From tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and of course, guac, Mexican food has captured the hearts of almost all who have tried it, especially those of us who live in California. In the US, we’ve even dedicated a whole day of the week to our favorite dish, Taco Tuesday. The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Playa (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County Mexican Food picks see below.
Our 2023 Dining category sponsor is Rodney Strong.
Because there are so many great ones, we’ve broken it down by region: Southern, Central, and Northern Marin.
Co-owner Joanne Weir, along with Chef Aaron Sabido, presents fresh Mexican fare in the heart of Bridgeway. The ever-changing menu is 100 percent gluten-free, masa is prepared and pressed in house for each and every tortilla, and the in-house tequila bar serves over 100 varieties, ideal for crafting your own margarita. Dine at the bar or on the outdoor patio for great people-watching.
739 Bridgeway, Sausalito, 415.331.7400
The popular family restaurant serves traditional Mexican fare including soups, salads, sandwiches and sizzling fajitas in dinner-size portions at lunch-size prices. An outdoor fire pit and two patios offer plenty of space for the alfresco dining scene, or take in the lively atmosphere indoors. Stop by for a margarita–they are known throughout Marin.
651 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, 415.381.1070
Joe’s serves up fish tacos (which it can never take off the menu), burritos and enchiladas as well as more unusual items like Mexican pizza, and tofu tostada. A colorful interior and quick service make this a fun, easy stop. If you stay, grab a few of the hundreds of hot sauce bottles from the wall and find your perfect match. Cup of Joe’s coffee cart, out front every morning, serves lattes, Mexican hot chocolate and burritos to go.
382 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, 415.383.8164
With a chef from Mexico City, Playa’s food offers traditional dishes with modern flavors and presentations. A Little Gem salad sparkles with tomatillo dressing and enchiladas shine from a glossy coating of house made black mole and micro greens. The bar highlights exceptional tequilas and mezcals but the el Slushie and house margarita have legions of fans and are perfect for sipping on the large, heated back patio. Weekend lunch is available.
41 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, 415.384.8871
With an emphasis on regional Mexican dishes and flavors sourced from family recipes, the menu is based on California seasonality and revolves around gluten-free masa. The daily-made tortillas are a highlight in dishes such as tostadas de atún and a masa section of the menu features traditional dishes like sopes de frijol and tinga tamal. There’s a full bar to boot and everything is easily enjoyed on their large, heated patio.
301 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, 415.500.5145
This sister restaurant of Insalata’s continues to flourish as a bastion of creative Mexican and Central and South American cuisine. Not your typical south-of-the-border spot, they serve up top-notch margaritas and Latin lusciousness.
218 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.454.8900
The full bar features plentiful tequila and mezcal selections and its regional Mexican cuisine includes Oaxacan mole, fish tacos and vegetarian options. Black Gold salsa arrives with complimentary chips and is created from charred blackened tomatoes and roasted chilis. Enclosed patio seating is available year round.
21 Tamalpais Ave, San Anselmo, 415.454.6562
Fresh home-style Mexican food served with fresh salsa and guacamole made daily, Celia’s prides itself in their quality, natural, health conscious cuisine.
1 Vivian St, San Rafael, 415.456.8190
Quality, quick and classic. Picante is a go-to neighborhood stop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
340 Bellam Blvd, San Rafael, 415.485.6050
Fresh margaritas know no border, while salmon fish tacos are topped with chopped onion and cilantro a la Distrito Federal and a pambazo, a sandwich stuffed with chorizo and potato, is done up with a Jaliscan style sauce. A six table patio offers outdoor seating.
1559 4th St, San Rafael, 415.306.9404
Carmen’s extensive menu of authentic Mexican dishes has a spicy, mild, or refreshing dish for everyone. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the accessible location along with its burritos, fajitas, and tortas has won the hearts of Novato residents.
1401 Grant Ave, Novato, 415.897.5514
Dine in or take out, Mi Pueblo serves up the Mexican classics to fix any craving.
905 Grant Ave, Novato, 415.878.0122
The former Crave space pivoted in late September to focus on the cuisine of Oaxaca with imported chilies and spices for the chicken enchiladas with mole coloradito and cauliflower al pastor with achiote and chipotle aioli. Heirloom corm masa is made in-house, a fine underpinning for quesabirria tacos at lunch and dinner and chilaquiles at breakfast. A tequila cart will transport some of the 60+ tequilas and margaritas from the bar straight to your table.
340 Ignacio Blvd, Novato, 415.883.0901