We’ve all felt it: the terrible hunger pangs around the midday hours. Worst of all is when you don’t know what to have for lunch, or where to go.
Over the course of living in Sausalito, I’ve had the chance to eat at many of the fantastic restaurants around town. Based on my experiences I’ve decided to conquer the ultimate question: where should you eat lunch? By my count there are over 50 restaurants in town – so this is no small question.
Whether you’re spending a day in Sausalito, working from here, or planning a relocation (like we did), there are tons of great options for where to have lunch. In this post, I’m breaking down a bunch of them – and categorizing them into what kind of lunch experience they work best for. Within each lunch occasion, I’ve included three suggestions (in alphabetical order) so you have plenty of choices – even for a reasonably sized town like ours!
So no matter the reason you’re visiting this lovely town, you can have a great meal at one of these Sausalito lunch spots before enjoying the rest of your day.
This post was originally published in September 2021, and was updated most recently in January 2023.
Best Spots for a Sit-Down Lunch in Sausalito
Who doesn’t love a long and laidback lunch, either accompanied or solo? We all do. It’s the perfect time to unleash our senses in a world of new or old flavors and let them savor every bite. Below you’ll find a list of excellent restaurants to spend a few hours enjoying delicious food.
1. Bayside Café
If you’re looking for an old-school diner experience, Bayside Café is the place to go. Located near Mike’s Bikes, Bayside Cafe has become one of the most popular Sausalito lunch spots, thanks to the quality of its food. Whatever you order, you’ll notice it has a home-cooked vibe to it. They also have a wide assortment of smoothies and freshly-made juices to go with any dish you order.
Oh, and there are lots of vegetarian options! Bayside Café features cozy indoor seating or a lovely patio section, with wonderful views of the marina, where you can sit and relax.
2. Lighthouse Café
A landmark in the city, Lighthouse Café is an excellent diner if you’re wondering where to eat lunch in Sausalito. This small diner has been in Sausalito since the 1970s and has become a favorite of locals and tourists alike. The menu serves mostly American comfort foods but also includes several Danish or other European dishes.
Like many other restaurants in Sausalito, Lighthouse Café has a cozy, familiar atmosphere. If you choose to sit inside (it’s pretty tiny, so it might feel a bit tight), you can see the chef and staff preparing your meal.
Bringing the authentic flavors of Thailand to the West Coast, ThaiTanic is one of those Sausalito lunch spots you must visit when you have time to enjoy a rich meal. The kitchen staff tailors the whole dining experience to your taste and preference for spiciness. On the menu, you’ll find mouth-watering staples of Thai cuisine such as pad thai, satay, and curry with sticky rice and mango salad.
ThaiTanic is on scenic Bridgeway Street, and we assure you, whatever you eat there will be fresh, flavorful, and filling!
Best Spots for a Quick Lunch in Sausalito
There isn’t always time to sit down and enjoy a long lunch. Maybe you have to return to work, pick up kids at school, or, if you’re visiting, head out to your next stop on the trip. Below you’ll find the best restaurants in Sausalito for lunch when you’re in a rush.
4. Fish & Chips Sausalito
Fish & Chips Sausalito might not look like much from the outside. The truth is, this place will not disappoint. As the name suggests, the house’s specialty is fish and chips, which come at affordable prices and in abundant portions. Some say these fish and chips are so good that even those who don’t fancy this dish end up liking it.
They also serve other quick bites, onions rings, hamburgers, shrimp, and more. The place is small and gets quite busy during lunch hours, but you can still try to snag a table either inside or outside.
5. Hamburgers 237
Hamburgers 237 serves some of the best hamburgers in Sausalito, and this tiny joint will impress you with its rotating grill in the window. So, if you’re looking for a solid hamburger type of meal, this is a good choice.
You’ll see a long line when you get there. Don’t let that fool you, though; it moves fast. While the place is small and there’s no place to sit inside, Hamburgers 237 has 15 tables outside. But to be honest, who would want to sit inside in Sausalito, anyway?
6. Salsalito Taco Shop
Located just down from the Marina, Salsalito Taco Shop doesn’t have a very extensive menu. However, all the food they serve is fresh and delicious. The service is extremely fast as well, which is just what we’re looking for, right? This place is away from the crowds and welcomes guests in a familiar atmosphere thanks to its location.
Tip: don’t miss the super burritos and chili Rellenos. They are delicious!
Best Spots for Takeaway Lunch in Sausalito
Sausalito is one of those places that invites you to enjoy lunch outside. Perhaps, that’s why many restaurants offer to-go options. Scattered around downtown, you’ll see lots of benches and park spaces with people sitting and enjoying a bite. It is why we have also included the best Sausalito lunch spots with a takeaway option.
7. Davey Jones Deli
For the greenest food in town, head to Davey Jones Deli. They only use fresh and local ingredients to prepare their delicious dishes. Everything, from garlic to cheeses to oils, is organic and locally produced. Their sandwiches and wraps are to die for and are worth the stop-in!
Prepared with freshly roasted and perfectly tender meat, delicious sauces, rubs, and marinades, the sandwiches at Davey Jones Deli will make your mouth water. Besides the exquisite flavor, the intense color of the ingredients is a feast for the eyes. Most dishes are beautiful and boast an array of vibrant colors that will make you feel guilty about eating them.
8. Golden Gate Market
A relative newcomer on the scene, Golden Gate Market opened up in the Old Town/Hurricane Gulch neighborhood to provide a nice new option in that part of town. They specialize in lunch sandwiches (though they also have coffee and breakfast burritos/sandwiches), which you can sit and enjoy in their small dining area, or grab and go for a gourmet bite on your way to wherever you’re headed for the afternoon.
9. Sausalito Bakery & Cafe
Located in the heart of the downtown area in Sausalito, Sausalito Bakery and Cafe is another of the best places for lunch in Sausalito that offers takeaway options. Most locals love Sausalito Bakery & Cafe because of its authenticity and small neighborhood feel. Their menu features a wide selection of delicious salads and sandwiches as well as soups and frittatas. As the name suggests, they also have excellent baked goods and coffee you can take to enjoy later.
10. Sausalito Gourmet Delicatessen
You’ll find Sausalito Gourmet Delicatessen, a lovely Greek restaurant, in the base of a small retail building on Caledonia St. just north of Downtown. It is a popular belief that they offer the best deli in town and the best dining patio in all of Sausalito.
This European-style deli serves excellent sandwiches with a Mediterranean twist as well as many classics of American gastronomy. To no surprise, the Greek dishes are unique, especially their homemade gyros with tzatziki sauce. You’ll be running back to order a second serving when you finish it.
Best Spots for Lunch in Sausalito Near the Ferry
No list of lunch spots in Sausalito is complete without mentioning the best restaurants near the Ferry. These will come in handy if you’re meeting someone else for lunch in Sausalito and you – or they – are catching the Ferry before and/or after your m
Located a few steps away from the harbor’s bobbing yachts, Copita is one of the most coveted restaurants near the Ferry. If you want to have the best seats in the house, snag a table on the patio. Copita serves seasonal and modern Mexican fare with a twist. If you have celiac friends, Copita’s menu is entirely gluten-free! Their spicy margarita rimmed with elote seasoning is a must drink. After a sip, your taste buds will crave this drink forever.
12. Napa Valley Burger
Besides cooking mouthwatering gourmet burgers (some of the best in Sausalito, by the way), Napa Valley Burger is super close to the Ferry and very convenient.
Napa Valley Burger sits just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and is super close to the Sausalito ferry. Guests who sit there to sample their exquisite burgers (which rank #1 on our site!) do it while enjoying incredible views of the Bridgeway Promenade. From the outside, this restaurant might look a bit touristy (long lines outside and the word hamburger don’t work well), but the truth is Napa Valley Burger is not a fast-food restaurant and is one of the best restaurants in Marin County.
13. The Spinnaker
Just by looking at their floor-to-ceiling glass walls, you can tell that The Spinnaker is one of those restaurants that’s all about the views. Located a few minutes from San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, The Spinnaker offers panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline, Angel Island, Belvedere, and Alcatraz.
When it comes to the best lunch in Sausalito with a view, The Spinnaker is second to none.
Best Spots for Lunch on the Water
As you can see, when looking for restaurants in Sausalito, the views you get from the restaurant are as important as the food it serves. Below, you’ll find three culinary venues whose water view steals the show.
14. Bar Bocce
It doesn’t matter where you sit in Bar Bocce; every single nook of the restaurant will have sweeping views of the Sausalito harbor. This waterfront hangout is excellent if you’re coming with a large group. Make sure you can get a table on their back patio. It features an open fire pit, with the water views outside creating a cozy atmosphere.
Note that they work on a first-come, first-served basis, and it gets busy quickly. Try to get there early, even for lunch.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of Fish. in Sausalito. This sustainable seafood restaurant and fish market is adjacent to a yacht harbor. So, it obviously boasts astounding water views. The waterfront patio is the best place to admire water views and bask in the salt-tinged breeze, which has plenty of outdoor seating and is great to come with kids.
As a heads up, Fish. is arguably the most popular restaurant in Sausalito. Once the doors open, the waiting line just grows longer and longer, so prepare to stand in line to get inside and place your order.
With a view like Joinery, you can’t go wrong. Located near Bridgeway marina, Joinery is a beautiful “beer hall and rotisserie featuring exceptional beer and hearty, seasonal fare in a warm, communal setting,” as they like to describe themselves.
Their outdoor dining area is right on the dock and offers lovely views. Joinery is quite popular among locals for its tasty burgers. So, if you want to enjoy a good dish of American comfort food while you look out at the scenery on the water, Joinery is the best choice.
Best Spots for a Lunch Meeting in Sausalito
We all know that the restaurant you decide to go to makes a huge difference to have a successful lunch meeting. If you’re trying to impress your next business partner, head to one of these awesome Sausalito restaurants.
17. Equator Sausalito
Located on Bridgeway, Equator Sausalito is an exciting option within the gastronomic scene of Sausalito. Since its opening in 1995, this Sausalito coffee house and its team have had one dream: to make people’s lives better through coffee. They have certainly made it come true as Equator Sausalito is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Their menu serves up fresh breakfast and lunch options that focus on quality and sustainability. To look out on boats in the harbor, head outside and snag a table in their ample patio seating and bask in the salt-tinged breeze.
18. Poggio Trattoria
A Northern Italian-style restaurant, Poggio Trattoria offers everything you could hope for in an Italian restaurant. Lovely atmosphere, well-presented dishes, and outstanding service. Their menu has tons of the best Italian cuisine. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to order. The servers in Poggio will give you an in-depth description of the menu and wine list and will also be happy to recommend you excellent pairings.
If you’re looking for a classy restaurant to hold your lunch meeting, Poggio Trattoria is a great option.
19. The Trident
The Trident is an iconic restaurant of Sausalito. Built right over the water, the Trident was a center of the San Francisco Rock scene in the ’60s and ’70s. The relics of the restaurant’s long history are everywhere. Inside, you can still see plenty of 60s art and woodwork as well as the ceiling mural painted by Dave Richards, who painted Janis Joplin’s famous Porsche.
Outside, the building still preserves the beautiful white walls in the 19th century when it was a yacht club. Besides exquisite seafood, The Trident offers a fabulous view of the Bay, Angel Island, and the San Francisco skyline, especially from the big sunny outside deck.
Have any questions about these many great Sausalito lunch spots? Let me know in the comments!