There's no better way to cap off an active day of hiking in the headlands, perusing Point Reyes, or exploring Mt. Tamalpais than an artisan pizza paired with a glass of vino or a craft brew. Marin's best pizzerias tout the region's abundance of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and feature laid-back, family-friendly dining environments that reflect the county's small town charms.
A stylish, small restaurant on charming Caledonia Street in Sausalito, Sandrino offers authentic, thin-crust Italian pizza made by the chef-owners Alessandro and Monica who hail from Verona, Italy. The elegant interior offers a few window-side tables, counter seats with a view of the pizza oven, and a few sidewalk tables. In addition to other Italian entrees, there are over a dozen pizza styles to choose from, from the Bufalina made with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and Emmentaler cheese to the Trentino (mozzarella, Molinari sausage, and porcini mushrooms.) The dessert list features old family recipes for creme caramel and tiramisu. // Sandrino, 45 Caledonia St,(Sausalito); 415-729-9166, sandrino-sausalito.com
Tony Tutto Pizza (Mill Valley)
Named for the alter ego of the owner-chef—a veteran music industry roadie and band manager—this small, music-filled operation serves up whimsically named organic vegetarian and vegan pizzas evoking the '60s. We especially love the popular Bitches Brew (organic San Marzano tomato, green, red and yellow onions, crushed red peppers flakes, oregano, and sea salt), the Garden of Love Light (organic arugula, Italian sweet red onions, pinenuts, rosemary, thyme, and Meyer lemon), the Peter, Paul & Pesto (pesto, pinenuts, three cheese blend, basil, and parmigiano reggiano), and the Whiter Shade of Pale pizza pie (three cheese blend, ricotta salata and parmigiano reggiano, fresh garlic, basil, rosemary, organic extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt.) Another locals' favorite: The Magic Mushroom (organic shiitake mushroom, smoked mozzarella, heirloom tomato, thyme, organic extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt). Sit inside or at sidewalk tables. Note, they are cash or check only. // Tony Tutto Pizza, 246 E. Blithedale Ave, (Mill Valley); 415-383-8646, tonytuttopizza.com
Pizzalina (San Anselmo)
Industrial chic meets upscale Marin in this congenial (although sometimes noisy) family gathering spot. Local favorites include the Yolanda (tomato, basil, mozzarella, parmesan, prosciutto and arugula crudo), the Escalle (tomato, mozzarella, sausage, Hobb's pepperoni, and fennel pollen), the Alto (rosemary potatoes, leeks, fresh garlic, Pt. Reyes Toma and parmesan), the Pastori (broccoli di Ciccio, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, roasted garlic, and mozzarella) and the Baltimore Park (wild mushrooms, crescenza cream, roast garlic, truffle oil and scallions). // Pizzalina, 914 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, (San Anselmo); 415-256-9780, pizzalina.com
Pizzeria Picco (Larkspur)
With its wood-burning oven and cozy, upscale ambiance, this popular Larkspur eatery is a perfect pizza stop for Marin explorers. Try the classic Margherita (tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella, parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil), the Son of Yeti (hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, leeks, thyme, fresh garlic, mozzarella, pecorino, and parmesan) and the Bianchi (Lacinato kale ,roasted garlic, house smoked mozzarella, black truffle pecorino, Calabrian chili, and Castelvetrano olives). // Pizzeria Picco, 316 Magnolia Ave, (Larkspur); 415-945-8900, pizzeriapicco.com
Gaspare's (San Rafael)
This San Rafael slice of pizza heaven (an outpost of the beloved Richmond pizzeria in SF) is owned by Gaspare Indelicato's son Danny. They serve up the same tasty olive oil-coated, thin crust pies that have sustained the pizza cravings of generations of San Franciscans. Included are pizzas named after the Indelicato boys, including the Gaspare's Special (fresh tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, mozzarella and feta cheese), Danny's Third Half Crew Special (pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, onions, and pesto), and Marcello's Calzone (pepperoni, roast bell pepper, and ricotta). Family matriarch Robin Indelicato contributes her famous cheesecake to the dessert menu, or you can choose classic Italian tiramisu or Sicilian-style cannoli. // Gaspare's, 200 Merrydale Rd, (San Rafael); 415-472-7101, gasparespizza.com
Cafe Reyes (Point Reyes Station)
Way out in Point Reyes Station, Cafe Reyes's delicious wood fired pizzas and funky, laid back West Marin ambiance are the perfect respite after a long day of exploring the trails and beaches of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The pizzas have a local theme, like the Limantour (cherry tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, basil and sea salt), the Inverness (San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fennel sausage, and mushrooms), and the Palomarin (San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, white anchovies, and mushrooms). For appetizers, go local and try the fresh Drake's Bay oysters raw on the half shell. Eat inside, or at the picnic tables on the wide outdoor patio if weather permits. // Cafe Reyes, 11101 State Route 1 (Point Reyes Station), 415-663-9493 .