September's Indian summer weather invites diners to enjoy an abundant array of al fresco eateries just north of San Francisco in sunny Marin County. From Mill Valley to West Marin, here are five great spots to savor fresh-air meals this fall.
Breaker's Cafe This popular cafe in Stinson's tiny town center draws beach-goers and coastal travelers, who enjoy breakfast and lunches on the cafe's small deck. Breakfast specialties such as omelettes and egg scrambles are served all day. For lunch, choose from fresh fish tacos, grilled quesadillas, burritos and burgers.
Piazza D'Angelo Set in the woodsy heart of downtown Mill Valley, Piazza D'Angelo attracts al fresco aficionados who enjoy delicious Italian fare on two outdoor garden patios. A wood-burning oven creates tasty, thin crust pizzas and their northern Italian specialties include seafood risotto, ossobuco and cannellini bean soup.
Left Bank The Rive Gauche meets Marin on this cozy patio of this authentic Parisian-style brasserie located in Larkspur's historic Blue Rock Inn. Start with an amuse bouche of raw oysters or escargots before enjoying traditional French classics such as steak frites, mussels, roast chicken or duck breast.
Point Reyes Station
Cowgirl Creamery and Cantina Marin's renowned artisan cheese-maker is located in a former hay barn in picturesque Point Reyes Station. Perfect for a casual West Marin-style picnic, the Cowgirl Cantina's take-away deli offers local breads, wines, sandwiches and salads, and, of course, a wonderful selection of cheeses, which you can enjoy in their shaded picnic area.
Panama Hotel The Panama's "tropical patio" dining has been a neighborhood dining and music destination in San Rafael for nearly 30 years. From calamari salad, fish tacos and pull porked sandwiches for lunch to mushroom ravioli, scallop tostadas, Kobe flat iron steak and rack of lamb for dinner, the Panama is a classic Marin hotspot for dining under the sun or stars.
For complete visitor information, including overnight lodging options, please visit www.visitmarin.org.