558 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 (See Map Below)
Neighborhood: Bridgeway Promenade. Website and reservations are here. A story about the Tequila Sunrise being invented at The Trident is here. Discography of classic recordings made by the musicians who frequented The Trident is on this page.
Open for lunch and dinner. Valet parking at The Trident is $5 per hour, so if it’s after 6:00 PM and you can find a metered place on the street nearby (more likely on weeknights than weekends) you’ll save money and park for free.
The Trident reopened a few years ago after its return to its “Glory Days of the 60’s” name and a major remodel that left the old murals and woodwork of the original restaurant intact. This is one of Sausalito’s best-known big-view extravaganza restaurants at the heart of downtown, arguably one of the two most fabled restaurant buildings in town (with Sally Stanford’s Valhalla) and the one of the two that’s still operating. They serve seafood and American cuisine. The Trident offers a fabulous view of the Bay, Angel Island and the San Francisco skyline, especially from the big sunny outside deck that sits on a pier over the Bay in the back.
To some people the “what’s the best daytime view restaurant in Sausalito?” debate comes down to Trident for “nice weather and/or casual” or Spinnaker for “chilly weather and/or formal.” The beautiful white exterior of the building dates back to the 19th century, when it was a yacht club. In the 1960’s the old Trident Restaurant was owned by the Kingston Trio, and it has been a long-time destination for musicians recording at local studios like The Record Plant in Sausalito — which is being managed towards the same kind of rebirth as what The Trident has achieved.
Janis Joplin had her own table here (at the far right on the window as you face the Bay, and the Stones were feted here by Bill Graham after a concert in 1974. A teen-aged Robin Williams worked here as a busboy in the late 1960’s.
The setting is the star at the Trident, apart from all the rock and roll history. On a warm sunny day the deck that hangs over the Bay is one of the nicest places you’ll ever eat a meal… anywhere in the world. They start you out with fresh San Francisco sourdough bread, and have a full bar. By day or night the window tables have a fantastic view of the San Francisco skyline. And the interior retains almost all of the custom woodwork as well as wall and ceiling murals from the early-seventies “Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick and David Crosby are all dining here tonight” era.
Insider Tip: If you’re sitting on the deck at The Trident for lunch they not only have tables but a bar “on the rail”, where you can sit side-by-side looking straight out at the view. For parties of two this may be an ideal way to enjoy your meal. If you’re sitting at a deck table on a crowded day next to the rail, be prepared for the fact that diners “on the rail” will obscure your view of San Francisco. This is most often an issue on weekends from April through October and on all days during the summer visitor season, but only during the core lunchtime hours.
Service on our recent visits has been very good.
Something else that people should know about The Trident? Want to share your own rock star sighting? Disagree with any of our suggestions? Please let us know!