Where to Eat: Novato

Novato restaurant

Novato lies on the northern edge of Marin, with the advantage of being two steps to Sonoma County. Its many small communities and surrounding countryside gives this expansive town with a very large mall a local feeling. Dining options include small cafes and wine bars, along with Marin favorites Hopmonk Tavern, Boca Pizzeria and Finnegan’s.

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

BakeryBar | Barbecue | Breakfast | Brewery | Coffee Shop | Chinese | Indian | Italian | Latin American | Mexican | Pizza | Sandwiches | Sushi | Thai | Vietnamese | Vegan & Vegetarian

Marin Magazine Readers Choice logo

This symbol indicates a Best of the County Readers’ Choice recipient.


For more Bakeries, in Marin check out our Best of the County picks here.

Creekside Bakery

Creekside Bakery, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Creekside Bakery

House made levain toast, quiche (smoked ham and Marin French brie is forever) and sandwiches on griddled ciabatta are part of the appeal of this long-running bakery and café but it’s the large assortment of cakes — from carrot and coffee crunch to St. Honoré and Black Forest — that have a dedicated following.

2024 Best of the County for Bakeries.

Brunch | Outdoor Seating | Kid-friendly | Grab ‘n Go | Dogs Welcome
1719 Grant Ave, 415.892.7655

Flour Chylde

Flour Chylde, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Flour Chylde

The 100% gluten-free bakery makes seasonal treats like soft pretzels for Oktoberfest and s’mores for Fourth of July. Many items, like the gooey cinnamon roll, snickerdoodles and multi-grain bread, are vegan, too.

2024 Best of the County for Bakeries.

Grab ‘n Go | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20
850 Grant Ave, 415.893.7700

Rustic Bakery

Rustic Bakery, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Rustic Bakery

Organic pastries, breads, salads, and sandwiches are on the menu at this location downtown, 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. It’s even better on the patio.

2024 Best of the County for Al Fresco Dining.

Dogs Welcome | Grab ‘n Go | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
1407 Grant Ave, 415.878.4952


For more Bars in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Beso Bistro and Wine Bar

Beso Bistro and Wine Bar, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Beso Bistro

This Hamilton Field restaurant 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. The patio is naturally shaded by local oaks.

2024 Best of the County for Al Fresco Dining.

Date Spot | Dogs Welcome | Kid-friendly | Outdoor Seating
502 S Palm Drive, 415.883.6700

The Boardroom

The Boardroom, Novato
Photo Courtesy of The Boardroom at The Speakeasy

A secret library connects The Speakeasy to owner and executive chef Munther Massarweh’s latest project, a “piano dining room” to build the attached Boardroom where shaded chandelier sconces and Prohibition-era photos (plus Marilyn Monroe and Elvis hang near white linen­-covered tables and dark leather chairs. It’s a good match for the classic wedge salad, escargot and herb-crusted filet mignon at lunch or dinner with a Fly Me to the Moon or martini cocktail, or avail yourself of the expansive wine menu.

Date Spot | Full Bar | Happy Hour | New Hot Spot | Round Table
504 Alameda Del Prado, 415.883.7793

The Speakeasy

The Speakeasy, Novato
Photo Courtesy of The Speakeasy

There’s nothing like the comfort of a solid burger and beer when you’re kicking back and watching the game. In addition to the 10 beers on tap, cocktails range from the 1920’s to the 2020’s. A shareable, tapas-style menu includes grilled maitake mushrooms, escargot and mini street tacos.

Date Spot | Full Bar | Happy Hour | Meal Under $20
504 Alameda del Prado, 415.883.7793


For more Barbecue in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Belli Deli

Belli Deli, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Belli Deli

There are no bells and whistles at this RV park deli better known for its California Reuben and Atherton Club sandwiches than its Korean barbecue. That needs to change. From a tiny, gas-fired grill, Korean-born chef-owner James Jung grills beef for garlic-and-vinegar seasoned bi-bim-bap and for stuffing into tofu sushi, among other treats. Though the kimchi isn’t grilled, it’s a must-try. “This restaurant is my retirement project,” Jung says and laughs.

2024 Best of the County for Barbecue.

Grab ‘n Go | Meal Under $20
1530 Armstrong Ave, 415.897.5770

Blazers Smokehouse & Beer Garden

Erick Hendricks (Hilltop 1892) and wife, Keri, brought in chef Dustin Vorkoeper to create plates of Southern style barbecue chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket and St. Louis ribs. There’s smoked brisket chili, a smoked brisket cheesesteak sandwich and even smoked cauliflower steaks. A black bean burger, jalapeño cole slaw, and kale salad tempt when the need for fiber strikes. A kids’ menu includes classic Roy Rogers and Shirley Temple cocktails while 12 taps beckon with beer, kombucha and cider. Enjoy a meal at one of the covered picnic tables on the patio.

Meal Under $20  | Kid-Friendly | Outdoor Seating

7380 Redwood Blvd, 415.408.3333

Lone Mountain Barbecue

Barbecue platter from Lone Mountain Barbecue in Novato
Photo courtesy of Lone Mountain Barbecue.

Marin native Chris Stafford moonlights as a pit master, pulling his portable rig to cater gigs (including regular stops at his Uncle Matt and Uncle Joe’s Indian Valley Brewery in Novato) and serving up what Stafford calls central Texas-style ‘cue. A Creekstone Farms brisket cut is his signature dish with little more than salt, pepper, Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and time to smoke over oak before the beef gives in to a lacquered crust and a disarmingly pink interior. It is a dish that just might make a name for Marin barbecue.

2024 Best of the County for Barbecue.

Grab ‘n Go | Meal Under $20
1016 Railroad Ave, 415.755.8129


For more Breakfast in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.


Bacon, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Bacon

You’ll find bacon throughout the menu in Benedicts and frittatas, on salads and burgers, and so on. Be sure to check out the special Honey Bee Bacon: slabs are coated with brown sugar, chile flakes and cayenne plus a little bit of honey added during baking. Yum.

Brunch | Kid-friendly | Outdoor Seating | Dogs Welcome
1500 Grant Ave, Suite 1400, 415.892.9900

Finnegan’s Marin

Finnegan's Marin, Brunch, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Finnegan’s Marin

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. They taste just as good on the heated outdoor patio.

2024 Best of the County for Bar Dining.

Brunch | Date Spot | Full Bar | Happy Hour | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating | Watch the Game
877 Grant Ave, 415.899.1516

Marvin’s Restaurant

Marvin's Restaurant, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Debra Tarrant

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.

Brunch | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
1112 Grant Ave, 415.892.4482


Toast, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Debra Tarrant

With outdoor dining and spacious inside seating at Hamilton Marketplace, large parties, families and everyone else dives in on comfort food favorites like corned beef hash, buttermilk pancakes and at dinner, chicken schnitzel and shrimp scampi.

Dogs Welcome | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
5800 Nave Drive, 415.382.1144

Kitchen Novato

Tri Tip sandwich from Kitchen Novato
Photo courtesy of Kitchen.

This hidden gem tucked in Hamilton Landing’s Hangar 6 boasts tasty breakfast and lunch, all of which can be enjoyed from its patio between hangars 5 and 6. Owner Deb Keith leans into her Italian background to create a nourishing menu, including dishes like the pupusa Benedict, the tri-tip sandwich (a bestseller) and an open-faced grilled eggplant and burrata toast. Pastries and desserts, all made in house, also draw the eye. With its fair share of regulars and visitors from around Marin, Kitchen is a top choice for a delicious meal. 

Grab ‘n Go | Kid-Friendly | Outdoor Seating
6 Hamilton Landing, Suite 100, 415.234.8923


For more Breweries in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek Brewing, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Creek Brewing

Bring your own food and well-behaved dog to enjoy the hop-forward flavors at this Marin-based small-batch brewery. Adobe Creek started production in March of 2017 and has since opened two locations in Novato and Petaluma. Head brewer Jonathan Macdonald comes from a home brewing background and is always experimenting with tastes and styles. Look forward to trying something new and unique each time you visit.

2024 Best of the County for Brewery.

Outdoor Seating | Dogs Welcome | Grab ‘n Go
67 Galli Dr Ste E, 415.506.4565

HenHouse Brewing Co.’s Record Room

Hen House Brewery Novato

Bartenders pour Incredible Pale Ale, Cascade Smash, Stoked and other pulls while spinning discs in a locals-oriented taproom downtown. The breezeway, decorated with custom-built 8×8 record art, hosts a shaded beer garden, and a rotating assortment of food trucks is on hand for that moment when hunger strikes. 

Meal Under $20 | Dog’s Welcome | Watch the Game
1301 Grant Ave, 707.757.7699

Hopmonk Tavern

Hopmonk Tavern, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Hopmonk Tavery

The beer garden-style outdoor patio and live music keep fans coming back to this Novato brewhouse tucked into the Vintage Oaks Mall. And let’s not forget the ample selection of beers on tap.

2024 Best of the County for Brewery.

Brunch | Date Spot | Full Bar | Happy Hour | Outdoor Seating | Private Party Room | Watch the Game
224 Vintage Way, 415.892.6200

Indian Valley Brewing

Indian Valley Brewing, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Indian Valley Brewing

Just off of Novato’s main drag, this nano brewery has an outdoor patio complete with umbrellas
and picnic tables to savor everything from Grumpas, a Scotch style ale, to a dry stout named
Genius. Taquiza Los Cunados serves up Mexican food every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and
Amore Mio Pizza serves their signature pies on Thursdays during trivia. Look for pop-ups from Lone
Mountain Barbecue, too.

2024 Best of the County for Brewery.

Outdoor Seating | Dogs Welcome | Grab ‘n Go
1016 Railroad Ave, 415.301.4983


Moylan's Brewery, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Moylan’s Brewery

The big tanks out front are a sign of the beer to come at this long-running brewery in Novato.
Grab a seat at one of the picnic tables in the backyard patio before sinking into a bowl of beef
and bean chili or the restaurant’s famous corned beef and cabbage. The beer menu is similarly
Irish-American in flavor with Irish stouts and NorCal IPAs available in equal measure.

2024 Best of the County for Brewery.

Outdoor Seating | Kid-friendly | Dogs Welcome | Watch the Game
15 Rowland Way, 415.898.4677

Coffee Shop

For more Coffee Shops in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Dr. Insomniac’s

Dr. Insomniac's, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Insomniac’s

From blended coffees to fitness shakes to scuffins (what happens when “the best part of a scone and the best part of a muffin” are combined), find almost anything you could want for breakfast, lunch or snack time pick me up at this downtown Novato cafe. Their patio seating overlooks Grant Avenue is shaded and great for people-watching.

2024 Best of the County for Coffee Shop.

Outdoor Seating | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Grab ‘n Go
800 Grant Ave, 415.246.7347


For more Chinese food in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

China Palace

China Palace Novato, Marin Chinese Food
Photo Courtesy of China Palace

For authentic Chinese cuisine in Novato, China Palace has a variety of tastes and dishes and uses high-quality, fresh ingredients. Stop by for dine-in or take-out when craving your favorite noodle dish.

2024 Best of the County for Chinese Food.

Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20
7089 Redwood Blvd, 415.892.6563


For more Indian food in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Little Goan

Little Goan Indian Cafe, Marin Indian Food
Photo Courtesy of Little Goan

A western Indian state with a history of Portuguese colonization, Goa’s cuisine reflects unique dishes like xacuti with toasted coconut and regional spices. The vindaloos of Goa are known for their balanced flavor, but don’t come expecting the chef here to lay off the chiles — just be sure to order a vegetable biryani and a side of raita to cool things down.

2024 Best of the County for Indian Food.

Meal Under $20 | Kid-friendly
2007 Novato Blvd, 415.878.0490


For more Italian food in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Chianti Cucina

Chianti Cucina, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Chianti Cucina

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.

Date Spot | Full Bar | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating | Round Tables
7416 Redwood Hwy, 415.878.0314

Latin American

For more Latin American food in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.


Ayawaska, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Ayawaska

An outpost of the Petaluma original fittingly fills the landmark space that once housed Hilltop 1892. A menu of Peruvian classics includes lomo saltado and the country’s famous ceviches (try the a la Huancaina with the catch of the day). Huge glass-paned doors in the front room slide open to reveal the view. The brunch menu includes a Peruvian breakfast as well as more familiar fare like eggs Benedict and a chia pudding bowl.

2024 Best of the County for Latin American Food.

Brunch | Date Spot | Full Bar | Happy Hour | Kid-friendly | Watch the Game
850 Lamont Ave, 415.944.2066

Cocina Antigua

Cocina Antigua, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Cocina Antigua

With a sign that is hard to see from South Novato Boulevard, a family-style Central American restaurant and market serves meals that represent the Mayan culture and family meals of owners Mayra Ordoñez and Juan Cutz. Look for spices, beans and fresh produce at the market and the region’s famous dishes — pupusas, tacos chapines and hilachas — as some of the daily offerings.

2024 Best of the County for Latin American Food.

Dogs Welcome | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
1559 South Novato Blvd., Suite J, 415.895.5960

Holy Chile Mole

Holy Chile Mole, Fairfax
Photo Courtesy of Holy Chile Mole

A 10th-generation Romani-Serbian and current resident of Novato, Mark Adams runs a food truck with his wife, Deanna, that includes Serbian, American and Mexican flavors. He has a family recipe called chile mole salsa that goes back generations: Tomatoes, peppers and jalapeños are slow-roasted, then blended with seasonings and oil for an addictive sauce that is layered on everything from a street dog to vegan tacos and a club melt on sourdough. “Most people say it’s like nothing they’ve ever tried,” Adams says, who admits he will turn anything into a taco. Look for the truck on Saturday and Sunday at Larkspur’s Marin Country Mart and at the seasonal markets in Novato on Tuesday nights and Wednesdays in Fairfax.

Grab ‘n Go | Meal Under $20 | Kid-friendly

LaVier Cusine at Toast

Photo by Debra Tarrant.

In the evenings from Sunday through Wednesday, LaVier Cuisine from Chef Guillermo Lara operates as a popup within Novato’s Toast restaurant. Delicious Latin fusion fills the large space in the Hamilton Marketplace. Tacos, ceviche, camarones and plantains complement homey curries and Thai influence. Pasta and plate entrees round out the sophisticated menu, with plenty of options for a range of diets. 

5800 Nave Dr, Novato; 415.382.1144

Star Restaurant

The facade of Star Restaurant in Novato, California, with neon sign in window.
Photo by Sterling Reed.

Yeehaw! Star Restaurant in Novato is back, cowboy style. The new owners are continuing to serve the beloved American breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to new Latin American offerings. Whether you want pancakes or pupusas, you’ll find something to enjoy from Star’s massive menu. Slide into a booth and say howdy to your servers — decked out in cowboy garb!

1700 Novato Blvd, Novato; 415.897.1970


For more Mexican food in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Carmen’s La Hacienda

Carmen's La Hacienda, Novato, Mexican Marin
Photo Courtesy of Carmen’s La Hacienda

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.

2024 Best of the County for Mexican Food.

Happy Hour | Full Bar | Brunch | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20
1401 Grant Ave, 415.897.5514

Local Kitchens

New Local Kitchens location Novato

This takeout-first food hall is your one-stop shop for a range of food from beloved restaurants. Seriously, everybody’s got an option at Local Kitchens. There’s Mediterranean fare like falafel from Oren’s Hummus, thick and flavorful pizza from Square Pie Guys, fried chicken imagined every possible way by Proposition Chicken and more. Boba tea, anybody? Each dish is made fresh to order, and the menu is crafted in collaboration with the items’ home restaurants, thus bringing these kitchens to your local area — clever! 

Grab ‘n Go  |  Kid-friendly  |  Meal Under $20  |  Outdoor Seating

880 DeLong Ave, 415.992.8206

Mamita Cocina Mexicana

Mamita Cocina Mexicana, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Mamita Cocina Mexicana

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.

2024 Best of the County for Mexican Food.

Brunch | Date Spot | Full Bar | Outdoor Seating | Private Party Room
340 Ignacio Blvd., 415.883.0901

Mi Pueblo

Mi Pueblo, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Mi Pueblo

Dine in or take out, Mi Pueblo serves up the Mexican classics to fix any craving.

2024 Best of the County for Mexican Food.

Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
905 Grant Ave, 415.878.0122


For more Pizza in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Boca Pizzeria

Boca Pizzeria, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Ben Gideon

Enjoy authentic pizza prepared with house-pulled mozzarella 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.

Date Spot | Full Bar | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
454 Ignacio Blvd, 415.883.2302

Red Boy Pizza

Red Boy Pizza, Novato, Best Pizza Marin
Photo Courtesy of Red Boy Pizza

Owners Peter and Kitty Forstner established the original Red Boy Pizza in 1969. First, a single 90-square-foot location in San Francisco, the name has grown, and now there are locations around the bay. Try their “true San Francisco Sourdough Crust.”

Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Grab ‘n Go
459 Entrada Dr, 415.382.7711


For more Sandwiches in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Blue Barn Gourmet

Blue Barn, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Blue Barn

The second Marin outpost of the San Francisco-based eatery (the first is in Corte Madera) is popular for its customizable salads (we love the Casbah with toasted chickpeas and feta), toasted sandwiches (try the Buffalo Fry), seasonal soups and more, all prepared with locally harvested produce and proteins. The back patio is a popular hangout spot for families.

Full Bar | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
819 Grant Ave, 415.895.6577

Italian Delite

Supplying the town of Novato with original Italian subs since 1977, Italian Delite is a staple lunch stop for sandwich lovers in Marin.

2024 Best of the County for Sandwiches.

Grab ‘n Go | Meal Under $20 | Kid-friendly | Outdoor Seating | Dogs Welcome
971 Front St, 415.892.9221

Michael’s Sourdough

Michael's Sourdough Sandwiches, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Michael’s Sourdough Sandwiches

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 establishment. 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.

2024 Best of the County for Sandwiches.

Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
42 Digital Dr, #8, 415.883.5110


For more Sushi in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Masa’s Sushi

Masa's Sushi Novato, Best Sushi Marin
Photo Courtesy of Masa’s Sushi

Widely recognized for their work in sushi, the chefs turned their attention to another popular culinary export from Japan, dropping ramen onto the menu earlier this year. The singular ramen on offer is named for a coastal town on the northern island of Hokkaido. Tonkatsu broth is thickened with miso and topped with braised pork belly, corn and a golden-yolked egg. It’s a carnivorous bowl a fisherman would be proud to eat. For a traditional dining experience with high-quality fish, masterly crafted sushi dishes, and more, reserve your spot for Masa’s Omakase style (chef’s choice) twelve-course prix fixe menu.

2024 Best of the County for Ramen and Sushi.

Kid-friendly | Date Spot
813 Grant Ave, 415.892.0081


For more Thai in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.


For your curry, noodle, salad, soup, or satay fix, Thailand Novato serves up delicious Thai dishes to satisfy your cravings.

Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20
5800 Nave Dr, 415.883.1899


La Maison De La Reine

Vermicelli noodle bowl with egg roll and meat from Novato Vietnamese restaurant La Maison de la Reine.
Photo courtesy of La Maison de la Reine.

After 20 years at Town Center in Corte Madera, this Vietnamese eatery has moved to Grant Avenue in Novato. Not just serving up Vietnamese classics on their lunch and dinner menus — though they do serve great pho, banh mi, vermicelli noodle bowls and so much more — La Maison de la Reine also offers 15 kinds of boba and milk tea, including some dairy-free options. And vegetarians have plenty of options to choose from, making this restaurant a great stop in Downtown Novato. 

807 Grant Ave, Novato; 415.927.0288

Vegan / Veggie

For more Vegan and Veggie food in Marin, check out our Best of the County picks here.

Active Culture Café

Active Culture Cafe, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Active Culture Cafe

An all-day café serves up plant-forward fare like a lentil burger with slaw and barbecue beet sauce or wholesome bowls of quinoa and veggies and a breakfast burrito stuffed with eggs, potatoes and cheese. All menu items can be customized to suit dietary needs–just be sure to state your preference when ordering at the counter.

2024 Best of the County for Vegan/Vegetarian.

Dogs Welcome | Grab ‘n Go | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
464 Ignacio Blvd, 415.475.1128


Trailhead, Novato
Photo Courtesy of Trailhead

Order breakfast (the vegan egg sandwich is a must), shareable snacks (pretzel and Pliny beer cheese), paninis, salads, and Equator coffee drinks at the counter before grabbing a seat on the all-day café’s shaded patio. The baked goat cheese is a standout and pairs with the 10 local beers and two wines available on tap or from the craft can program.

Dogs Welcome | Grab ‘n Go | Kid-friendly | Meal Under $20 | Outdoor Seating
127 San Marin Drive, 415.493.6902 

Back to Where to Eat