clock menu more-arrow no yes
Shutterstock

Where to Eat on a Beach Day in Coastal Marin and Sonoma

From Stinson Beach to Bodega Bay

View as Map

A day spent out along the shores of Marin and Sonoma is a day well spent. And even if you pack a picnic, it's an additional pleasure to drop in somewhere for a beer, a cup of tea, a small bite, or a full-scale meal to tide you over until it's time for the next 10-miler along the beach. On a mission for oysters? Check out these ten great places for fresh mollusks.

Follow along this route of the most notable spots arrayed from Stinson Beach to Bodega Bay from North to South. Don't see your favorite there? Let us know in the comments section.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Casino Bar

Copy Link
17000 Bodega Highway
Bodega, CA

The ultimate stealth dining paradise is found inside the funky Casino bar, where chef Mark Malicki produces ever-changing menus exactly based on what he can source most freshly that day. Working on a hamburger griddle with just a dishwasher and a server to support him, Malicki consistently turns out dishes that amaze and delight. (Follow him on Facebook to discover each day's menu.) When the math is right, ordering Malicki's entire menu makes a sumptuous dinner for two for just under $100. BYOB or purchase a perfectly fine bottle of local Balleto Pinot Noir from the barkeep for less than the grocery store.

2. Terrapin Creek Cafe

Copy Link
1580 Eastshore Rd.
Bodega Bay, CA
(707) 875-2700
Visit Website

One of the best restaurants in Sonoma County, the Michelin-starred Terrapin Creek is tucked away in a small strip mall, content to just quietly produce excellent dishes in an informal setting. Look for seafood as well as housemade pastas, Japanese-inflected main courses, and a gorgeous reimagining of European traditions. 

3. Spud Point Crab Company

Copy Link
1860 Westshore Rd
Bodega Bay, CA
(707) 875-9472
Visit Website

Located right down by the working boats of Bodega Bay, Spud Point is famous for its chowder but also rightfully known for the fresh crab they cook right on the spot. Plan to sit outside in the chill at picnic tables and just gorge when the Dungeness is in season. BYOB.

4. Rocker Oysterfeller's Kitchen + Saloon

Copy Link
14415 Hwy 1
Valley Ford, CA
(707) 876-1983
Visit Website

With a Nawlins take on California food, Rockers offers one of the sweetest bars on this stretch of coast, and that's saying a lot. Try hot oysters four different ways or slurp them down chilled, knowing that this is also the place to get gumbo or blackened shrimp with grits skillfully prepared by chef co-owner Brandon Gunther. Situated in an old hotel, Rocker's has rooms to let and also hosts an annual hootenanny, Oysterpalooza, with live Bay Area bands and plenty of oysters each year at the end of May that just couldn't make for a better Sunday. Mark your calendars for next year.

 Rocker Oysterfellers Tina O./Yelp

5. Tomales Bakery

Copy Link
27000 Highway 1
Tomales, CA
(707) 878-2429

So popular with the bicycle and motorcycle set that it simply closes when it runs out of food (think: 11am), the Tomales Bakery is a wonder for espresso drinks and lovely flaky things, but also serves robust vegetable-filled pastries for lunch. Three words: Coconut Queen Bars. Go early.

6. Nick's Cove & Cottages

Copy Link
23240 Highway 1
Marshall, CA
(415) 793-9638
Visit Website

A reimagined seafood shack with resort cabins, a separate oyster bar, seating out over Tomales Bay, and an adorably dilapidated shack at the pier's end with a telephone connecting diners to the kitchen, Nick's is a fine destination for fresh seafood and even fish and chips. Note: valet parking is mandatory on busy days.

7. The Marshall Store

Copy Link
19225 State Route 1
Marshall, CA
(415) 663-1339
Visit Website

Recommended only for the hardy, the Marshall Store primarily offers customers seats at high wooden tables placed exactly along Highway One, making for a precarious perch. Order fresh oysters, creamy chowder, Dungeness crab, bottles of chilled wine and local microbrews inside and then take your place looking over Tomales Bay, the highway roaring impotently at your back, and let the sun shine down as you shuck and slurp and sip.

The Marshall Store Y D./Yelp

8. Tony's Seafood Restaurant

Copy Link
18863 Highway 1
Marshall, CA
(415) 663-1107
Visit Website

Tony's has enjoyed its prime spot over Tomales Bay since 1948. Purchased by the Hog Island Oyster Farm folks in 2017, Tony's old-school charm is now matched by the freshness of its fare. And: the view.

Tony’s Seafood Restaurant Larry K./Yelp

9. Saltwater Oyster Depot

Copy Link
12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Inverness, CA
(415) 440-1700
Visit Website

An oyster depot, a breakfast joint, and a white-cloth bistro all in two adjacent store fronts. Expect berries in season, an excellent wine list daily, and line-caught sustainably harvested seafood so fresh it might flop off the plate. Always plan to have oysters. And dessert. And more wine.

Saltwater Oyster Depot Saltwater Oyster Depot

10. Inverness Park Market

Copy Link
12301 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Inverness Park, CA
(415) 663-1491

From breakfast made to order to amazing midday fare, from achingly fresh produce to locally raised meats, from seafood to microbrews, Latin staples to Italian delicacies, this is the mother of all small town markets. Everything is here and truly, if it's not—it's not needed. Stop here to break your morning fast and grab a sandwich for a hike, stop here on the way back to get your cocktail nibbles and fermented beverages. Stop here.

Inverness Park Market

11. Side Street Kitchen

Copy Link
60 4th St
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
(415) 663-0303
Visit Website

Bright and airy, the newly opened Side Street Kitchen in Pt. Reyes Station brings fast casual rotisserie dining to this tiny rural hamlet. The newest effort of Station House Cafe owner Sheryl Cahill, Side Street offers take-out and specializes inlocal vegetables with plenty of roasted trout, chicken, and bratwurst, and even baked cassoulet and smoked meats. Look for apple fritters as an homage to Cahill's childhood in Arcata and a bright mural on the back wall that references Muddy Waters' "Chicken Shack" blues. Plenty of outdoor seating is available, a welcoming respite for well-behaved dogs and lovers of the outdoors.

12. Osteria Stellina

Copy Link
11285 Highway 1
Point Reyes Station, CA
(415) 663-9988
Visit Website

This excellent Italian trattoria centers its menu on its wood-burning oven, turning out pizzas, bread, shellfish classics, and deeply satisfying vegetable dishes. Don't overlook the humble "beans and greens" side dish of cannellinis and braised leaves. With a reliably professional wait staff—a rarity in tourist-drenched West Marin—and a handsome room, dinner here is a true reward for a day spent conquering the coastal hills. Also open for lunch.

Osteria Stellina Ruby G./Yelp

13. Station House Cafe

Copy Link
11180 Highway 1
Point Reyes Station, CA
(415) 663-1515
Visit Website

This longtime Pt. Reyes Station stalwart is a reliable place to get breakfast, a burger, and a feta cheese-dressed salad with garlicky carrots and a side of eccentric popovers. The well-established outdoor garden is a splendor in good weather and the bar a true refuge in poor. Open all day, with live music on the weekends.

14. Cafe Reyes

Copy Link
11101 CA-1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
(415) 663-9493
Visit Website

Pizza, oysters, salads, period. What more do you need? The wood-burning oven in this friendly and relaxed outpost in Pt. Reyes Station has been firing since 1993. Here it’s as easy to bring the dog and the kids for a bite outside in the sun as it is to huddle inside during a dark winter afternoon, always with reliably fresh good ingredients.

15. Marin Sun Farms

Copy Link
10905 Shoreline Highway One
Point Reyes Station, CA
(415) 663-8997

Eat the world's freshest hamburger while seated in a butcher shop keeping a careful eye on its cousins in the cold case. (There are salads, too. Promise.) Plus: So much good wine from West Marin's Pleiades Winery, whose winemaker Sean Thackery ferments his grapes according to methods described by the ancient Greeks. 

16. Sir And Star at the Olema

Copy Link
10000 SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
Olema, CA
(415) 663-1034
Visit Website

This dinner-only restaurant from the folks who dreamed up the incandescence of Manka's in Inverness accommodates Saturday night walk-ins with an a la carte menu and reservations with prix-fixe. The Sir and Star's dark Victorian look is brightened by the kitchen's excellence. There’s lodging, too.

Sir and Star at the Olema Glen G./Yelp

17. Farm House Restaurant

Copy Link
10005 Coastal Highway One
Olema, CA
(415) 663-1264
Visit Website

Standard American food with the added benefit of being the only spot on the coast where you can get French fries smothered in clam chowder. With a full bar, this place is particularly good when you've got restless kids who need something to eat that they'll recognize and fast. There are oysters and local lettuces for the grownups. Adjacent to its own lodge for overnight stays.

Farm House Restaurant/Facebook

18. Smileys Schooner Saloon and Hotel

Copy Link
41 Wharf Rd.
Bolinas, CA

With no food beyond the odd bag of chips, this is a great old (est. 1851) salty dog bar with pool tables and live music on weekend nights. There are comfy upstairs rooms should you drink yourself into a surprise coastal overnight stay.

19. Coast Cafe

Copy Link
46 Wharf Rd.
Bolinas, CA
(415) 868-2298
Visit Website

Casual and healthy with an emphasis on vegetables, seafood, and sustainably raised meats, this is pretty much the only eatery in town, so thank goodness it's really just a fine place to eat. Set adjacent to the Bolinas Museum—a hidden treasure with a great exhibition roster and a shabby chic vibe that Martha would envy—this cheerful spot is perfect for a simple lunch or dinner and a lazy brunch.

20. Stinson Beach Market

Copy Link
101 Calle Del Mar
Stinson Beach, CA
(415) 868-1923
Visit Website

This fabulous little tiny country store offers every single comestible necessary for the discrete gourmand, from what's necessary for lunch on the beach to what's essential for tonight at the rental. Great wine selection, killer microbrews, and freshly prepped food make it a necessary stop. And sure, pick up a sweatshirt, too.

21. Sand Dollar Restaurant And Bar

Copy Link
3458 Shoreline Hwy 1
Stinson Beach, CA
(415) 868-0434
Visit Website

The nice wide patio, old poets at the bar, and nightly live jazz means that it doesn't really matter what's on the menu. What's there is ostensibly from the sea, was fresh before it was frozen, and is generally breaded, but what the heck—enjoy the patio, admire the poets, partake of the full bar, dig the jazz. 

22. Breakers Cafe

Copy Link
3465 Highway 1
Stinson Beach, CA
(415) 331-2426
Visit Website

Breakers is all about breakfast and lunch with an emphasis on Mexican-style entrees that involve corn-wrapped fish with cheese. Ordering at the counter offers an informal experience. The deck makes it an acceptable alternative to the Parkside, though it keeps less regular winter hours.

23. Parkside Cafe

Copy Link
43 Arenal Ave
Stinson Beach, CA
(415) 868-1272
Visit Website

Fresh, local, and excellent, this venerable old school beach restaurant has kept up with the times and offers good brewed coffee, killer fresh baked bread and pastries, substantial breakfasts, light lunches, and real dinners — often with live musicians on hand and a fire on the roar. The snack bar window offers a great back-to-the-beach alternative for the sandy set. Highly recommended!

Parkside Cafe/Facebook

1. The Casino Bar

17000 Bodega Highway, Bodega, CA

The ultimate stealth dining paradise is found inside the funky Casino bar, where chef Mark Malicki produces ever-changing menus exactly based on what he can source most freshly that day. Working on a hamburger griddle with just a dishwasher and a server to support him, Malicki consistently turns out dishes that amaze and delight. (Follow him on Facebook to discover each day's menu.) When the math is right, ordering Malicki's entire menu makes a sumptuous dinner for two for just under $100. BYOB or purchase a perfectly fine bottle of local Balleto Pinot Noir from the barkeep for less than the grocery store.

17000 Bodega Highway
Bodega, CA

2. Terrapin Creek Cafe

1580 Eastshore Rd., Bodega Bay, CA

One of the best restaurants in Sonoma County, the Michelin-starred Terrapin Creek is tucked away in a small strip mall, content to just quietly produce excellent dishes in an informal setting. Look for seafood as well as housemade pastas, Japanese-inflected main courses, and a gorgeous reimagining of European traditions. 

1580 Eastshore Rd.
Bodega Bay, CA

3. Spud Point Crab Company

1860 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay, CA

Located right down by the working boats of Bodega Bay, Spud Point is famous for its chowder but also rightfully known for the fresh crab they cook right on the spot. Plan to sit outside in the chill at picnic tables and just gorge when the Dungeness is in season. BYOB.

1860 Westshore Rd
Bodega Bay, CA

4. Rocker Oysterfeller's Kitchen + Saloon

14415 Hwy 1, Valley Ford, CA
 Rocker Oysterfellers Tina O./Yelp

With a Nawlins take on California food, Rockers offers one of the sweetest bars on this stretch of coast, and that's saying a lot. Try hot oysters four different ways or slurp them down chilled, knowing that this is also the place to get gumbo or blackened shrimp with grits skillfully prepared by chef co-owner Brandon Gunther. Situated in an old hotel, Rocker's has rooms to let and also hosts an annual hootenanny, Oysterpalooza, with live Bay Area bands and plenty of oysters each year at the end of May that just couldn't make for a better Sunday. Mark your calendars for next year.

14415 Hwy 1
Valley Ford, CA

5. Tomales Bakery

27000 Highway 1, Tomales, CA

So popular with the bicycle and motorcycle set that it simply closes when it runs out of food (think: 11am), the Tomales Bakery is a wonder for espresso drinks and lovely flaky things, but also serves robust vegetable-filled pastries for lunch. Three words: Coconut Queen Bars. Go early.

27000 Highway 1
Tomales, CA

6. Nick's Cove & Cottages

23240 Highway 1, Marshall, CA

A reimagined seafood shack with resort cabins, a separate oyster bar, seating out over Tomales Bay, and an adorably dilapidated shack at the pier's end with a telephone connecting diners to the kitchen, Nick's is a fine destination for fresh seafood and even fish and chips. Note: valet parking is mandatory on busy days.

23240 Highway 1
Marshall, CA

7. The Marshall Store

19225 State Route 1, Marshall, CA
The Marshall Store Y D./Yelp

Recommended only for the hardy, the Marshall Store primarily offers customers seats at high wooden tables placed exactly along Highway One, making for a precarious perch. Order fresh oysters, creamy chowder, Dungeness crab, bottles of chilled wine and local microbrews inside and then take your place looking over Tomales Bay, the highway roaring impotently at your back, and let the sun shine down as you shuck and slurp and sip.

19225 State Route 1
Marshall, CA

8. Tony's Seafood Restaurant

18863 Highway 1, Marshall, CA
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant Larry K./Yelp

Tony's has enjoyed its prime spot over Tomales Bay since 1948. Purchased by the Hog Island Oyster Farm folks in 2017, Tony's old-school charm is now matched by the freshness of its fare. And: the view.

18863 Highway 1
Marshall, CA

9. Saltwater Oyster Depot

12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness, CA
Saltwater Oyster Depot Saltwater Oyster Depot

An oyster depot, a breakfast joint, and a white-cloth bistro all in two adjacent store fronts. Expect berries in season, an excellent wine list daily, and line-caught sustainably harvested seafood so fresh it might flop off the plate. Always plan to have oysters. And dessert. And more wine.

12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Inverness, CA

10. Inverness Park Market

12301 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness Park, CA
Inverness Park Market

From breakfast made to order to amazing midday fare, from achingly fresh produce to locally raised meats, from seafood to microbrews, Latin staples to Italian delicacies, this is the mother of all small town markets. Everything is here and truly, if it's not—it's not needed. Stop here to break your morning fast and grab a sandwich for a hike, stop here on the way back to get your cocktail nibbles and fermented beverages. Stop here.

12301 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Inverness Park, CA

11. Side Street Kitchen

60 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Bright and airy, the newly opened Side Street Kitchen in Pt. Reyes Station brings fast casual rotisserie dining to this tiny rural hamlet. The newest effort of Station House Cafe owner Sheryl Cahill, Side Street offers take-out and specializes inlocal vegetables with plenty of roasted trout, chicken, and bratwurst, and even baked cassoulet and smoked meats. Look for apple fritters as an homage to Cahill's childhood in Arcata and a bright mural on the back wall that references Muddy Waters' "Chicken Shack" blues. Plenty of outdoor seating is available, a welcoming respite for well-behaved dogs and lovers of the outdoors.

60 4th St
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

12. Osteria Stellina

11285 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, CA
Osteria Stellina Ruby G./Yelp

This excellent Italian trattoria centers its menu on its wood-burning oven, turning out pizzas, bread, shellfish classics, and deeply satisfying vegetable dishes. Don't overlook the humble "beans and greens" side dish of cannellinis and braised leaves. With a reliably professional wait staff—a rarity in tourist-drenched West Marin—and a handsome room, dinner here is a true reward for a day spent conquering the coastal hills. Also open for lunch.

11285 Highway 1
Point Reyes Station, CA

13. Station House Cafe

11180 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, CA

This longtime Pt. Reyes Station stalwart is a reliable place to get breakfast, a burger, and a feta cheese-dressed salad with garlicky carrots and a side of eccentric popovers. The well-established outdoor garden is a splendor in good weather and the bar a true refuge in poor. Open all day, with live music on the weekends.

11180 Highway 1
Point Reyes Station, CA

14. Cafe Reyes

11101 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Pizza, oysters, salads, period. What more do you need? The wood-burning oven in this friendly and relaxed outpost in Pt. Reyes Station has been firing since 1993. Here it’s as easy to bring the dog and the kids for a bite outside in the sun as it is to huddle inside during a dark winter afternoon, always with reliably fresh good ingredients.

11101 CA-1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

15. Marin Sun Farms

10905 Shoreline Highway One, Point Reyes Station, CA

Eat the world's freshest hamburger while seated in a butcher shop keeping a careful eye on its cousins in the cold case. (There are salads, too. Promise.) Plus: So much good wine from West Marin's Pleiades Winery, whose winemaker Sean Thackery ferments his grapes according to methods described by the ancient Greeks. 

10905 Shoreline Highway One
Point Reyes Station, CA

Related Maps

16. Sir And Star at the Olema

10000 SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, Olema, CA
Sir and Star at the Olema Glen G./Yelp

This dinner-only restaurant from the folks who dreamed up the incandescence of Manka's in Inverness accommodates Saturday night walk-ins with an a la carte menu and reservations with prix-fixe. The Sir and Star's dark Victorian look is brightened by the kitchen's excellence. There’s lodging, too.

10000 SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
Olema, CA

17. Farm House Restaurant

10005 Coastal Highway One, Olema, CA
Farm House Restaurant/Facebook

Standard American food with the added benefit of being the only spot on the coast where you can get French fries smothered in clam chowder. With a full bar, this place is particularly good when you've got restless kids who need something to eat that they'll recognize and fast. There are oysters and local lettuces for the grownups. Adjacent to its own lodge for overnight stays.

10005 Coastal Highway One
Olema, CA

18. Smileys Schooner Saloon and Hotel

41 Wharf Rd., Bolinas, CA

With no food beyond the odd bag of chips, this is a great old (est. 1851) salty dog bar with pool tables and live music on weekend nights. There are comfy upstairs rooms should you drink yourself into a surprise coastal overnight stay.

41 Wharf Rd.
Bolinas, CA

19. Coast Cafe

46 Wharf Rd., Bolinas, CA

Casual and healthy with an emphasis on vegetables, seafood, and sustainably raised meats, this is pretty much the only eatery in town, so thank goodness it's really just a fine place to eat. Set adjacent to the Bolinas Museum—a hidden treasure with a great exhibition roster and a shabby chic vibe that Martha would envy—this cheerful spot is perfect for a simple lunch or dinner and a lazy brunch.

46 Wharf Rd.
Bolinas, CA

20. Stinson Beach Market

101 Calle Del Mar, Stinson Beach, CA

This fabulous little tiny country store offers every single comestible necessary for the discrete gourmand, from what's necessary for lunch on the beach to what's essential for tonight at the rental. Great wine selection, killer microbrews, and freshly prepped food make it a necessary stop. And sure, pick up a sweatshirt, too.

101 Calle Del Mar
Stinson Beach, CA