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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Sushi Ran

    $$$ | Japanese

    Sushi aficionados swear that this tiny, stylish restaurant—in business for more than three decades—is the Bay Area's best option for raw fish...Read More

  • 7. 1951 Coffee

    $ | 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. César

    $$$ | North Berkeley | Spanish

    Spanish-inspired small plates and craft cocktails are served late at César, Berkeley's premier tapas spot. Couples spill out from street-level...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Guaymas

    $$ | Mexican

    This festive restaurant, steps from the ferry landing, has an expansive deck with a knockout view of the bay. The large open kitchen churns...Read More

  • 18. Le Cheval Restaurant

    $ | Old Oakland | Vietnamese

    This cavernous yet classy restaurant is a lunchtime favorite and a good place to sample pho, a classic Hanoi-style beef noodle soup fragrant...Read More

  • 19. Miss Ollie's

    $$ | Old Oakland | Caribbean

    Centrally located in the city's historic district, Miss Ollie's is a colorful Afro-Caribbean gem in Swan's Market that packs in mouthwatering...Read More

  • 20. Piazza D'Angelo

    $$ | Italian

    In the heart of downtown, busy D'Angelo's is known for its authentic and fresh pastas; there even are gluten-free options. Another draw is the...Read More

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