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Guidebook for San Rafael

Laura

Guidebook for San Rafael

Food Scene
Marinitas has good margaritas and good upscale Mexican food in fun atmosphere. Family-friendly and can get noisy. TVs in the bar area & some people can't take their eyes off them. If you don't drink and like classic Mexican food, go to Mi Pueblo, right nextdoor to Marinitas.
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Marinitas
218 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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Marinitas has good margaritas and good upscale Mexican food in fun atmosphere. Family-friendly and can get noisy. TVs in the bar area & some people can't take their eyes off them. If you don't drink and like classic Mexican food, go to Mi Pueblo, right nextdoor to Marinitas.
Taco Jane's is quieter and more intimate than Marinitas, and just a couple of blacks away. It has some great Mezcal drinks and the people who work there are nice.
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Taco Jane's Restaurant & Tequila Bar
21 Tamalpais Avenue
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Taco Jane's is quieter and more intimate than Marinitas, and just a couple of blacks away. It has some great Mezcal drinks and the people who work there are nice.
Cascabel has happy hours on the weeknights and in addition to bar food, offers the full salad, crepes, omelets, menu from Crepevine, which is next door, until Crepevine closes. They have a Mezcal and pineapple drink that is usually delicious, though I'm not sure all the bartenders do an equally good job of it. The pulled pork sandwich is good.
Cascabel
1131 4th St
Cascabel has happy hours on the weeknights and in addition to bar food, offers the full salad, crepes, omelets, menu from Crepevine, which is next door, until Crepevine closes. They have a Mezcal and pineapple drink that is usually delicious, though I'm not sure all the bartenders do an equally good job of it. The pulled pork sandwich is good.
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Il Davide
901 A Street
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Wonderful, cozy atmosphere and very good Italian food. You can sit outside with your dog, too. Great Negronis.
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Poggio Trattoria
777 Bridgeway
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Wonderful, cozy atmosphere and very good Italian food. You can sit outside with your dog, too. Great Negronis.
Super expensive, extraordinary sushi, for a special-occasion splurge. Make a reservation.
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Sushi Ran
107 Caledonia St
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Super expensive, extraordinary sushi, for a special-occasion splurge. Make a reservation.
High-energy and fun atmosphere. More healthful and updated Italian food, wonderful owners. Some outdoor seating and sometimes they open the roof.
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Piazza D'Angelo
22 Miller Avenue
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High-energy and fun atmosphere. More healthful and updated Italian food, wonderful owners. Some outdoor seating and sometimes they open the roof.
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Picco Restaurant
320 Magnolia Avenue
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Many kinds of beer to try and excellent pub food, lively atmosphere, some outdoor seating with great people-watching.
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The State Room
1132 4th St
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Many kinds of beer to try and excellent pub food, lively atmosphere, some outdoor seating with great people-watching.
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Insalata's
120 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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Love this place, outdoor seating in the one in Marin Country Mart where you can people watch and bring your dog. Great sandwiches, really good coffee, even good quiche. Soups, salads. And good Arnold Palmers. Loud inside, though and can be hectic.
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Rustic Bakery
2017 Larkspur Landing Circle
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Love this place, outdoor seating in the one in Marin Country Mart where you can people watch and bring your dog. Great sandwiches, really good coffee, even good quiche. Soups, salads. And good Arnold Palmers. Loud inside, though and can be hectic.
Fun and you can have wine or beer with your burger, so yay!
Shake Shack
1401 Larkspur Landing Cir
Fun and you can have wine or beer with your burger, so yay!
Very authentic Italian pastries and gelato, interesting wine selection and wonderful coffee drinks. Beautiful selection of cookies and tarts and gorgeous cakes. Pricey but worth it. Lots of seating. Some sandwiches at lunch and you can have them heated in the press.
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Emporio Rulli
464 Magnolia Avenue
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Very authentic Italian pastries and gelato, interesting wine selection and wonderful coffee drinks. Beautiful selection of cookies and tarts and gorgeous cakes. Pricey but worth it. Lots of seating. Some sandwiches at lunch and you can have them heated in the press.
One of the few places in Marin where people are willing to wait outside for the food. Very delicious! Little place and crowded, but upbeat and fun.
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Burmatown
60 Corte Madera Ave
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One of the few places in Marin where people are willing to wait outside for the food. Very delicious! Little place and crowded, but upbeat and fun.
Delicious Indian fare. Fancier atmosphere and better food than the buffet place down the street.
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Lotus Cuisine of India
704 4th Street
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Delicious Indian fare. Fancier atmosphere and better food than the buffet place down the street.
Wonderful French restaurant in the charming little town of Ross. Outdoor patio is wonderful place to sit in warmer months.
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MARCHE AUX FLEURS
23 Ross Common
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Wonderful French restaurant in the charming little town of Ross. Outdoor patio is wonderful place to sit in warmer months.
Neighborhoods
My favorite city in Marin County and I'm fond of many cities here. Dolliver Park (aka Dark Park) is in the redwoods and a creek runs through it in the wet months. That street is a great one for googling houses. The main street, Magnolia Ave, has Rulli bakery, a thrift shop, and other things to explore, and the bike path can be a quiet place to walk or pick blackberries. Oh, and Coquelicot has wonderful items from France.
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Larkspur
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My favorite city in Marin County and I'm fond of many cities here. Dolliver Park (aka Dark Park) is in the redwoods and a creek runs through it in the wet months. That street is a great one for googling houses. The main street, Magnolia Ave, has Rulli bakery, a thrift shop, and other things to explore, and the bike path can be a quiet place to walk or pick blackberries. Oh, and Coquelicot has wonderful items from France.
Fun place to stroll, good restaurants, interesting shops.
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Point Reyes Station
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Fun place to stroll, good restaurants, interesting shops.
Off the highly touristy track of Sausalito, with some good ethnic restaurants, library, and local places to discover.
Caledonia Street
Off the highly touristy track of Sausalito, with some good ethnic restaurants, library, and local places to discover.
Cute little high-end town. Fun for riding bikes, walking, picnic.
Ross Common
Cute little high-end town. Fun for riding bikes, walking, picnic.
Sightseeing
This theater shows the most interesting films and is beautiful, too.
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Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 4th Street
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This theater shows the most interesting films and is beautiful, too.
Very interesting art, and Donna Seager is the nicest, least snobby gallery owner!
Seager Gray Gallery
108 Throckmorton Ave
Very interesting art, and Donna Seager is the nicest, least snobby gallery owner!
Lovely place to walk around and see special plants and trees. There's a wonderful antique consignment shop open Tues-Sat.
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Marin Art & Garden Center
30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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Lovely place to walk around and see special plants and trees. There's a wonderful antique consignment shop open Tues-Sat.
Great place to wander around, sometimes there are really interesting shows. Great gift shop and restaurant on site.
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
500 Palm Dr
Great place to wander around, sometimes there are really interesting shows. Great gift shop and restaurant on site.
George Lucas donated this fun little park featuring statues of Indiana Jones and Yoda to the lovely town of San Anselmo.
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Imagination Park
541 San Anselmo Ave
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George Lucas donated this fun little park featuring statues of Indiana Jones and Yoda to the lovely town of San Anselmo.
Fun place to walk around and explore, gorgeous views of the bay and Angel Island. Cute little movie theater.
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Tiburon
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Fun place to walk around and explore, gorgeous views of the bay and Angel Island. Cute little movie theater.
Interesting and unusual town, not too many corporate-owned places. Bicycle museum. Wonderful ice cream at the Scoop. Often there's fun music at night. The movie theater fills up fast so beware. And parking can be difficult, especially at night.
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Fairfax
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Interesting and unusual town, not too many corporate-owned places. Bicycle museum. Wonderful ice cream at the Scoop. Often there's fun music at night. The movie theater fills up fast so beware. And parking can be difficult, especially at night.
Take the ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island on a sunny day. Wear layers anyway. Fantastic views from this place. You can walk all the way around, hike to the top, sit in the cove and picnic (bring your own food), or visit the immigration sites. If the weather is with you, this is a great day trip. I think there is still some overnight camping, for which you will need reservations.
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Angel Island State Park
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Take the ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island on a sunny day. Wear layers anyway. Fantastic views from this place. You can walk all the way around, hike to the top, sit in the cove and picnic (bring your own food), or visit the immigration sites. If the weather is with you, this is a great day trip. I think there is still some overnight camping, for which you will need reservations.
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China Camp State Park
100 China Camp Village Rd
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Mount Tamalpais Watershed
49 Sky Oaks Road