You can’t talk about East Bay dining without mentioning Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. Waters, often referred to as the godmother of Californian cuisine, opened up the seminal restaurant in 1971 with film producer Paul Aratow. When we talk about farm-to-table? She started that concept by emphasizing ingredients and direct relationships with local farmers, ranchers and dairies, as opposed to technique. But the East Bay truly offers the world in terms of culinary experiences. These are our East Bay Best Dinner winners for 2023, selected by our editors — look for our readers’ choice winner, selected by our audience.
Feature Photo: Homeroom Mac + Cheese
East Bay Dinner Map
Located in the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley Hills, Limewood serves regionally-sourced cuisine with an incredible ambience and unbeatable Bay views. Go for sunset to have an unforgettable dining experience. We recommend the baked oysters and halibut. Pro-tip, make sure to book in advance on Open Table, they do not accept walk in’s except for drinks and small bites on Friday’s and Saturday’s from 2:30pm to 4pm. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 4pm to 8pm Friday and Saturday 2:30pm to 9pm. limewoodrestaurant.com
Come for the lively atmosphere, stay for the chips and homemade guac. Comal has a great outdoor bar and patio with picnic tables and heaters to enjoy margaritas as long as you’d like. We recommend the fresh fish tacos and did we mention the chips and guac? Hours are 5:30pm to 10pm daily. comalberkeley.com
Multi-Michelin Star restaurant, Commis, specializes in new American cuisine. Chef James Syhabout’s curated multiple course menu is made up of innovative dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. For an unforgettable dining experience, Commis will blow you away. Make sure to make a reservation in advance, they do not take walk-ins. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 5:30pm to 11:30pm. commisrestaurant.com
Daughter Thai Kitchen has an incredible attention to detail with the décor creating a one of a kind ambience. The plating of the meals and drinks are equally impressive. They serve both traditional and unique Thai dishes. If you’re looking for a spot that does traditional Thai spice justice, you’ve come to the right place. We recommend the 24-Hour Beef Noodle Soup and the Daughter Thai tacos. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5pm to 8:30pm Friday 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5pm to 9:30pm Saturday 12pm to 9:30pm Sunday 12pm to 8:30pm. daughterthai.com
Chinese food in a hip and modern setting. Great China is known for their Peking Roast Duck, it’s a must. We also recommend the Double Skin and if you can dine-in rather than take-out. Hours are 11:30am to 2:30pm, and 5pm to 8:30pm daily. Closed Tuesday. greatchinaberkeley.com
Homeroom Mac + Cheese
Mac n cheese galore at Homeroom. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone in terms of mac n cheese toppings, although you can’t go wrong with classic cheese, we recommend adding tender BBQ pork or breadcrumbs or any of their other eighteen add-in options. Hours are every day from 11am to 10pm. homeroom510.com
The Cheese Board Pizzeria
Since 1971 when its original owners sold the business to their employees, the Cheese Board has always done things their own way. Now the worker-owned collective’s (so Berkeley!) pizzeria, located a few doors away from the cheese shop and bakery, is a go-to destination for anyone with foodie inclinations. Every night it’s open, the pizzeria serves just one insanely delicious vegetarian pizza and salad combo until they run out, and lines are often out the door. The newly added live music performances at both lunch and dinner makes the wait more enjoyable, however. You never know what you might get, but one recent combo — an artichoke, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, arugula and lemon vinaigrette pizza served with an organic watermelon radish, goat cheese, sunflower seed salad with herb vinaigrette — should give you a good idea. You can also take partially baked pizzas to go from the bakery until 4pm to enjoy at home, and vegan and gluten-free options are available. Hours are Thursday through Saturday 5pm to 8 pm. cheeseboardcollective.coop
More Local Favorites in the East Bay
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