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Your Guide to Dining in Marin County

Your Guide to Dining in Marin County


Dining in Marin County runs the gamut from white tablecloth to white paper plates—something to satisfy every palate and pocketbook. Here is a round-up of the best restaurants in Marin County that will have you dining like a local.


Just across the Golden Gate Bridge in the seaside village of Sausalito, Scoma's Sausalito has been a local favorite for fresh seafood and breathtaking views from its historic waterfront location for nearly 40 years. Specializing in southern Italian cuisine, Angelino also features gorgeous bay vistas, which pair well with their extensive selection of Californian and Italian wines. For a casual lunch, the unpretentious Sartaj India Café (43 Caledonia St., 415-332-7103) features traditional favorites like chicken tika masala, offered over rice or as a wrap with naan flatbread. For a seaside brunch, Le Garage Bistro  is big on French ambience and modern industrial design. Located in a converted commercial building in the historic Marinship naval shipyard, the restaurant features large, roll-up metal doors opening onto waterfront patios.  

Mill Valley

Traditionally a bohemian community of artists and musicians, Mill Valley was once home to beat poet Jack Kerouac. Celebrity chef Tyler Florence and rock star Sammy Hagar partnered in 2010 to take over Mill Valley's El Paseo, which opened in 1948. The menu features French and American food, with a little of the chef's signature flair. Serving American and traditional Greek and American dishes, the Dipsea Cafe is a favorite among locals for a casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For a quick lunch in quaint downtown, Small Shed Flatbreads offers crispy, wood-oven baked flatbreads featuring locally grown organic ingredients. Situated high on the Mt. Tamalpais ridgeline, with stunning views from the deck, the Mountain Home Inn has a rotating menu featuring American, Italian, and seafood specialties.


Catching a ferry to or from Tiburon? Enjoy a quiet breakfast at the New Morning Café' or seafood and cocktails on the dock at Sam's Anchor Café, a popular Marin hangout since Prohibition. After a day at Angel Island State Park, grab a pie at the kid-friendly Waypoint Pizza or hot dogs and ice cream at The Grass Shack.

San Anselmo

The small, sleepy town of San Anselmo is known for its charming boutiques and lack of chain retail stores. Don’t miss the Chinese chicken salad at Comforts Café, which offers home-style comfort foods and baked goods. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Insalata's features traditional Mediterranean cuisine and specialty cocktails.


Located within walking distance from the Larkspur ferry terminal, which services San Francisco, the Marin Brewing Co. serves brewpub favorites such as burgers and pizza alongside their award-winning beers, which are all brewed on site. Downtown, housed in a 112-year-old building, Left Bank offers Parisian elegance and old-world charm. Started by an Italian immigrant in 1981, nearby Fabrizio Ristorante serves authentic Italian cuisine and wines. On Sundays, check out the Off the Grid food truck event at Marin Country Mart

San Rafael

In San Rafael, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh opened Terrapin Crossroads in 2012, featuring down-home American food and live music—an instant success. On Fourth Street, San Rafael Joe’s has been serving up American fare to generations of Marin County residents since 1947. Be prepared to wait in line at the immensely popular Sol Food restaurant, just off Fourth Street, which serves fresh Puerto Rican cuisine and specialty beverages.


In Novato, Marvin's Breakfast Club (1112 Grant Ave., 415-892-4482) is a favorite among locals who crowd the small restaurant, even on weekday mornings. Living up to its name, Italian Delite has been delighting patrons with submarine sandwiches served with their signature sauce since 1977. An anchor at the Vintage Oaks Mall, Jennie Low's features traditional and California-style Chinese dishes with a healthy twist. And the newly re-opened Hilltop 1892 serves classic American food and equally classic cocktails alongside panoramic 10-mile views.


—By Christopher Laddish
Christopher Laddish is a Marin County-based writer, reporter, and photographer. He contributes regularly to the Marinscope chain of six newspapers covering the entire county. 


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