Marin’s Hidden Brunch Spots

Marin's Hidden Brunch Spots

By Sammy Herdman

On weekend mornings the prospect of brunch can make the difference between waking up at 10 a.m. or staying in bed until the late afternoon, so picking a place to eat quickly is critical. However, many students may not know of good breakfast options beyond small coffee shops and The Depot, so, for the greater good I’ll share my list of favorite brunch spots in Marin.

Graphic by: Johanna Wong


Bayside Cafe:
Bayside is by far my most frequented breakfast cafe in Marin. The old-fashioned feel of the leather booths and classic menus give the restaurant a pleasant atmosphere. I’ve ordered most dishes on the menu, and whether it be the omelettes, the fresh squeezed juice, the smoothies, or the sandwiches, I’ve never been disappointed. I’ve also never had to wait long for my meal. The service at Bayside is unbeatable, the hostess and waiters are genuinely friendly, and the short wait time makes Bayside seem like the In-N-Out of diners. The other aspect of Bayside that makes it better than other brunch places is the prices. A meal averages $10 so I’m never left staring in shock at my check when the meal is over.

Lighthouse Cafe:
Last weekend, I went to Lighthouse Cafe for the first time. It is a charming diner located in the hills of Sausalito. When I went, I was fortunate enough to beat the line and immediately get a seat in the small eating area, which includes a counter looking in on the kitchen. The wait for a table was ameliorated by the waitress, who seemed to have friendly relationships with the regulars. She also suggested combinations and ideas to make the meal I ordered less expensive. The Lighthouse Cafe is well known for their fruit pancakes and variety of fancy sausages, and while I can’t speak for the sausages, the raspberry pancake I ordered may have been one of the best pancakes I’ve ever had. Because my order consisted of side dishes, it was very affordable, but the price for other menu options was neither astoundingly cheap, nor expensive.

Dipsea Cafe:
I remember loving going to brunch at Dipsea with my parents when I was a child, partially because of the bizarre wall decorations that cheer up the two dining rooms and waiting area, and mostly because of the food. Everything on the menu, savory or sweet, is satisfying, so I’m always wistful that my budget doesn’t allow me to eat there anymore. However, for those who aren’t saving up I strongly recommend the Belgian waffles, which come topped with fruit, berries and whipped cream or the yogurt parfait, which is a large aesthetically pleasing mixture of fruit, yogurt, and granola.

Fred’s Diner:
I’d heard great things about Fred’s Diner for a long time before I actually tried it, so I had very high expectations. The cozy atmosphere of the Sausalito diner was warm and welcoming, and although my waitress wasn’t (she was very rude when I explained she had brought me the wrong meal), I enjoyed eating at the bustling cafe because watching the cooks work while sitting at the counter was very entertaining. There are a few unique items on the menu, such as the deep-fried french toast, although the basic omelette I ordered was just as good as I had anticipated.