Living in Marin is life writ small. Many of us flock here for the natural beauty and for the village-like towns. Part of the allure can be the immediate sense of connection that is fostered in these small communities. People do seem to come together whether it’s bound by children, schools, cultural institutions, places of worship or sports and other activities. The town square can be a connection point and increasingly an important connection point is the coffee spot. Marin is full of these community connection points. These coffee shops and cafes are for the most part local businesses. Each with their own flavor and attracting their own tribe or denizens. Here are a few of my favorites spread across the county…
Cibo - On Bridgeway in Sausalito. You might mistake it for a tourist spot and it does welcome visitors but it is also a stop for cyclists as they make their way through Sausalito and for locals to enjoy the excellent coffee and delicious menu. The owners’ passion is evident. In the words of owners Tera and Alfredo, “We believe a coffee house is one of the most creative places in the world, where first dates happen, ideas are crafted, futures are dreamed and memories and ambitions are made.
Proof Lab Equator Coffee - This coffee shop is the first Equator opened in 2013 by the iconic Proof Lab and not only is it in Tam Junction, but it’s at the junction of surfers, skateboarders, motorcyclists, cyclists and hikers. The cool kid factor is palpable.
Philz Coffee Corte Madera - Philz is a chain of high end third wave coffee makers focussed on making pour over coffee individually for each patron. The Corte Madera location is in the Town Center shopping center. People flock here because Philz fosters community and their core values emphasizes kindness, authenticity and putting the customer first by personalizing each drink to the customers taste. And, the avocado toast is pretty good too.
Comforts - in San Anselmo is an institution. Begun in 1986, Comforts is a cafe, a caterer and a take out spot. On the main drag of San Anselmo Avenue, it is a crucial nexus for locals in the Ross Valley area to meet up with friends and connect, pick up dinner or plan an event.
The Coffee Roastery - in the center of Fairfax at the corner of Bolinas Road. Perfect for cyclists taking a quick break before heading out to mountain bike at Tamarancho or road ride in West Marin. On any given day there are plenty of folks reading and sipping a cup of Joe listening to the live music being performed in the cafe while sun streams through the large picture windows.
Fox & Kit San Rafael -A new coffee haus concept in town. This one is for the moms and the kiddies! The coffee shop portion is kitted out in designer furniture and through glass doors is a playground with fake grass, reading nooks, a “fox” den and costumes for dress up. There are staff members to help “occupy” the child for a fee while moms connect in the cafe.