You know how every third restaurant in the Bay Area says it serves “Californian cuisine”? You have Chez Panisse to thank for that. This restaurant started the whole let’s-use-local-produce thing back in the 1970s, and is still going strong. Chez Panisse is a prix-fixe situation that costs between $75 and $125 per person depending on the night, so it’s a great place to celebrate a special occasion. The menu changes a lot, but whatever you have will be fresh, seasonal, and excellent. It might not seem like an original concept anymore, but just remember that this is the place where it all started. And if you don’t want to do the full $100-ish menu, try eating at the cafe upstairs, where you can either order a la carte or do a less expensive daily menu.
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La Mission is a small, festive restaurant in Berkeley that does comforting Mexican food in big portions.
Tigerlily is an Indian restaurant and bar in North Berkeley with a small patio and interesting cocktails.
Emilia’s is the best pizza in the Bay Area. Getting it is a huge pain in the ass. But it is 100% worth it.
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Head to Il Pollaio in North Beach for a casual weeknight dinner and make sure to get the chargrilled chicken.
Fifth Arrow in Union Square is a bar and bowling alley with pizza that you’ll actually want to eat.
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