For those who can’t afford the steep prices at the world-renowned Chez Panisse or get a reservation, the upstairs café is a good alternative. Unlike the dining room that serves only one daily prix fix, the café has a varied menu, which is helpful for people with dietary restrictions or picky eaters.
The highlight of the café may be the daily three-course pasta prix fixe for $26 a person. Start with a salad, organic no doubt, then a dish of house-made but meatless pasta, and finish with dessert.
Eating here can still be expensive because you are paying for the brand and the local, sustainable food, but the café is a more affordable option, especially with a prix fixe, to take parents or out-of-towners who want to see what Chez Panisse is all about.
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made a month in advance for the cafe.
1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley