Posted Monday, March 26, 2018 by MCVB Staff
By Joe Kukura
The Northern California getaway of Marin County has a reputation for great fresh food, with locally farmed eggs, fruits and cheeses and fresh-caught seafood straight from the Pacific Ocean or Bodega Bay. Mornings come sunny side up on the “sunny side of the Golden Gate Bridge” just north of San Francisco, and whether you want your day to start savory, sweet or with a Bloody Mary or a mimosa, Marin County has a bunch of brunch spots to suit your tastes.
The open-air shopping bazaar of the Marin Country Mart offers a whole day of outdoor adventure, so you’ll want to power up beforehand with a Farmshop brunch. Farmshop is known for an innovative array of wood-fired egg-and-cheese pizzas, but you’ll also find exceptional cured meats, harvest salads, Dungeness crab frittatas and craft cocktails at this spectacularly designed eatery.
You’ll get lost in the whimsical and wild scenery at Marinitas, where walls and shelves of inspired tchotchkes will lighten your heart before you fill up your stomach. And fill it you will at this Mexican and Latin American spot specializing in seasonal fare. The portions are generous and the Bloody Marys are flowing over with fresh vegetable garnishes.
Have a seat right on the docks of Tomales Bay at Nick’s Cove, where every table has a waterfront view. Seafood is the obvious specialty here, and the fresh-caught oysters, Dungeness crab Benedict, prawn Louis and more will blow you out of the water.
Pizzas and pastas are the specialties at Piazza D’Angelo, but brunch is also prepared with an Italian flair at this Mill Valley hotspot. While the pizza menu changes daily, the brunch menu sticks with traditional old-world favorites like eggs Florentine, Belgian waffles, and poached eggs with salmon.
There’s more rock ’n’ roll royalty in Marin County at San Rafael’s Terrapin Crossroads, co-owned by Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. Lesh jams regularly onstage at the nighttime shows, but the weekend brunch menu also features jams, seasonal fruit bowls, egg dishes and inspired sides, such as the crispy brussels sprouts and Sriracha deviled eggs.
Panama Hotel and Restaurant
The Mediterranean feel of the Panama Hotel and Restaurant in San Rafael is best enjoyed on the tropical outdoor patios, but there’s plenty of indoor seating too at this charming favorite. The brunch menu changes seasonally, so you’ll be served Marin County’s freshest food at just the right time of year.
The Whisk + Skillet at Strawberry Village
Marin County’s “all day breakfast” favorite is Mill Valley’s Whisk + Skillet, a casual Americana spot with outdoor patio seating. The menu features traditional fare, such as corned beef hash and biscuits and gravy, served in large portions, and their famous coffee is a longtime hit with the locals.
Farm House Restaurant at The Lodge at Point Reyes
Olema House is a stately luxury hotel next to the seashore, and its restaurant, Due West, stands out with a refined, rustic feel. The oysters are fresh from the Hog Island Oyster Company, the artisan cheese is locally produced, and the grass-fed beef comes from nearby Marin Sun Farms.
Marin County also has an appetizing lineup of farmers’ markets, cheese manufacturers and organic farms to tour that make it a famed culinary destination. So set a course for Marin County, the “brighter side of the Bay” where brunch lovers will have a lot on their plate.