588 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 (See Map Below) Phone 415-332-9551
Neighborhood: Bridgeway Promenade. Website and reservations are here. Menus are here for lunch and for dinner. Metered parking lot is about 3 blocks away to the north, and you can park for an hourly charge next door at The Trident, or park longer at the private lot across the street.
Scoma’s Sausalito is one of the most visible “big view” special-occasion restaurants in all of the San Francisco Bay Area, and an excellent — but expensive — place to eat. Definitely make reservations if you plan to come here unless you’re eating at an unusual in-between hour. Fabulous antique building but not all tables have that great view. Daily specials often terrific, good wine list. Back in the 1890’s the Scoma’s building and pier were called “Lange’s Launches” and a tugboat and ferry service operated here. Note: There is a Scoma’s in San Francisco as well.
Fog Alert: You can check this nearby Sausalito Yacht Club webcam any time to see if morning fog persists or the afternoon fog has decided to visit. Fog on the Bay is most common in the summer, and the skies are most clear in September-October.
You absolutely positively want a reservation at this 19th century building. As you can see from the photo above, it’s a fabulous building and location. The architecture is antique and interesting. But what the picture does not tell you is that the old building’s windows do not align that well with the tables, so a minority of tables have really good views. Some tables in the bar area look across the water… for a distance of 50 feet, where you see the restaurant next door! I once had a great view of a cook at the other place filling large trash cans out in back while I ate my meal!
The main dining room has better, but still somewhat restricted views compared to the bar. If you’re going for the views as well as the cuisine, here are the two ways to make sure you enjoy your meal here, and if you follow these steps you’re likely to have a great time:
Go at lunch on a nice day and sit at one of the outside tables that is away from the street and farther out on the pier. Some have nicer views than others, but there are several truly awesome spots. The ones close to the street have just a narrow view of the Bay.
For dinner or a cool-weather lunch: Call Scoma’s well ahead of time, make a reservation and tell them that you would like a window table in the outer area at the far end of the restaurant. If you’re not a local resident it never hurts to mention you’re coming from out of town. Like almost all local view restaurants, they will not reserve that outer-room window table for you but will note your request. This means your odds of getting one of those tables goes way up, especially if you’re willing to wait. When you arrive, come 15-30 minutes prior to your reservation time if you can. If a table in that area is not available you’ll have the option to wait in the bar, which is in fact a nice place, and there’s a good chance you can get a great table when you’re seated.
Some of those view tables that are “worth waiting for” are right on the glass, and another group of tables is just across from them in the small outer dining room. The outer tables have the best view but the inner ones are still very nice.
The everyday menu here is often not as stellar as the specials, although the latter come at a price. When you are seated, ask the server “What dishes currently on the menu have people been raving about the last few days?” If the price is not mentioned, be sure to ask to avoid surprises later. Some highlights from the regular menu include Lobster Bisque to die for, and really great clam chowder.
Something else that people should know about Scoma’s Sausalito? Concerned that a Scoma’s visitor might take a long walk off a short pier? Disagree with any of our suggestions? Please let us know!