Where to Eat: Fairfax

Perched on the line between Central and West Marin, the small town of Fairfax comfortably straddles new and old Marin with a mix of bohemian hippies, young families, and trendy hot spots. Noted for its live music venues, mountain bike culture, and independent stores, Fairfax’s dining options are equally diverse, ranging from upscale wine bar to beer hall, and Japanese pub to family-run Italian.

Be sure to check each restaurant’s website or social pages to confirm its most current hours of operation and services.

Amelie | Bah Mi Ba | Barefoot Cafe | Fradelizio’sHenHouse BrewingMas Masa | Sorella Caffe | Split Rock Tap & Wheel | Stillwater |  The HummingbirdThe Lodge | Village Sake | Way Station


Amelie

French

Stop in for a quintessential French breakfast of coffee and a croissant at this outpost of the original San Francisco wine bar. Stay to enjoy plates of Cal-French escargot with garlic butter, salad Nicoise with pickled egg or slow-baked steelhead with persillade and radishes at lunch and dinner and an extensive French wine list. A petite street side patio features dining atop wine barrels.

71 Broadway Blvd, 628.253.5161

Bah Mi Ba

Asian

A takeout only spot from the Village Sake team homes in on Southeast Asian flavors. Gluten-free spring rolls and vermicelli bowls line up against Vietnamese bánh mi on a sub roll. Tradition dictates five types of pork layered with cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro, but modernists will savor a sandwich stuffed with Impossible laab or Korean fried chicken instead.

1 Bolinas Rd; 415.209.5314

Barefoot Cafe

American

Tony Senehi prepares fresh California dishes with local organic ingredients from sustainable sources. A popular brunch spot, this quaint restaurant in the heart of Fairfax serves locals and tourists everything from eggs Benedict to panna cotta dessert.

1900 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415.460.2160

Fradelizio’s

Italian

Locally raised chef-owner Paul Fradelizio has served inspired Northern Italian fare (homemade gnocchi, wild boar cannelloni, Monterey Bay calamari, tiramisu) for more than 25 years. A perennial neighborhood gem winner, the cozy space welcomes all with daily specials (salmon, line-caught in Bolinas, with a golden beet and arugula salad, house made Meyer lemon fettuccine with salmon and asparagus) and a wine by the barrel program, sourced from Napa and Sonoma.

35 Broadway Blvd, 415.459.1618

HenHouse Brewing

American

Temporarily closed. Plans to reopen in early 2023. The self-proclaimed “West County Pub” opened its doors in mid-April with a menu of small bites, handhelds and shareables that go head-to-head with an expansive beer menu. Pick your style – barrel-aged, IPA/DIPA, Belgian, stout – and enjoy it alongside hand-foraged mushroom toast, garden pickle melange “charcuterie” board or a brat in a blanket at one of the long, beer hall-style tables (we are suckers for the ones with banquettes).

765 Center Blvd, 415.485.1005

Mas Masa

Mexican

Chef and owner Patrick Sheehy focuses on the ancient technique of corn nixtamalization, using organic, non-GMO blue corn to make its handmade tortillas. The beer and wine lists highlight local California microbreweries and wineries. It’s all available to enjoy on the shaded patio.

31 Bolinas Rd, 415.529.5444

Sorella Caffe

Italian

Run by sisters Sonia and Soyara, Sorella, which means “sister” in Italian, serves fresh Italian with a northern influence. Customer favorites include the cioppino, butternut squash ravioli, and Pollo alla Sorella.

107 Bolinas Rd, 415.258.4520

Split Rock Tap & Wheel

American

The former Fairfax Cyclery space, which had been operating as just a bike shop, has been reconfigured and now also serves food and an assortment of beers. Menu items include pizzas, sandwiches and snacks like citrus-marinated olives or house-made pickles. Beers on tap are almost all exclusively local favorites.

2020 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415. 721.7644

Stillwater

Californian

Fairfax native Margaret Ruiz and her life and business partner, David, joined forces with chef Cameron Myers to bring the bounty of the county to the table. Appetizers and salads feature local cheeses, oysters, and produce while the cheeseburger with Stemple Creek beef topped with house-cured pork belly, has already developed a cult following. Two patios provide ample outdoor eating space.

23 Broadway, 415.524.8478

The Hummingbird

American

This New Orleans–style restaurant serves up creole staples like fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, po’boys, gumbo, and beignets. Opt for the spicy syrup or homemade hot sauce to get that Cajun kick. Cash only.

57 Broadway Blvd, 415.457.9866

The Lodge

American

The menu is designed to power up the many riders who swing by, featuring all-American eats like a breakfast burrito stuffed with eggs, spinach and salsa; share plates like a sausage board served with Lodge tots and slaw; and pour-over coffee and draft beer for riders and hikers alike. Beer, cider and wine are available to go in Growlers and Cans and can be sipped in the backyard where shaded picnic tables await.

1573 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415.456.8084

Village Sake Best of Marin County 2017Best of Marin County 2016

Japanese

Beloved former Sushi Ran chef Scott Whitman’s izakaya is a Japanese-style community pub. In the compact interior space and at the seven outdoor tables, you’ll find sushi and skewers, salads and small plates, plus sake and craft beer. The daily waitlist opens online at 5 p.m. The adjoining sake bar, Sake Bin, has a separate menu but is currently closed; takeout bento boxes are available.

19 Bolinas Rd, 415.521.5790

Way Station

American

Barbecue from a trailer embedded into the wall is the main attraction at this mechanic’s shop turned eatery where tall sliding windows frame washed concrete floors and a craft beer garden with fire pit. The ‘cue gets all the love but salads, flatbread pizzas, and a wide selection of tapped and bottled beers plus wines round out the menu. Kid-friendly and dog-friendly with outdoor seating.

2001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415.300.3099