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.
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 do
The Bay Area is home to popular, innovative restaurants such as Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Commis in Oakland—for which

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

    $ | West Oakland | American

    Influenced by Tanya Holland's African American heritage and French culinary education, the menu at this bustling little West Oakland dining...Read More

  • 2. La Note

    $$ | Downtown | French

    A charming taste of Provence in a 19th-century locale with stone floors, country tables, and a seasonal flowering patio, La Note's rustic French...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Shakewell

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    Two Top Chef vets opened this stylish Lakeshore restaurant, which serves creative and memorable Mediterranean small plates in a lively setting...Read More

  • 5. Side Street Kitchen

    $$ | American

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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Bette's Oceanview Diner

    $ | 4th Street | American

    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

  • 8. Bridgeway Cafe

    $ | Café

    The view's the thing at this diner-café on the main drag across the road from the bay. People line up on weekends for great traditional breakfast...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Calavera

    $$$ | Uptown | Mexican

    This Oaxacan-inspired hot spot offers inventive and elevated plates in an industrial-chic space with lofty ceilings, warm wooden tables, exposed...Read More

  • 11. Cetrella

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    The coast at its most dressed up, Cetrella is all polished wood and pressed tablecloths, and it hits every mark: adventurous wine list, live...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Doña Tomás

    $$ | Temescal | Mexican

    A neighborhood favorite with bright red walls, authentic Mexican artwork, and a festive outdoor patio, this sunny spot in Oakland's Temescal...Read More

  • 15. Dyafa

    $$$ | Jack London Square | Middle Eastern

    Reem Assil, one of the Bay Area's best chefs, brings Arabic heritage flavors to Jack London Square at Dyafa, where hot and cold mezze dishes...Read More

  • 16. Equator Coffees and Teas

    $ | Café

    This is the prime spot for a pick-me-up (and people-watching) over a picturesque view of downtown Mill Valley and Mt. Tam. The owners are as...Read More

  • 17. Fast Food Français

    $$ | French

    F3 puts a French twist on classic American fast food and dishes up some French nibbles, too, in this casual bistro. The same folks who started...Read More

  • 18. Gather

    $$$ | Downtown | American

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

  • 19. Gaumenkitzel

    $$ | Downtown | German

    This convivial locale for organic, slow-food German fare is also the spot for the Bay Area's best variety of German beers. With dishes like...Read More

  • 20. Iyasare

    $$$ | 4th Street | Japanese

    Reservations are recommended at this 4th Street hot spot where the outdoor seating is ideal for people-watching and the Japanese country food...Read More

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