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Jan 28, 2010 09:07 PM

San Rafael?

Going to be in San Rafael for about 5 days. Would like some suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the general vicinty. We love everything, so please make all suggestions, from dives to nice restaurants. TIA

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  1. Sol Food -- good for lunch, Cuban sandwiches, and norcal versions of el salvadorean food

    Royal Thai -- good for dinner

    Lotus -- Indian

    Also, you are close to San Anselmo. Check out:

    Bubba's Diner -- good breakfast, local, fresh ingredients

    Insalata's -- upscale dinner

    Comforts -- good for lunch, take away deli-style counter with lots of salad, sandwich, and hot entrees.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Shane Greenwood

      They say Puerto Rican. Sol Food site is colorful but slow for navigation.

      1. re: wolfe

        You're right, duh me. Was typing faster than my brain. As mentioned in some other posts, it is Puerto Rican inspired, but with some decidedly inauthentic touches.

        1. re: Shane Greenwood

          Sol Food is pretty good, but it is not at all Puerto Rican food. It's closest to Cuban, but I'd describe it as pretty far from what any Caribbean would recognize as their own.

          That being said, it's pretty good! Also, if you go to the small branch on 4th Street instead of the one on Lincoln, the waits are WAY shorter.

    2. I second Sol food and add Om South Indian on 4th St.

      3 Replies
      1. re: saffrongold

        I'll third Sol. And don't let the long lines discourage you. The move people through pretty quickly.

        1. re: Civil Bear

          i randomly came across sol on the way back from sonoma and was pleasantly surprised (because i didn't know it was chow-approved; my eye was caught by the lime paint alone). the lime drink was delicious, as was the tomato-shrimp and rice dish. i would definitely return to explore more of the menu if i was in the area. the staff was also very friendly.

          i also love that they framed the nasty letter threatening them with consequences if they didn't repaint the restaurant to a more neutral color.

      2. Pier 15 for breakfast. ( East Francisco blvd turn at Mazda dealership)
        Pancho Villa ( Sir Francis Drake in Fairfax for dinner)
        Chateau Basque ( San Pedro Rd)dinner
        Fabrizio ( Magnolia in Larkspur)lunch or dinner
        Bobbys diner ( 4th and E)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Giselle

          Both Pier 15 and Chalet Basque are good for outdoor dining for breakfast and lunch. Maybe spring will kick in by the time you get here, making that a realistic option.

          Also, Le Croissant on Bellam has, IMO, the best breakfast in Marin. And mighty fine lunches, too, of the soup, sandwich, and salad genre. They also have outdoor dining, although the view is of the action in the Canal District - not exactly scenic.

          1. re: Giselle

            This might not be fair cause it was years ago, so who knows but I want to get it off my chest (tounge) :-)

            At one time it was some of the best authentic Mexican food around. Had a craving for "the real thing" so made the long drive to Fairfax instead of 16th & Mission in the City.

            Food "looked" great but it was unbelievably bland. Too many "white folk" from the Mid-west had come through these parts so they took the great spicing AWAY. Well, I thought, I can remedy that. "What kind of hot sauce do you have?" Hot sauce? We don't have ANY" "NO hot sauce at all??" "I'll see whats in the kitchen". So, he comes out with a bottle of Tabasco !!! UNBELIEVABLE. That didn't even do the trick. What a shame. High quality food with 0, nada, zero spicing. Pleeze, send Dorothy BACK to Kansas and bring Dolores up from the Canal.

            Pancho Villas Restaurant
            1625 SIR Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

          2. Pasta for lunch at Il Davide. Best food buy in Northern Calif!


            1. Om
              Il Davide
              Vin Antico
              Mauna Loa Hawaiian Barbecue
              Golden Orb Piroshki
              Taqueria El Farolito
              Thai Smile
              Pier 15 (breakfast)

              3 Replies
              1. re: TerriL

                Yes Golden Orb is good but it should be noted that it's for takeaway only, or v. casual chowing on a stool.

                1. re: TerriL

                  Vin Antico was good enough that I went back once and would again.


                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I ate there recently and was not impressed enough to go back. Room, service and ambiance all good but food was very average to poor and expensive for lunch. The pizza is about the size of a tortilla and $12. The bucatini creamy sauce was runny and bland with spongy bacon. The sandwich was good though, crunchy grilled bread, tasty short bread filling, good potato chips and a generous fresh green salad. With 1 soda and those 3 items, bill was $38 without tax.

                    I do like Bay Thai, a tiny mostly takeout spot next to the Golden Orb in the 800 block of Fourth Street. Still waiting for Arizmendi to open...