Chez Panisse is a bucket-list restaurant that everyone should go to once, but for return trips, our first choice is Chez Panisse Cafe. This place is upstairs from the mothership restaurant and unlike downstairs, it’s much easier to get a reservation at because it hasn’t reached near-mythic status (yet). Also unlike downstairs, the menu up here is a la carte, so you’re not stuck with whatever they’re serving on the tasting menu with no other options. The food is as close to perfect as you can get with things like pizzas with salt cod mousse, incredible lamb, and chocolate cake that we want at our birthday parties for the rest of our lives. And that’s an option too because it’s much more affordable up here and absolutely worth crossing the bay for if you live in SF.
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Mise En Place Kitchen
Mise En Place Kitchen in Downtown Berkeley is a cafe serving soups, salads, sandwiches, and incredible tartines.
La Mission is a small, festive restaurant in Berkeley that does comforting Mexican food in big portions.
Gregoire in Berkeley is a tiny, takeout-only spot where you can get perfect picnic food.
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Chubby Noodle’s North Beach location is a great place for a group dinner or bottomless dim sum brunch.
21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant
Head to 21st Amendment Brewery after work or before a game for great beer and solid food.
Bob’s Donuts in Nob Hill is open 24 hours a day, so you can get a donut whenever you really need one.
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Rich Table is a restaurant in Hayes Valley that, no matter how many times you go, will always surprise you in the best way possible.
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