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 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 incentive to never stray beyond the borders for the local residents.
Baan Thai Cuisine | Comforts Cafe | Creekside Pizza & Tap Room | Cucina Sa | Flour Craft Bakery | The Hub | Insalata’s | Jillie’s Wine Bar | L’Appart Resto | Madcap | Marinitas | M.H. Bread and Butter | Marche Aux Fleurs | Pizzalina | Sushi 69 | Tony Tutto’s | Taco Jane’s | Valenti & Co.
Thai, 726 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 457-9470
American, 335 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 454-9840
Established in 1986, Comforts has a cozy sit-down patio and serves breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. A large takeout section offers fresh bakery items, seasonal salads, soups, sandwiches and even 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 wonton soup.
American, 638 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 785-4450
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.
Italian, 510 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 454-2942
Homemade pastas, seasonal salads, and wood-fired pizzas strike a balance between southern Italy and northern California at Cucina. Proprietor Donna Seymour recently revamped the cozy space on San Anselmo Ave., adding a 30 seat bar and outdoor seating on the bridge. Plans are in the works for the upstairs mezzanine to become a lounge.
American, 702 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 453-3100
Along with artisan gluten-free pastries, breads, and special-occasion cakes, this place serves lunch, with dairy-free and vegan choices available. Customer favorites include oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, decadent cinnamon rolls, flourless hazelnut brownies, and the bakery’s signature granola.
American, Red Hill Shopping Center, (415) 785-4802
The delicious burgers and fries, like the #1 Hub Burger with white cheddar and special sauce, and seasonal focus at the former Farm Burger in the Red Hill Shopping Center haven’t changed, but the addition of an array of big salads like Thai spinach and keto cobb necessitated a rebranding. The chicken burger with sriracha-chile mayo is a new fave.
Mediterranean, 120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, (415) 457-7700
Award-winning chef Heidi Krahling’s restaurant features delicious, soulful Mediterranean fare, as well as food-to-go at a counter inside.
Californian, 906 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, 415.521.5500,
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 in the lounge, at the bar or one of the indoor/outdoor tables.
French, 636 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 256-9884
Savor a range of French and local favorites or a $36 three-course prix fixe menu in an energetic yet sophisticated setting. There’s live music on Thursdays; dinner Monday to Saturday; lunch and brunch Friday to Sunday.
California, 198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, (415) 453-9898
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 California and Japanese cuisines in colorful dishes that are bold, balanced and bright.
Mexican, 218 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, (415) 454-8900
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.
California, 101 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 755-4575
French, 23 Ross Common, Ross, (415) 925-9200
A local favorite known for cuisine 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 (bacon, wine, and beer are available for sale). Thursday night is hamburger night; requesting your burger with your reservation is recommended (quantities are limited).
Italian, 914 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, (415) 256-9780
Along with handmade pizzas baked in a wood oven, you’ll find classic shrimp risotto and a caprese salad with mozzarella di bufala. Menus change daily according to seasonal markets but always include salads, antipastos, house-made pasta, and main dishes. Outdoor dining available.
Japanese, 69 Center Blvd, San Anselmo, (415) 459-6969
Opened in 2001 in San Anselmo, 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).
Mexican, 21 Tamalpais Ave, San Anselmo, (415) 454-6562
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 Thursdays, enclosed patio seating all year round, weekday happy hour 4:30 to 6 p.m.