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. 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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Lalime's

    $$$ | North Berkeley | Mediterranean

    Inside a charming flower-covered house, this restaurant serves dishes that reflect the entire Mediterranean region. The menu, constantly changing...Read More

  • 7. Le Garage

    $$$ | French

    Brittany-born Olivier Souvestre serves traditional French bistro fare in a relaxed, bayside setting that feels more sidewalk café than the converted...Read More

  • 8. Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant

    $$$$ | Rockridge | Italian

    Some of Oakland's finest chefs have come through the ranks of this locally renowned eatery that anchors Market Hall in the Rockridge neighborhood...Read More

  • 9. Rick & Ann's

    $ | Claremont | American

    Haute comfort food and childhood favorites are the focus at this charming dining nook across from the Claremont hotel. Mac and cheese and free...Read More

  • 10. Rivoli

    $$$ | North Berkeley | Modern American

    Italian-inspired dishes using fresh California ingredients star on a menu that changes regularly. Inventive offerings are served in a Zen-like...Read More

  • 11. Wood Tavern

    $$$$ | Rockridge | American

    Expect a warm welcome and a lively atmosphere at this longtime Rockridge favorite. A neighborhood gem in the truest sense, Wood Tavern serves...Read More

  • 12. Camino

    $$$$ | Grand Lake | American

    Russell Moore cooked at Chez Panisse for two decades before he and Allison Hopelain opened this restaurant, which focuses on simple, seasonal...Read More

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