Meet me at the dipsea..

Dipsea Cafe, Mill Valley CaliforniaMarin has lots of great places for breakfast. Probably one of the most well known is the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley. The Dipsea was named after the seven mile Dipsea trail which starts in downtown Mill Valley. The trail is famous for the annual Dipsea Race, the second oldest foot race in they country.Interestingly enough, the Dipsea Cafe is not located on the Dipsea trail. It is located on shoreline just off the 101 freeway in Mill Valley. Parking can be tight at this busy Mill Valley restaurant.

The Dipsea is very casual. The interior is bright and cheery with a blue and yellow interior. The menu is diverse and has daily specials. Whether you like pancakes or huevos rancheros, everything I have tasted is excellent with generous portions. The biscuits are supposed to be amazing, although I have not tried them. My favorite lunch item is the gyro with greek salad. YUM. The Dipsea is a family friendly restaurant with a special menu for kids.

The Dipsea Cafe is located at 200 Shoreline Highway in Mill Valley, California. Phone (415) 381-0298. Reservations are not accepted.

Child Friendly Restaurants In Marin

There are many child friendly restaurants in Marin.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

Marin County Kid Friendly RestaurantsFish

350 Harbor Dr, Sausalito – (415) 331-3474

This Sausalito restaurant is pricey, but I love it. Order at the counter and sit inside or out (but bring a coat). The fish tacos are great, the setting is fantastic. The fish is fresh and local!

P.F. Changs

301 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera (415) 413-9890

P.F. Changs in Corte Madera is a great addition to kid friendly restaurants in Marin. Mine seem to love all the noodle and rice dishes. We dined recently at 5:30 p.m. and ran into many families just like us, trying to dine early before bed time for young kids. P.F. Chang’s is located at Corte Madera Town Center. Check out my review of P.F. Changs when it first opened in Corte Madera.

Pizza Antica

800 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley – (415) 383-0600

Pizza Antica is located in Mill Valley’s Strawberry Village, just off the 101 Highway at Tiburon Boulevard. It is noisy and perfect for kids, with a large menu featuring pizza, pasta and salads. Think black and white checkered floors in a big open room. The decibel level goes up at Pizza Antica when it gets crowded, so don’t go for a romantic dinner for two.

Waypoint Pizza

15 Main St, Tiburon – (415) 435-3440

Located on Main Street in downtown Tiburon, this charming pizzeria is a great place to take the kids. The atmosphere is very warm and inviting. The menu includes pizza, pasta and some really good salads. If you are going with a larger group, check to see if the back room is available. It is a great place to let the little ones run around while you have an adult conversation.

Yankee Pier

286 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur – (415) 924-7676

Great food, and kid friendly- hard to imagine! This Larkspur restaurant is part of the Lark Creek Restaurant Group- so the food is simply outstanding. It is located just a short distance from the Lark Cree Inn in an old house. The front has outdoor picnic tables which are great for families. It is open and inviting in the summer months, enclosed and heated in the warm months. Kids love the sandbox on the outdoor patio.

The Best Burger in Marin

Buckeye Roadhouse, Mill ValleyLooking for a good burger in Marin?  An exceptional martini?  A delicious Ahi tuna nicoise salad?Buckeye Roadhouse is the place to go.  Described as “a beautiful, cozy, Aspen lodge-like dining room, complete with fireplace,”  “The Buckeye” is tops.  It is probably one of my all time favorite restaurants.  Located just off the 101 freeway in Mill Valley at the Stinson Beach exit, the Buckeye is convenient, but more importantly, a fabulous Marin dining experience.

Most nights the bar is packed, as is the restaurant, so make your reservations well in advance.  Think two martini lunches are long gone?  Not at the Buckeye -any time seems worthy of a martini.

It seems like it would challenging to make a burger special- but Buckeye does it.  Think mouthwatering, juicy, yum-yum good.  Other great finds- oysters bingo, chili-lime “Brick” chicken, the filet mignon & the pulled pork sandwich with homemade potato chips.  Top it off with an glass of wine from the exceptional wine list and first class service- this is dining at it’s best!  (Did I say how much I like The Buckeye?)

The Buckeye Roadhouse
15 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, California (415) 331-2600.

PF Changs Opens In Corte Madera

PF Changs Corte MaderaAt last! We have anxiously awaited PF Changs opening in Marin. It opened today and I was one of the first to enjoy it. The restaurant is nice sized and conveniently located at Corte Madera Town Center. For the grand opening, the restaurant had an overabundance of staff. Not in your face- but clearly there to help serve and make things right.

It has been awhile since I have been to PF Changs (probably pre-kids!), but I was very pleased. First of all, they now accept reservations. When I lived in Scottsdale (ok, ok that was a long time ago!), they didn’t accept reservations. That always annoys me. They don’t have a children’s menu, but plenty of rice dishes and noodles that were easy to order. They did have crayons and some fun little twisty sticks for the kids to play with.

Surprisingly, all dishes are made to order which is really great for me since I am allergic to garlic and onions. Despite my allergies, it was easy for me to order and the food was delicious. I know I will be back often to this convenient and tasty new addition to the Marin restaurant scene.

Asqew Grill Moving to Marin

Askew Grill Moving to MarinWell, it is about time!! Asqew Grill is finally making it’s way to Marin. According to the Marin IJ, it is expected to open at Mill Valley’s Strawberry Village in Spring 2008. Asqew is one of my favorite “fast food” restaurants- dishing up reasonably healthy skewers with sides of vegetables and starches.

I have thought it should move to Town Center for a while. Strawberry Village is just fine. Yum, yum!!

San Anselmo- Hilda’s Coffee Shop

Hilda’s Coffee ShopOne of my local favorites for a great breakfast is Hilda’s Coffee Shop in San Anselmo. The quintessential greasy spoon it is! Unpretentious, comfortable and quiet- this restaurant has been around forever. The 12/31/05 flood destroyed the restaurant. Thankfully it came back and looks better than before with new tables and fresh paint. Prior to the flood- they were needed!

The waitresses are genuine and always remember the regulars…and those of us who are semi-regulars. Although my pocketbook would permit more frequent visits, my waistline would not. The german pancakes are a must- plate sized and covered with powdered sugar, they are great to share. The bacon is amazing- crispy but not dripping in oil. I have not actually been there for lunch, but I can imagine that it would be pretty good.  Lighter options are available (egg white omelettes, etc) and they will accommodate most requests.

My only complaint are the napkins. The napkins are the kind you pull out of a silver container, but they are tiny (tiny, tiny, tiny!). Please Hildas, get some full size napkins. Bacon, eggs, syrup and a tiny napkin? I don’t think so! Bring your own napkin, but it worth a trip. Hilda’s Coffee Shop is located at 639 San Anselmo Avenue in dowtown San San Anselmo. (415) 457-9266.

Coffee in Mill Valley? La Boulange it is..

So, I have to admit that lattes are one of my guiltiest pleasures. I try to go with plain coffee or tea most days, but I really love my lattes. One of my favorite things to do is meet a friend for coffee. I love the companionship, but I also love any excuse to get a latte. My latest favorite spot is La Boulange in Strawberry Village. First of all, the large lattes come in a bowl. Yes- a bowl! Enough caffeine to keep me going for at least a week. My friends tell me the food is very good, although I don’t really need anything else. The atmosphere is inviting inside and there are great tables with shade umbrellas outside (for use only on warm days!)

I think I might need to stop in tomorrow, just to take a picture of my favorite latte bowl!!