The Hidden Gems of San Rafael


Blanca Hitchcock, Writer

  San Rafael. When people think of San Rafael they probably automatically think about everyone’s favorite restaurant, Sol Food, and TNB Sports, one of the most popular sporting goods stores in central Marin. However, few people have experienced all of the various hidden wonders lying throughout the city.

 For instance, did you know that hidden among medical offices is one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants you will ever find? It’s called Casa Mañana and it was all started by a woman named Margarita about 30 years ago with a single cup of beans, two cups of rice, and her grandma’s recipe books. After your meal, if you are considered a friendly face, you can definitely expect to see some fresh buñuelos (fried tortillas covered in cinnamon) on the house.

  Another amazing Mexican restaurant is located right near St. Raphael’s school. It’s called Taqueria Bahia, and its family owned charm is always a winner. Located on B street, it’s the perfect spot to hit on a Friday night for cheap tacos and a Mexican Coke.

   Moving onto morning treats, one my favorite spots to grab a quick coffee and a pastry would have to be Arizmendi. With their bread freshly baked every morning and their constant supply of Equator Coffee, it’s a win win. The atmosphere is very inviting and acoustic music is always playing. Of course if I start talking about morning pastries I can’t skip over Johnny’s donuts. With the new addition of space to the restaurant you can bring as many friends as you want and seating won’t be an issue. You might have also seen their incredibly artsy wall plastered all over Instagram. The donuts are super yummy and extremely filling.

  If you haven’t given San Rafael a second thought you definitely should because there are so many  places to check out. The artsy, dreamlike restaurants are so calming. San Rafael is a town I believe most people underestimate. Whether it be a fancy dinner with family, or a night out with friends, the enticing  night festivals and the different mouth watering foods will surely keep you coming back for more.