Novato lies on the northern edge of Marin, with the advantage of being two steps to Sonoma County. Its small-town vibe and surrounding countryside keep it cozy and local. Dining options include small cafes, wine bars, and a smattering of dine-in or -out options, along with Marin institutions such as Hopmonk Tavern and Finnegan’s.
Beso Bistro and Wine Bar | Boca Pizzeria | Chianti Cucina | Crave | Finnegan’s | Hopmonk Tavern | Jennie Low’s | Jerry’s Delicatessen & BBQ | Marvin’s Restaurant | Michael’s Sourdough | Rustic Bakery | The Speakeasy | Toast
Californian, COVID-19 update: Open for patio dining and takeout, Tuesday–Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Reservations recommended.
This Hamilton Field bistro highlights locally sourced organic produce, fresh sustainable seafood, and pasture-raised and free-range meat. Wine lovers can embrace their inner Dionysus — Beso offers more than 20 selections by the glass and more than 50 by the bottle.
502 S Palm Drive, Novato, 415.883.6700
Italian, COVID-19 update: Open for outdoor dining and takeout, Sunday–Thursday, 11:30-8 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Delivery via DoorDash.
Enjoy authentic pizza prepared with fresh mozzarella made in house and tomatoes imported from Italy, or go for a grilled rosemary chicken sandwich or the braised beef short rib pappardelle. Weekly specials include half off all wines by the bottle on Wednesdays and half off draft beers on Thursdays.
454 Ignacio Blvd, Novato, 415.883.2302
Italian, COVID-19 update: Takeout available, Sunday–Thursday, 4:30-7:30 p.m. and Friday–Saturday, 4:30-8 p.m. Order via phone or Drive-Thru app.
This cozy eatery offers an array of Italian and American dishes, including a long list of pastas; try the house-made ravioli cooked up by chef Edgar DeLon.
7416 Redwood Highway, Novato, 415.878.0314
Californian, COVID-19 update: Opened September, 2020. Open for takeout and dining on the terrace, 5-9 p.m., Sunday–Thursday; 5-10 p.m., Friday–Saturday.
Executive chef Christian Pulido serves up seasonally-driven California cuisine on the shaded terrace (and in a modern dining room, replete with George Nelson bubble lamps, when permitted). Char Siu Octopus and a Soba Noodle Salad push the flavor boundary while a CAB Burger and Halibut with Corn Pudding are instantly familiar.
340 Ignacio Blvd, Novato, 415.883.0901
American, COVID-19 update: Open for patio dining, takeout, and contactless curbside, Wednesday–Sunday, 11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Please call to order. Delivery via DoorDash.
The dark wood paneled booths and high backs on bar stools mean it is easy to linger over Irish-inspired meals like corned beef and cabbage or nachos made with waffle fries instead of corn chips.
877 Grant Ave, Novato, 415.899.1516
American, COVID-19 update:Open for patio dining, takeout and delivery, Sunday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
The beer garden-style outdoor patio and live music keep fans coming back to this Novato brewhouse. Weekly events include country line dancing and open mic nights with an ample selection of beers on tap.
224 Vintage Way, Novato, 415.892.6200
Chinese, COVID-19 update: Open for takeout, Monday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3:30-9 p.m.
Choose from Cantonese, Mandarin, Szechuan and Hunan cuisines, and if you don’t see your favorite, let the restaurant know; whenever possible, they’re happy to try and prepare dishes off-menu. The potstickers are the best around.
120 Vintage Way, Novato, 415.892.8838
American, COVID-19 update: Opened September, 2020. Open for patio dining and takeout, 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday–Thursday; 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday; 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday; 8 a.m.9 p.m., Sunday.
Southern flavors and plenty of smoked meats are highlights of an all-day menu that includes avocado toast and breakfast burritos for breakfast any time and a classic BLT updated with house smoked salmon or a BBQ Plate with tri-tip and chicken. A complete remodel of the former Perry’s Deli space means ample, picnic-style shaded seating outside, too.
7380 Redwood Blvd, Novato, 415.895.5592
American, COVID-19 update: Open for takeout and delivery, daily 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
This place, known for “Best Breakfast in Novato,” also serves up generous portions for lunch. The corned beef hash, Benedicts, and superb service draw a consistent crowd year-round.
1112 Grant Ave, Novato, 415.892.4482
American, COVID-19 update: Open for takeout only, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
The bread is made on site and is said to have magical qualities. It better as it is the only holder for the overstuffed wonders served at this Best of the County 2019 winner. Fans return over and over to the San Rafael and Novato locations for their faves, ordered by number, then swoon over the huge sandos piled with meat, cheese and enough shredded lettuce to ooze out the sides and onto your lap.
999 Andersen Drive, Ste. 165, San Rafael, 415.485.0964
Californian, COVID-19 update: Open daily, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. for counter orders to-go or curbside delivery via phone or ChowNow. Delivery via Caviar and DoorDash. Catering via ezCater.
Organic pastries, breads, salads, and sandwiches are on the menu here, including daily seasonal specials. Try the Marin Melt — Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and Point Reyes Toma cheeses grilled on honey whole wheat, served with dressed baby greens and crisp apple slices.
1407 Grant Ave, Novato, 415.878.4952
American, COVID-19 update: Temporarily closed. Sister restaurant, Rickey’s, is open for patio dining, takeout and delivery. Call 415.870.2990 to order.
There’s nothing like the comfort of a solid burger and beer when you’re kicking back and watching the game, and the Speakeasy provides. In addition to the 10 beers on tap, you can go beyond traditional pub grub with treats like a deconstructed salmon salad.
504 Alameda del Prado, Novato, 415.883.7793
American, COVID-19 update: Open for patio dining daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.. Takeout and delivery available daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
With outdoor dining and spacious inside seating, Toast Novato is ideal for large parties and families craving ample plates of comfort food.