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Two cocktails in front of the ocean.
Cocktails at the Trident
Lauren Saria

Where to Eat and Drink While Catching Some Rays in Sunny Sausalito

A guide to dining and drinking in this bayside town

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Cocktails at the Trident
| Lauren Saria

Sausalito is the Bay Area town with the dock by the Bay, the one for sitting by. Otis Redding’s famous relationship to the Mediterranean-esque Sausalito is well-known — more talked about than the pirates who took the law to task through their houseboat coalition — but perhaps less-discussed is the coastal enclave’s sunny weather and stellar views of the city. There is an abundance of dining options for a city whose name means “small willow grove.” For a satisfying meal or an afternoon cocktail before you jump back on the ferry or, perhaps, a bike, here are 16 great restaurants in Sausalito.

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Kitti's Place

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Lisa is serving and her mother is in the kitchen at this homey restaurant where loyal locals are on a first-name basis. For more than two decades, home-cooked Thai food and Asian-influenced dishes have earned accolades from Kitti’s Place admirers. Tucked away in a strip mall at the northern end of town, friendly customer service means a warm greeting from Lisa’s father, Kitti, and a complimentary bowl of soup while you wait.

Avatar's

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If you live in Sausalito, you already know about family-run Avatar’s, which has been serving California-ified Indian food since 1989. The menu blends Mexican, Indian, and other global influences meaning you can order Punjabi enchiladas stuffed with jerk chicken along with a side of samosas. Just save room for Avatar’s Dream, a specialty dessert of almond gelato cake with chocolate, pistachios, mango, and rose petal sauce.

Fish. is a little off the beaten ferry path, but getting there is worth the effort. It's all about sustainable seafood, including a raw seafood market for locals. Check the chalkboard for the daily catch, order at the counter, and sit at an outdoor picnic table beside the harbor to enjoy a generous portion of whatever’s fresh. In season, the Dungeness crab roll should catch your attention.

Le Garage

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This former garage with indoor-outdoor seating is Sausalito with a French accent. It's a bit of a walk from where the ferry docks are, so you'll probably work up an appetite finding the place. But once you're there, you'll find a panorama of sailboats on Sausalito Bay with French-influenced dishes like croque monsieur, French toast, moules, and pommes frites.

Fred's Coffee Shop

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A local stalwart since 1966, Fred's Coffee Shop will make you feel like a Sausalito insider. The millionaire’s bacon keeps everybody coming back, and you can get yours with eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs and toast, lemon ricotta pancakes, or deep-fried French toast, and bottomless mimosas.

The Bump Bar

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California Caviar Company has long been a favorite of some of the Bay Area’s top chefs but if you want to go directly to the source, you can belly up to the company’s Bump Bar where the menu is blanketed in decadent fish roe. Order plates like beef tartare or hamachi crudo or go for caviar by the gram perhaps with a bottle of something bubbly. Hours are somewhat limited so call ahead or email for a reservation.

Joinery

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The Joinery has been a hit with Sausalito locals and tourists who just biked over the bridge since it opened in early 2017. Fans love the fried chicken sandwich, although hearty salads including a radicchio Caesar and heaping bowls of Brussels sprouts are sleeper hits. Order in the front, take a number, and grab a seat — the views of the bay from the dock out back will make you whistle.

Bar Bocce

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Make your choice from a dozen thin-crust sourdough pizza toppings including pepperoni, prosciutto, pork sausage, pear, and more to enjoy at an outdoor table where a small Richardson Bay beach and a bocce court add atmosphere. Order the signature sangria to accompany starters such as meatballs and chicken wings while a winning pizza is fired up. Note the date night magnet: a fire pit.

Sushi Ran

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Charms of Sausalito aside, this top-rated sushi restaurant is reason enough for a trip. Much of the fish is imported from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market before being served as simple sashimi or bundled into maki rolls. Alternatively, go with locally sourced favorites, such as a silky, buttery miso-glazed black cod with pea shoots, one of the reasons owner Yoshi Tome has received international acclaim for 30 years.

Sushi Ran

The Spinnaker

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Visible on the ferry approach to Sausalito, this old school spot doesn’t need to advertise its fabulous views, which is good, since this grande dame restaurant is a bit stuck in the 20th century. However, a simple Caesar salad and clam chowder by sunset is a show, as San Francisco skyscrapers light up in the sun’s reflection.

Northern Italian comfort food meets comfy old-world interiors at this well-loved trattoria on Sausalito’s main drag, which recently got some love on Apple TV’s The Last Thing He Told Me. The owner’s spring-fed organic garden contributes freshness and a wood-fired rotisserie provides market specialties to an extensive daily changing menu with plenty of pasta and antipasti.

A bowl of pasta with shellfish. Lauren Saria

Copita Tequileria y Comida

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Copita co-owner Joanne Weir wrote the book (literally) on tequila, so it’s easy to understand why this petite restaurant stocks such a vast array of agave spirits. Go for chips and salsa to start, fried pork belly tacos served on house-made corn tortillas, and wood-roasted chicken served at an outdoor table in the sun. A house margarita is a must.

Ceviche on a table. Lauren Saria

Napa Valley Burger Company

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Casual dining options are a little harder to come by on Sausalito's main drag, which is probably why you’ll find this small burger joint often packed to the gills. Housed in a historic brick building, this restaurant specializes, as you may have guessed, in hefty burgers, which can be topped with bacon, guacamole, or pinot noir marinated mushrooms.

Napa Valley Burger Company

Angelino Restaurant

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Hitting this local staple is encouraged, be it for the excellent pastry bar, open most mornings and doling out apple and pecan pies, or the sit-down restaurant, serving pizza and focaccia at night. It’s right on the main drag, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to people-watch and soak up some bay views.

Pastries from Pastry Bar at Angelino Restaurant Jenessa Abrams

Ditas moved into the space above the Trident in early 2023 and serves a four-course prix fixe menu ($120) in an impressive setting just off the water. Choose from starters such as oysters in apple and watermelon radish mignonette or summer salad of Sungold tomatoes followed by larger plates like miso Chilean sea bass, wagyu strip loin, and a “veggieloaf.”

Ditas

The Trident

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The Trident's 19th-century pedigree as a former yacht club explains its enviable waterfront position enhanced by great city views. More famous for its ’60s and ’70s musical legacy than for its food, the Trident was a spirited hangout for rock stars like Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jerry Garcia, and The Rolling Stones. Clam chowder, fish tacos, and hearty cioppino reign.

Kitti's Place

Lisa is serving and her mother is in the kitchen at this homey restaurant where loyal locals are on a first-name basis. For more than two decades, home-cooked Thai food and Asian-influenced dishes have earned accolades from Kitti’s Place admirers. Tucked away in a strip mall at the northern end of town, friendly customer service means a warm greeting from Lisa’s father, Kitti, and a complimentary bowl of soup while you wait.

Avatar's

If you live in Sausalito, you already know about family-run Avatar’s, which has been serving California-ified Indian food since 1989. The menu blends Mexican, Indian, and other global influences meaning you can order Punjabi enchiladas stuffed with jerk chicken along with a side of samosas. Just save room for Avatar’s Dream, a specialty dessert of almond gelato cake with chocolate, pistachios, mango, and rose petal sauce.

Fish.

Fish. is a little off the beaten ferry path, but getting there is worth the effort. It's all about sustainable seafood, including a raw seafood market for locals. Check the chalkboard for the daily catch, order at the counter, and sit at an outdoor picnic table beside the harbor to enjoy a generous portion of whatever’s fresh. In season, the Dungeness crab roll should catch your attention.

Le Garage

This former garage with indoor-outdoor seating is Sausalito with a French accent. It's a bit of a walk from where the ferry docks are, so you'll probably work up an appetite finding the place. But once you're there, you'll find a panorama of sailboats on Sausalito Bay with French-influenced dishes like croque monsieur, French toast, moules, and pommes frites.

Fred's Coffee Shop

A local stalwart since 1966, Fred's Coffee Shop will make you feel like a Sausalito insider. The millionaire’s bacon keeps everybody coming back, and you can get yours with eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs and toast, lemon ricotta pancakes, or deep-fried French toast, and bottomless mimosas.

The Bump Bar

California Caviar Company has long been a favorite of some of the Bay Area’s top chefs but if you want to go directly to the source, you can belly up to the company’s Bump Bar where the menu is blanketed in decadent fish roe. Order plates like beef tartare or hamachi crudo or go for caviar by the gram perhaps with a bottle of something bubbly. Hours are somewhat limited so call ahead or email for a reservation.

Joinery

The Joinery has been a hit with Sausalito locals and tourists who just biked over the bridge since it opened in early 2017. Fans love the fried chicken sandwich, although hearty salads including a radicchio Caesar and heaping bowls of Brussels sprouts are sleeper hits. Order in the front, take a number, and grab a seat — the views of the bay from the dock out back will make you whistle.

Bar Bocce

Make your choice from a dozen thin-crust sourdough pizza toppings including pepperoni, prosciutto, pork sausage, pear, and more to enjoy at an outdoor table where a small Richardson Bay beach and a bocce court add atmosphere. Order the signature sangria to accompany starters such as meatballs and chicken wings while a winning pizza is fired up. Note the date night magnet: a fire pit.

Sushi Ran

Charms of Sausalito aside, this top-rated sushi restaurant is reason enough for a trip. Much of the fish is imported from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market before being served as simple sashimi or bundled into maki rolls. Alternatively, go with locally sourced favorites, such as a silky, buttery miso-glazed black cod with pea shoots, one of the reasons owner Yoshi Tome has received international acclaim for 30 years.

Sushi Ran

The Spinnaker

Visible on the ferry approach to Sausalito, this old school spot doesn’t need to advertise its fabulous views, which is good, since this grande dame restaurant is a bit stuck in the 20th century. However, a simple Caesar salad and clam chowder by sunset is a show, as San Francisco skyscrapers light up in the sun’s reflection.

Poggio

Northern Italian comfort food meets comfy old-world interiors at this well-loved trattoria on Sausalito’s main drag, which recently got some love on Apple TV’s The Last Thing He Told Me. The owner’s spring-fed organic garden contributes freshness and a wood-fired rotisserie provides market specialties to an extensive daily changing menu with plenty of pasta and antipasti.

A bowl of pasta with shellfish. Lauren Saria

Copita Tequileria y Comida

Copita co-owner Joanne Weir wrote the book (literally) on tequila, so it’s easy to understand why this petite restaurant stocks such a vast array of agave spirits. Go for chips and salsa to start, fried pork belly tacos served on house-made corn tortillas, and wood-roasted chicken served at an outdoor table in the sun. A house margarita is a must.

Ceviche on a table. Lauren Saria

Napa Valley Burger Company

Casual dining options are a little harder to come by on Sausalito's main drag, which is probably why you’ll find this small burger joint often packed to the gills. Housed in a historic brick building, this restaurant specializes, as you may have guessed, in hefty burgers, which can be topped with bacon, guacamole, or pinot noir marinated mushrooms.

Napa Valley Burger Company

Angelino Restaurant

Hitting this local staple is encouraged, be it for the excellent pastry bar, open most mornings and doling out apple and pecan pies, or the sit-down restaurant, serving pizza and focaccia at night. It’s right on the main drag, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to people-watch and soak up some bay views.

Pastries from Pastry Bar at Angelino Restaurant Jenessa Abrams

Ditas

Ditas moved into the space above the Trident in early 2023 and serves a four-course prix fixe menu ($120) in an impressive setting just off the water. Choose from starters such as oysters in apple and watermelon radish mignonette or summer salad of Sungold tomatoes followed by larger plates like miso Chilean sea bass, wagyu strip loin, and a “veggieloaf.”

Ditas

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The Trident

The Trident's 19th-century pedigree as a former yacht club explains its enviable waterfront position enhanced by great city views. More famous for its ’60s and ’70s musical legacy than for its food, the Trident was a spirited hangout for rock stars like Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jerry Garcia, and The Rolling Stones. Clam chowder, fish tacos, and hearty cioppino reign.

Related Maps