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Guidebook for San Rafael

Barbara

Guidebook for San Rafael

Food Scene
Even those who “hate waiting” turn up in the sometimes “block-long” lines at these Puerto Rican siblings where the “totally satisfying” offerings include “tender” chicken thighs, Cuban sandwiches and “excellent” vegan dishes; service is “fast” and while the interiors are “not fancy”, they're colorful and “comfortable.
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Sol Food
901 Lincoln Avenue
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Even those who “hate waiting” turn up in the sometimes “block-long” lines at these Puerto Rican siblings where the “totally satisfying” offerings include “tender” chicken thighs, Cuban sandwiches and “excellent” vegan dishes; service is “fast” and while the interiors are “not fancy”, they're colorful and “comfortable.
Amazing” “fresh-out-of-the-oven” breads, “the best scones ever” and “tantalizing” pastries (including vegan/gluten-free “goodies”) “tug at the heartstrings” at these individually run “hippie-dippie” bakeries; “there’s no decor” and only “limited” seating, but expect quick-moving “lines of people” queuing up for a cup of fair-trade “joe” and “generous slices” of daily vegetarian pizza that “never fails to be deliciously interesting.”
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Arizmendi Bakery & Café
1002 4th Street
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Amazing” “fresh-out-of-the-oven” breads, “the best scones ever” and “tantalizing” pastries (including vegan/gluten-free “goodies”) “tug at the heartstrings” at these individually run “hippie-dippie” bakeries; “there’s no decor” and only “limited” seating, but expect quick-moving “lines of people” queuing up for a cup of fair-trade “joe” and “generous slices” of daily vegetarian pizza that “never fails to be deliciously interesting.”
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Crepevine Restaurant
1133 4th Street
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Customizable noodle soups & Japanese craft beers served in a contemporary, rustic-chic space.
Uchiwa Ramen
821 B Street
Customizable noodle soups & Japanese craft beers served in a contemporary, rustic-chic space.
Mexican counter-serve operation serving tacos & burritos in an easygoing environment.
Taqueria Mi Familia
55 Bellam Blvd
Mexican counter-serve operation serving tacos & burritos in an easygoing environment.
jumbo oysters are $16 for the dozen, seats at the tables don’t cost a penny, and the weekend crowds make it feel like a bivalve Coachella
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Tomales Bay Oyster Company
15479 CA-1
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jumbo oysters are $16 for the dozen, seats at the tables don’t cost a penny, and the weekend crowds make it feel like a bivalve Coachella
a seafood shack perched on timber pylons, you will find a dining experience that’s low-key, the ultimate example of a certain kind of meal: unfussy, delicious, relaxed. It’s nominally a general store, and though they sell beer and wine—including some inspired selections from importer Kermit Lynch—they can’t legally serve it, though they will lend you a corkscrew. The store farms its own exquisite oysters, and prepares them three ways: raw, Rockefeller (piled with spinach and cheese), or, the local specialty, barbecued (grilled with house-made barbecue sauce). Yummy!! http://www.themarshallstore.com
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The Marshall Store
19225 CA-1
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a seafood shack perched on timber pylons, you will find a dining experience that’s low-key, the ultimate example of a certain kind of meal: unfussy, delicious, relaxed. It’s nominally a general store, and though they sell beer and wine—including some inspired selections from importer Kermit Lynch—they can’t legally serve it, though they will lend you a corkscrew. The store farms its own exquisite oysters, and prepares them three ways: raw, Rockefeller (piled with spinach and cheese), or, the local specialty, barbecued (grilled with house-made barbecue sauce). Yummy!! http://www.themarshallstore.com
Small plates of Cal-Italian eats served in a brick & redwood setting with a bustling bar scene
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Picco Restaurant
320 Magnolia Avenue
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Small plates of Cal-Italian eats served in a brick & redwood setting with a bustling bar scene
This is personal favorite downtown. It is an institution in San Rafael with some of the best sushi around. Dai is a personal friend, but he is retired and living in Scottsdale, ask for his son Jun behind the counter and tell him Barbara sent you!
Sushi To Dai For
816 4th Street
This is personal favorite downtown. It is an institution in San Rafael with some of the best sushi around. Dai is a personal friend, but he is retired and living in Scottsdale, ask for his son Jun behind the counter and tell him Barbara sent you!
Another San Rafael institution, Il Davide has amazing Italian food, great atmosphere and reasonable prices. Outdoor dining is available for lunch or evening weather permitting.
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Il Davide
901 A Street
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Another San Rafael institution, Il Davide has amazing Italian food, great atmosphere and reasonable prices. Outdoor dining is available for lunch or evening weather permitting.
If you want an upscale trendy restaurant with an interesting menu, then try the farm shop. Outdoor patio dining is available and live music is often playing in the Larkspur Landing courtyard on a Friday afternoon. Also quite an active bar where locals hang out - singles love it.
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Farmshop Marin
2233 Larkspur Landing Cir
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If you want an upscale trendy restaurant with an interesting menu, then try the farm shop. Outdoor patio dining is available and live music is often playing in the Larkspur Landing courtyard on a Friday afternoon. Also quite an active bar where locals hang out - singles love it.
This is the best sports bar in town - many TVs with a few different games on. And the food is really good too! Try the chicken wings, amazing. They do a mean Moscow Mule complete with copper cup.
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Flatiron Saloon
724 B Street
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This is the best sports bar in town - many TVs with a few different games on. And the food is really good too! Try the chicken wings, amazing. They do a mean Moscow Mule complete with copper cup.
This place is cool as it is in an old brick building near the brickyards. Almost like a cave inside. If you like Fondue, then this is a spot you can't miss. Good for celebrating birthdays or special occasions, they have balloons and other special party favors. Great wine list and also reasonable pricing for Marin.
The Melting Pot
125 E Sir Francis Drake Blvd
This place is cool as it is in an old brick building near the brickyards. Almost like a cave inside. If you like Fondue, then this is a spot you can't miss. Good for celebrating birthdays or special occasions, they have balloons and other special party favors. Great wine list and also reasonable pricing for Marin.
A kind of Marin "scene" for singles at the bar at times, but the food in the restaurant is really good. Often have music on the weekends. If in Mill Valley, I would definitely check this out.
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Bungalow 44
44 East Blithedale Avenue
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A kind of Marin "scene" for singles at the bar at times, but the food in the restaurant is really good. Often have music on the weekends. If in Mill Valley, I would definitely check this out.
If you like Thai food then this is a really good spot. Located right near the freeway in San Rafael you have to go under the freeway in the parking lot between 3rd and 4th. It is in the old French Quarter buildings and the food is really amazing.
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Royal Thai Restaurant
610 3rd Street
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If you like Thai food then this is a really good spot. Located right near the freeway in San Rafael you have to go under the freeway in the parking lot between 3rd and 4th. It is in the old French Quarter buildings and the food is really amazing.
My favorite hangout downtown if I want to go have coffee and read, meet business associates, or have lunch. Right next to the San Rafael theater, a very convenient spot for day or night. And the movie poster of Amalie gives it a bit of a European feel.
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Aroma Cafe
1122 4th Street
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My favorite hangout downtown if I want to go have coffee and read, meet business associates, or have lunch. Right next to the San Rafael theater, a very convenient spot for day or night. And the movie poster of Amalie gives it a bit of a European feel.
Parks & Nature
People do not just visit Muir Woods. They come from around the globe to pay homage to nature in this cathedral of redwoods. The trees' ages range from 400 to 800 years, their height up to 250 feet. Flat easy trails loop through the groves. Muir Woods National Monument was established on January 9, 1908 http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park-sites/muir-woods-national-monument.html
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Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Rd
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People do not just visit Muir Woods. They come from around the globe to pay homage to nature in this cathedral of redwoods. The trees' ages range from 400 to 800 years, their height up to 250 feet. Flat easy trails loop through the groves. Muir Woods National Monument was established on January 9, 1908 http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park-sites/muir-woods-national-monument.html
Fort Baker, the ninth and final "Post-to-Park" conversion in the Golden Gate National Parks, is a 335 acre former 1905 U.S. Army post located immediately north of the Golden Gate Bridge. This hidden gem of a site consists of over 25 historic army buildings clustered around a main parade ground, a sheltered harbor protected by a jetty, a number of historic gun emplacements, and trails and forested areas climbing gently up from San Francisco Bay. https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/fort-baker.htm
Fort Baker
Fort Baker, the ninth and final "Post-to-Park" conversion in the Golden Gate National Parks, is a 335 acre former 1905 U.S. Army post located immediately north of the Golden Gate Bridge. This hidden gem of a site consists of over 25 historic army buildings clustered around a main parade ground, a sheltered harbor protected by a jetty, a number of historic gun emplacements, and trails and forested areas climbing gently up from San Francisco Bay. https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/fort-baker.htm
Fort Barry is a former 1908 army post, located in the Marin Headlands. Fort Barry encompasses the historic military post, located across the street from the park's Marin Headlands Visitor Center, as well as several historic batteries, including Battery Mendell and Battery Alexander and the Point Bonita Lighthouse area. Come visit this historic area and enjoy the Lagoon and Coastal Trails, the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Rodeo Lagoon and explore Point Bonita. Visit the Nike Missile Site and museum https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/fort-barry.htm
Marin Headlands Visitor Center
Fort Barry is a former 1908 army post, located in the Marin Headlands. Fort Barry encompasses the historic military post, located across the street from the park's Marin Headlands Visitor Center, as well as several historic batteries, including Battery Mendell and Battery Alexander and the Point Bonita Lighthouse area. Come visit this historic area and enjoy the Lagoon and Coastal Trails, the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Rodeo Lagoon and explore Point Bonita. Visit the Nike Missile Site and museum https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/fort-barry.htm
The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse warned mariners of danger for more than a hundred years. The Point Reyes Lighthouse, built in 1870 https://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/historyculture/people_maritime_lighthouse.htm
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Point Reyes Lighthouse
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The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse warned mariners of danger for more than a hundred years. The Point Reyes Lighthouse, built in 1870 https://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/historyculture/people_maritime_lighthouse.htm
A wonderful place to go for a hike, great views of the bay. Mountain bikers are welcome too, in fact, this is where Mountain biking was invented!
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China Camp State Park
100 China Camp Village Rd
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A wonderful place to go for a hike, great views of the bay. Mountain bikers are welcome too, in fact, this is where Mountain biking was invented!
Arts & Culture
6 month to 8 year olds play, discover and create at this one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor children's museum at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge's Fort Baker http://bayareadiscoverymuseum.org
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Bay Area Discovery Museum
557 McReynolds Road
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6 month to 8 year olds play, discover and create at this one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor children's museum at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge's Fort Baker http://bayareadiscoverymuseum.org
San Rafael Arcángel The Twentieth of the California Missions Founded: December 14, 1817 Indians Joining This Mission: Primarily Coast Miwok and Pomo The peak mission population was 1,051, in 1826. By 1840 only 150 neophytes remained. Between 1817 and 1839 1,902 marriages were conducted at San Rafael. http://www.missionscalifornia.com/keyfacts/san-rafael-arcangel.html
Mission Avenue
San Rafael Arcángel The Twentieth of the California Missions Founded: December 14, 1817 Indians Joining This Mission: Primarily Coast Miwok and Pomo The peak mission population was 1,051, in 1826. By 1840 only 150 neophytes remained. Between 1817 and 1839 1,902 marriages were conducted at San Rafael. http://www.missionscalifornia.com/keyfacts/san-rafael-arcangel.html
The de Young, a fine arts museum located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, is one of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco along with the Legion of Honor. The de Young is named for its founder, early San Francisco newspaperman M. H. de Young.
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de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
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The de Young, a fine arts museum located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, is one of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco along with the Legion of Honor. The de Young is named for its founder, early San Francisco newspaperman M. H. de Young.
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco houses one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world, with more than 18,000 works of art in its permanent collection, some as much as 6,000 years old.
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Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street
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The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco houses one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world, with more than 18,000 works of art in its permanent collection, some as much as 6,000 years old.
The International Art Museum of America (IAMA) opened in 2011 as a retrospective of works by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. While shifting focus to better reflect our mission, IAMA began to acquire artwork from other Chinese and European masters of art. Our current collection now features traditional and modern Chinese ink wash and calligraphy, and European oil paintings from the 17th to 21st centuries.
International Art Museum of America
1023 Market Street
The International Art Museum of America (IAMA) opened in 2011 as a retrospective of works by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. While shifting focus to better reflect our mission, IAMA began to acquire artwork from other Chinese and European masters of art. Our current collection now features traditional and modern Chinese ink wash and calligraphy, and European oil paintings from the 17th to 21st centuries.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary
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SFMOMA Museum Store
151 3rd Street
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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary
The Walt Disney Family Museum is an American museum that features the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The museum is located in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.
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The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street
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The Walt Disney Family Museum is an American museum that features the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The museum is located in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.
One of the most beautiful settings for a museum in the city (SF). Overlooking a golf course and the Bay, it houses a permanent collection (including many Rodin sculptures) and is has top rate touring exhibitions so check out the web site.
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Legion of Honor
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One of the most beautiful settings for a museum in the city (SF). Overlooking a golf course and the Bay, it houses a permanent collection (including many Rodin sculptures) and is has top rate touring exhibitions so check out the web site.
Essentials
Andy's Local Market 'the Good Life begins with Great Food'
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Andy's Local Market
75 Loch Lomond Drive
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Andy's Local Market 'the Good Life begins with Great Food'
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Whole Foods Market
340 3rd Street
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Trader Joe's
337 3rd Street
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Everything Else
Explore The Hidden Town Of Bolinas - As some residents purposefully hide the sign, Bolinas might not be the easiest town to find. But jump on CA-1 North past Stinson Beach, around the Bolinas Lagoon and hang a left into Bolinas. Discover the town’s natural beauty, from bird watching to surfing, then catch some local art and fresh seafood. This laid back beach town has it all.
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Bolinas Beach
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Explore The Hidden Town Of Bolinas - As some residents purposefully hide the sign, Bolinas might not be the easiest town to find. But jump on CA-1 North past Stinson Beach, around the Bolinas Lagoon and hang a left into Bolinas. Discover the town’s natural beauty, from bird watching to surfing, then catch some local art and fresh seafood. This laid back beach town has it all.
Culinary Exploration in Marin - unofficial seat of West Marin, which, in turn, is the unofficial name for the hardscrabble coastal part of Marin County. It’s one of the most unspoiled corners of the state. Grabbing lunch in Inverness can be an automotive pleasure. Cowgirl Creamery’s cheeses; Sean Thackrey’s legendary Rhône-style reds; the grass-fed beef of Marin Sun Farms; oysters fresh from Tomales Bay are not to be missed. https://hogislandoysters.com/locations/marshall/marshall_boat https://www.tomalesbayoystercompany.com http://www.themarshallstore.com
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Inverness
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Culinary Exploration in Marin - unofficial seat of West Marin, which, in turn, is the unofficial name for the hardscrabble coastal part of Marin County. It’s one of the most unspoiled corners of the state. Grabbing lunch in Inverness can be an automotive pleasure. Cowgirl Creamery’s cheeses; Sean Thackrey’s legendary Rhône-style reds; the grass-fed beef of Marin Sun Farms; oysters fresh from Tomales Bay are not to be missed. https://hogislandoysters.com/locations/marshall/marshall_boat https://www.tomalesbayoystercompany.com http://www.themarshallstore.com
Sightseeing
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Alcatraz
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Drinks & Nightlife
If you like free music then come here. If you like the Grateful Dead then this is part of your pilgrimage to one of the most important music scenes of the 60s - Phil Lesh is the owner. It is a bar with live bands every night, and there is a larger music hall for main events. Restaurant is really good too.
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Terrapin Crossroads
100 Yacht Club Drive
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If you like free music then come here. If you like the Grateful Dead then this is part of your pilgrimage to one of the most important music scenes of the 60s - Phil Lesh is the owner. It is a bar with live bands every night, and there is a larger music hall for main events. Restaurant is really good too.
This is another Marin institution. Location move around the corner a few years ago, but the venue is actually even better. Great bands play here, many of the legends make it a point to play here. Check the website and see who is playing, suggest you may want to book tickets in advance (20 or 25) for hot shows.
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Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Avenue
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This is another Marin institution. Location move around the corner a few years ago, but the venue is actually even better. Great bands play here, many of the legends make it a point to play here. Check the website and see who is playing, suggest you may want to book tickets in advance (20 or 25) for hot shows.