Often dismissed as a tourist destination (though a worthy one at that), Sausalito is home to an eclectic mix of families, artists, house boaters, and retirees. The dining options reflects the diverse tastes of the town’s residents, from French to Japanese to Himalayan and of course, plenty of fresh seafood. A walk along Bridgeway displays the dichotomy of eating and drinking establishments while quieter Caledonia Street boasts eateries frequented by locals.
Be sure to check each restaurant’s website or social pages to confirm its most current hours of operation and services.
Angelino Restaurant | Arawan Thai | Aurora Ristorante & Pizzeria | Avatar’s | Bar Bocce | Barrel House Tavern | Bump Bar | Copita | Dario’s Restaurant | Davey Jones Deli | Feng Nian | Fish | Fred’s Coffee Shop | Joinery | Kitti’s Place | Le Garage | Lighthouse | Murray Circle | Napa Valley Burger Company | Osteria Divino | Poggio | Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib | Sausalito Equator | Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar | Scoma’s of Sausalito | Seafood Peddler Restaurant and Fish Market | Seahorse | Sushi Ran | Taste of the Himalayas | ThaiTanic Street Food | The Spinnaker | Tommy’s Wok | The Trident | Zalta
Multiple generations of the Arcona family create an authentic Italian eatery with handmade pastas and seasonal antipasti that has showcased the cuisine of the Campania region for more than 20 years. The newer Angelino Pastry Bar features classic croissants, focaccia and a raspberry-polenta Pop Tart, among other treats with pickup from 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Friday–Sunday.
Sure, this downtown favorite serves up popular dishes like pad Thai and vegetarian Siamese rolls but the menu runs deeper into regional Thai flavors with offerings like a fermented tea leaf salad and soft shell crab curry.
47 Caledonia St, 415.729.9395
Novato’s Aurora has a counterpart in southern Marin. Traditional Italian food, a full bar, and friendly service make it a great option for families and sports fans, who can keep up-to-date on the game via flat-screen TV. The location on the south side of town is a boon, too, when a quieter meal is called for.
300 Valley St, 415.339.8930
If you’re on the hunt for innovative, multi-culti Indian fare, head to Avatar’s. Sip masala chai sweetened with brown sugar before digging into Cajun-spiced shrimp on the heated and shaded patio. A curried sweet potato enchilada in the casual one-room restaurant makes a quick vegetarian lunch or dinner on the new patio.
Food just tastes better on a bayside patio with fire pits and a bocce ball court. Order one of the sourdough bread pizzas, a shredded kale salad and a glass of wine and you’ll see why this casual, beachy eatery, overseen by Robert Price of Mill Valley’s Buckeye and Bungalow 44, has become a local favorite.
Stop by Barrel House for a feeling of rising above it all (it’s on the second floor) where the soaring ceiling work reflects the restaurant’s name. The barrel-aged cocktails are worth a visit (try the Negroni) but dishes like maitake mushroom flatbread and tartare tacos reflect a locally-focused ethos that is enhanced by the cool setting and fantastic bay and city views.
The bar and cafe boasts an intimate 12 seats facing the kitchen, an array of sustainably sourced caviar and roe and a seafood-centric menu that makes the most of the sea’s briniest delight. Stick with the traditional presentation and delight in tiny bubble bursts atop blini, egg, creme fraiche and minced red onion or go all out with the seven-course tasting menu. Plates like binchotan grilled lobster with herbs or black cod topped with truffles as well as the aforementioned easy to pop eggs make this a great place for a bite and a glass of bubbly or to savor an extended caviar experience.
Co-owner Joanne Weir, along with chef Daniel Tellez, presents fresh Mexican fare in the heart of downtown Sausalito. The ever-changing menu is 100 percent gluten-free, masa is prepared and pressed in house for each and every tortilla, and the in-house tequila bar serves over 100 varieties, ideal for crafting your own margarita. Dine at the bar or on the outdoor patio for great people-watching.
Dario’s, a 40-year-old pizza joint, is known for the thin-crust pizzas. You can spice up an order of pepperoni ‘za with items like lamb meatballs, chicken shawarma, and falafel wraps.
Stationed in the New Bait Shop Market, Davey Jones Deli offers house-roasted sandwich meats, healthy condiments and local, organic vegetables; the deli serves sandwiches, veggie-wiches, wraps and salads with vegetarian, vegan and meat-lover options. Because the sandwiches are so generous, this stop is a must during a day of boating, biking, hiking, and general adventuring around Marin. It stays open late, too, for those nights when you need a sandwich and a soda ’round midnight.
Gate 6 Rd, 415.331.2282
This spacious popular hangout has served up wonton soup, potstickers, and daily specials for nearly two decades. For an indulgent treat, order the Szechwan crispy calamari, honey-glazed walnut prawn or lemon chicken. At lunch, the spicy green bean chicken is a favorite of one of our staffers. A gluten-free menu is available.
It has been said that this restaurant and fish market launched the sustainable seafood movement, making it the ultimate place for freshly caught, unobjectionable fare. Order any of the day’s offerings–the menu changes daily but usually has a variation of fish tacos, ceviche and grilled fish of the day–then take in the bay views on the open-air deck. Though cash is still king, credit cards are now accepted (woot!).
350 Harbor Dr, 415.331.3474
Famous for its breakfasts, Fred’s and its patio is a Sausalito institution. Locals rave about dishes like the Millionaire’s Bacon, a sweet and sticky delight. It is perhaps best known for a dish called the Italian Swedish. That’s wheat toast topped with a lean patty, cheese, poached eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers. Get it?
This large waterfront restaurant features a broad patio whose big salads and shareable plates make it a destination for families and other groups. Order at the front, then grab a seat to enjoy the craft beer, Joinery or Impossible burger, rotisserie chicken and other hearty, seasonal fare.
300 Turney St, 415.766.8999
This home-style family-run restaurant has been in town for over 20 years. It features California-inspired favorites like lettuce cups stuffed with chicken and almonds, soft spring rolls and a curried turkey burger. A patio out front gets midday sun, even in winter.
3001 Bridgeway, 415.331.0390
Escape the tourist crush for an indulgent meal right on the water in a spacious room that was once, well, you know. The atmosphere is animated with light French music (à la Amélie) and plenty of natural light from the often open garage door. A Nicoise salad is gussied up with white anchovies and the croque monsieur oozes with Gruyere and mustard-infused bechamel sauce. Escargot, tucked into puff pastry, is easily reheated at home.
85 Liberty Ship Way, 415.332.5625
Weekend classic breakfasts—eggs Benedict, fruit pancakes, a Norwegian omelet with smoked salmon–is the little engine that could for this restaurant on Harbor Point, with long lines typical on sunny Sundays. Locals head over on weekdays for Nordic-inspired lunch and dinner fare–try the meatballs or the burger topped with horseradish, capers, and beets.
Cavallo Point’s acclaimed restaurant features local, seasonal fare from chef Mike Garcia at lunch and dinner (grilled sumac salmon BLT, roasted chicken with lemon confit and sour cream potato puree). An extensive wine program means global offerings by the bottle or glass. Stop by Farley Bar for cocktails with a view and the same locally-focused ethos.
601 Murray Circle, 415.339.4750
Incorporating local, all-natural and organic produce and meats, burger is the word at this casual joint. Though chicken, beef and turkey are all options, the James Beard Competition Burger blends beef with mushrooms and Parmesan for a gentler on the planet, just as delicious burger option. Of course there are fries and root beer floats, all available at outdoor and indoor tables.
670 Bridgeway, 415.332.1454
Authentic Florentine cooking with an eye on local and seasonal means fresh fare all year long. The extensive artisan pasta selection includes vegan and vegetarian options and a breakfast menu includes frittatas and English muffin sandwiches. Live music on Friday and Saturday evenings lifts everyone’s spirits.
37 Caledonia St, 415.331.9355
Vitello sliced excruciatingly thin and topped with lemon and tonnato sauce is a singular dish in the hands of Executive chef Benjamin Balesteri who creates Northern Italian fare using local and Italian ingredients. The bar may be the most hopping in town and is recognized for its killer Negroni. Private dining rooms above the restaurant can accommodate larger parties (10 to 150 guests).
777 Bridgeway, 415.332.7771
The large stations layered with oysters and other creatures of the sea alert you to the fact that this is a place for seafood. And, indeed, a whole crab with garlic sauce is a classic order. The large seafood menu is buttressed with fare for land lubbers (prime rib, sandwiches) but you didn’t come here for that, now did you? Either way, large decks overlooking the water, an all-day menu, and onsite parking, make this a popular spot for groups of all sizes.
1200 Bridgeway, 415.331.3226
The coffee menu includes Equator’s iconic drinks like the shakerato (coffee shaken with cream) and rotating, seasonally-focused beverages. The veggie hash topped with a fried egg is insanely popular at breakfast, as are the pastries from Cibo Bakery, which pair beautifully with chai from San Rafael’s Silk Roads. Locally-sourced salads, sandwiches and paninis, easily transition from breakfast to lunch. Order via app.
1201 Bridgeway, 415.521.5770
Chef/owner Sean Saylor uses fresh local ingredients and seafood to create a distinctively Cabo combination of Californian and Mexican cuisine. That means polenta with green chili and mozzarella or a Caesar salad with ancho chili croutons and queso fresco. Choose from more than 200 varieties of tequilas that are even better when enjoyed in the private Cabo Wabo room, named for (and approved by) Mill Valley’s own tequila master, Sammy Hagar. Sip and savor on the heated Agave Terrace out back where the vibe is as festive as inside.
2009 Bridgeway, 415.332.1512
Sausalito’s oldest seafood house has its own boat, berthed at Pier 47, that fishes seasonally and is approved for salmon and Dungeness crab, resulting in fresh catches year-round. The menu at both the Sausalito and Fisherman’s Wharf locations were revamped by chef (and Mill Valley’s own) Gordon Drysdale in accordance with the environmentally responsible Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program and regularly features whole crab, chowder and grilled fish.
The fish is bought daily from local fishers, who are also restaurant patrons and make the bar scene one of the liveliest in town. (A separate, quieter dining room is often open as well.) The fish market features everything from cioppino and flash-fried Monterey Bay calamari to crab cakes and clam chowder by the pint. Recipes are adjusted to incorporate the freshest catch.
303 Johnson St, 415.332.1492
The spacious dining area, accompanied by a dance floor and stage, make Seahorse ideal for celebrations large and small. Enjoy a modern twist on classic Tuscan coastal cooking while grooving to the nightly live music and entertainment in a historic building.
305 Harbor Dr, 415.331.2899
Sample innovative small plates just big enough to share before enjoying some of the best sushi the Bay Area has to offer; the prices don’t deter the herd of enthusiasts who line up nightly to partake. Just stopping by? The wine, cocktail and sake lists keep even the pickiest barfly satisfied. Reservations are a must in the main room.
107 Caledonia St, 415.332.3620
Himalayan / Indian
Popular for lunch and dinner, serving dishes from countries close to the famous mountain region. Stick with familiar curry and tandoori or dive into regional specialties like jasha maroo (from Bhutan) and churi pama (from Tibet) found nowhere else.
Sausalito gets a Thai spot from the owners of My Thai in Mill Valley, San Rafael and Novato. The nautical-themed restaurant offers Bangkok street favorites like sriracha wings, pad thai and barbecued meats.
Chef Phil Collins excels at preparing seafood, and it shows in the beautifully plated presentations. Set right on the water with sweeping views of San Francisco, this romantic spot is great for an evening occasion.
Fresh ingredients, free-range chicken and traditional dishes fulfill the Chinese food craving with a nice atmosphere for dining in and great takeout for a night at home.
Set in a turn-of-the-century building constructed for the San Francisco Yacht Club, this waterfront restaurant is a shoo-in for date night. The restaurant, a famous 1970s hangout, is now known for supporting local farmers, fishers and organic food producers in everything from its well-regarded cioppino to a Louie salad with crab or prawns and beer-battered fish and chips.
The menu–with a wine and cocktail list to match–reflects influences from Greece, Italy, Spain, the Middle East and France. A mezze plate is filled with muhammara, dolmas, an eggplant spread known as mutabal while a kofta burger is topped with tzatziki and green zhug on a focaccia bun. All the share size plates can also be enjoyed at the bright blue and white bar.