of visit: September 2021
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 10 July 2020

If you ask a Berkelerian, what is the best restaurant in Berkeley they'd probably say Chez Panisse? Chances are, those who give you this advice have never been to Chez Panisse. It is just the most famous restaurant in Berkeley, the first one that started...the farm-to-table movement, well known around the world, etc.etc. It is also known as the priciest restaurant in town, so people automatically assume it has to be the best. I was one of those people - I have recommended Chez Panisse to many out-of-towners, but I had not actually visited it. As I said earlier, it is a bit on the pricey side, so I was waiting for a special occasion. So, on our 10th. wedding anniversary, my husband and I made a reservation for Chez Panisse and expected to be blown away. Well, the problem with waiting for something too long, is that you build up expectations. The other problem is that you go to other places and discover plenty of other great restaurants in Berkeley, and you get used to certain standards. When the actual event happened, it was really underwhelming. First, we were sited at a very small table, with no elbow room, uncomfortably close to other people, and with no view of anything but another person's neck. Second, the portions were minuscule, as if the place was built for dwarfs. We expected to pay hundreds of dollars, but we didn't expect to go home hungry. The menu was limited, to say the least. The food was tasty, but not memorable. There was nothing that stood out, like texture or combination or presentation, or anything else. It was very...ordinary. The service was good, our waitress was very friendly and very fast. The people were very polite. The reservation was easy to make. So, would I recommend it to out-of-towners again? Probably yes, because it is the most famous restaurant in Berkeley, but would I eat there again? Probably not.More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 16 March 2020 via mobile

Really enjoyed the pre-fix menu this past Sat evening. The flavors and ingredients are spot on. The service is outstanding too. I visited Chez Panisse many years ago and found this most recent visit equally as good. The ambience is upscale but not stuffy, so...it’s very comfortable and inviting. Very likely to try the cafe upstairs.More

Date of visit: March 2020
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Reviewed 10 March 2020

We had a friend in from New York and thought that he would enjoy Chez Panisse as one of the original greats. Very disappointing. The staff fawned on regulars and ignored the rest of us. The food was boring even the normally very reliable vegetables....The waiter practically pushed us out to make his second seating. In a town with great restaurants, go elsewhere.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 5 March 2020

Had ski high expectations, but the restaurant fell flat. CRAZY expensive for what you get. Felt like I had entered the Mecca of Pretentiousness. Everything seemed like it was dipped in gold (price-wise.) Did not enjoy the menu that evening (it rotates based on what...they feel like serving). It was packed and I could not help but feel that I would have liked to have asked the tables around us if they enjoyed their dinners. I think the restaurant is over-hyped. Perhaps it was once much better...but our dinner was slight and seemed lazy. For $300+ for two people eating dinner, I expected more...and honestly would have preferred to have spent $40 and had a great burger from Barney's on Solano.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?6  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 23 February 2020

This is our third time at the cafe. As usual, the dinner was delicious. I had coq au vin, which unlike most coq au vin dishes, was served without any liquid. The chicken (leg and thigh of a normal sized chicken) had clearly been marinated...in red wine and was delicious. It was served with perfectly cooked carrots and spinach. My persimmon pudding was moist and flavorful. My husband and a friend had the lamb,which came with a yummy caper/garlic sauce. Another friend had the butternut squash ravioli, which was quite good. Usually ravioli has a thick pasta and hardly any filling. Here, the pasta was thin and tender and there was plenty of filling. Service, as always, was impeccable.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 21 February 2020

This is a popular restaurant in Berkeley and must rate well with a certain crowd, but there is nothing exceptional about it, in my opinion. We had a simple two-person lunch followed by a light dessert that we shared with only water served as a...beverage and the bill came to a whopping $126, not including tip! The food was presented well and made with fresh basic ingredients but was only average in taste. I have been to a number of good restaurants that fare much better without such exorbitant pricing. We do not plan a return visit.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 12 February 2020

I much prefer upstairs - more informal, you get to choose what you like - downstairs is chef's fixed price deal

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 12 February 2020

"Reliable" is the wrong word to apply to Chez Panisse Cafe, because it implies mediocrity and predictability. Well, the cafe is certainly not mediocre, and the only predictable quality is just that: its quality—of food, of setting, of service.

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?
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Reviewed 6 February 2020

Although some things have changed over the years, the food is always fresh and very good, the service attentive and the atmosphere warm and lively in the cafe. I haven't had as good an experience in the more expensive downstairs dining room.

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 3 February 2020

My 3rd trip over many years, and not sure what has happened to the food. Our green pasta with mushrooms was overcooked, oily and tasteless. The accompanying items were a relatively fancy mixed salad at best. The Scallops were fine, but nothing exceptional.

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 February 2020

At in the upstairs cafe. Food was simple, tasty, and deserves its reputation. Waitstaff was lovely and unobtrusive. Enjoyed the experience.

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Thelma Moody M
13 May 2019|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from gary1212015 | Reviewed this property |
Monday through Saturday 9-9:30 on its website. call for reservations
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Thelma Moody M
13 May 2019|
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Response from Kirk H | Reviewed this property |
Check web site or call them. Parking is the biggest problem. We went for lunch.
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Freedom789634
28 December 2018|
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Response from BakerStreetInn | Reviewed this property |
I am not positive, but I think at lunch, it was $30.00, but just call and ask! We had a $200.00 bottle of wine as we were celebrating two birthdays, so whatever it was, was worth it!
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CHEZ PANISSE, Berkeley - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5