Where to Eat: Ross and San Anselmo

Ross and San Anselmo may appear a bit way out of the way on the map, but for those in the know, they’re just the right size, offering plenty of options for dining out. The town has a few heavy-hitters, such as Iron Chef winner Ron Siegel’s Madcap and Heidi Krahling’s Insalata’s, a Michelin Bib Gourmand winner. A plethora of restaurants, bakeries, and cafes make this spot more than trek-worthy for those seeking a dining destination deep in central Marin, and provides tempting incentives to never stray beyond the borders for the local residents.

Be sure to check restaurants’ websites and social channels for their most current operating hours and formats.

Bistro Viz | Comforts Cafe | Creekside Pizza & Tap Room | Crown & CrumpetCucina Sa | Flour Craft Bakery | Insalata’s | Jillie’s Wine Bar | Madcap | Marinitas | M.H. Bread and Butter | Marche Aux Fleurs | Pizzalina | Sushi 69 | Tony Tutto’s | Taco Jane’s | The Baan Thai Cuisine | The Hub | Valenti & Co.

 


Bistro Viz

Californian

After a two year hiatus, owner-chef Soo Young Kim brought back this petite restaurant, complete with bistro favorites from pre-COVID times such as farro risotto verde with a crisp 62-degree egg and half a roast chicken with Jerusalem artichokes. Fish tacos and a Star Route Little Gems salad are must-trys.

115 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.902.9084

Comforts CafeBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2016

American

Established in 1986, Comforts has a cozy sit-down patio and serves breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. A large takeout section offers a wide selection of house-made bakery items, seasonal salads, soups, sandwiches and entrees for dinner at home. Besides the famous Chinese chicken salad, other winners are the stuffed pecan-crusted French toast, flavorful scrambles, Chicken Okasan (nicknamed “Crack Chicken” by fans) and Roast Chicken Enchiladas. Now offering curbside pick-up.

335 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.454.9840

Creekside Pizza & Tap Room

American

Under the direction of chef Janet Abrahamson, Creekside serves American-style artisan pizza (vegan and gluten-free options available) and organic salads, along with an extensive selection of craft beer on tap and Northern California wines. There’s a daily happy hour, a big-screen TV and a banquet room available by reservation when indoor events resume.

638 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.785.4450

Crown & Crumpet

American

A tidy back patio shaded by roses and cascading pear trees is ideally suited for sipping a pot of loose leaf tea, cup of pour-over coffee or a hot chocolate at this outpost of the Japantown original. Savory croissants and crumpets are just part of the breakfast menu and a traditional sausage roll and chicken pot pie are highlights at lunch. A signature Afternoon Tea service is available on weekends.

22 Ross Common, Ross, 415.771.4252

Cucina sa

Italian

Open for lunch Wednesday–Saturday and six nights a week for dinner, takeout or delivery. Homemade pastas, seasonal salads, and wood-fired pizzas strike a balance between southern Italy and northern California. Full bar and cocktails are available to go or enjoy a tipple on premise at the new heated parklet.

510 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.454.2942

Flour Craft Bakery

American

Along with artisan gluten-free and an assortment of vegan pastries, breads, and special-occasion cakes, this petite cafe serves a lunch menu of so-called fancy toast (avocado, ricotta) and big green salads with seasonal flair. Customer favorites include oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, decadent cinnamon rolls, flourless hazelnut brownies, and the bakery’s signature granola.

702 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.453.3100


Insalata’s

Mediterranean

Award-winning chef Heidi Krahling’s downtown restaurant features soulful Mediterranean fare for 24+ 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

Jillie’s Wine Bar

Californian 

A rotating list of more than 20 globally-sourced and Californian wines and a few beers are on tap at owner Jill Cordova-Holt’s eponymously named bar and retail shop in the Red Hill Shopping Center. Savor small bites like a cheese and charcuterie board or black truffle potato chips while sipping at one of the outdoor tables until indoor dining is permitted once again.

906 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.521.5500

 

Madcap

Californian

Chef Ron Siegel opened his first solo venture in a contemporary art-filled space with an urban edge. The vegetable-centric menu incorporates seafood and local ingredients, fusing Californian ingredients and Japanese techniques in colorful dishes that are bold, balanced and bright.

198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.453.9898

MarinitasBest of Marin County 2017

Mexican

This sister restaurant of Insalata’s continues to flourish as a bastion of creative Mexican and Central and South American cuisine. Not your typical south-of-the-border spot, Marinitas serves up top-notch margaritas and Latin lusciousness.

218 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.454.8900

M.H. Bread and ButterBest of Marin County 2018Best of Marin County 2017Best of Marin County 2016

Californian

A one-stop shop for everything from coffee and pastries to artisan bread, with a seasonal brunch menu. High-quality ingredients and a comfortable atmosphere make MH worth checking out. A “front porch” patio awaits the return of onsite dining.

101 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.755.4575

Marche Aux Fleurs

French

A local favorite known for its cuisine and extensive marketplace showcasing locally farmed produce, wild and fresh seafood and free-range meats prepared with an artisan’s touch, accompanied by a lengthy wine and beer list. Thursday night is hamburger night; requesting your burger with your reservation is recommended (quantities are limited), available on the patio when onsite dining is once again permitted.

23 Ross Common, Ross, 415.925.9200

Pizzalina

Italian

Famous for their Neapolitan style, wood-fired pizzas, the menu change daily according to seasonal markets but always includes salads, antipastos, house-made pasta, and main dishes. Look for favorites like a classic shrimp risotto and a caprese salad with mozzarella di bufala.

914 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.256.9780

Sushi 69Best of Marin County 2017

Japanese

Opened in 2007, Sushi 69 has been a favorite for locals looking to get their fill of no-frills sushi. The owner hails from Japan and has created an extensive menu featuring traditional tempura and the popular Hiro’s roll (spicy tuna with avocado, salmon and ponzu sauce wrapped in sushi rice).

69 Center Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.459.6969

Taco Jane’sBest of Marin County 2017

Mexican

Taco Jane’s full bar features a robust tequila and mezcal selection. Its regional Mexican cuisine includes Oaxacan mole, fish tacos and vegetarian options. Black Gold salsa arrives with complimentary chips and is created using charred blackened tomatoes and roasted chilis. Live music Tuesdays and Saturdays, enclosed patio seating all year round, weekday happy hour 4:30–6 p.m.

21 Tamalpais Ave, San Anselmo, 415.454.6562

The Baan Thai Cuisine

Thai

Known for its mango sticky rice, crispy corn cakes and The Baan Thai salad, this restaurant reopened in November with a new owner, Jukreewat “Jackie” Suthon, a new menu and a new outdoor seating area. Warm up with new menu items like fresh spring rolls and steamed dumplings, or old favorites such as the tom kha soup. The commitment to serving fresh, local and seasonal food is unchanged.

726 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.457.9470

The Hub

American

Craveable grass fed burgers and hand cut  fries, like the #1 Hub Burger with white cheddar and special sauce, are at the heart of this order-at-the-counter spot in Red Hill Shopping Center. While the #4 Chicken Burger with melted Swiss, crispy onion strings and house-made sriracha chili mayo is not to be missed, big salads and tap beer and cider are also available to be enjoyed on the sunny patio.

Red Hill Shopping Center, 882 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.785.4802

Tony Tutto’s

Pizza

After nine years in Mill Valley, owner Greg DiGiovine relocated to Ross, bringing his familiar farm-to-table pies and kid- and dog-friendly vibe to downtown. The vegan pies are still here and a gluten-free crust is available.

16 Ross Common, Ross, 415.383.8646

 

Valenti & Co.

Italian

This bright and cozy space is the ideal environment (when we can eat indoors again) for authentic Italian dishes made with local ingredients. The menu changes daily but look for the carpaccio of beef, the pan-seared Pekin duck and chef Valenti’s famous tower of triple chocolate love at dessert. A seat at the chef’s table gives a prime view of the open kitchen.

337 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, 415.454.7800

 


Dining Keyt