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Bolinas-Fairfax Ridge
Photo by Anna Jones

Where to Stop for Casual Eats in Marin County

From Puerto Rican food to some of the Bay’s best bakeries

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Bolinas-Fairfax Ridge
| Photo by Anna Jones

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge and South of the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa, lies Marin. It’s the land of big houses tucked away in green hills with decks overlooking the Bay, Lululemon-wearing moms, pushing strollers and sipping green juice with a Rustic Bakery salad on the side; Nearby towns like Fairfax and San Rafael maintain a certain eccentric and down-to-earth quality that attracts many to the area.

It’s also a destination for lovers of the outdoors. From hiking in the hills to strolls in cute towns, incomparable (and sometimes foggy) beaches, there’s a lot going on. But, you’ll still need to eat. Come for the outdoors, stay for the food.

Adventuring further North? Check out places to eat oysters along the coast, head up to Napa or Sonoma, or grab a bite of one of these Santa Rosa hotspots.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sol Food

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401 Miller Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 380-1986
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Easily one of the most popular restaurants in Marin, Sol Food’s bright, lime-green exterior and Caribbean tune at its original San Rafael location pay homage to the owner’s father’s Puerto Rico roots. You’ll find a constant line out the door at both the San Rafael and Mill Valley locations. The bistec sandwich with thinly sliced steak, avocados and garlic mayo is a definite crowd-pleaser. Other standouts include the plantain-fried shrimp served with rice, beans and plantains with a limonada fresca or ponche on the side.

Tostones, cheese and avocado at Sol Food
Photo by Manami Takashina

2. Flour Chylde Bakery

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850 Grant Ave
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 893-7700
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Gluten-free bakeries are often looked down upon, and it’s understandable — the consistency and textures are hard to get right without it. However, Flour Chylde is truly an exceptional gluten-free bakery, serving rich chocolate and lemon coconut tortes, cakes, as well as breads, muffins and cookies. Come for breakfast or lunch or to pick up some treats. Find them at the farmers market too.

Three tortes from Flour Chylde
Umesh T./Yelp

3. Bovine Bakery

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11315 CA-1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
(415) 663-9420
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Bovine is a must when creating the perfect picnic basket before heading out to the beach. Pick up some buttermilk scones, muffins, seasonal pie or homemade quiche. The “from-scratch” bakery has been around since 1990 and continues to serve wonderful baked goods.

Buttermilk blueberry scone at Bovine
Carissa K./Yelp

4. Tomales Bay Foods

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80 4th St
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
(415) 663-9335
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Keep building that picnic basket with a stop by this cheese and specialty foods shop for Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, breads, gourmet sandwiches and salads. Grab a bottle of wine here, too.

Exterior at Tomales Bay Foods
Lindsay S./Yelp

5. Arti Indian Organic Natural Cafe

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7282 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Lagunitas, CA 94938
(415) 488-4700
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If you’re heading to West Marin or on the way back from Point Reyes, Arti is a great place to stop for some organic Indian food. They have everything from samosas, to chicken tikka masala, tandoori and kebabs, to kheer pudding.

Garlic naan, malai kofta and saag paneer at Arti
Cate H./Yelp

6. Farmers Market at the Marin Civic Center

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3801 Civic Center Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903

The Sunday Marin Farmers Market at the Marin Civic Center is hands-down one of the best farmers markets around. The diverse choice of produce, grass-fed meats, homemade baked goods, specialty breads, dips, cheeses, yogurts, almond milk, Afghan bolani...it’s endless. Spend the morning and afternoon here shopping seasonally and locally, while also enjoying an eclectic choice of prepared foods for lunch. Try Avi’s mezze platter, Pizza Politana’s wood-fired margherita or Tru Gourmet’s exceptional dim sum.

Overview of Marin Farmers Market
Agricultural Institute of Marin

7. Mana Bowls

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1930 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 521-5921
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Acai bowls and smoothies are Mana Bowls’ expertise. It’s a tiny place, but there’s a few stools by the windowsill or if it’s warm enough, outside on the porch. Try the pitaya (dragon fruit) bowl or the pure bowl topped with granola, bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes, and honey.

8. Fairfax Scoop

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63 Broadway
Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 453-3130

This tiny scoop shop has a huge following, so expect a long line out the door on warm days, but at least you’ll have time to decide on a flavor. Their ice cream is all organic — can you expect anything less in Marin? Flavors are constantly changing with the seasons, but there’s always a dairy-free option. Try their signature vanilla, honey, lavender in a homemade waffle cup or cone.   

Four scoop waffle cup at Fairfax Scoop
M W./Yelp

9. Good Earth Natural Foods

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720 Center Blvd
Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 454-0123
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Yes, this is technically a grocery store, and a pricey one at that. But they have one of the best prepared foods section a grocery store can offer. From sandwiches, to pizza, to tacos, to salad bar and Thai wok, everything is made with local, organic ingredients. Indeed, the store prides itself on only selling organic, local and seasonal produce, so if you’re looking for peaches in March, you won’t find them here.

Deli counter at Good Earth
Rachel H./Yelp

10. M.H.Bread and Butter

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101 San Anselmo Ave
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) 755-4575
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This daytime cafe bakes their own assortment of breads and pastries, in addition to serving a full breakfast and lunch menu. Stop by for some Straus yogurt and granola, soup, salad, or sandwich. Everything is made with fresh, local ingredients and a list of their purveyors can be found on their website.

Fried egg sandwich at M.H. Bread and Butter
Owie N./Yelp

11. El Huarache Loco

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1803 Larkspur Landing Cir
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 925-1403
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Another Marin Country Mart go-to is El Huarache Loco, which also has a location in SF. Founded by chef Veronica Salazar, alum of SF’s Mission incubator kitchen La Cocina, Salazar is bringing flavors of Mexico City to the Bay. As the name suggests, you’ll find huaraches —oval-shaped corn tortillas filled with beans and topped with salsa, cilantro and cheese — in addition to sopes, tacos, enchiladas and the works. Go for breakfast, lunch or dinner.    

Huarache at El Huarache Loco
Thu S./ Yelp

12. Farmshop

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2233 Larkspur Landing Cir
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 755-6700
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This is quintessential Californian cuisine found at the Marin Country Mart, just a step away from the Larkspur Ferry. The menu is creative, detailed and on the pricier side, but worth it. For brunch, indulge in the brioche sticky bun or dungeness crab egg frittata.  

Poached chicken salad, baby gem lettuce at Farmshop
Dean C./Yelp

13. Emporio Rulli

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464 Magnolia Ave
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 924-7478
Visit Website

Rulli has been a staple pasticceria in Marin since 1988. The feel is certainly that of an Italian cafe in Rome or Florence. Walk in and smell the espresso, pastries and gelato. It’s a perfect place to grab a focaccia sandwich, panini and coffee, or to fulfill a donut craving, try the bombolone.

Pastries at Emporio Rulli
Alex B./Yelp

14. Burmatown

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60 Corte Madera Ave
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 945-9096
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Burmese food has become ubiquitous in the Bay Area — you won’t find it many other places. Burmatown is a stellar, Michelin recommended, family-run restaurant, with a a traditional tea leaf salad with fermented tea leaves, dried shrimp, peanuts, fried garlic and fish sauce on the menu. Other offerings include coconut chicken curry noodles and a beef short rib curry. Make sure to order the coconut rice on the side.   

Tea leaf salad at Burmatown
Burmatown/Facebook

15. Avatar's Punjabi Burritos

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15 Madrona St
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 381-8293
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Mexico meets Indian cuisine at this popular Punjabi burrito joint that has multiple locations, including Mill Valley, Larkspur and Fairfax. Enjoy a burrito filled with smoked eggplant or curried chicken wrapped in roti or a rice plate topped with chickpeas and seasonal vegetables.

Roasted eggplant with curried chicken at Avatar’s
Ann S./Yelp

16. Joe's Taco Lounge & Salsaria

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382 Miller Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 383-8164
Visit Website

A fun and funky spot, Joe’s has been serving up solid tacos, burritos, tostadas and other standard Californian-Mexican fare for two and a half decades. It’s a good place to stop after a long day out at Stinson Beach, or if you’re just in the mood for some great Mexican cuisine in a casual setting.

Exterior of Joe’s Taco Lounge
Joe’s Taco Lounge/Facebook

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1. Sol Food

401 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Tostones, cheese and avocado at Sol Food
Photo by Manami Takashina

Easily one of the most popular restaurants in Marin, Sol Food’s bright, lime-green exterior and Caribbean tune at its original San Rafael location pay homage to the owner’s father’s Puerto Rico roots. You’ll find a constant line out the door at both the San Rafael and Mill Valley locations. The bistec sandwich with thinly sliced steak, avocados and garlic mayo is a definite crowd-pleaser. Other standouts include the plantain-fried shrimp served with rice, beans and plantains with a limonada fresca or ponche on the side.

401 Miller Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941

2. Flour Chylde Bakery

850 Grant Ave, Novato, CA 94945
Three tortes from Flour Chylde
Umesh T./Yelp

Gluten-free bakeries are often looked down upon, and it’s understandable — the consistency and textures are hard to get right without it. However, Flour Chylde is truly an exceptional gluten-free bakery, serving rich chocolate and lemon coconut tortes, cakes, as well as breads, muffins and cookies. Come for breakfast or lunch or to pick up some treats. Find them at the farmers market too.

850 Grant Ave
Novato, CA 94945

3. Bovine Bakery

11315 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Buttermilk blueberry scone at Bovine
Carissa K./Yelp

Bovine is a must when creating the perfect picnic basket before heading out to the beach. Pick up some buttermilk scones, muffins, seasonal pie or homemade quiche. The “from-scratch” bakery has been around since 1990 and continues to serve wonderful baked goods.

11315 CA-1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

4. Tomales Bay Foods

80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Exterior at Tomales Bay Foods
Lindsay S./Yelp

Keep building that picnic basket with a stop by this cheese and specialty foods shop for Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, breads, gourmet sandwiches and salads. Grab a bottle of wine here, too.

80 4th St
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

5. Arti Indian Organic Natural Cafe

7282 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Lagunitas, CA 94938
Garlic naan, malai kofta and saag paneer at Arti
Cate H./Yelp

If you’re heading to West Marin or on the way back from Point Reyes, Arti is a great place to stop for some organic Indian food. They have everything from samosas, to chicken tikka masala, tandoori and kebabs, to kheer pudding.

7282 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Lagunitas, CA 94938

6. Farmers Market at the Marin Civic Center

3801 Civic Center Dr, San Rafael, CA 94903
Overview of Marin Farmers Market
Agricultural Institute of Marin

The Sunday Marin Farmers Market at the Marin Civic Center is hands-down one of the best farmers markets around. The diverse choice of produce, grass-fed meats, homemade baked goods, specialty breads, dips, cheeses, yogurts, almond milk, Afghan bolani...it’s endless. Spend the morning and afternoon here shopping seasonally and locally, while also enjoying an eclectic choice of prepared foods for lunch. Try Avi’s mezze platter, Pizza Politana’s wood-fired margherita or Tru Gourmet’s exceptional dim sum.

3801 Civic Center Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903

7. Mana Bowls

1930 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

Acai bowls and smoothies are Mana Bowls’ expertise. It’s a tiny place, but there’s a few stools by the windowsill or if it’s warm enough, outside on the porch. Try the pitaya (dragon fruit) bowl or the pure bowl topped with granola, bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes, and honey.

1930 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Fairfax, CA 94930

8. Fairfax Scoop

63 Broadway, Fairfax, CA 94930
Four scoop waffle cup at Fairfax Scoop
M W./Yelp

This tiny scoop shop has a huge following, so expect a long line out the door on warm days, but at least you’ll have time to decide on a flavor. Their ice cream is all organic — can you expect anything less in Marin? Flavors are constantly changing with the seasons, but there’s always a dairy-free option. Try their signature vanilla, honey, lavender in a homemade waffle cup or cone.   

63 Broadway
Fairfax, CA 94930

9. Good Earth Natural Foods

720 Center Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930
Deli counter at Good Earth
Rachel H./Yelp

Yes, this is technically a grocery store, and a pricey one at that. But they have one of the best prepared foods section a grocery store can offer. From sandwiches, to pizza, to tacos, to salad bar and Thai wok, everything is made with local, organic ingredients. Indeed, the store prides itself on only selling organic, local and seasonal produce, so if you’re looking for peaches in March, you won’t find them here.

720 Center Blvd
Fairfax, CA 94930

10. M.H.Bread and Butter

101 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, CA 94960
Fried egg sandwich at M.H. Bread and Butter
Owie N./Yelp

This daytime cafe bakes their own assortment of breads and pastries, in addition to serving a full breakfast and lunch menu. Stop by for some Straus yogurt and granola, soup, salad, or sandwich. Everything is made with fresh, local ingredients and a list of their purveyors can be found on their website.

101 San Anselmo Ave
San Anselmo, CA 94960

11. El Huarache Loco

1803 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur, CA 94939
Huarache at El Huarache Loco
Thu S./ Yelp

Another Marin Country Mart go-to is El Huarache Loco, which also has a location in SF. Founded by chef Veronica Salazar, alum of SF’s Mission incubator kitchen La Cocina, Salazar is bringing flavors of Mexico City to the Bay. As the name suggests, you’ll find huaraches —oval-shaped corn tortillas filled with beans and topped with salsa, cilantro and cheese — in addition to sopes, tacos, enchiladas and the works. Go for breakfast, lunch or dinner.    

1803 Larkspur Landing Cir
Larkspur, CA 94939

12. Farmshop

2233 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur, CA 94939
Poached chicken salad, baby gem lettuce at Farmshop
Dean C./Yelp

This is quintessential Californian cuisine found at the Marin Country Mart, just a step away from the Larkspur Ferry. The menu is creative, detailed and on the pricier side, but worth it. For brunch, indulge in the brioche sticky bun or dungeness crab egg frittata.  

2233 Larkspur Landing Cir
Larkspur, CA 94939

13. Emporio Rulli

464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA 94939
Pastries at Emporio Rulli
Alex B./Yelp

Rulli has been a staple pasticceria in Marin since 1988. The feel is certainly that of an Italian cafe in Rome or Florence. Walk in and smell the espresso, pastries and gelato. It’s a perfect place to grab a focaccia sandwich, panini and coffee, or to fulfill a donut craving, try the bombolone.

464 Magnolia Ave
Larkspur, CA 94939

14. Burmatown

60 Corte Madera Ave, Corte Madera, CA 94925
Tea leaf salad at Burmatown
Burmatown/Facebook

Burmese food has become ubiquitous in the Bay Area — you won’t find it many other places. Burmatown is a stellar, Michelin recommended, family-run restaurant, with a a traditional tea leaf salad with fermented tea leaves, dried shrimp, peanuts, fried garlic and fish sauce on the menu. Other offerings include coconut chicken curry noodles and a beef short rib curry. Make sure to order the coconut rice on the side.   

60 Corte Madera Ave
Corte Madera, CA 94925

15. Avatar's Punjabi Burritos

15 Madrona St, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Roasted eggplant with curried chicken at Avatar’s
Ann S./Yelp

Mexico meets Indian cuisine at this popular Punjabi burrito joint that has multiple locations, including Mill Valley, Larkspur and Fairfax. Enjoy a burrito filled with smoked eggplant or curried chicken wrapped in roti or a rice plate topped with chickpeas and seasonal vegetables.

15 Madrona St
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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16. Joe's Taco Lounge & Salsaria

382 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Exterior of Joe’s Taco Lounge
Joe’s Taco Lounge/Facebook

A fun and funky spot, Joe’s has been serving up solid tacos, burritos, tostadas and other standard Californian-Mexican fare for two and a half decades. It’s a good place to stop after a long day out at Stinson Beach, or if you’re just in the mood for some great Mexican cuisine in a casual setting.

382 Miller Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Related Maps