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. 1951 Coffee Company

    $ | Downtown | Café

    Taking its name from the 1951 Refugee Convention at which the United Nations first set guidelines for refugee protections, 1951 Coffee Company...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Cheese Board Pizza

    $ | North Berkeley | Pizza

    A jazz combo often entertains the line that usually snakes down the block outside Cheese Board Pizza; it's that good. The cooperatively owned...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Comal

    $ | Downtown | Mexican

    Relaxed yet trendy, Comal's cavernous indoor dining space and intimate back patio and firepit draw a diverse, decidedly casual crowd for creative...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Fish

    $$ | Seafood

    Unsurprisingly, fish—specifically, fresh, sustainably caught fish—is the focus at this gleaming dockside fish house a mile north of downtown...Read More

  • 8. Hamburgers Sausalito

    $ | Burger

    Patrons queue up daily outside this tiny street-side shop for organic Angus beef patties that are made to order on a wheel-shaped grill. Brave...Read More

  • 9. Hog Island Oyster Co. Marshall Oyster Farm and the Boat Oyster Bar

    $$ | Seafood

    Take a short trek north on Highway 1 to the gritty mecca of Bay Area oysters—the Hog Island Marshall Oyster Farm. For a real culinary adventure...Read More

  • 10. Ippuku

    $$ | Downtown | Japanese

    More Tokyo street chic than standard sushi house, this izakaya— the Japanese equivalent of a bar with appetizers—is decked with bamboo-screen...Read More

  • 11. 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 serves rustic...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Luna Blu

    $$ | Italian

    Friendly, informative staff serve Sicilian-inspired seafood in this lively Italian restaurant just a stone's throw from the ferry. Recent renovations...Read More

  • 14. Manresa

    $$$$ | Contemporary

    Los Gatos is home to one of the country's finest restaurants, David Kinch's three-Michelin-starred Manresa, which serves an exceptional nightly...Read More

  • 15. Osteria Stellina

    $$ | Italian

    Chef-owner Christian Caiazzo's menu of "Point Reyes Italian" cuisine puts an emphasis on showcasing hyperlocal ingredients like Marin-grown...Read More

  • 16. Pizza Molina

    $$ | Contemporary

    A cozy and clean aesthetic, a convivial vibe, and impeccable pizza from a wood-fired oven are central to this neighborhood spot. Chef Justin...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Sam's Chowder House

    $$$ | Seafood

    This East Coast–style waterfront seafood joint may not be textbook Cape Cod, but that's okay—dine here, and you'll get the best of both coasts...Read More

  • 19. 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

  • 20. 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

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