Best Places For Dining Solo in Marin County

I often dine alone and I think every restaurant should have counter dining for solo diners so that they can converse with each other. Since no one else seems to have done so, I’m compiling places with great counters for dining and mingling with friends you haven’t met yet.

Since I don’t want to rank them based on how much I like them (although I will provide my $0.02) I’ll be arranging them geographically, starting in Sausalito and working my way North to Novato.


The Barrel House at 660 Bridgeway is solo dining friendly, with a spacious counter and casual homey seating area. Beyond the dining room are pub tables overlooking the bay.

Salito’s at 1200 Bridgeway also has generous counters, indoors and outdoors, right on the bay with good people watching–wading, rowing and paddling in and out of the bay right before your eyes. The food is mediocre on a good day but the setting is vibrant and entertaining.


Piatti located on Richardson Bay with views of Mount Tamalpais is located at 625 Redwood Highway. The U shaped counter is solo friendly and there are community dining tables to meet new friends as well.


Guaymas is another solo friendly dining spot next to the Tiburon Ferry Landing and views of the San Francisco skyline and Angel Island.


Benissimo is located at 18 Tamalpais Drive across from the Old Town Square and plenty of parking. The solo friendly counter doesn’t seat many people but the food and service are good.


Left Bank is located at 507 Magnolia Avenue and their counter area is super solo friendly. They have outdoor dining on the covered street-side patio but the counter is more conducive to meeting new friends.

Farm Shop is located in Larkspur Landing, across from the Larkspur Ferry Landing, and they have quite a lot of solo friendly counter dining. There is often free live music playing in the courtyard too.


Insalata’s is located at 120 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and has plenty of solo friendly dining seats.

Marinitas, just up the street at 218 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, is run by the same people as Insalata’s, and has plenty of solo friendly dining. They also have Queso Fundido. Yumbo Scrumbo! (their tacos are the featured image)

L’Appart Resto is located at 636 San Anselmo Avenue. While their solo friendly dining counter is small, it is intimate and friendly and the food and service are very good.

Iron Springs Pub is located at 765 Center Boulevard across from Good Earth Market. In addition to solo friendly counter dining, they also have live music on occasion.


Il Davide, possibly the very best restaurant in all of Marin County, is located at 901 A Street. Everything is magically delicious, the service is attentive without being in your face and the atmosphere is delightful. Located adjacent to the parking garage, so parking (and it’s even covered parking) is never a problem. The solo friendly dining area is small, but it’s there and the staff and locals are friendly. There is outdoor dining as well.

Fenix, located at 919 4th Street is a live music venue with solo friendly dining in two different areas, the main bar and the kitchen counter situated right on the street. Unusual and changing dishes, great staff and interesting entertainment.

Iron Springs Pub has recently opened a second location in San Rafael at 901 4th Street. Light and airy and solo friendly.

Hop Monk Tavern at 224 Vintage Way in Vintage Oaks Shopping Center has a large solo friendly counter area, outdoor dining garden and live music on occasion.

Ah… The Hilltop Cafe… Serving up food and beverage since 1892 at 850 Lamont Avenue. They have lots of solo friendly counter dining, views, and a generator in case the power goes out.

Check back for more in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

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