San Francisco is a beautiful city, but at some point it starts to feel small. Which is why day trips are essential to keep things feeling fresh. Napa, Sonoma and Big Sur are some popular options, but I’m a big fan of a much more low-key day trip to Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay, which is only about an hour’s drive from SF, is known for the fresh oysters that come directly from its waters. You can stop at any of the restaurants along the bay for some oysters that will taste better than anything you get at your high quality happy hour. Raw, grilled, smoked, it all tastes incredible. If you’re feeling up to it, you can even shuck the oysters yourself, but who really wants to prep their own food?
Before heading into Tomales Bay, you can first make a quick stop at the pretty little town of Point Reyes and grab a massive scone from Bovine Bakery. You will spot all the biking groups and pregnant women lining up for these delicious pastries. You can also step inside the headquarters of Cowgirl Creamery, where you might be able to stumble upon a sample of cheese or two, or buy some Mount Tam for the road. Don’t fill up too much on these snacks, though, keep your eye on the oyster prize.
Everyone always talks about Hog Island Oyster Co. as being the place to go, and obviously tables here get booked up very quickly, but the oysters all come from the same place and you can’t go wrong wherever you go. The Marshall Store was our “backup” option, but you would have never known that judging from how I inhaled those grilled garlic butter BBQ oysters. I didn’t even know grilling fresh oysters was a thing, I thought that might be food sacrilege, but it’s actually the greatest thing you could do to them. You can also smoke them, which is also an ingenious preparation. Smoking oysters gives them more of a mussel-like quality, and they taste fantastic on top of some fromage blanc and aioli. Did I mention you eat all of this outside, directly on the water, with a beer in hand? It doesn’t get any better than that.
11315 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
The Marshall Store
19225 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940