Is there anything better than a warming plate of fresh spaghetti with tomato sauce, a slice of piping hot and meaty lasagna, or the delightful combination of flavors in a bowl of cioppino? Italian food is beloved globally for its comforting flavors and filling dishes. And for a town like Sausalito that already feels and looks a bit like Cinque Terre, it’s no surprise that there are some great Italian restaurants in Sausalito.
Across town, you can find incredible dishes served by cooks from Italy, trained in Italy, or who just deeply love Italy – and it’s hard to choose where to eat if you’re only visiting Sausalito for a short time. For that reason, I’ve put together this list of the best Sausalito Italian restaurants to help you choose.
There are 11 restaurants on this list, which overlaps a lot (but not entirely) with my list of the best spots for pizza in Sausalito. Between the two lists, you’re sure to find the perfect place to add a little more Italiano to your Sausalito experience.
Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native Land.
This post was originally published in October 2021, and was re-ranked and updated in January 2024.
The Best Sausalito Italian Restaurants
Rather than rank these Italian restaurants in Sausalito based on my own opinion, I’ve designed my own formula that takes into account three factors:
- public ratings (including my own, as I leave reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook too)
- the restaurant’s popularity (total reviews)
- proximity to the Sausalito Ferry
These last two factors are “bonus” factors – they give you a sense of which restaurants are universally beloved and easy to reach if you’re visiting Sausalito. Also, I used the total number of reviews to break ties.
In the end, each restaurant receives a score out of 5 – but a restaurant can score higher than five based on the bonuses for being close to the ferry and how popular it is. In general, the higher the score, the better – and any restaurant above 5 has great Italian food! Here is my ranked list of which restaurant offers the best Italian in Sausalito:
|Scoma’s of Sausalito
|Sandrino Pizza & Vino
|Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib
|Taste of Rome
|Aurora Ristorante e Pizzeria
|Dario’s Pizza and Pasta
Ready to learn about each of these restaurants and choose your own favorite Italian spot in Sausalito?
1. Scoma’s of Sausalito
A Sausalito waterfront landmark restaurant, Scoma’s serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Their Maine Lobster risotto is a delicacy you can’t miss here. Yes, it’s a bold recommendation, given that risotto is one of the harder-to-master Italian dishes. The risotto has a perfect creamy texture (if you ever cooked risotto, you know this makes or breaks a good risotto!) and lots of lobster chunks. The chef also adds coarsely chopped mushrooms to bring an earthy taste to the dish’s flavor profile. Ask for a glass of Chardonnay to make the experience even more decadent.
2. Sandrino Pizza & Vino
Chefs Allesandro and Monika are the husband and wife duo running Sandrino. This cozy restaurant has gained fame as one of the best Sausalito Italian restaurants. Most locals are huge fans of Sandrino’s authentic thin-crust Italian pizza, and you can never go wrong with the classic Margherita pizza.
Nonetheless, we highly recommend you switch to different Italian flavors and try their Peperonata con Burrata. You’ll love the play of flavors between the peppers stewed in olive oil, the indulgent Burrata, and the crusty toasted bread.
3. Poggio Trattoria
One of the top Sausalito Italian restaurants, Poggio Trattoria leaves no detail to chance in their Italian dishes. The gnudi are a dream. Straightforward yet delicious, Poggio’s gnudi is a simple mixture of ricotta, spinach, and parmesan. The chef serves the gnudi on top of a rich beef ragu sauce.
Go off the beaten track when it comes to dessert and ask for the crema di limone, a delicious lemon mousse meringue with bits of savory pistachio. Poggio also prepares mouth-watering pizzas if you’d like cheesy Italian food.
4. The Spinnaker
The Spinnaker is an old-school dining spot serving Californian seafood. Still, it has plenty of Italian dishes – enough for you to order an entire Italian multi-course meal, if you have the appetite for it.
For starters, get La Bruschetta, hot focaccia bread with olives, garlic, fresh tomato, and Parmesan cheese. Your first course (or primi, as the Italian call it) should be the Angel Hair with rock shrimp, bay scallops, and clams. It’s simply delicious! No Italian meal would be complete without tiramisù for dessert. If coffee-flavored desserts aren’t your thing, you may also consider Italian-style gelato from Fiorello’s Artisan Gelato.
5. Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib
Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib is an excellent option for hefty portions of Italian food. While it isn’t a Sausalito Italian restaurant per se, Salito’s has plenty of Italian dishes you can try. Standouts include their spicy shrimp fettuccine and seafood pasta. Both dishes come with freshly made pasta and have a good variety of seafood in them.
You can also order an Italian limonata to cool down on summer days. Aside from the food, you won’t get enough of the gorgeous view from the patio. As a heads up, Salito’s is extremely busy, especially on the weekends, so try to make a reservation to avoid a long wait.
6. Taste of Rome
Taste of Rome serves all kinds of Italian dishes – pizzas, paninis, gelato, calamari, coffees, and pasta. The restaurant boasts an impressive pizza menu, with over eight types of wood fire pizza. They also have other mouthwatering pasta dishes, although not precisely of Roman origin. You’ll find tasty Capellini al Pomodoro, delicate Alla Bolognese, and garlicky Tortellini al Pesto. The espresso bar is unbelievable, serving every type of coffee you may crave. The latte seems to be a highlight, according to reviews.
7. Bar Bocce
Photos courtesy of Bar Bocce
What’s more Italian than pizza? Probably pasta, but still, pizza is a top staple Italian dish. Bar Bocce is one of those Italian restaurants in Sausalito that excel at making the best pizza. There are about a million options between the menu and the board outside, making it overwhelming to choose a pizza. No matter your choice, you’ll taste a delicious sourdough crust with delicious flavor to the slices.
There are also many menu items to try outside of pizza. Their Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) is another classic Italian dish you’ll love. Bar Bocce gives the Parmigiana its own spin, adding fresh burrata to crispy fried eggplants.
8. Angelino Restaurant
To travel is to eat, some people may say. However, one can’t always travel to taste the array of flavors each country has to offer. Luckily, Angelino Restaurant has brought the flavors of Southern Italy to Sausalito for those who’d like to indulge in authentic Italian dishes. We recommend you try the Gnocchi Genovese or the Scampi Veneziana to feel as if you were dining in the trattoria of an idyllic town by the Tyrrhenian Sea.
9. Aurora Ristorante e Pizzeria
Photos courtesy of Aurora Ristorante e Pizzeria
Aurora Ristorante e Pizzeria is one of the gems when it comes to Sausalito Italian restaurants. You’ll see that their lasagna is a local favorite and a popular recommendation. Ignore the suggestion, though, and order the cioppino straight away. A yelp review mentions you risk crying yourself to sleep if you don’t! The cioppino’s chunks of salmon are so tender (they melt in your mouth) and the soup so flavorful that the dish is addictive.
You may not see the cioppino on their menu as sometimes it’s off the menu. Don’t despair, though. The chef will be happy to make it for you. The torta al cioccolato, another top dish, is to die for. It’s very rich and comes with gelato, allowing you to have a few bites only.
10. Osteria Divino
Photos courtesy of Osteria Divino
I’m not exactly sure how Osteria Divino hasn’t been on my list in years past, but I’m here to fix that for 2024!
Osteria Divino is known for its Florentine-Italian cuisine specifically – if you love Tuscan flavors, this menu will be the one for you! While their menu is absolutely mouth-watering, they are only open Wednesdays through Sundays for brunch and dinner – so it will depend on when you plan to visit Sausalito as to whether these hours and meal options will work for you.
Lastly, Osteria Divino also often hosts live music, which adds a lovely ambiance but can interfere if you’re hoping for a quieter meal or intimate conversation. Some people love it for this reason, for others it’s a detriment – so it’s just something to keep in mind if this is the Sausalito Italian restaurant you choose.
11. Sausalito Seahorse
Some may argue that Sausalito Seahorse serves the most authentic Italian fare in Sausalito. Sausalito Seahorse specializes in Cucina Toscana, is known for its accommodating staff, and every dish is a treat. Fettuccine Capopesca (smoked salmon fettuccine) is otherworldly – the perfect balance of flavors, not too salty and not too greasy. Although Sausalito SeaHorse was already making excellent Italian seafood, they ventured into the pizza scene during the lockdown in 2020. You’ll be so thankful they did!
12. Dario’s Pizza and Pasta
Delicious pizzas are why most people love Dario’s. All are excellent options, but their salami pizza is just mouthwatering. Its salami and cheese are good quality, the sauce has a nice sweet tanginess, and the toppings are generous. The Pesto chicken pizza and Greek are off-the-charts delicious, too.
In addition to pizzas, Dario’s also offers pasta and salads with an Italian twist. The spaghetti and clams with creamy pesto sauce is a popular option among pasta lovers, while the Caprese salad delights the taste buds of vegetarian diners.
Have any questions about these Italian restaurants in Sausalito or which one to visit? Let me know in the comments!