Sausalito Restaurants on the Water - Joinery
Food & Drink,  *

The 10 Best Sausalito Restaurants on the Water (2022)

Over the past year, restaurants have had it tough in Sausalito – as they have everywhere. Luckily, as Marin County continues to ease restrictions and restaurants are allowed to re-open, many of our local restaurants are expanding their offering. This includes the Sausalito restaurants on the water – some of our best dining experiences in town!

While it’s a coastal town, there aren’t as many Sausalito restaurants on the waterfront as you’d expect. The majority of the Sausalito waterfront is either residential (marinas, floating homes, or houseboats) or industrial (marine services and docks). And there are other restaurants with water views, but which aren’t strictly on the water.

Don’t worry though: what we lack in quantity, we make up for in quality. Here are the 10 best (and actually 10 only) Sausalito restaurants on the water.

This post was originally published in February 2021 and was updated and re-ranked in January 2022 for the New Year.

The Best Sausalito Restaurants on the Water

The View from Barrel House toward San Francisco

Rather than rank these Sausalito waterfront restaurants 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.

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 waterfront restaurants in Sausalito:

RankRestaurantRank (2022)
1Scoma’s of Sausalito5.05
2Barrel House Tavern4.94
3Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib4.84
4Bar Bocce4.74
5Fish.4.63
6The Spinnaker4.59
7Joinery, Beerhall4.54
8Seafood Peddler4.49
9Le Garage4.35
10The Trident4.10
Click here to learn more about the ranking formula I use to generate these scores.

Ready to learn about each of these Sausalito restaurants on the water – and decide which one you want to visit?

1. Scoma’s of Sausalito

Seattle Restaurants on the Water - Scomas & Trident
Scoma’s of Sausalito and The Trident looking out toward San Francisco
  • Neighborhood: Bridgeway Promenade
  • Cuisine: Seafood/Classic American/Italian
  • Website: scomassausalito.com

Scoma’s is a Sausalito institution – heck, it’s a San Francisco institution, too (they have another location in Fisherman’s Wharf). It has earned that status through decades of great food and service, and the stunning views that earn the white tablecloth experience. Back in pre-pandemic days, Scoma’s packed everyone in along the windows to enjoy the view; we’re not sure how it will look going forward, but a reservation is a must in any event.

2. Barrel House Tavern

Seattle Restaurants on the Water - The View from Barrel House
The View from Barrel House toward San Francisco

Barrel House Tavern is located in the main waterfront development in Old Town Sausalito; it’s an easy walk from the ferry – but so is everywhere else in Sausalito! What makes Barrel House special is their second-story outdoor dining area that looks right over Richardson Bay, Angel Island, and the Bay Area.

They have certain rules for taking a seat in this area (like you need to order an entree, not just drinks), but it’s worth it for dinner with this kind of view.

3. Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib

Sausalito Restaurants on the Water - Salito's Crab House

If your idea of a perfect meal is surf and turf, there’s no place better than Salito’s – especially if you want a great view while enjoying this kind of splurge-worthy meal. Salito’s is located on the waterfront in New Town between Bar Bocce and Joinery, but it’s one of those classic institution-style restaurants – as evidenced by the iconic black and white tiled floors and awnings throughout the restaurant.

Being in the proximity of other great Sausalito restaurants plus offering one of the nicest dinner options in town (especially among those with a view), it’s no surprise Salito’s ranks so highly on the list. It’s well worth trying for your next special occasion.

4. Bar Bocce

  • Neighborhood: New Town (Need a guide to Sausalito neighborhoods? Here ya go!)
  • Cuisine: Italian/New American
  • Website: barbocce.com

Bar Bocce is located right on the water in New Town and capitalizes on it by spilling over onto the public beach right in front of the restaurant. It’s a popular weekend spot – especially when it’s nice (which is almost always, since it’s in Sausalito’s “banana belt”). Grab a pizza or two, try and snag a table, and enjoy the view.

5. Fish.

  • Neighborhood: Marinship
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Website: 331fish.com

Fish. is located on the water in Clipper Yacht Harbor, about halfway up the Marinship toward Waldo Point; it’s actually easy to miss if you’re not familiar with the area or don’t know it’s there. They have a large outdoor dining area that looks right out over the water, and you can watch boats pulling in and out from the nearby fuel dock – so there’s always something to see.

6. The Spinnaker

Seattle Restaurants on the Water - Spinnaker Point
The view from Spinnaker Point toward San Francisco

While Scoma’s and the Trident both have great views, nobody can beat the Spinnaker for having the best view from a waterfront restaurant in Sausalito. Heck – The Spinnaker is the only one on Spinnaker Point, which juts out the furthest into Richardson Bay and gives the restaurant 270° water views – including the San Francisco skyline.

Fish. is known for their awesome fresh seafood, so you’ll get to enjoy the nautical view while noshing on fresh fish and shellfish – a perfect pair!

7. Joinery, Beerhall

Sausalito Restaurants on the Water - Joinery
One waterfront view from Joinery

Joinery was one of the first places we ever ate in Sausalito, since it’s right near our marina. It has a great outdoor dining area right on the dock, it’s separated from the public walkway by a row of happy plants in large pots. Joinery offers German food and great beer; our go-to is the monstrous kielbasa sausage with sauerkraut and a few pints while watching the birds soar by over Richardson Bay.

8. Seafood Peddler

Okay, technically Seafood Peddler isn’t on the water, as there’s a parking lot and a public shore path between the restaurant and the water. But from your view while dining here, it’s as good as.

From Seafood Peddler, you can look out over Pelican Harbor Marina, and your waterfront views while dining will be of the boats all moored in their various slips. This is the perfect view to have while enjoying fresh seafood – the restaurant’s specialty as their name suggests.

9. Le Garage Bistro

Like fish, Joinery, and Seafood Peddler, your waterfront view at Le Garage is dominated by boats. In the case of Le Garage though, it’s the beautiful and well-maintained boats of Schoonmaker Point Marina – and the whole area has a very European vibe that pairs perfectly with the French food and wine on the menu.

10. The Trident

  • Neighborhood: Bridgeway Promenade
  • Cuisine: Seafood/Classic American
  • Website: thetrident.net

The Trident is the southernmost restaurant on the Sausalito waterfront, though it’s only partway down the Bridgeway Promenade – everyone else who gets to enjoy the view does so from the residences that line the Promenade and beach in Hurricane Gulch. Like Scoma’s next door, you can see panoramic views of the Bay and San Francisco skyline from the Trident; they also have an outdoor dining area if you want to enjoy fresh air while you dine.

Which of these Sausalito waterfront restaurants do you most want to try? Let us know in the comments!

Valerie & Jacob fell in love with Sausalito after their very first visit; they then moved there in 2019. It's one of their favorite places in the Bay Area and they're excited to show you the best parts of their city.

15 Comments

  • Lori W

    We are vegetarians celebrating our honeymoon, 1 year anniversay (of meeting), both our birthdays…(I was in the hospital for his)….I want to take him to a place that has view of house boats for lunch. We are coming from Florida and will be there thursa June 10th. Would love best suggestion. Thanks!!!

    • Valerie Stimac

      Lori, hi! Unfortunately, there aren’t any restaurants with the views of houseboats you’re probably thinking of (Waldo Point) – that’s a residential area. If you want a good alternative, I recommend Joinery or Bar Bocce!

    • Bianca Allor

      I am looking forward to the entire
      Sausalito experience, but Seafood Peddler and Scomas are the top two according to reviews I have read for my tastes, so they are my top 2 choices, but looking forward to trying as many as I can.

  • Colin D

    I really enjoyed your article and would like to try all of these restaurants, I only been to Scoma’s so far. We are new boat owners and were wondering which restaurants are you able to tie up at and dine? Any fees associated or processes we need to follow that you are aware of? Thanks!

  • Scott

    Lived in Bay Area in the 70’s (Stanford and practice) recall the best eggs benedict EVER on a houseboat restaurant in Sausalito. None of those listed here ring a bell. Thoughts? Thanks

  • James brown

    Looking forward to trying one of these eatery’s today. Thanks for this guide. Visiting from the Gulf Coast and want to enjoy lunch on the water with wife and grown son.

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