The Bay Area Restaurants

The Bay Area is home to popular, innovative restaurants such as Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Commis in Oakland—for which reservations must be made well in advance. Expect an emphasis on locally grown produce, hormone-free meats, and California wines. Many Marin cafés don't serve dinner, and dinner service ends on the early side. (No 10 pm reservations in that neck of the woods.)

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  • 1. Brown Sugar Kitchen

    $$ | Uptown | American

    Distinguished chef Tanya Holland dishes up soul food flavored by her African American heritage and French culinary training. This bright, airy...Read More

  • 2. Chez Panisse Café & Restaurant

    $$$$ | North Berkeley | Modern American

    Alice Waters's legendary eatery, the birthplace of California cuisine, first opened its doors on August 28, 1971. It's still known for a passionate...Read More

  • 3. Commis

    $$$$ | Piedmont | American

    A slender, unassuming storefront houses the first East Bay restaurant with a Michelin star (two of them, in fact). The room is minimalist and...Read More

  • 4. Luka's Taproom & Lounge

    $$ | Uptown | American

    Hip and urban, with an unpretentious vibe, Luka's is a real taste of Uptown with its Belgian-inspired California comfort food and plentiful...Read More

  • 5. Sam's Anchor Cafe

    $$ | American

    Open since 1920, this beloved dockside restaurant is the town's most famous eatery, and after 99 years, a bright remodel includes floor-to-ceiling...Read More

  • 6. Sand Dollar Restaurant

    $$ | American

    Constructed from three barges that were floated over from Tiburon in the 1920s, this family-owned restaurant still attracts wayfarers from Muir...Read More

  • 7. Saul's

    $ | North Berkeley | American

    High ceilings and red-leather booths add to the friendly, retro atmosphere of Saul's deli, a Berkeley institution that is well known for its...Read More

  • 8. Side Street Kitchen

    $ | American

    Rotisserie meats and veggies sourced from local farms steal the show at this former mid-20th-century truck stop and diner. It's a go-to for...Read More

  • 9. Station House Café

    $$ | American

    Relocated to the space where the restaurant originally opened its doors in 1974, the Station House Café has been a stalwart venue for local...Read More

  • 10. Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

    $$ | American

    Exposed brick walls, maps of Louisiana, ceiling fans, and New Orleans music create a festive atmosphere at Angeline's. Specialties include Voo...Read More

  • 11. Balboa Café

    $$$ | American

    With intimate lighting, rich wood accents, and fresh-pressed white linens, this modern California café offers an upscale dining experience complete...Read More

  • 12. Bar Bocce

    $$ | American

    Nothing elevates wood-fired food more than beachside tables and a blazing fire pit ... except maybe a game of bocce. Modern Californian cuisine...Read More

  • 13. Bette's Oceanview Diner

    $ | 4th Street | Diner

    Checkered floors, vintage burgundy booths, and an old-time jukebox set the scene at this retro-chic diner in the heart of Berkeley's fashionable...Read More

  • 14. Buckeye Roadhouse

    $$$ | American

    House-smoked meats and fish, grilled steaks, classic salads, and decadent desserts bring locals and visitors back again and again to this 1937...Read More

  • 15. Bungalow 44

    $$ | American

    An open, well-lit space with booths and countertop seating from which diners can watch the cooks in action sets the scene at this lively eatery...Read More

  • 16. Chop Bar

    $$ | Jack London Square | American

    The walls and tables are made of reclaimed wood at this small, stylish roadside gathering space whose knowing, tattooed bartenders serve potent...Read More

  • 17. Coast Cafe

    $$ | American

    Decked out in a nautical theme with surfboards and buoys, the Coast serves weekend brunch and dependably good American lunch and dinner fare...Read More

  • 18. Duarte's Tavern

    $$ | American

    Though it periodically catches the attention of the national press, this 19th-century family-run roadhouse—say DOO-arts—continues to serve simple...Read More

  • 19. Due West

    $$ | American

    A convivial atmosphere and local, sustainable culinary provisions keep this classic Point Reyes tavern a favorite stop among locals. Refurbished...Read More

  • 20. Gather

    $ | Downtown | Modern American

    All things local, organic, seasonal, and sustainable reside harmoniously under one roof at Gather. This haven for vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores...Read More

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