Where to Eat: Mill Valley

Flour Craft Bakery new location Mill Valley

Mill Valley is the sum of its many parts. A vibrant downtown with abundant sleek dining options gives way to neighborhood outliers, such as surfer-vibe Tam Junction with breezy eateries like Hook Fish, and one-stop family dining and shopping at places like Pizza Antica in Strawberry Village. Stretching from Baltimore Canyon to the San Francisco Bay, with mountains, flats, and Highway 101 in between, there are good eats to be had for every appetite.

Please view the restaurants’ websites or social feeds to confirm their most current operating hours and formats.

Boo Koo | Bootjack | Buckeye Roadhouse | Bungalow 44 | Cafe Del Sol | Cantina | Depot Cafe & Bookstore | Equator Coffees | FloodwaterFlour Craft Bakery | Gravity Tavern | Grilly’s | Harmony | Hook Fish Co. | India Palace | Joe’s Taco Lounge | Kitchen Sunnyside | La Ginestra | Mill Valley BeerworksPiatti Ristorante and Bar | Piazza d’Angelo | Pizza AnticaPlaya | Prabh Indian Kitchen | Robata Grill and Sushi | Shoreline Coffee Shop | Sol Food | Sweetwater Music Hall Cafe | Tam Tam Ramen | Tamalpie | The Junction | The Whisk + Skillet | Thep Lela | Urban Remedy | Vasco | Watershed | West Coast Wine Cheese

 


Boo Koo

Asian

This locally owned restaurant creates healthy meals that blend equal parts California fresh with Southeast Asian–inspired street food. The kids’ Red Rooster bento boxes are a hit with the little ones and the vegan, GF and vegetarian-friendly menu is popular with all age groups. Though their vibrant bar scene is on hold until indoor dining resumes, wines and kombucha on tap as well as craft beer offerings are all available to go.

25 Miller Ave, 415.888.8303

Bootjack Wood Fired Best of Marin County 2018

Californian

A transition back to a bakery means hearth style breads (apple walnut), breakfast sandwiches, and pastries (cinnamon buns) from baker Cameron Esaryk are pulled daily from the built-in Alan Scott bread oven. Pair with barista drinks from Four Barrel Coffee and focaccia-style pizzas at lunch with the same Central Milling grains and organic approach as before.

17 Madrona St, 415.383.4200

Buckeye Roadhouse Best of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

American

Oysters Bingo, baby back ribs, and chili-lime “brick” chicken are a few of the satisfying comfort-food menu items that have made this classic roadhouse a favorite since the ’30s. The warm dark-wood bar with red leather booths is a popular spot for cocktails (when dining indoors resumes), conversations or a light meal. Heated patio seating offers a moments respite with a fresh espresso and breakfast burrito from the weekday Buckeye Joe Coffee Kiosk out front.

15 Shoreline Hwy, 415.331.2600

Bungalow 44 Best of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

American

The normally bustling bar is one of Mill Valley’s hot spots, ideal for savoring a seasonal cocktail or an order for their famous kickin’ fried chicken. The  one-dollar happy hour oyster program still operates from 5–6 p.m., Monday–Thursday and the heated outdoor patio quickly became a new town hot spot when it opened.

44 E Blithedale Ave, 415.381.2500

Cafe Del SoulBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

Californian

Healthy options become addictive at this eatery that now has locations in both Tam Junction and San Rafael. Once you stop in for the deliciously fresh quinoa wrap, you’ll want to return to try the chipotle rice bowl. A casual lunch spot and great for takeout, Cafe del Soul also serves smoothies and pressed juices.

247 Shoreline Hwy, 415.388.1852

Cantina

Mexican

The popular family restaurant serves traditional Mexican fare including soups, salads, sandwiches and sizzling fajitas in lunch-size portions and 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–and appetizers Monday to Friday from 3–7 p.m. and $1 tacos on Mondays.

651 E Blithedale, 415.381.1070

 

Depot Cafe & Bookstore

The former railroad depot turned all-day café and bookstore reopened in late January at the heart of downtown Mill Valley. The kitchen, helmed by chef Mary Pult of Mill Valley, offers the same counter service model as before and a veg-forward menu that tilts towards the Mediterranean and points farther east with bespoke pastries from Sausalito’s Cibo Bakery.

 87 Throckmorton, Mill Valley, 415.888.3648

Equator Coffees

American

Mill Valley boasts two Equator Coffee locations. At Tam Junction’s Proof Lab location, look for bacon & cheddar, steak & egg and vegetarian breakfast burritos made in house. Downtown’s Depot Plaza location serves up avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, and those famous gluten-free waffles. Both locations feature Johnny Doughnuts, Friday–Sunday and online ordering.

244 Shoreline Hwy and 2 Miller Ave, 415.383.4200

Floodwater

Californian

Sip a “Gold Rush” (Old Forester bourbon, local honey, lemon) at the room-length bar while noshing on pork belly steamed buns or dive into Shorty’s Tall Reuben in the TV-free front room. Up the coziness factor in the back room as you tuck into a margherita pizza cooked in the wood-fired oven at this spacious Tam Valley/Manzanita tavern. The patio is open with fire pits.

152 Shoreline Hwy, 415.843.4545

 

Flour Craft Bakery

American

The brainchild of pastry chef Heather Hardcastle, this second location (the first location is in San Anselmo) in the Lumber Yard offers not only gluten-free baked goods but fancy toast, seasonal salads, coffee and takeout to be enjoyed at one of the onsite picnic tables.

129 Miller Ave, 415.384.8244

Gravity Tavern

American 

With ingredients suited to reflect modern tastes, American classics like grilled chicken Waldorf salad with pickled grapes, lobster roll with toasted challah and veggie slaw, and a land and sea pasta with house-made egg pasta, pork belly and crab, may have also been familiar fare for passengers of the Mt. Tam gravity car for which this saloon was named.

38 Miller Ave, 415.888.2108

Grilly’s

Mexican

If you’re looking for a quick, fresh meal, Grilly’s is a no-brainer. Enjoy a couple burritos, tacos, or the popular chicken taco salad at lunch or dinner on their covered patio (when outdoor dining resumes) and you have a straight-forward lunch or dinner to please the whole family.

493 Miller Ave, 415.381.3278

Harmony Best of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

Chinese

Enjoy a lighter, fresher take on Chinese at this restaurant in Strawberry Village. The barbecue pork bun is filled with house-made roasted meat in a savory sauce and signature prawns are wok-seared with scallions. Pair your pick with wine, beer or tea and be sure to check out the weekday takeout lunch special. Both the regular menu and Harmony To Go menus are available for takeout.

401 Strawberry Village, 415.381.5300

Hook Fish Co

Seafood

The indoor, wood-ceilinged dining room feels like a boat’s galley and the spot’s outdoor beer garden adjacent to Mill Valley’s Proof Lab at Tam Junction has 13 taps, but the draw at this counter-service joint is the seafood. The transparent supply chain means you can enjoy the poke, fish and chips or fish tacos secure in the knowledge of exactly where and on what boat your meal came from.

254 Shoreline Hwy

 

India Palace

Indian

Known as “that great restaurant in the Travelodge,” India Palace is a favorite with the takeout crowd; eating on-site is also a treat for its well-regarded North Indian fare.

707 Redwood Hwy, 415.388.3350

Joe’s Taco LoungeBest of Marin County 2018

Mexican

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, 415.383.8164

Kitchen Sunnyside

American

This brunch stop brings some gourmet to your morning with options like Dungeness crab hash, cornflake French toast, eggs Florentine and bottomless mimosas. Lunch choices like paninis and burgers are also available for enjoying on the open air patio.

31 Sunnyside Ave, 415.326.5159

La Ginestra

Italian

Big plates of lasagna and ravioli and a familiar waitstaff have made this a favorite family place for over 30 years. While this old-school eatery is known for traditional pastas, pizzas, and dry martinis, a daily menu of seasonal favorites attracts a hip crowd. The adjoining bar, normally a perfect spot for meeting a group, recently pivoted to a takeout wine shop.

127 Throckmorton Ave, 415.388.0224

 

Mill Valley BeerworksBest of Marin County 2018

American

Known for handcrafted beers, imported and local microbrews and house-made kombucha and root beer, this popular downtown Mill Valley neighborhood brewery is also a full-blown restaurant. Choose from a large selection of small plates, including king oyster mushrooms, roasted potatoes, and grilled squid, and a small list of large portions like confit rabbit.

173 Throckmorton Ave, 415.888.8218

Parranga

Mexican

A blend of the Spanish words for “party” and “enjoy” inspired the name of this gathering spot for affordable south-of-the-border bites and beverages in the heart of Strawberry Village. The menu offers standouts such as rotisserie chicken and an extensive taco selection (including quesabirria, it is served with a cup of beef broth), along with made-to-order tortillas, ceviche and churros, washed down with whole-fruit juices, aqua frescas, Mexican craft beer or a margarita. Enjoy your meal at one of the tables in the courtyard until indoor dining resumes.

800 Redwood Hwy, Ste 801, 415.569.5009

 

Piatti Ristorante and BarBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

Italian

The staff prides itself on capturing the warm and welcoming atmosphere of a traditional Italian trattoria. Get a table by the window or on the outdoor deck for a truly exceptional view right on the water. Peruse the impressive selection of Italian wines to accompany your rustic seasonal meal.

625 Redwood Hwy, 415.380.2525

 

Piazza D’AngeloBest of Marin County 2018

Italian

Family owned for over 35 years, Piazza D’Angelo evokes a traditional trattoria dining experience. Enjoy a variety of house-made pastas, meat and seafood dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and gluten-free offerings with organic and locally sourced ingredients. A back patio and newer front patio provide ample outdoor dining space until indoor dining is permitted once again.

22 Miller Ave, 415.388.2000

 

 

Pizza AnticaBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

Italian

Besides its popular thin-crust pizzas, this Strawberry Village restaurant serves seasonal dishes like Tuscan fried chicken with spicy honey, burrata with crushed sweet peas and toasted focaccia, and ricotta gnocchi with sun-dried tomato cream. Enjoy your meal in the front courtyard until indoor dining resumes.

800 Redwood Hwy, 415.383.0600

 

PlayaBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

Mexican

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, 415.384.8871

 

Prabh Indian Kitchen

Indian

Owned and operated by the Dhindsa family, this restaurant emphasizes healthy, organic, sustainable eating in choices like chicken pakora, vegetable biryani, and basil garlic naan foods, with options for the vegan and gluten-free. At lunch, the thali menu lets you try several Indian dishes at once. All of it is available for dining on their outside patio.

24 Sunnyside Ave, 415.384.8241

 

Robata Grill and SushiBest of Marin County 2017

Japanese

Robata translates as “by the fireside”; fittingly, many dishes here are cooked on an open fire and served in appetizer-size portions to pass around the table. Try the grilled rice balls and beef kushi to get a sense of the smoky flavors. Or simply order your own sushi or entree from the menu to enjoy on the patio or in the traditional dining room.

591 Redwood Hwy, 415.381.8400

 

Shoreline Coffee ShopBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017Best of Marin County 2016

American

Hidden behind Good Earth and Walgreen’s in a parking lot at Tam Junction, this coffee shop is a vintage diner with a small-town feel. The mix of Mexican and traditional breakfast fare hits the comfort food spot gussied up with organic and local goodies like eggs from Tennessee Valley neighbor, Woolley Egg Ranch. Try them in the Roto–soft eggs and house made chorizo with French fries– or a classic diner dish, two eggs your way. You can get gluten-free bread from Green Gulch, too.

221 Shoreline Hwy, 415.388.9085

 

Sol FoodBest of Marin County 2017

Puerto Rican

This Marin favorite opened a Mill Valley outpost, still serving up everyone’s favorite Puerto Rican cuisine, including Creole prawns, mofongo maduros, and tostones, and a chuleton sandwich on French bread. The line for takeout can get long, but at least its outside.

401 Miller Ave, 415.380.1986

 

Sweetwater Music Hall Cafe

American

Located at the entrance of Sweetwater Music Hall, the cafe is dedicated to the FLOSS philosophy: Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Sustainable. Offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, the menu includes brown-butter scrambled eggs on avocado toast, crispy potato-ricotta gnocchi, and vegan Thai spring rolls with sweet-and-sour sauce.

19 Corte Madera Ave, 415.388.3850

 

Tam Tam RamenBest of Marin County 2017

Asian

Ramen, bao sliders, wonton nachos, and pan-fried gyoza are made fresh to order, with sushi and salads from Whole Foods and Urban Remedy available in the grab-and-go cooler. If you’re dining in or on the patio, an array of sake, beer, and wine rounds out the menu.

745 E Blithedale Ave, 415.381.3900

 

TamalpieBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017

Italian

With views of Mt. Tamalpais from the covered, heated patio, this Cal-Italian spot known for its local sourcing also features two fireplaces and a full bar serving craft cocktails, wine and beer. The difference is in the dough, small batch, housemade gluten-free and 48-hour Neapolitan pizza doughs, plus large salads, pastas, and vegan and vegetarian items. The Brussels sprouts are super-crispy and not to be missed. 

477 Miller Ave, 415.388.7437

The Junction

American

Owner Dez Fielder’s devotion to micro-produced and local beer is evident from the 30 taps and a robust can program including Woodfour New Ridge Lager, and experimental bottlings, like Barebottle Brewing’s Tangberry Typhoon, all easy to pair with pizzas from Pizzahacker. Grab your fleece to sip one by a fire pit on the huge backyard patio.

226 Shoreline Hwy, 415.888.3544

 

The Whisk + Skillet

American

This daytime eatery in Strawberry Village serves all-day breakfast and lunch with plenty of egg options plus pancakes and a brioche cinnamon roll French toast that is everything you’d expect it to be. Lunch options include soups, sandwiches, and salads, all available for eating at one of the courtyard tables.

125 Strawberry Village, 415.380.1900

 

Thep LelaBest of Marin County 2017

Thai

The kee mao noodles, pad thai, and fresh rolls stuffed with beets and herbs have a dedicated following as does the extensive bar menu (try the Amazing Mai Tai) at this spot tucked away in the back of Strawberry Village. It is takeout only, for now.

615 Strawberry Village, 415.383.3444

 

Urban RemedyBest of Marin County 2017

American

This is a popular spot for organic and non-GMO cold-pressed juices, snacks and ready-to-eat meals, plenty of gluten-free, grain-free, and low-glycemic-index choices, and even raw desserts. Try the namesake salad or give the cashew milk with cinnamon and vanilla a shot to see what Urban Remedy is all about. Delivery and ordering only via their app here.

15 E Blithedale Ave, 415.383.5300

 

Vasco

Italian

Whether at a table, the bar or the back counter, you can expect an intimate dining experience in this one-room trattoria facing Depot Plaza. Try one of the pasta dishes or thin-crust wood-fired pizzas.

106 Throckmorton Ave, 415.381.3343

 

Watershed

Californian

Gather ’round the fire pit in front of the restaurant or hang out at the long bar for a pre-dinner glass of wine before sampling one of the many dishes curated to reflect the bounty of Marin. The Stemple Creek Ranch burger and fresh pastas are matched with a bevy of simply prepared, easy to share dishes (like spicy rock cod lettuce cups or lamb riblets) that reflect chef Kyle Swain’s careful sourcing and focus on local flavor.

129 Miller Ave, 415.888.2406

 

West Coast Wine Cheese

Californian

Focused on small production winemakers, the wine menu features a bottle list with over 300 selections, wines by the glass that change weekly as well as California, Oregon and Washington beers on draft and by the bottle. A rotating cheese and charcuterie menu, served with bread from San Francisco’s Jane Bakery, is also offered.

31 Sunnyside Ave, 415.758.3408

 


 

Dining Key