Marin's Best-Kept Secrets

We've uncovered six restaurants that deserve to be on your radar.

Our Top Picks

Recommendation  #1
La Gastronomia di Porchetta

Squid ink spaghetti is just one of the pastas made in-house, dropped ever so briefly into boiling water to achieve al dente texture before clams or crab and a seasonal sauce add heft. 

Many come just for the pork. As the restaurant’s name suggests, it’s a house specialty, slow-roasted on the rotisserie. Served in the round at dinner and brunch to showcase its crispy exterior and tender interior, porchetta becomes a juicy sandwich dressed

with arugula at lunch. It is a must-try, inside the dining room or out front at one of the small tables on a sunny day.

Don’t Miss: Muscoli alla Viareggina, Spaghetti al Granchio, Porchetta (any style)

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: 5pm – 8:30pm; Friday: 5pm – 9:30pm; Saturday: 9am – 3pm; 5pm - 9:30pm; Sunday: 9am – 3pm; 5pm- 8:30pm
Recommendation #2
Lou's Takeaway

There are a few shaded counter seats outside or grab a seat on the parking lot curb to enjoy the daily stylings of Anthony (a.k.a. Lou) Rizzi’s tiny restaurant. 

On any given day, the tight, hand-written menu may include braised pork shoulder soup with roasted kale and hominy or peanut braised chicken and fried chili noodles. It’ll be packed in a to-go container, whether you like it or not. All the recipes on the menu are 100% original and made with ingredients that inspire. Lettuce and vegetables are purchased twice a week at the Marin Farmers market and all dressings, stocks and hot sauces are made in house. 

Don’t Miss: Taiwanese Fried Pork Belly, Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Mascarpone; Fried Chicken

Tuesday: 4pm - 7pm (dinner); Wednesday - Thursday: 11:30am - 1:30pm (lunch); 5pm - 8pm (dinner); Friday: 11:30am - 1pm (lunch); 5pm - 8pm (dinner); Saturday: 11:30am - 1:30pm (lunch); 5pm - 8pm (dinner)
Recommendation #3
The Boardroom

The Boardroom boasts an intimate retro-chic dining room & piano lounge that feels like Sinatra's living room. Located in a dusty strip mall south of Ignacio and hard to see from the street, Munther Massarweh’s restaurant adjoining The Speakeasy bar is a throwback to an earlier era. One where women were dames and men wore fedoras when they left the house, you know? Hooded chandeliers underneath a crimson, pressed tin ceiling cast golden light on white linen-draped tables. Will Elizabeth Taylor walk through the door? And with which husband? 

Liz would probably recognize the menu. Bone-in rib eye can be ordered with a lobster tail, chicken liver is sauteed with marsala and garlic, and rigatoni comes with a Stroganoff-style sauce. Wash it all down with a martini, a Manhattan, or one of their other old school cocktails. It all adds up to a feeling that you’ve lucked into something that will vaporize when the sun comes up. 

Don’t Miss: Seared Veal Sweetbreads, Smoked Pork Belly Carbonara, Seafood Paella

Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm (lunch); 5pm - 9pm (dinner); Saturday & Sunday: 5pm - 9pm
Recommendation #4
Le Chalet Basque

This charming restaurant prides itself on being one of “Marin’s best-kept secrets.” Perhaps this is due to its quiet Santa Venetia location? Or its French/Basque-inflected menu? This is one of the few places in the Bay Area to savor frog’s legs served, like its menu pal escargot, with garlic and butter. 

Regulars often pack the bar for French 75 and White Russian

cocktails. But on sunny days, the cute patio is something of a hot spot with patrons lingering over glasses of Provençal rosé and mains like shrimp scampi and filet of sole, served with soup of the day and salad.

Don’t Miss: Escargot, Boef Bourguignons, Sole Meuniere

Wednesday - Sunday: 4pm - 8pm
Recommendation #5
The Caprice

While many might dismiss this historic restaurant as strictly for tourists and/or special occasions, we think there's enough here to appeal to Marin diners 365 days of the year. 

Perched on a cliff east of downtown Tiburon, The Caprice has stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay’s sparkling waters, and the day’s sunset. Why not toast your good fortune with a martini or a glass of Persuasion, the restaurant’s riff on a mimosa? It works equally well with brunch’s crab melt or smoked salmon scramble as it does with dinner’s baked oysters with spinach and pankoDungeness Crab Crisps, and Kurobuta Pork Tomahawk Chop. Make sure you save room for their decadent Crème Brûlée Cheesecake and their potent Irish Cappuccino. Add in white linens and lighted candles on each table at night and you’ve got yourself a date night spot without even trying.

Don't Miss: Seared Scallops, Tuna Carpaccio, Italian Potstickers, Abalone Doré

Mon - Thurs: 5:30pm - 8pm; Fri - Sun: 12pm - 8pm. Serving till 9:30 every day.
Recommendation #6
Farm House Local

Chef David Monson’s scratch cooking at breakfast and lunch leans into the details. Not only is the gravlax atop a potato-celery root pancake house-cured, the apple sauce is made in-house, too. The rich flavor of the local food shed shines in everything from a bowl of shitake mushroom soup with applewood bacon or a classic salmon Niçoise, to house made biscuits and gravy. On sunny days, the shaded back patio, which is not visible from the street, is the place to be.

Don’t Miss: Blackberry-Coconut French Toast, Biscuits and Gravy, Cubano Sandwich

Open Daily: 8am - 3pm
Recommendation #7
Recommendation #8