Where to Eat: Novato

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 Hilltop 1892 and Hopmonk Tavern.


Beso Bistro and Wine Bar | Boca Pizzeria | Boca Tavern | Chianti Cucina | Hilltop 1892 | Hopmonk Tavern | Jennie Low’s | Marvin’s Restaurant | Rustic Bakery | The Speakeasy | Toast | Wildfox Restaurant



Beso Bistro and Wine Bar

California, $$ Lunch and Dinner

Best of Marin County 2015 Best of Marin County 2017

This Hamiton 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


Boca Pizzeria

Italian, $$ Lunch and Dinner

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, bocapizzeria.com


Boca Tavern

American, $$ Lunch and Dinner

Bring a date here or celebrate a special event. Favorites at this classic restaurant include bigeye tuna poke, Dungeness crab cakes, mac ’n’ cheese croquettes and duck-fat fries. From the wood-burning grill there’s fresh fish, shrimp and dry-aged ribeye. On Tuesdays wine is half off.

415.883.0901, bocasteak.com


Chianti Cucina

Italian, $$$ Dinner

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, chiantinovato.com


Hilltop 1892

California, $$$ Brunch, Lunch and Dinner

In a historic country estate in Novato with sweeping views, enjoy classic favorites with a California flair. There’s a private banquet room for special events.

850 Lamont Ave, Novato
415.893.1892, hilltop1892.com


Hopmonk Tavern

American, $$ Lunch and Dinner

Best of Marin County 2015

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, hopmonk.com


Jennie Low’s

Chinese, $ Lunch and Dinner


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 pot stickers are the best around.

120 Vintage Way, Novato
415.892.8838, jennielow.com


Marvin’s Restaurant

American, $ Breakfast, Lunch

Best of Marin County 2017

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


Rustic Bakery

California, $$ Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner

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, rusticbakery.com


The Speakeasy

American, $$ Brunch, Lunch and Dinner

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, 415.883.7793, thespeakeasynovato.com



American, $$ Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Best of Marin County 2015

With outdoor dining and spacious inside seating, Toast Novato is ideal for large parties and families craving ample plates of comfort food.

5800 Nave Drive, Novato
415.382.1144, toastnovato.com


Wildfox Restaurant

American, $$ Brunch, Lunch and Dinner

Best of Marin County 2017

Serving Novato for two decades, with dishes like prime rib, French onion soup and pecan-crusted goat cheese flatbread. Bottomless mimosas for Sunday brunch and half-off select wine bottles on Monday are other treats. On the patio, enjoy live music by the fire Thursday and Friday nights.

225 Alameda Del Prado, Novato
415.833.9125, wildfoxrestaurant.com



Categories: Where to Eat