Chez Panisse is a legend. There's a reason it sparked culinary revolution and changed the way the Bay Area — and America — eats.
Furnished with a full bar, restaurant, dining area, pool table, and a lounge with a spacious dance floor and an elevated DJ booth, Luka’s is chic, but not intimidatingly so. The lounge features rotating art exhibits and an all-star DJ lineup every week. Admission is often free, but expect to pay a $5 or $10 on weekends. Enjoy specials like half-priced bottles of wine (Sundays) or dollar oysters (Mondays) and listen to a variety of music, from funk to punk and bhangra to be-bop. Luka’s draws a diverse crowd that’s ready to dance, so arrive early on Wednesdays for reggae dancehall music.
Operated by the owner of La Note, the cafe features salads, sandwiches, organic coffees, and sweet and savory pastries, served in a traditional French ambiance with a modern twist.
A Cote isn't necessarily a secret: It's been known as one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area for years,collecting accolades from Bon Appentit, Esquire, and The New York Times for its exquisite small plates. If the danger of visiting tapas restaurants is that your bill fills up long before your stomach, the secret is to visit A Cote for late drinks and order a couple of iteams a la carte, like the famous mussels or the pommes frites.
Although it first opened as a bakery and cafe, Barkada is now a full-service sit-down restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including sandwiches (served on its house-made bread), salads, and more.
Berkeley's Cafe Rouge is a classic Californian restaurant, complete with organic vegetables and sustainably raised meats, a wood-fired oven, and smooth and efficient service. Chef-owner Marsha McBride and executive chef Rick DeBeaord create deceptively simple food, but imbue even their hamburgers with juicy, meaty love.
This sleek Old Oakland wine-and-whiskey bar boasts gorgeous design, a mind-bogglingly huge menu, and some of the best bar food around.