The Mill Valley Balboa Cafe has many long-time, extremely loyal patrons, both in the restaurant and the bar. The last time I visited with a friend, she was recalling a birthday party her family had thrown for her there several years before that had been a great time and was a great memory. The same night, I ran into two other friends there who are regulars and who rave about Chris, the bartender, who himself has a real following.
They like to watch the Giants’ games there, which are featured on one of the two mounted large screens above the bar. The NBA finals were on the other screen but the Giants’ game was generating a lot more excitement in the room than the Mavericks’.
To get things going in the evenings, Monday through Friday, they’ve got a Happy Hour from 3-6, with steep discounts on their Happy Hour drink menu. At the same time, they offer a short but good appetizer menu, also with great prices.
If you’re coming just to eat, they’ve got a really solid menu, with their notable Balboa Burger a favorite. And, if the weather ever clears up and warms up, they’ve got tables outside for al fresco dining.
Overall, it’s got a comfortable, conservatively upscale atmosphere, but with the really relaxed vibe of a well-established restaurant that operates smoothly and with confidence.
Where: 38 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (map)
Parking: On the street
- Lunch: Tue – Fri 11:30 – 4:00
- Happy Hour: Mon – Fri 3:00 – 6:00
- Dinner: Sun – Thu 4:00 – 10:00 / Fri – Sat 4:00 – 11:00
- Brunch: Sat – Sun 11:00 – 4:00