Where to Eat: West Marin
West Marin is a bit of a drive, but well worth it – for both the scenery and the food. Separated from Marin by swaths of open space, the inland towns of Nicasio, Lagunitas, and Point Reyes and the stunning coastal venues of Marshall, Bolinas, and Stinson offer a bounty of farm fresh cuisine and markets, bakeries and cafés, and, of course, oyster bars. There’s no excuse not to make a day out of it.
American, $$ Brunch, Lunch and Dinner
This coastal escape is now famous for barbecued local oysters, Dungeness crab mac ’n’ cheese and cocktails incorporating homegrown ingredients. Large windows in the 120-seat restaurant provide picturesque views of Tomales Bay and Hog Island (Marshall).
23240 Highway 1, West Marin
California, $$ Lunch and Dinner
Whether it’s to cap off a day of hiking or celebrate a romantic anniversary, Osteria Stellina suits any occasion. The menu is Italian-inspired and features local organic ingredients. If you’re up for something unusual, try the goat shoulder, a hit with both tourists and locals (Point Reyes).
11285 Highway 1, West Marin
American, $$$ Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Perfect for a sit-down alfresco meal or for grabbing a burger to enjoy on the beach. Beautiful patio garden seating, ocean views, and private wood-fired dinners make this cafe a relaxing retreat. If you’re on the go, check out the market and bakery. Choose from an array of organic locally grown produce, artisan meats and wild seafood (Stinson).
43 Arenal Ave, West Marin
American, $$$ Brunch, Lunch and Dinner
Known for live music and an extensive menu featuring everything from crispy calamari to braised lamb shanks, Rancho Nicasio is open seven days a week. Be sure to stop in for happy hour, 4 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday (Nicasio).
1 Old Rancheria Road, West Marin
Saltwater Oyster Depot
Seafood, $$, Lunch and Dinner
A seat at the room-length bar or on the patio at this snug spot on Tomales Bay’s west shore can be tough to snag on a busy summer weekend but oysters pulled straight from the bay moments before, served broiled and on the half shell, are worth the wait. Locally-sourced ingredients get equal billing in dishes like halibut crudo and a lamb burger.
12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness
American, $$ Lunch and Dinner
Originally built from three barges in Tiburon in 1921, the Sand Dollar Restaurant was floated to Stinson that same year. Enjoy live music along with barbecued local oysters and New England clam chowder. The sunny deck is great in the afternoon (Stinson).
3458 Shoreline Highway, West Marin
Side Street Kitchen
American, $$ Lunch and Dinner
Sheryl Cahill, owner of the Station House Cafe, opened her next venture a few blocks down in the former Pine Cone Diner. The fast-casual eatery led by chef Aaron Wright (formerly of Tavern at Lark Creek) serves favorites like rotisserie chicken, smoked oysters and pork-belly BLTs as well as wholesome vegetarian fare (Point Reyes Station).
60 Fourth St, West Marin
Sir & Star at the Olema
California, $$$ Dinner
The historic inn has reopened as a roadhouse-style restaurant featuring rustic decor and a delicious yet affordable menu. Try the house-made bread and honey butter, the kale Caesar and the stuffed quail, then come back and work your way through the ever-changing menu (Olema).
10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, West Marin
Station House Cafe
American, $$ Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner
Fresh local homegrown foods are showcased for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop in on weekends (5 p.m. on Sundays) for live music and wine, beer and cocktails (Point Reyes Station).
The Siren Canteen
American, $ Lunch and Dinner
Where in Northern California can you enjoy a taco at a restaurant nestled directly under a lifeguard tower? At The Siren Canteen, of course. Opened in the summer of 2014, this smart beach shack perched on the sandy shores of Stinson serves up burritos, burgers and creamy Meyer lemon milkshakes. Though the food is solid, we think the BYOW option with a $10 corkage fee and million-dollar views is reason enough to give this shack a shout-out (Stinson).
3201 Highway 1, West Marin