Best Family Outdoor Dining Spots

Long-time contributor and supermom Donna Glass shares the top spots in Marin County for outdoor family dining.

Slow Streets — Downtown Tiburon

Now through Labor Day weekend, Main Street in quintessentially charming Tiburon turns into a pedestrians-only avenue full of outdoor dining options from Friday afternoons through Sunday evenings, including space for social distancing. There are plenty of kid-friendly indulgences to be had, including pizza from Waypoint Pizza, pasta from Servino Ristorante and ice cream from The Candy Shoppe.

Gravity Tavern — Mill Valley

Formerly the home of the Balboa Café Mill Valley, the newly opened Gravity Tavern is quickly making a splash with its buttermilk fried chicken, offered in kid-sized, individual or family sized portions, plus a variety of salads, sides, entrees and daily prix fixe specials. It offers limited patio and bistro sidewalk seating with advanced reservations, made directly through the restaurant.

Creekside Pizza — San Anselmo

This upscale pizza joint offers tasty salads, sandwiches and appetizers that mom and dad will enjoy too, plus mac n cheese and spaghetti for kids. As part of San Anselmos On the Avenue weekend street shutdown happening on Friday and Saturday evenings and all day on Sundays, Creekside is setting up extra tables near the new Bridge Plaza in Creek Park for families to enjoy their take-out al fresco.

RangeCafe Grill — Peacock Gap Golf Club, San Rafael

The restaurant overlooking the picturesque golf course, offering a sense of rejuvenation, has opened its outdoor patio with tables on a first-come, first serve basis. The menu is well rounded including choices for kids, who eat free on Mondays (make sure to ask when placing your order). When youre finished, pick up one of their take-and-bake lasagnas to enjoy later in the week.

Finnegans Marin — Downtown Novato

Reminiscent of a European pub, this family friendly spot with an outdoor patio offers a big menu with burgers, pizzas, salads and even Irish corned beef and cabbage and Irish nachos. Theres limited seating on the patio, but on weekends, seating extends onto Grant Avenue which is closed to traffic Friday afternoon through Sunday.

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A freelance writer in Marin who writes about family, kids and parenting, Glass is the mother to one son, one dog and a hamster named Miss Geri. When shes not writing, trekking up steep hills in Marin or driving her kid to sports practice, she and her family spend time in their tiny cabin in Lake Tahoe. She avidly supports the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to Bay Area seniors and disabled adults. Glass is obsessed with baking the perfect loaf of banana bread, something she makes so often she no longer needs to look at a recipe card.