Where to Eat: Mill Valley
Mill Valley is the sum of its many parts. A vibrant upscale downtown with abundant sleek dining options gives way to neighborhood outliers, such as surfer-vibe Tam Junction with breezy eateries like Café del Sol, 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.
Boo Koo | Bootjack | Buckeye Roadhouse | Bungalow 44 | Cafe Del Sol | Cantina | Dipsea Cafe | Floodwater | Flour Craft Bakery | Gravity Tavern | Grilly’s | Harmony | Hook Fish Co. | India Palace | Joe’s Taco Lounge | Kitchen Sunnyside | La Ginestra | Mill Valley Beerworks | Piatti Ristorante and Bar| Piazza Angelo | Pizza Antica | Playa | Prabh Indian Kitchen | Robata Grill and Sushi | Shoreline Coffee Shop | Sol Food | Sweetwater Music Hall Cafe | Tam Tam Ramen | Tamalpie | The Whisk + Skillet | Thep Lela | Urban Remedy | Vasco | Watershed | West Coast Wine Cheese
Asian, 25 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 888-8303
This locally owned restaurant creates healthy meals that blend equal parts California fresh with Southeast Asian–inspired street food. With an updated menu and expansion of the restaurant, they’ve ushered in a vibrant bar with wines and kombucha on tap as well as one of the best craft beer offerings in town. Vegan, GF and vegetarian-friendly menu.
Bootjack Wood Fired (Formerly Pizza Molina)
Californian, 17 Madrona St, (415) 383-4200
Re-branded to more accurately reflect the expanded, ingredient-driven menu from chef Kyle Swain, the former Pizza Molina still serves its renowned pizzas fired in the old Alan Scott oven. A fresh menu of salads such as a red beet salad and a kid-friendly white cheddar mac ’n’ cheese are now available alongside wood-fired meats like a half-chicken or pork ribs.
American, 15 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 331-2600
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, conversations or a light meal.
American, 44 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 381-2500
California, 247 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 388-1852
Healthy options become addictive at this eatery that now has locations in both Tam Valley 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.
Mexican, 651 E Blithedale, Mill Valley, (415) 381-1070
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 allows alfresco dining, or take in the lively atmosphere indoors. Stop by for drinks–their margaritas are known throughout Marin– and appetizers Monday to Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and $1 tacos on Mondays.
American, 200 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 381-0298
Californian, 152 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, (415).843.4545
Sip “The Obligatory Vodka Drink” at the room-length bar while noshing on scallop crudo or dive into a house-made veggie burger 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 tavern.
American, 129 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 384-8244
The brainchild of pastry chef Heather Hardcastle, this second location, in the bright and airy renovated Lumber Yard, offers not only gluten-free baked goods but sandwiches, salads, and takeout. The first location is in San Anselmo.
American, 38 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 888-2108
Updated with ingredients 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 gravity car for which this saloon was named.
Mexican, 493 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 381-3278
If you’re looking for a quick, fresh meal, Grilly’s is an easy and delicious stop. Pick up a couple burritos and the much-loved chicken taco salad and you have a lunch or dinner to please the whole family.
Chinese, 401 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, (415) 381-5300
Enjoy a lighter take on Chinese at this restaurant, nestled 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.
Seafood, 254 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley
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 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.
Indian, 707 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 388-3350
Mexican, 382 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 383-8164
Joe’s serves up fish tacos, burritos and enchiladas as well as more unusual items like Mexican pizza, tofu tostada, and crab tostadas. A colorful interior and quick service make this a fun, easy stop. If there are too many unsupervised kids for a peaceful meal, takeout is easy too. If you stay, grab a selection of hot sauce bottles from the wall and find your perfect match.
American, 31 Sunnyside Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 326-5159
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.
Italian, 127 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 388-0224
A favorite family place for over 30 years; getting a table or booth can take awhile. While this old-school eatery is known for traditional pastas, veal dishes, pizzas, and dry martinis, the familiar waitstaff is also part of the attraction.
American, 173 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 888-8218
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.
Mexican, Strawberry Village, 800 Redwood Hwy, Ste 801, (415) 569-5009
A blend of the Spanish words for “party” and “enjoy” inspired the name “Parranga,” and Mill Valley’s Parranga does just that as a gathering spot for affordable south-of-the-border bites and beverages in the heart of Strawberry Village. The eat-in or takeout menu offers standouts such as rotisserie chicken and an extensive taco selection, along with made-to-order tortillas, ceviche and churros, washed down with whole-fruit juices, aqua frescas, Mexican craft beer or a margarita.
Italian, 625 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 380-2525
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.
Italian, 22 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 388-2000
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.
Italian, 800 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 383-0600
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.
Mexican, 41 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 384-8871
Drawing inspiration from travels and the fresh, flavorful cuisine served on the playa, Peter Schumacher and Bill and Vanessa Higgins have developed a menu that blends locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients with a bar highlighting a selection of exceptional tequilas and mezcals.
Indian, 24 Sunnyside Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 384-8241
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.
Japanese, 591 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 381-8400
Robata translates as “by the fireside”; fittingly, food here can be cooked on an open fire and served in appetizer-size portions to pass around the table. Or simply order your own sushi or entree from the menu.
American, 221 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, (415) 388-9085
Puerto Rican, 401 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 380-1986
American, 19 Corte Madera Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 388-3850
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.
Asian, 745 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 381-3900
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, an array of sake, beer, and wine rounds out the menu.
Italian, 477 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 388-7437
Owner Karen Goldberg designed this restaurant with a large group seating area, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and a small casual bar. The food is Italian home cooking with the daily modern inspiration of locally sourced seasonal ingredients found in the salads, house-made pastas, and crispy Neapolitan-style pizza, with a selection of beer and wine to match.
American, 125 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, (415) 380-1900
Thai, 615 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, (415) 383-3444
American, 15 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 383-5300
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.
Italian, 106 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 381-3343
Californian, 129 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 888-2406
Gather ’round the firepit 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.
California, 31 Sunnyside Ave, Mill Valley, (415) 758-3408
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.