San Rafael's Super Eight

Eight great restaurants outside of downtown that deserve to be on your radar.

Our Top Picks

Recommendation  #1
Banh Mi Zon

Build your own vermicelli or rice bowl or bowl of pho at a casual spot designed for takeout. Add boba or rainbow jelly to Hong Kong milk tea or Vietnamese fresh lime soda. But you came for the banh mi, done right in the Traditional sandwich with three kinds of pork and house made paté. There’s even sardines and tuna as toppings when you tire of tofu or eggs.

Don’t Miss: Traditional Banh Mi Sandwich, Beef Pho, Crazy Mushroom Vermicelli Bowl

Tuesday - Friday: 11am - 7pm; Saturday & Sunday: 11am - 3pm
Recommendation #2
The Club Restaurant

Catering to the golfers – both mini and regular – who hit the links and the putt-putt course, the restaurant is part clubhouse, too, with a wide bar and views towards the driving range. Club fare is the order of the day with burgers, sandwiches, pizza and pasta dominating the menu. 

The daily specials – Wednesday is porcini mushroom risotto, Sunday is braised lamb shank – are as popular as the chicken quesadillas, turkey club and Hawaiian pizza.

Don’t Miss: Monday’s Pork Schnitzel Special, Patty Melt, Rustic Pot Roast

Sunday & Monday: 11am - 8pm, Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 9 pm
Recommendation #3
Himalayan Kitchen

Folks flock from near and far for the momo platter, Nepalese steamed dumplings stuffed with cabbage, onions, and sometimes pork or chicken. Other dishes are worthy of your attention, too, like kukhura bhanta, a mild curry with chicken and eggplant. There’s a range of items grilled in the tandoor oven, biryani, and vegetarian curry. If the aroma of butter naan doesn’t grab you, then how about a plate of garlic tiki fries? 

Don’t Miss: Samosa Chaat, Lamb Curry, Chicken Coco

Open Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm (lunch); 4:30pm - 9:00pm (dinner)
Recommendation #4

Tucked into a strip mall off Francisco Boulevard East is a barbecue restaurant that quietly excels at grilled and often skewered meats in savory Persian style. Tangy marinated halal chicken arrives wrapped or on a plate with salad and seasoned rice, as do other options like beef, lamb and veggie. Falafel can be added to any of the salads. Or try one of the stews to get a deeper sense of the region’s flavors.

Don’t Miss: Ghormet Sabzi Stew, Mediterranean Wrap, Shish Kabab

Open Daily: 11am - 8pm
Recommendation #5
Le Chalet Basque

We love sitting in the wood-framed bar, sipping a Cable Car cocktail and enjoying a plate of frog legs just as much as we like sitting on the sunny patio sipping a glass of Champagne while eating a plate of chicken cordon bleu. 

Escargot are served in a proper, 8-welled plate with enough butter and parsley to satisfy a first-generation Burgundian. The Gateau Basque easily crosses cultures and it’s perfect with an espresso.

Don’t Miss: Scampi a la Plancha, Boeuf Bourguignon

Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2pm (lunch), 5pm - 9pm (dinner); Saturday & Sunday: 5pm - 9pm
Recommendation #6
Pho Viet

Soul warming on a damp day, huge bowls of Vietnam’s famous noodle soup are a must at a restaurant with the soup’s name in its title. There are plentiful varieties of the soup – seafood, chicken, beef – and a few vegetarian options, too. Or opt for the vermicelli without the broth. A plate of BBQ pork and egg roll with vermicelli and a papaya salad are equally filling.

Don’t Miss: Shrimp Spring Rolls, Taro Shake with Boba, Beef Rice Noodle Soup

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday: 10am - 8pm
Recommendation #7

Beautifully situated on the driving range with views of the bay is Peacock Gap Golf Course’s open-to-the-public restaurant. The patio is a fine spot for an Aperol spritz on a sunny afternoon, even if you have hit zero golf balls that day. 

Chinese chicken salad and chili con carne are popular with the lunch crowd and a Reuben sandwich has been spotted on the specials menu. The burger topped with onion bacon jam, its bun swiped with butter, is always a good call.

Don’t Miss: New England Clam Chowder, Asian Spring Rolls, Baja Fish Tacos

Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 8pm; Friday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Recommendation #8
SANkorean Cafe

Wedged between industrial complexes and I-580 ramps, a café that is one part bakery (with all-day breakfast), one part Korean lunch counter (jap chae noodles, beef bulgogi bowls) stands alone. The kimchi and bean sprout meal hews more closely to Korean flavors while chicken banh mi sandwiches and Korean corn dogs meld eastern and western traditions. 

Don’t Miss: Beef Kim Bap, Baked Mandu Dumplings, Kouign Amann, Any of the Daily Kimchis

Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 2:30pm; Saturday: 10:30am - 2:30pm