Summer Foodie Trail: West Marin’s Best Coastal Eats

 July 30, 2016
Posted by jenn

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to make the slow journey up Highway 1 through West Marin might be the Bay Area’s most spectacular day trip for nature lovers in search of the quintessential view. But foodies will also find lots to devour.

This coastal drive also promises good eats along the way, beginning with rustic pub fare in Muir Beach. Meander past the sandy swath of Stinson Beach and up to the eucalyptus groves around Point Reyes and the rolling hills surrounding Tomales Bay. If it’s a typical Bay Area summer day (read: cool with a heavy layer of fog), then all the better.

The Pelican Inn, Muir Beach

English comfort food served with a refreshing pint at The Pelican Inn.(Courtesy of The Pelican Inn)Take your own Brexit off of Highway 1 where this tiny coastal inn serves hearty English comfort food—think shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and Guinness beef stew—both inside the restaurant/bar and picnic-style on the grassy lawn. Have a dip or a hike at Muir Beach to earn your meal and pint. Note: The weekend brunch buffet is pretty epic. // 10 Pacific Way (Muir Beach), pelicaninn.com

The Siren Canteen, Stinson Beach

A lifeguard tower meets quintessential beachfront snack shack at Stinson’s Siren Canteen.(Jay Graham and Jonathan Littman via smartup.life)If you’re looking for a laid-back beach vibe, there’s nothing more surfer-chill than the Siren Canteen at Stinson Beach. Answer the call and be treated to burgers and tacos—all made fresh in house—on the deck overlooking the dunes. Don’t miss the best sweet potato fries, or soft serve cones on glorious summer days. // 3201 Highway 1 (Stinson Beach), thesirencanteen.com

Sir and Star at The Olema, Olema

Dishes are always hearty and made from hyper-local ingredients at Sir and Star.(John Storey for SF Chronicle)There’s really only one reason to stop in the one-horse town of Olema, and that is Sir and Star—and, oh, what a reason it is. From the magic-makers at Manka’s Inverness Lodge, Sir and Star is simply decadant, pleasing its guests with very hearty meals (there’s not a salad in sight) made with seasonal and extremely local ingredients, perhaps even from the neighbors’ yard. The menu reads as cheeky as it tastes: the Neighbor’s Quail, for instance, comes “Plumped with a Stuffing to Give Thanks For.” You can pop in for a drink and a nibble from the a la carte menu Wednesday through Sunday, but we recommend making a reservation for the Saturday evening Chef’s Meal, with several impressive small courses served in the chicly spare dining room overlooking the back lawn. Want to make a real date night of it? Reserve a handsome guest room upstairs at the Olema Inn for a darkly romantic vibe inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. //10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (Olema), sirandstar.com

Saltwater Oyster Depot, Inverness

Enjoy a feast of freshly shucked oysters and locally made dishes at Saltwater Oyster Depot.(Courtesy of Saltwater Oyster Depot)Inverness, how do we love thee! West Marin’s misty, mystic heart may look like a setting from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but its California coastal locale guarantees fresh and light fare. Stop by the Saltwater Oyster Depot for locally sourced daily oysters, as well as a seasonal, mostly seafood-centric menu that’s consistently delicious. Pair with a bottle Easkoot rosé and you’ll require nothing more. // 12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (Inverness), saltwateroysterdepot.com

Marin Sun Farms, Point Reyes

A grass-fed beef burger at Marin Sun Farms.(Wes Rowe, via Serious Eats)When you’re in need of a killer burger, why not go straight to the source? At Marin Sun Farms’ Point Reyes restaurant, you’ll find one of the Bay Area’s best quality burgers, made from grass-fed and humanely raised cows. Ever tried a tasty goat burger? Well, now you can. There’s also mouth-watering lamb bacon. Oh yeah. Be sure to enjoy your meal in the sunny garden, and, while you’re here, stock your fridge with meaty goods from the friendly butcher. // 10905 Shoreline Hwy. (Pt. Reyes Station), marinsunfarms.com

Bovine Bakery, Point Reyes

Pop in to The Bovine Bakery for delicious handmade pastries.(Courtesy of Bite Club Eats)No small town is complete without a homey bakery to fill the air with the scent of warm bread fresh from the oven. Bovine Bakery has delighted Pt. Reyes residents for over 20 years, making the best baked-goods around with fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Loyal locals pop in for their morning cup of coffee, and weekend cyclists line up for handmade pastries, pizzas, and satisfying soups. // 11315 State Route 1 (Point Reyes Station), thebovinebakery.com

Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes

Cowgirl Creamery’s famous Mt. Tam triple cream.(Courtesy of Cowgirl Creamery)Cowgirl’s inclusion on this list will come to the surprise of absolutely no Bay Area cheese-lover—this beloved local creamery is a mainstay and still a must-stop. Sample fine fresh varieties ranging from fromage blanc to the affectionately named Mt. Tam, well known in these parts for its notes of cultured butter with a hint of mushroom. Craving more than a casual taste? Reserve your spot for the Friday morning 60-minute presentation that includes a curd-making demo and guided tasting of all the Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. // Tomales Bay Foods, 80 4th St. (Point Reyes Station), cowgirlcreamery.com

Osteria Stellina, Point Reyes

The air at Osteria Stellina is filled with the smell of authentic Italian pizza.(via SF Chronicle)Visit Pt. Reyes but get transported to Italy at Osteria Stellina, where the authentic pasta and pies are, of course, made with local and organic produce. Make like the neighbors and try a pizza topped with Drake’s Bay oysters, Straus cream-braised leeks. You will also find a selection of soups, salads, and hearty mains including a Rossotti Ranch braised goat with herbed polenta and greens. Call ahead: This bustling restaurant in the heart of town is a total crowd-pleaser. // 11285 Highway 1 (Point Reyes Station),osteriastellina.com

Hog Island Oyster Company, Marshall

Hog Island Oyster Company is the go-to for eating barbecue oysters al fresco.(Courtesy of Hog Island Oyster Company)If you haven’t heard of this hot spot, you’ve been living under a rock. (Unless, of course, you just moved to the Bay Area; in which case, get yourself to Hog Island for a proper initiation.) Reservations are essential whether you’re hoping for a spot in the picnic area or at the Boat oyster bar. So call ahead, round up your mates, and plan a picturesque day on Tomales Bay where you’ll chow sustainably farmed oysters pulled from the water right at your feet. // 20215 Shoreline Highway (Marshall), hogislandoysters.com

Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Marshall

At Nick’s Cove, skip the overrated barbecue oysters and go for the whole local Dungeness crab.(Courtesy of Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar)It’s all about location at Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar, which is situated directly atop Tomales Bay and promises extensive waterfront views. Well, that and the fresh local seafood, including a solid Dungeness crab Benedict at lunch. Nick’s serves hearty yet refined farm-to-table cuisine made with ingredients sourced along the West Marin coast. Make a pit stop or a weekend of it—cozy hearths and heated floors await in Nick’s charming bungalows. // 23240 Highway 1 (Marshall), nickscove.com

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