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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?



Recommended by: Jody Williams (Chef/Owner, Buvette)

Chef Russell Moore is a veteran of Chez Panisse, and it shows. His restaurant centers around farm-to-table, seasonal, California cuisine. However, he makes the cuisine his own by cooking everything over open fire. The menu isn’t large, with only three entree choices every night, but everything is seasonal, inventive, and delicious. Make a Reservation.


Chez Panisse

Recommended by: Jody Williams (Chef/Owner, Buvette)

Located in Berkeley, this organic, locavore heaven literally started it all when it comes to the inspiration behind California cuisine. Alice Waters founded Chez Panisse over forty years ago, creating relationships with local farmers and dairies, in an attempt to bring a more seasonal, local approach to cooking. Waters clearly succeeded, with Chez Panisse continually [...]



Recommended by: Nate Appleman (Finalist, The Next Iron Chef)

Commis is a culinary work of art with an ever-changing nightly course menu. Known for preparing and presenting each dish to perfection, this modern Oakland masterpiece is made for a nice night out with friends looking for a new experience. Make a Reservation.



Recommended by: Daniel Holzman (Co-Owner, The Meatball Shop)

Located in uptown Oakland, this small space is both a cozy, neighborhood gem and a sophisticated culinary escapade. The so-called “upscale diner” serves food with a Japanese flare—from the beef-tongue topped First Base Burger to the “salt and pepper Monterey squid”—and even boasts an elegant cocktail menu, featuring both a “classic gin fizz” and an [...]



Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto)

Swarmed nightly with pizza-lovers from all over the Bay Area, Pizzaiolo in Oakland is home to a fabled brick oven dishing out simple, fresh thin-crust pizzas that are worth the wait.  The backyard seating is prime on warm summer nights, and we hear you can’t let the pizza pies upstage the buttermilk fried chicken.