Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines share many common ingredients like olives, olive oils, pitas, honey, and chickpeas. Not surprisingly, they also share similar dishes like hummus, falafel, and kebab variations. Mainly using fresh, clean, and veggie-focused ingredients, these diets are known as some of the healthiest ways to eat. The Mediterranean is a blue zone (an area identified for having the happiest, healthiest and longest-living populations). The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Insalata’s (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food picks see below.
Our 2023 Dining category sponsor is Rodney Strong.
We’ve broken it down by region: Southern and Central Marin.
The menu–with a wine and cocktail list to match–reflects influences from Greece, Italy, Spain, the Middle East and France. A mezze plate is filled with muhammara, dolmas, and an eggplant spread known as mutabal, while a kofta burger is topped with tzatziki and green zhug on a focaccia bun. All the share-size plates can also be enjoyed at the bright blue and white bar.
39 Caledonia St, Sausalito, 415.887.9047
Award-winning chef Heidi Krahling’s downtown restaurant features soulful Mediterranean fare for 25+ years. Dinner favorites include cataplana with mussels and chorizo, Middle Eastern-inspired vegetarian platter, Moroccan lamb flatbread, house made pastas and of course, the fattoush salad. An expansive takeout counter offers a wide range of selections for family meals, celebrations or a quick lunch option.
120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.457.7700
The go-to dish at owner Ali Mobasser’s Persian barbecue restaurant is the koobideh. Seasoned with grated onion and seven spices, including turmeric, saffron, sumac and white pepper, the meat is “koobidehed” (meaning, beaten with the spices) before grilling. While the outside is charred, the beef’s skewering allows for even internal heat and easy turning during cooking, locking in flavor. “It keeps the juices from spilling out,” says Mobasser.
555 Francisco Blvd E, San Rafael, 415.256.9878
Julie and Elias started Julie’s Hummus Bar & Grill from their love of healthy, Mediterranean cuisine and the joy of bringing friends and family together. From salads, platters, hummus, falafel and more, they have all the Mediterranean dishes you’re looking for.
1026 Court St, San Rafael, 415.755.4818