Top

Fairfax

Restaurants

  • **Sorella Cafe: old school Northern Italian, HUGE portions. The setting is charming and the service very nice. Locals can be a little obnoxious.

Larkspur Landing

  • *El Huarache Loco: “Mexico city street food.” Good concept, poor execution, quite pricy. Beer/wine only. Okay if you’re in the area and really want Mexican food, otherwise skip.
  • **Farmshop has nicely executed California cuisine in a modern setting.

Mill Valley

Restaurants

  • Bamboo Hut – really not bad at all. Easy takeout option. Sad it’s gone.
  • ***The Buckeye: my favorite Marin restaurant by far. Atmosphere, service, great food. Sit in the bar if you can, or in the downstairs area. Upstairs is a little loud.
  • **Bungalow 44: cougar town! Excellent food and service.
  • **The Cantina: traditional California-style Mexican. It’s not great, but easy and fun and I really like going there..
  • *El Paseo: everyone in Mill Valley loves this place. We’ve had three bad meals in a row with truly awful service. Maybe it’s just us. Setting is quite lovely. I want to like it…
  • *Frantoio: pass, not great and weirdly cafeteria-like
  • **Grilly’s: while I think this is largely a “I don’t feel like cooking tonight” takeout option, the burritos are pretty solid and the staff friendly and professional.
  • **Joe’s Taco Lounge: food isn’t that great, but scene is fun.
  • **Mill Valley Beerworks: extensive collection of beer, food interesting and expensive
  • *Mill valley coffee shop: pass. Grimy and depressing, food subpar.
  • **Molino’s: the food is good. A little expensive, but creative and flavorful. The service is fine if you can conform to them. Ketchup with the fries? Not a chance. Salt? Served with huge attitude. It’s an experience in the most annoying way, but worth it if you can handle making your meal about them and not yourself. (closed)
  • **Piatti: oddly, a restaurant I always forget about. It’s not bad, has a water view, and a decent brunch service.
  • **Playa Mill Valley: excellent Mexican, higher end, lively setting. 
  • *Robota: we liked this for awhile, but the service and crowd are always sub-par. It’s okay in a pinch but nothing to rave about.
  • **Samurai Sushi: our favorite sushi place right now. Not all that fancy, but the food is reliable and the owners are friendly and usually remember you.
  • ***Sol Food: yum! Puerto Rican food, beans, plantains, chicken – it’s all great. Takeout. Also a San Rafael location.
  • **Tamalpie: very trendy when it first opened, expensive hipster pizza. Not sure how it is now, but the fact that it’s still in business is a good sign. 

San Anselmo

Restaurants

  • *Insalata’s: “fancy” in a somewhat dated way. Very good service, not my favorite food.
  • **Marinitas: the great fancy Mexican option. Excellent cocktails and food.
  • **Sushi 69: very good. Not super fancy, but reliable, nice setting.

Sausalito

Restaurants

As you can see, there’s no shortage of options. Our short list was the Buckeye (technically Mill Valley, at the entrance to Sausalito), Poggio, and Le Garage.

  • **Angelino Restaurant: Interesting local vibe, okay Northern Italian food. Not bad, but Poggio is so much better.
  • **Bar Bocce: I have a love-hate relationship with this place, great concept and okay food, usually just too packed with annoying people.
  • **Barrel House Tavern: good view, pretty good food. The service sucked initially but I’ve heard it’s getting better.
  • ***Cavallo Point: food is a little uneven, but great for cocktails at sunset. Spa is also amazing.
  • **Copita Tequileria y Comida: after a bumpy start, the food has evened out and this is a nice Mexican option. Good cocktails, too.
  • **Fast Food Francais: run by the people that own Le Garage. Really yummy, French-ish, fancy local food. [now an Indian restaurant]
  • **Fish: only for lunch on a sunny day. Cash only, expensive but very high quality.
  • ***Le Garage: brunch, lunch, and dinner. Excellent. French.
  • The **Greek Deli on Caledonia (Sausalito Gourmet Delicatessen): Alicia hates this place. Galen & the rest of the world loves it. Worth judging for yourself.
  • [haven’t been] Joinery: beer hall and rotisserie
  • **Lighthouse Cafe: our favorite breakfast spot, awesome greasy spoon run by a Danish family (with very solid Danish options on the menu)
  • **Poggio: very good italian, fine dining, elegant service.
  •  Rossitti’s Pizza: on Caledonia, small and quite good. Thin crust pizza, fresh ingredients (closed down)
  • **Saylor’s: “Cabo Style” mexican/tex mex. Needs a good scrub down to deal with some mildew smells, but the food and service are very good and the margaritas are excellent. 
  • **Scomas: super old school. Great view, ancient waitstaff, full of tourists. Food is better than you’d expect. So uncool it’s almost cool again. Maybe.
  • **The Spinnaker: I kind of love this place, though it’s distinctly a time warp, cuisine-wise, and it can run quite smelly, with windows that don’t (can’t?) open. Great Bay views.
  • **Sushi Ran: yes, it’s good, but it’s slipping. Value for the price is hit and miss.
  • **Taste of the Himalayas: the best Indian food in Marin (I think). Nice people, cuter inside than you’d expect. Surprisingly expensive, ~$20/entree.
  • **The Trident: it’s worth it for the view and cocktails. Food expensive and not my favorite.

Sites & Shopping

  • The **Bay Model is a charming and odd find, a huge, many-room sized working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta System. 
  • It would be a shame to miss the amazing ***Heath Ceramics (original location) while in Sausalito. The showroom is classic and there’s usually a great selection of seconds and reduced prices.

post a comment