Right off Highway 101 at the turnoff to begin the climb to Mount Tam and beyond is Buckeye Roadhouse (15 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley; tel.
415/331-2600), an extremely popular, historic, and somewhat pricy restaurant serving updated versions of familiar comfort foods in an atmospheric lodgelike setting. I can be found here once a week, eating at the festive bar, chatting with knowledgeable head bartender Jeff, and throwing back oysters bingo (Try them!), chili-lime brick chicken, and cucumber martinis. Because they serve continuously from lunch through dinner, this could be the perfect stopover on your way in or out of the area. Note that if you come during prime dining time without a reservation, you’re likely to have a long wait. High up on the mountain, The Mountain Home Inn, 810 Panoramic Hwy., Mill Valley (tel. 415/381-9000; www.mtnhomeinn.com) offers a swell brunch and panoramic views from their outdoor deck.
If you make it over Mount Tam, just past Muir Woods, look for the Pelican Inn, 10 Pacific Way, Muir Beach (tel. 415-383-6000; www.pelicaninn.com). Built in 1979 to resemble a 16th-century English cottage, this is the perfect place to grab a beer at the old-fashioned bar—dartboard and all—and sprawl out on the lawn for lunch after a hike.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.