Chez Panisse

  • 1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
  • (510) 548-5072


Frances Nguyen Ha

Chez Panisse is the epitome of classic California cuisine. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients with a rustic French twist. The restaurant is lovely.


Chef Alice Waters started the farm-to-table movement in the 1970s, so I was thrilled to finally eat at her restaurant in Berkeley. The menu is set in the dining room, while a more extensive, casual menu is served upstairs in the cafe. We had a delicious lunch at the cafe. Everything was local and organic. Raw fish was served in lettuce cups to start. Handmade pasta was tossed with seasonal vegetables. While my husband is still raving about his duck leg confit. A Sonoma Zinfandel, since it was Zinfandel Week at the restaurant, was a perfect pairing. We skipped dessert, though from the reactions of the women sitting next to us, it was a mistake. Service was spot-on, as well. Donations for healthy school lunches are also accepted at the end of the meal. Foodie heaven!

Gilian H

One of the world's great restaurant legend--two miles from my house. EAT HERE! It wont break the bank. Eat the in the cafe upstairs--avoid the downstairs unless you want to spend a lot. Ask for our dear friend Jonno, who is the wine buyer and maitre di

Helena Smul

Beautiful and exclusive! Feels warm and cozy.
Delicious fancy food and excellent service makes this place an extraordinary experience.

Hila Harel

A unique experience! The restaurant is small and coast with old fashion decor ( but in a good way) this farm to table restaurant serve a changing fixed menu according to what is available in the farm. The food was amazing and overall experience great however the service was messy they knew what they had to do but it felt like they had an off night. However we had a great experience so 5 points

Lisa L

One of the top restaurants in the country, Alice Waters revolutionalize food, and through her actions, spearheaded the locavore movement

Mary D

Home of 'California cuisine'. Informal restaurant upstairs; formal several course dinner downstairs. Reservations far in advance needed for the latter.

Hana Nobel

Alice Waters is basically credited for starting the farm to table movement, and Chez Panisse is her headquarters and restaurant. It's a bit pricey, but UC Berkeley often take visiting families there who foot their bill. Monday night has the cheapest prix fixe menu of the week, but you can also eat more cheaply at the cafe. The menu changes weekly and it's hard to score a reservation, so book early.

Mansour T

One of the Best Restaurants in US, where someone like President Clinton visits often.

Tatiana O

Worth every penny you spend, ideal for graduation and special occasions. Make reservations well in advance of your date.

Anne Lowrey

Lives up to its name and then some. Dining here is a true experience. I take friends here who have eaten great meals all over the world -- there's still something about the freshness. the principles, and the heart behind everything on a plate here.

Marianne and Greg Miller

Expensive but FANTASTIC cuisine owner/chef renowned Alice Waters. reservations required, they start taking reservations 30 days out, if you call then you will be able to get in. There's the 'Cafe' which is more casual upstairs, downstairs is the Restaurant, more formal and expensive

Terri G

World Class dining started by Alice Waters. The cafe upstairs has lighter dishes, but reservations are recommended.

spice road

Request to walk into the kitchen, if you can. Impeccable! It's the warmest restaurant kitchen I've ever seen.

Mel S Wong

Fresh local ingredients, attentive service, comfortable and cozy dining room, how can this place not be on top of list of everyone's comfort food/sustainable dining place?!

Cathy M

Get reservations! This place is booked for good reason.

It is relatively expensive so consider booking lunch or the cafe upstairs instead of the regular restaurant.

***Note: Chez Panisse is remodeling after a recent fire. They have announced reopening in June. Have no fear; there are many other excellent restaurants in this part of Berkeley. It's known as the Gourmet Ghetto (emphasis on gourmet).

Chez Panisse is worth it, but if for whatever reason you don't get a reservation (or the price is too much) this street is lined with other high-end but affordable restaurants. Our favorite is the CheeseBoard, across the street from Chez Panisse.

The CheeseBoard is mostly a pizza place with insanely good pizza. Read their menu and you may find yourself salivating! Excellent prices too. It's what you get when a group of wildly talented chefs come together to make excellent pizza. Yum.

Gene Koh

My favorite restaurant of all time. Alice Waters is a master, and the food is always extremely fresh and delectably seasoned. Worth the wait for the upstairs cafe, or if you can plan ahead, go for the prix fixe menu downstairs.

Ally Wu

This is where California cuisine, known for its local and organic ingredients, started. I had known about Chez Panisse for a long time until I finally got a chance to have lunch there a couple of weeks ago. I ate at the upstairs Cafe which is more casual and you can order a la carte. My friend and I shared two starters: avocado, cucumber and mint salad and beef tartare. They were both superb, especially the salad, so bright and delightful, perfect for a warm summer day. For main course, I had pork shoulder which was full of Latin flavor and my friend had clam pasta. I have to say, I didn't love the main courses as much as I love the starters. However, the dessert turned out to be my favorite. We had the nectar tart with raspberry ice-cream. The ice-cream was to die for, full of intense creamy flavor and light at the same time. It tasted more like frozen yogurt to me. Overall, it was a great meal and I can't wait to try some other dishes.


Believe the hype, Chez Panisse is mind blowing. Their success lies in the use of fresh, local ingredients and straightforward cooking techniques that are expertly executed. If oven-roasted squid with leeks happens to be on the menu, I highly recommend trying it. The servers are knowledgable and more than happy to help you out with wine pairings and recommendations.

Megan L. Wood

You can eat upstairs in the cafe, which is more affordable than the restaurant downstairs, but still has delicious, local food by the mother of the slow food movement, Alice Waters.

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