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November 14, 2018 1:42am
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San Rafael Restaurants

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San Rafael: Restaurants

San Rafael restaurants serve a wide range of cuisines. You can find American fusion, American regional, Mexican, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, French, and South American restaurants that cater to every budget and taste.

San Rafael enjoys access to fresh natural produce, bountiful seafood and ingredients from California. The city is located just outside San Francisco, close to the famous California Wine Country. The San Francisco Bay Area, of which San Rafael is a part of, boasts many award winning restaurants. Seafood is very popular here with its famous Dungeness Crabs and mouth-watering chowder. Many restaurants serve California cuisine which can range from seasonal entrees to fusion cuisine. Diners with special dietary needs can find vegetarian options, vegan restaurants, dairy-free meals and gluten-free food.

Many restaurants in San Rafael are along Fourth Street and within the Fourth Street district of Downtown San Rafael. There are many types of cuisines here, ideal for couples or families. Cafes are very popular here for a quick bite or a good cup of coffee while you are people watching.

Downtown Restaurants

The restaurants in downtown San Rafael are mostly moderately expensive for a nice dinner.  From Central American fare from Puerto Rico to restaurants representing most of Asia, the range of cuisines have appeal for the timid and the adventurous palette. Some restaurants featured give you a taste of the character of the restaurants in San Rafael for its ambience and its food.

San Rafael Joe’s

San Rafael Joe’s in the heart of downtown on Fourth Street and has been in business since 1947. It rates as one of Marin's oldest restaurants and is a favorite of the local community. Good old-fashioned Italian cooking, modest prices and a casual setting are welcoming to diners. The restaurant is open seven days a week. 

Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine

Sol Food is a small restaurant in San Rafael that has a loyal following.  When owner Sol Hernandez ran a booth in the San Rafael Farmers Market, her patrons were pleased to hear that she was going to open her restaurant. Nested at the corner of Fourth and Lincoln, Sol Food serves a mean Mofongo Relleno de Camarones and Chuletas Fritas.

Umi Sushi

Umi Sushi’s home-style small plates and seasonal creations set this small downtown restaurant apart. The décor is surfer chic and the service warm and family-like as described by its patrons.

Il Davide

Il Davide is a favorite of local diners. It opened in 1995 and is still a popular place to dine. The restaurant serves Italian food made from seasonal ingredients. Fresh pastas, fish and entrées are the main offerings, along with small plates of salads, tortes and vegetables.

Cafes

If you prefer to relax and grab a cup of coffee and a snack, the local cafes in San Rafael are ideal. There are several in the downtown area. There’s Mojay’s Café, a casual joint with organic coffees, sandwiches and Wi-Fi. Miracle Mile Café is another café on Fourth Street that serves gluten-free meals, homemade jams and ketchup and Wi-Fi.

Some people go to a café for the coffee, while others go for that one wonderful dish.  The Bay Café and Blackbird Café are known for their coffees. The scones at The Bay Café are also highly rated by their patrons.

Breakfasts

A good breakfast is a great way to start a day. Finding a good breakfast restaurant is sometimes a challenge but deeply satisfying when you do find the right one. One way to find a good breakfast when traveling is to see where everyone congregates for a hearty breakfast or a (somewhat) quiet cup of coffee to start the day. There are four restaurants serving breakfast on Fourth Street: Lundy’s Home Cooking, West End Café, Café du Cirque, and Aroma Café. There are many more around the city.

Let’s Do Lunch

There are more than 20 restaurants where you can grab a bite for lunch within walking distance from downtown. They serve pizzas, burgerssandwiches; and Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, and vegan/vegetarian food. For a quick sandwich, try Belli-Deli, Perry’s Delicatessen No. 1, and Rocky’s Quality Meats.

Vegan Only

Muffin Mania is a good bet if you eat vegan food or would like to try it. The hippie ambiance makes it the kind of place Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead would have liked. It has good coffee and great sandwiches that will appeal to vegans and make carnivores not miss the meat. Try the baked goods and an espresso soy latte.

Pub Food

The Mayflower Inn will fill your need for fish and chips and other British pub favorites. Try the sausage rolls when you are there.

The Broken Drum Brewery & Wood Grill offers good pub food such as burgers and fish tacos.
 

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