4th Street Favorites

Here are our go-to places to wine & dine in Downtown San Rafael. Bonus: they're all on the same road.

Our Top Picks

Recommendation  #1
Sabor a México

Combination plates of tamales and enchiladas, burritos and quesadillas are the Easy A menu choices at this popular Mexican spot. But we lean into the dishes that come straight from Mexico City’s street food scene. 

Start with a pambazo, a sandwich stuffed with potatoes and chorizo, transition to an alambre (beef is the meat of choice in Distrito Federal) and finish with a street taco plate – that’s five tacos topped with a smattering of onion and chile. Salsa entirely optional but recommended. 

Don’t Miss: Carne Asada Nachos, Molotes, Pollo con Mole

Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 8:30pm; Friday & Sunday: 11am - 9pm
Recommendation #2
Le Comptoir

French fare like espelette pepper-dusted salmon with onion-leek soubise or seared pork chops graced with creamy mustard sauce aligns with the owner's "more casual than a restaurant" bistro concept. 

Of course there’s charcuterie and cheese (available before or after a meal) as well as rotisseried duck legs and a wine list of mostly French and American varietals, many available by the glass. The cute red chairs and lamps add to the casual, laissez-faire spirit.

Be sure to check out their épicerie next door to stalk up on all your favorite French delicacies.

Don’t Miss: Beef Cheek Bourguignon, Little Gem Salad, Roasted Leg of Lamb

Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 8pm (bistro dining); Tuesday: 12pm - 6pm AND Wednesday - Saturday: 12pm - 8pm (take-out)
Recommendation #3
The Kitchen Table

Lean into the fresh, seasonal Italian fare with California touches from the hands of chef Alexander Alioto. You cannot go wrong with chef’s handmade pastas (we’re especially fond of the oversized ravioli uovo) and pork osso buco. 

Keep an eye out for specials tucked into the menu. While pizzas are a solid choice with a glass of wine selected by Nunzio Alioto, a master sommelier, a plate of mushrooms with polenta or kampachi ceviche are the silent sparkling stars in a galaxy of deliciousness.

Don’t Miss:  Risotto with Fried Gulf Shrimp, Anchovy Pizza, Catch of the Day

Tuesday - Thursday: 5pm - 8:30pm; Friday & Saturday: 5pm - 9pm
Recommendation #4
State Room

An onsite brewery provides ample quaffing opportunities of Patriot Pilsner or Franklins Tower IPA at the long bar or one of the booths. There’s booze, too, in case a perfect Paper Plane is your audible, once seated.  

Sticky pork ribs and firecracker green beans are part of a roster of small plates, but the large menu includes sandwiches, salads, and rice and noodle bowls. And their pizzas are always a hit with kids of all ages. Their 16-ounce churro may be the trendy dessert of the moment, but a warm brownie sundae never goes out of style.

Don’t Miss:  General Tso’s Wings, Khao San Thai Salad, State Room Burger

Tuesday - Sunday: 11:30am - 9pm
Recommendation #5
Vin Antico

One bite of the locally sourced beef laid atop a brioche bun slathered with truffle aioil is reminder enough that California cuisine is a dish best served local, sustainable and in-season. 

Summer’s burrata and peaches follows spring’s halibut dusted with fennel pollen,  and winter’s wild mushroom risotto. Similar attention is given to the wine list – a glass of Marin-sourced rosé or pinot blanc is right at home alongside Italian chianti or an Aperol spritz. The cozy ambiance seals the deal.

Don’t Miss: Lollipop Kale, Crispy Fried Chicken, Cacio E Pepe

Monday - Thursday: 5pm - 9pm; Friday & Saturday: 5pm - 10pm
Recommendation #6
Tam Commons Taproom & Kitchen

Inside a stately former bank building, 34 rotating taps pull everything from Guinness and Coors to wild blueberry wheat beer from Portland, Maine and Wok This Way lager, a Japanese rice beer from Cooperage Brewing in Santa Rosa. 

Grab a seat at one of the long bar tables, fronted with stools, or at one of the picnic tables to watch the game or chow down on hearty plates of chicken tinga tacos, bacon poutine or a classic pretzel. 

They recently added an upstairs game room, complete with arcade games, pinball and pool tables.

Don’t Miss: Pulled Pork Sliders, Crispy Wings, Carnitas Tacos

Monday - Wednesday: 11am – 10pm; Thursday - Saturday: 1am – 11pm; Sunday: 10am - 10pm
Recommendation #7
Casa Mañana

Though the D street original has a sweet patio and a family-friendly vibe, the downtown location has a long bar, a great spot to sip a cappuccino and savor a massive Chupacabra burrito. 

In addition to lunch and dinner service, breakfast is big at both locations – order the green eggs (served with tomatillo salsa) and ham and remind yourself of the Seussian rhythms of life. Or nosh on a yuca salad or chipotle pupusas, a Salvadorean touch to a north-of-the-border Mexican menu.

Don’t Miss: Enchilada Vallarta with Mole, Chiles en Nogada, El Cesar Chavez Burrito

Open Daily: 9am - 9pm
Recommendation #8
The Mayflower Pub

The retro-fabulous Irish – or is it English? – pub vibes include a beamed ceiling and booths paneled with smoked glass and more dark wood accents. Saunter up to the bar for a pull from one of the 18 taps or a signature Irish Lemonade cocktail. 

In addition to pub fare – hot wings, burger with fries, sausage with beans and fries – give the shepherd’s pie or Mayflower chicken curry a whirl. The curry’s spicy enough to make an Irishman weep. 

If you're a sports fan, The Mayflower is always a fun place to grab a pint, enjoy a hearty meal, and watch international soccer or a local ball game.

Don’t Miss: Mayflower Famous Fish & Chips, Irish Beef, Guinness and Vegetable Stew, Sausage Rolls

Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 12am; Friday & Saturday: 11:30am - 2am; Sunday: 11:30am - 9pm