Falafel Hut is an absolute delight, bang in the middle of downtown San rafael, this is an amazing place for Gyros, shawarma and kababs.
Favorite Dish: Chicken shawarma and Veg hummus with falafel. They have a spicy sauce at the tables that is to be used liberally till you have a runny nose for absolute pleasure.
My family dragged me here after insisting I would have no problem finding vegetarian items on the menu. They were right!
This restaurant serves delicious barbecued foods, sizzling plates, and tempura. You will not leave hungry. For $8.95, you will get a huge plate of grilled meats or tofu, rice, and veggies. Even my 16 year old son couldn't clean his plate, and took the rest home and ate it for lunch. THAT is a lot of food!
The grilled tofu and veggies were fabulous! I will defintiely come back here!
It seems as if I've been going to San Rafael Joe's for most of my life. My brother-in-law's friends worked part-time as waiters at Joe's when they were in high school, and when we were college students, we'd sit at the counter and watch the cooks at work.
As newlyweds, my husband and I ate there weekly because it was close to where we lived and was one of the few places that served late dinners, which was convenient after a late movie at the Rafael Theater.
I remember the place when it was dimly lit, had dark wood paneling everywhere, and on weekends you could hear Larry Vanucci at the organ.
The restaurant has since been transformed into a place of light, etched glass, and brass, but there's still live music -- guitar and vocals -- on weekend evenings. The stained glass scene of Venice behind the bar always makes me feel at home.
Favorite Dish: I like the Joe's Special with mushrooms: ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms scrambled together with egg. I'm also partial to the oysters, either in a garlic and butter sauce or deep-fried, and their cheese ravioli.
The portions are generous. I usually end up taking home half my meal.
I love the food at Thai Smile. It's a tiny place offering great, affordable Thai cuisine. When I worked in San Rafael, my colleagues and I went there for lunch when our spirits needed a boost, and Thai Smile always came through for us. In good weather you can sit outside at an umbrella table.
I'd advise parking on the street, as the lot behind the restaurant is small and hard to negotiate.
Favorite Dish: I like the curries, especially the green and yellow variety, but my favorite dish by far is the Khao Mok, which is a jasmine rice dish containing chicken, raisins, and almonds.
The Thai iced tea is almost a dessert -- creamy and comforting.
We dined at this restaurant one evening in August, 2008. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, fantastic food with great presentation. We paid about $42 USD for two entrees, one appetizer, Naan bread, and one beverage, not including tip.
A very unique feature to this restaurant is the roll back roof over the dining room, allowing for an open air and rather romantic feeling on pleasant evenings.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed Vegetable Samosas appetizer, Vegetarian Biriyani, Prawn Vindalu, Naan bread, and Chai Black Tea. Everything was delicous.
Lunch Buffet available Monday-Saturday, $8.95.
West End Cafe is a fairly large cafe, restaurant, snack shop, bakery, deli, beer shop, and more, located in the heart of downtown San Rafael. We stopped in to the this sunny cafe on a Sunday morning and enjoy a breakfast of meat, egg, and cheese sandwiches on croissants with fried hash brown potatoes ($5 each) and coffee ($1.80 each). Maybe the service could have been a little better, but the food was tasty.
West End has been named best breakfast and best deli in San Rafael.
Eating at the Panama Hotel is like stepping back in time to a much calmer era. Located in a residential area not far from downtown San Rafael, it has a sultry, tropical ambience that reminds me of New Orleans. Service is courteous, the food is good, and on some evenings you can dine to live music.
The Panama Hotel is also a bed and breakfast with 14 rooms, reasonably priced and all different. See the website for photos and rates.
Favorite Dish: The last time I had lunch there, I had the grilled chicken panini and announced to my friends, "I now have a new favorite sandwich!" It was a grilled chicken and cheese sandwich with a mild green chili pesto -- garlicky with just a little heat. Delicious!
House of Lee has received good reviews for its dim sum lunches, and deservedly so. For about $10 per person, you can nibble on savory tidbits like barbecued pork mini-buns, shrimp dumplings, foil-wrapped chicken, and miniature custard tarts. You can even order chicken feet, if you're so inclined.
There is also a full menu of soups, noodles, and rice dishes.
Convenient location just off of Hwy 101 at Central San Rafael exit. Nice atmosphere with live Jazz in the lounge most evenings. Food is excellent and service is attentive.
Favorite Dish: My favorite meal is the New England Platter...Fried Fish, Prawns, Scallops, and Calimari. A nice portion size and one of the better fried platters I have enjoyed anywhere..Prices are comparable to most nicer seafood restaurants in the area with better sized servings than most.
Ok, first of all, I'm a vegetarian, so I am NOT including this place in my recommendations because I eat here. So WHY, do you ask, am I featuring this?
Our local paper, the Marin Independent Journal, ran an article on the best hotdog joints in Marin County. (Bet you were expecting the best escargot joints, or maybe, the best caviar and champagne joints). But, no, it was the best hotdog joints.
Royal Frankfurter ranked Numero Uno. Of course, I immediately had to take my hot dog loving teenagers there. They ordered the plain and simple dogs, and said they were absolutely delicious. The dogs were great, but I think, what really did it for them, were the delicious and light buns. So light, they practically melted in your mouth.
Favorite Dish: We bought the standard hot dogs, but you can also buy bratwurst and other types of hot dogs. I'm sorry I can't list them. I'm a vegetarian, I don't pay attention to this stuff, ok? Trust me, there are several varieties, and you can put all kinds of different mustards on them.
Anyway, if my kids said they was great, they're great. They eat me out of house and home, but they are still my Persnickity Teens.
If it helps any, my son, an avid baseball fan, said, the hot dogs here are better than Dodger Dogs. That might mean something to you Southern Californians. No disrepect. I used to live there.
This place is VERY popular with the locals, and the food is pretty good (albeit a bit on the tame side as far as spiciness goes). You order at the cash register, but this is not Fast Food. (It IS quick food.)
My kids love this place, and eating here means I get an evening off from cooking, so we're frequent patrons. Sonoma Taco also has six kinds of salsa and good chips, a big hit with the kids.
Favorite Dish: Favorite for me is the cheese enchilada. The others in the family like the fajitas, soft tacos, burritos, all the meat dishes.
Being in the 'burbs in California means eating at the strip malls. California has way too many of them. But we work with what we have, and a restaurant in a strip mall doesn't mean it's not good.
Mulberry Street Pizzeria proves that a strip mall restaurant can be great. This restaurant has that true authentic strip mall decor on the outside, but inside the food is delicious.
Favorite Dish: Mushroom pizza is the best.
Ted Rowe, owner and operator of Mulberry Street, knows his wines. He frequently features lesser known wines and they are all good. Go with Ted's recommendation of the day.
You don't often find Indonesian restaurants, do you? Well, this place has been in existence for quite a long time. In fact, it was the first Indonesian restaurant in California, started by a wonderful woman from Indonesia. Sadly, she passed away several years ago, but it is still run impeccably. I wonder if one of her family members has taken her place for the annual spice shopping trip back home?
Favorite Dish: The best idea, by far, is to pay $20 for a full, multi course meal. My favorite dish is the tamarind prawns -- SOOOO tasty. Just the thought of sucking on a tamarind seed is making my mouth water.
Well, this isn't quite in San Rafael, but it's close. It's just over the border to the west in San Anselmo. The food is delicious and fresh -- the owners are friendly and perfect hosts.
Favorite Dish: The favorite dishes of the Persnickity Teens are (in order of preference):
chicken satay with peanut sauce
beef satay with peanut sauce
deep fried calamari
crispy salmon in seaweed
Recommended dishes for vegetarians:
Fried sweet potatoes
Vegetarian pad thai
Vegetables in a curry sauce
They specialize in pizzas and grilled items.
My friends liked their beer tho.
Favorite Dish: I almost never ordered anything but their Chinese Chicken Salad. Baby spinach leaves, won ton strips, strips of chicken, roasted peanuts and a spicy dressing. Loved it!
SADLY, last time I visited there, the salad was gone from the menu. Honestly... there wasn't anything else tempting on the menu
34 Grove Street, San Rafael, California, 94901, United States
Good for: Business
1775 Francisco Boulevard East, San Rafael, California, 94901, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
I live in san Rafael. I know San Rafael quite well. This is the best hotel in San Rafael for...more