Welcome to my culinary journey through Novato, where the allure of diverse cuisines, both exotic and familiar, is truly irresistible.
Living in this vibrant city in California, I've had the privilege of experiencing the wide range of restaurants that make Novato a food lover's paradise.
From succulent steaks to vibrant vegetarian fares, there's a world of flavors to explore.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself
Flour Chylde Bakery
There's a hidden gem in our town that you must try - The Flour Chylde Bakery, a haven for those seeking gluten-free and vegan options.
Yes, you heard it right. This bakery caters primarily to those with specific dietary needs.
The bakery has a variety of choices to satisfy your taste buds without leaving you feeling like you've swallowed a rock.
Their savory dishes and soups are excellent, a real treat.
Not to mention the absence of those dense, heavy muffins that seem more like a hockey puck than a pastry.
Every item is fresh, not something frozen, then passed off as new.
Their sandwiches are a must-try, especially the turkey Brie - a mouthwatering delight, and their cakes and other baked goods are equally delicious.
I often say, “I’ll take one of everything.”
Give Flour Chylde Bakery a try.
You might just find your new favorite spot.
Michael's Sourdough Sandwiches
If you dream of a sandwich a cut above the rest, look no further than Michael's Sourdough Sandwiches.
What keeps me coming back is their exceptional service and, of course, the sourdough bread.
The bread is a game-changer – fresh, with that perfect balance of tangy and savory.
Every trip there is marked by anticipation of biting into that amazing sourdough goodness.
My first time here, I dropped in just a bit before the lunchtime rush.
But let me tell you about the main event – the sandwiches.
The Russian served on the softest rye bread is a must-try.
Accompanied by a side of chips and Creole potato salad, it's a simple meal that relies on the quality of its ingredients to impress.
The sandwiches here have left me speechless on more than one occasion.
So, if you're in the neighborhood craving a sandwich, do yourself a favor and check out Michael's Sourdough Sandwiches.
It's a local treasure that never disappoints.
Sometimes, the most unexpected delight lands right in your lap.
I'm talking about Oren's Hummus, an oasis of authentic Israeli cuisine in the heart of Marin/Sonoma county.
It's where flavors from the Middle East come alive, something we've never experienced before in our area.
Find them here Oren's Hummus.
From the moment you step in, the aroma of freshly baked pita bread and the sizzling sound of fried falafels transport you straight to the lively food bazaars of Israel.
The falafels here are not just good but exceptionally real and flavorful!
This isn't your typical American version of Middle Eastern, authentic, pure, and delectable food.
What stands out for me are their pita sandwiches.
Freshly made and filled with various ingredients, it's like a little pocket of joy that leaves you craving more.
I wish they served garlic Toum sauce, but that's just me.
Simply put, Oren's Hummus is a culinary voyage to the heart of Israel, right here in our backyard.
It's the place to be if you want to enjoy authentic Israeli flavors without catching a flight!
An exciting culinary adventure recently unfolded in my backyard at Kitchens in Novato.
The place was brimming with activity, a testament to its popularity.
It was so busy I couldn't help but think that the whole of Novato had turned up to try out the fare.
Getting there was a breeze, but ordering food took a while.
It was a brand-spanking new spot that attracted a large crowd, so the wait was understandable.
I ordered a Bacon Burger from The Melt, which was quite good.
My partner relished the Sushi Burrito from Sushirrito, while my son had the Chicken Strips from Proposition Chicken.
The Vietnamese Coffee ice cream was a delight.
Kitchens proved to be an enjoyable experience.
Marvin's Breakfast Club
Each week, I crave the comfort and familiarity of Marvin's Breakfast Club, the cozy restaurant in our town's heart.
An inviting spot that serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch, it's a place that's become part of the fabric of our community.
Marvin's is a vibrant hub where regulars like myself enjoy our usual dishes while watching the world go by from the sidewalk seating.
The dishes are deceptively simple yet packed with surprising flavors.
They masterfully add flair and spice to typical breakfast diner food.
And while their definition of "piles of ingredients" might differ from mine, I've never been disappointed.
If anything, their unique take on food is part of the charm.
I have a few favorites on the menu, but I highly recommend Julia Benedict for newcomers.
My week just doesn't feel complete without it.
If you're ever in town, be sure to give Marvin's a visit.
Whether it's the snug seating, the lively chatter, or the mouth-watering food, something about this place just feels like home.
The Boardroom has an intimate and moody ambiance that perfectly captures the spirit of a speakeasy, something that's hard to find nowadays.
Listen to the hush of the dimly lit room and the live pianist's soft rhythm on select nights.
And that's why I always recommend my friends to visit The Boardroom for a meal.
The menu is as interesting as the setting, tempting you with unique dishes.
I remember the pasta, mushrooms, and fries; everything was divine.
The restaurant also serves as a unique combination of fine dining and a Speakeasy bar.
And yes, the location might seem odd at first, but that only adds to the overall enticement of the place.
The Boardroom has nailed the old-era steakhouse feel with fantastic food and wine selection.
Where else can you find such a perfect speakeasy atmosphere?
When craving a healthful meal, I often head towards Active Culture in Southern Novato.
It's a delightful place nestled between Marin Coffee Roasters and Boca Pizza, where the old space museum used to stand.
This hidden gem is fresh air, offering a healthier alternative in the region without me needing to head downtown.
I recall trying the BBQ Burger once.
It was a delightful blend of flavors with a tasty beet sauce and a lentil patty.
Paired with a creamy, tasty coconut shake, it was a meal to remember.
The only thing that left me slightly underwhelmed was the side of tortilla chips, which seemed simple and didn't come with salsa.
Given the price point, I expected more jazz in the side dish.
However, Active Culture is a true winner for me because it's a hit with the kids.
It's the one healthy place they enjoy and want to revisit.
Their enthusiasm makes me incredibly happy, and I willingly oblige to their demand.
It's a joy to have a tasty, healthful restaurant in Novato that caters to my palate and my family's.
There's a little culinary gem nestled in the heart of our town – Masa Sushi, my go-to for an upscale sushi experience.
Their menu is impressive, with many Japanese appetizers, tempura, and organic vegetables accompanied by sake.
Though their 5-oz. sake serving might seem a tad stingy, especially when shared between two, the quality of their food makes up for it.
With sushi so fresh, it's like the taste of the ocean is dancing on your tongue.
Yes, the presentation might be straightforward, but the flavor profile of each dish is far from simple.
And let's not forget about their ramen bowl – a dish that would make any foodie's heart flutter.
The depth of flavor and the beautifully tender noodles create an incredible dish worth trying.
They also offer indoor and outdoor seating, ideal for any weather or occasion.
And if you're a fan of gyoza and karaage chicken like me, let me tell you, Masa's versions of these dishes are nothing short of amazing.
The kindness of the servers adds a special touch to the entire dining experience.
So whether you're a sushi connoisseur or someone looking to expand their culinary horizons, Masa is a place worth checking out.
Even though I've lived around town for years, I still get taken aback by the incredible culinary experiences this place offers.
One of my absolute favorites is the rustic Italian fare at Chianti Cucina, a quaint trattoria tucked away in a quiet corner with a cozy bar and fireplace.
Imagine walking into an Italian grandmother's kitchen.
That's what it feels like when you enter this charming establishment.
On my first visit, Italian chatter floated to my ears, signaling I was at the right place for authentic Italian food.
The pizza here is top-notch, well-baked with a perfect balance of cheese and toppings.
Moreover, the wine selection isn't sparse either, featuring a variety that pairs beautifully with the food.
The menu at Chianti Cucina is extensive and quite tempting.
I remember ordering half-and-half pizza upon a special request, and they obliged without fuss.
The ambiance is enchanting, with flickering lights setting a somewhat whimsical mood.
Every plate returned to the kitchen is empty, a testament to the fantastic food.
While I haven't visited as often as I used to, significantly after they changed their Groupon deal, I still find myself drawn to Chianti Cucina now and then.
It's one of those places you relish returning to, not just for the food but for the warm, inviting atmosphere that makes you feel welcome every time.
You know you've found a gem when you return to a local joint like FBI Burgers, my go-to place when I long for a hearty, juicy burger.
And oh boy, do they deliver!
Their cheese hamburgers are to die for, with an explosion of flavors that leaves you craving more every time.
It's not just their burgers that keep me going back.
The briskets and hotdogs have their charm too.
But the real clincher for me? Their veggie and Beyond vegan options.
Now, I'm no vegan, but having these options available lets me enjoy my favorite food without the guilt.
The fixings are fresh, and the buns are classic brioche-style, soft and buttery.
You can't ask for anything better.
The sides and sauces are the cherry on top, always generous, and perfect for the burgers.
And the best part? The prices are reasonable, making it an absolute steal.
I'm proud to support FBI Burgers and other small businesses in The Square, and I look forward to many more gastronomic adventures.
Italian Delite Sub Sandwiches
Every town has one place locals know as a hidden gem. For me, that's Italian Delite Sub Sandwiches.
It's a charming little joint tucked away in our town.
Yes, it's small, but it's cozy.
The indoor and outdoor limited seating gives it an intimate and welcoming vibe.
You feel part of the community when you're there, sharing a laugh with your fellow patrons and enjoying the delicious subs in the sunshine or the warm indoors.
But let's get to the heart of the matter - the food.
They do solid sub sandwiches.
But, let me tell you, their Philly Cheesesteak Sub, it's something else.
It's a local favorite; once you've tried it, you'll understand why.
The thick-cut fries that often accompany this sub are perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, a perfect partner for the juicy, flavorful cheesesteak.
I've yet to find someone who doesn't rave about their cheesesteak; it's that good.
But don't take my word for it. Head to Italian Delite Sub Sandwiches and try it yourself.
And oh, don't forget to order the onion rings - a perfect sidekick to the sandwiches.
Other Restaurants Nearby
Pupuseria Blankita (San Rafael)
You know you're in for a treat from the moment you step into Pupuseria Blankita.
The scent of freshly made pupusas fills the air and wraps you in a warm embrace that screams 'home.'
The authenticity of the flavors is unmatched in the Bay Area, and, dare I say; they serve some of the best pupusas I have ever tasted.
The chicken and chorizo pupusa is a personal favorite.
Each bite is a delightful explosion of flavor, a testament to the quality of the ingredients.
It's not just the food that brings me back time and again but also the immaculate cleanliness, the friendly service, and that sense of belonging that only a local gem can offer.
While navigating the menu may seem a bit daunting at first, trust me, the rewards are worth it.
The mild salsa, paired with the pupusas and coleslaw-like topping, is a dance of flavors that leaves your taste buds begging for more.
It's not just about the main meals, though.
The dessert selection is irresistible, with creamy treats satisfying any sweet tooth.
Moreover, despite being a small business, they offer a surprisingly large selection of drinks.
One piece of advice - don't hold back on the pupusas.
Two to three usually fill me up and trust me, you don’t want to leave any room for regret.
Pupuseria Blankita’s delicious delicacies are not to be missed.
I can't wait for my next visit!
Il Davide (San Rafael)
Il Davide is always on my list whenever I'm asked about ‘must-visit’ spots in our town.
The moment you walk through their doors, you're welcomed into a lively, warm atmosphere that automatically puts you at ease.
One memorable experience there was when I decided to bring my dog along for a meal.
I was pleasantly surprised when they arranged an outdoor table for us.
It was an evening filled with the soothing strains of lounge music, which perfectly complemented the delicious Tuscan fare.
Their willingness to cater to my needs - including swapping veal for chicken in the piccata - truly sets them apart.
Their attentive service makes the experience at Il Davide even more commendable.
And let's not forget the food.
The refined Tuscan dishes that Il Davide serves are nothing short of outstanding.
Among my favorites are the succulent scampi bruschetta, the crispy calamari fritti and the heavenly pappardelle con sal sicca.
The halibut special is another dish that I highly recommend.
And to top it all off, their blackberry and vanilla sorbetto and their seasonal bread pudding make for a lovely ending to the meal.
Having dined at Il Davide numerous times, I'll say that each visit brings a delightful new experience.
So whether you're planning a special occasion or just looking for a great place to eat, Il Davide is worth a visit.
Lo Coco's Authentic Italian Pizzeria (San Rafael)
They say old memories never fade, and that's exactly how I feel about Lo Coco's Authentic Italian Pizzeria.
This gem has stood the test of time, dishing out authentic, mouthwatering, Neapolitan-style pizzas since 1971.
A visit there is not just a meal. If you pardon the pun, it's a slice of history.
Family celebrations, impromptu pizza nights, graduations - Lo Coco's has been integral to all those moments.
The rustic, laid-back setting gives it a warm, welcoming feel, like you're stepping into an old friend's place.
Now, let's talk about the pizzas.
The crispy crust, the perfect tanginess of their sauce, and, oh, the cheese - so fresh, so rich!
My favorite is the Arlecchino, a delightful variety of pepperoni, salami, and sausage.
It's like a party of flavors in your mouth!
They say their pizzas are creative, but it's more than that to me.
It's a palate of passion, dedication, and tradition, painted with the finest, freshest ingredients.
Lo Coco's Authentic Italian Pizzeria is a testament to timeless, authentic Italian cuisine.
It reminds you how food can bring joy and be a celebration.
And trust me, once you've tasted their pizza, you'll understand why this place is a local favorite.
Sabor A México (San Rafael)
I had given up on finding real Mexican food in Marin.
Then, one day, I stumbled upon Sabor A México.
To say it was a pleasant surprise would be an understatement.
The ambiance was warm, the decor tastefully reflecting Mexican culture.
They served a compilation of classic Mexican dishes passed down through family traditions.
I was thrilled to see the love and culture they pour into their cuisine.
The first time I visited, I decided to go with the mole enchilada.
Let me tell you, the flavors were a delightful explosion - just like the ones I remember from my travels to Mexico.
Since then, I've been back several times, trying the pastor taco, tamale, and perfectly seasoned rice and beans.
Each dish has been a culinary treat, leaving me eager to explore the rest of the menu.
The prices are reasonable for such high-quality, well-presented meals.
I remember my carne asada was served with a slice of cactus - a unique and delicious touch!
The service was friendly, although sometimes forgetful, but it didn't detract from the overall experience.
I'm excited to continue my culinary journey through Sabor A México's menu.
If you want an authentic Mexican dining experience in Marin, this place won't disappoint.
Miracle Mile Cafe (San Rafael)
Nothing is quite as comforting as finding a neighborhood spot that feels like home, mainly when it serves a unique mix of American and Peruvian cuisine.
You might be wondering, where is this quaint little nook located?
The answer is simple, just head on over to Miracle Mile Cafe.
Now, you might be thinking, what makes this place worth visiting?
Let me tell you, whether it’s a lazy Sunday morning or a bustling Saturday afternoon, their brunch is an absolute must-try.
If you're an early bird, don't sleep on the Peruvian pulled pork - it's a feast for the taste buds.
The salmon Benedict is a delightful surprise for those with a sweet tooth.
And if you’re worried about dietary restrictions, they have gluten-free options.
I love sinking my teeth into their garden burger with American cheese and jalapeños on a gluten-free bun.
One thing that genuinely sets Miracle Mile Cafe apart is its accommodating nature.
It might seem like a small detail, but being able to swap home fries for a side of varied fruits makes all the difference.
And for those of us with canine companions, you’ll be delighted that dogs are welcome in the charming outdoor area.
Navigating the parking situation can be tricky, especially at peak hours, but don’t let that deter you.
Even with a bustling crowd, the atmosphere inside remains pleasant, and it's always easy to hear the person across the table.
The authenticity of their organic recipes and the warm and attentive service make Miracle Mile Cafe a true neighborhood gem.
Novato is genuinely a foodie haven.
Each restaurant here has its unique charm and a distinct menu that represents the diversity of Novato.
That’s the thing about this city and its food – there's always something for everyone.