Marin Blog · Marin Nightlife Collection

A Night Owl’s Guide to Cocktails in Marin County

Posted in Blogging Marin on Saturday, April 8, 2017 by MCVB Staff

by Whitney Butler


Those who make the trip to Marin County know that sometimes the real fun doesn’t begin until the sun starts to set. The unexpected pleasures of nightfall can be found all around you, if you know where to look. 

Whether escaping the city or just searching for a new beat to follow, if there’s one thing you can’t miss on your visit to Marin County, it’s the nightlife. And what better way to toast the evening than with a cocktail fit for the stars. 

Here’s your night owl’s guide to some of the best cocktails in Marin County.



Located in San Anselmo, Marinitas features a menu inspired by dishes found throughout Mexico and Latin America using local and seasonal products. Marinitas delivers Latin focused lusciousness that is an exciting blend of the new and the familiar. Marinitas' wine list draws from the expansive selections of the best wine makers from Argentina, Chile and California; while their cocktails focus on the silver and gold liquors of Central and South America.  The bar is dedicated to classic cocktail preparations including citrus juice squeezed to order, house made sweet and sour made from unrefined cane sugars, along with the highest quality mixers.  Beers include a full Mexican selection from light Lagers to dark regional Latin micro-brewed Ales. 

Night Owl Tip: Don't forget to try their Latin-focused luciousness, it's a pairing your taste buds will thank you for.


Hopmonk Tavern

Located in Novato, Hopmonk Tavern serves up more than craft beer. With an eclectic list of fine spirits to choose from, you can order your favorite cocktail and make your way to the Session Room or the beautiful outdoor Beer Garden.

Outside in the garden, night owls will enjoy the evening air, fire pits and free live music—a great space for entertaining a group. The tavern also hosts music events in its Session Room, featuring a variety of sounds several nights of the week. 

Night Owl Tip: If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, this is a great place to grab a refreshing craft beer. Their draft menu includes unique house brews and more than 50 different bottled beers.


Rancho Nicasio Restaurant & Bar

Located on the town square in Nicasio, Rancho Nicasio Restaruant & Bar is a historic roadhouse established in 1941 and situated in the geographical center of Marin County.  Nicasio has retained its rural atmosphere and tranquil beauty. Rancho Nicasio boasts a full bar, all day menu and weekly live music featuring a ride range of beloved, local artists jamming to new and favorite tunes on the weekends.

Night Owl Tip: Check out the website for a complete list of upcoming shows and events.


Terrapin Crossroads

Situated near the water in San Rafael, the whitewashed, aged-wood interior fades perfectly into the foreground during the last moments of twilight. On a warm evening there’s no better place to be than on the patio overlooking the canal—of course, with a cocktail. 

The signature cocktails at Terrapin Crossroads are a true homage to the fresh and local ingredients found throughout the area. The Slow Train, for example, is a beautiful house-infused horseradish and black-pepper gin. Or try the Little Red Rooster, a playful mix of berry-infused bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters and ginger beer.

Night Owl Tip: Terrapin Crossroads is the love child of Grateful Dead musician Phil Lesh. The Great Room regularly features impressive music acts and often surprise appearances by Lesh and friends.


Enjoy an evening in Marin County like a professional night owl. With so many great cocktails to choose from, the hardest part is picking your favorite one.

For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.



More information on featured attractions:

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Hopmonk Tavern

Hopmonk Tavern - A celebration of beer, food, music and people.  

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Tags: Nightlife