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. Hog Island Oyster Co. Marshall Oyster Farm & 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Corso

    $$$ | North Berkeley | Italian

    This lively spot serves up a seasonal menu of excellent Tuscan cuisine and Italian wines in a sparse but snazzy space. The open kitchen dominates...Read More

  • 12. Due West

    $$$ | American

    Award-winning chef Jonathan Pfluege brings local, sustainable culinary provisions to this classic Point Reyes tavern, a popular horse-and-wagon...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Le Garage

    $$$ | French

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

  • 18. Luna Blu

    $$$ | Italian

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

  • 19. Parkside Cafe

    $$$ | American

    The Parkside is popular for its 1950s beachfront snack bar, but the adjoining café, coffee bar, marketplace, and bakery shouldn't be missed...Read More

  • 20. Picco

    $$$ | American

    In an ivy-covered, redbrick building, the creative crew at Picco's serves fantastically original food comprised of local seasonal ingredients...Read More

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