Garden Bistro
Garden Bistro

Garden Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.gardenbistronovato.com/
  • Phone: 4158839277
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday - Friday: Lunch 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
    Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Saturday: Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Sunday: Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Monday: Closed
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
  • Executive Chef: Hilda Hattar
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Mediterranean specialties.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Ignacio Blvd
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Garden Bistro
Garden Bistro is your family owned and managed neighborhood Mediterranean retreat. Influenced by local organic produce, daily fresh sea foods and natural, grass fed meats from local farms. The Garden provides warm, fresh flavors accompanied by a great selection of local wines.
Owner and head chef, Hilda Hattar, is dedicated to offering her patrons with a healthy, flavorful dining experience. Her hope is for each dinner to feel as though they are guests at her home.
Middle Eastern spiced appetizers, large organic salads and soups, rosemary roasted rack of lamb amazing seafood entrees are just some of the weekly specials offered at the Garden Bistro. We hope to serve you soon!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Garden Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
13 reviews since June 26, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (10)great for outdoor dining (7)fit for foodies (6)special occasion (3)great for lunch (3)good for groups (3)great for brunch (2)kid-friendly (2)notable wine list (1)romantic (1)Show More
  • Jewel of Novato
    NativegalVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I have been going to the Garden Bistro since first moving to Marin about 20 years ago. I have always enjoyed their lunch and brunch, and want to weigh in on a lovely dinner. Don't be fooled by their frontage road (Enfrente) location. It is really great. I took a friend there for her birthday dinner the other night, and everything was super. We shared a lovely salad and the phyllo chicken pie for starters. I had the Petrale Sole flavored very nicely, and she had lamb shanks. We enjoyed everything we had: fresh and flavorful, a little unusual with a subtle Mediterranean influence. Even if you are not into ethnic cuisine, there is plenty on the menu to please all palates. In short, consistent, flavorful food done with a delicate touch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fresh and Delicious Food
    4foodVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Everything was so fresh, perfectly prepared, and priced appropriately. Lots of great flavors and service was attentive. It's nice to eat outside in their patio. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food was amazing. The waiter was very nice, but it took awhile to get our food. if you have other plans after dinner, just give yourself some extra time.we will defiantly eat there again!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Time Good Food
    WellBback
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We ate in the patio and it was lovely. Food was excellent and service was great and friendly! It was our first time and we will be going again often.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A disappointing experience
    NovatoDinerVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    This was our first visit since the renovation. What a disappointment. We were given the specials of the day but were not advised that the Pastille (the pot pie dish) was not available. 2 of the people at our table had selected this item and had to spend additional time making a different selection. the Mediterranean salad had way too much dressing. The owner was waiting on us. She brought my water glass and noticed something on it. Then she said "oh it is on the outside" and left it there with whatever was on it as if it did not matter that the glass was dirty as long as it was on the outside. Disgusting!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 8 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 81 reviews are from the Garden Bistro reviews archive.
  • Great food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    It was a very nice experience. The food was delicious, all made from scratch. You must order the hummus! The service was excellent. We didn't order desert, because we were stuffed but they brought us an ice cream desert with 6 spoons. Great final touch to an outstanding evening!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sad to say
    NONICKNAMEVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    sad to say the food has become a bit uneven some dishes were excellent others were ho-hum. Unfortunately we had a waiter who had only been there for days and he was rather bumbling. He was eager and helpful but I felt this training is later was nil or inadequate.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • elliebellieVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Wonderful, fresh Mediterranean food, and friendly personal service. Highly recommended. Don't miss this place, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in Marin County.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent as always
    Sushiluvr
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Amazing food, great service, can't get much better than that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a great find
    MontanaJim
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    Found this place on open table and were very pleased. The food was great along with the service and overall it was a great experience. I would recommend this place to anyone that would like a great meal. We sat outside and had a great time. The food is Mediterranean and was very good. The portions were very good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Paella - Delicious
    SilverOakBob
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Special of the day paella was very tasty. Should have it on their regular menu
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friendly service
    Silota
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Went for lunch. The service was EXCELLENT. Friendly, present, not pushy. Left us time but responded when needed. Could not have been more accommodating. The soup was ok. The seafood salad was out of this world. The other party had the risotto and we had the sampler. Left overs were boxed. Enjoyed it
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Very tasty. Love it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Very Very tasty. Love it! Love the owners and the food is really good. Been back twice!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great neighborhood find
    Carol
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    A friendly family run restaurant recently . remodeled which makes it more open. We shared the appetizer plate and also the beef osso busco. There was more thank enough for two.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Garden Bistro- what a great secret!
    StaciamaggVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We went for Valentine's Day. It was packed! The service was so great and friendly- felt like we were dining with relatives (the ones you like!) The food is so authentic, fresh, natural and delicious. The homemade desserts are fantastic, Great wines and a pretty nice selection of beers too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Neighborhood Gem deserves greater a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    This restaurant was remodeled and the menu was revamped last year to include more organic ingredients and healthy offerings. We enjoyed a full-bodied ossobucco on a cold, wintry evening. This is an unassuming place where everything is quality. Don't overlook this neighborhood gem - also worth making your destination!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    LeChatVIP
    Dined on 1/26/2014
    Had a "traditional" meal here the other night: dolmas, hummus, fattuoush, falafel, tabouli, baba ganoush, lentils and rice. Fresh, low on salt & fat, long on flavor. We'd been ordering specials for well over a year and thought we'd return to the regular menu items. Superb. Great food, a solid wine list, excellent desserts, zero pretension, all add up to a marvelous dining experience. We still love the specials (filet mignon, paella, vegetable risotto) - but it's all a treat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great first experience
    MarinfoodieVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Garden Bistro is a family owned gem that CARES about food quality and service. Locally sourced ingredients, fresh local fish delivered daily, plentiful quantities, good value and warm gracious service made for an experience we look forward to repeating. Highly recommend. Enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time experience
    Misbeauty
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Chicken Kabob plate was good. My sister didn't like the lamb kabob as it taste "gamey." Love the service though and the ambiance.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unexpectedly Delightful
    OpenTableDiner
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    I didn't expect too much from a little place just off Highway 101 in Novato, but we had one of our most delightful recent lunches here. The food was all fresh and delicious. Hits of the meal were the avgolemeno soup, tabouleh, falafel, and the apple crunch, fresh from the oven. It's an extremely friendly place, run by a family from Jordan, and we had fun chatting with the very personable sisters who served us. The garden patio is an attractive spot and far enough from the highway to be very quiet. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious but salty
    Keel
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    This is a delightful place just off 101 in Ignacio worth a visit. Family owned, friendly, good natural ingredients and unpretentious menu. We found the food to be very good, but two plates were way too salty. The owner did offer to have the chef re-do them immediately, which was very nice and watched out for us very well the whole evening. So, we'd go back again, but will remember to ask the chef to hold the salt!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely evening and great food.
    Anne
    Dined on 9/12/2013
    I hope to return to this fun please soon!! We enjoyed a delicious meal in a lovely outdoor setting. Great service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ambience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    We sat outside in what felt like a quiet oasis in the middle of life. It was pleasant and comfortable and the service and food to match. Lovely Mediterranean mixtures from all those countries with great flare and taste.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful & authentic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/15/2013
    A great find. Run by a fantastic family - seating in the garden at night is delightful and their sample platter was delicious. We had the most amazing calamari with fried lemon and Meatballs. It was a wonderful evening and we are looking forward to their sampler evening !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Garden delight!
    Haggis
    Dined on 8/11/2013
    This place has a beautiful garden patio, a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy some wine and awesome food ;-)
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neon rice not so nice.
    AlisonJVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    We were there recently, and had our meal out on the patio. I had the Meshwi plate, which includes hummus, tabbouli and rice pilaf. Most of it was reasonably good, but I do not like their rice, which is not very tasty, and should be more of a traditional pilaf than the sticky neon yellow glob of rice they serve.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful Experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    I live in Novato and have been wanting to try this restaurant for a long time. Novato in my opinion is definitely lacking in decent restaurants. We took our parents visiting from another country to this restaurant for dinner. The garden we were seated in is so pretty and very relaxing and serene. The mediterranean cuisine was so good from the appetizers to the dinner. I had this roasted chicken with balsamaic onions on flatbread. It was sooo amazing and delicious and soooo different than your basic restaurant chicken dish. Everyone is my party loved the food. Please forgive the location as once you get inside you wont regret it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch at the Garden Bistro
    glr1VIP
    Dined on 7/2/2013
    My go to place for lunch or dinner with friends. Service is always friendly and professional, the menu has choices for everyone and the specials are always excellent. Lovely patio in good weather, comfy seating inside during the winter months. A winner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gem in unsuspecting place...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/16/2013
    This is a wonderful little gem of a Resturant with fabulous food. The owner is usually there and she is usually talking to patrons. The food is always fresh, interesting, delicious and beautifully presented. In this neighborhood one if the very best. Highly recommended !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    4foodVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    We will be back! All of the food was delicious! We tried a variety of items and shared.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Really good
    casualdiner
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    My wife thought the rack of lamb was the best she'd ever had. All the food was fresh and seasoned properly. We will come back again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Novato Favorite
    MsLBLeeVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    Whenever in the area we always plan on dining at least once at Garden Bistro. The food is fresh and delicious with a Mediterranean flair, and the owner/hostess is a delightful lady always there to welcome her guests. Thank you again for another lovely dinner and evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great Mediterranean find.
    MatthewJRoberts
    Dined on 5/16/2013
    The food has a great mixture of influence for all over the Mediterranean. It's easy to draw inspirations from such a great area of the world. Italian, Spanish, Greek, Turkish taste all in one menu. There is a great patio outside that is landscaped beautifully.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, fab service, value meal
    NativegalVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    This place has been around for a long time, and it seems that they have spruced things up. A friend and I stopped in for a Wednesday evening meal. Both of us really enjoyed our entrees. I usually don't order halibut, but since it was caught that morning, I went with it and was not disappointed. The fish was presented on a bed of delicious grilled veg and the buerre blanc was just right. We fell in love with our server; she could not have been nicer. It is an unlikely location on the frontage road in Southern Novato (Ignacio), but worth seeking out.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely lunch in the garden
    LeChatVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    After several visits for dinner (all superb), I went with a friend for lunch. We ordered small plates: the sampler (dolmas, falafel, hummus, etc), fattoush, mussels, grilled vegetables - all fresh, tasty and delicious. The patio is lovely. The service is excellent. This is a quality spot. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food, and warm attentive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 4/13/2013
    Delicious food, and warm attentive service. The sumac chicken was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always amazing food & great,
    fundinerVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    Always amazing food & great, friendly service - a gem!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • YUM!
    LeChatVIP
    Dined on 3/29/2013
    Fresh, wonderfully-prepared food in Mom and Pop shop loaded with charm. This was our third visit. The routine menu is great - the specials seem to be even a cut above. A new favorite!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fresh and delicious
    LeChatVIP
    Dined on 3/24/2013
    Wonderfully fresh, tasty food in a store front off the freeway. A delightful surprise. Good enough to be a special treat. Affordable enough for frequent visits. Italian, Greek, Spanish - a broad Mediterranean menu. Best paella outside of the beach front in Valencia, Spain.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food T
    Dineifyoudare
    Dined on 3/21/2013
    I thought the food was great and reasonably priced for quality and portions. The owners were friendly and cordial. There was a large table and due to the small space made it difficult to hear. After being seated it took a bit long to have our order taken. We will certainly go to this restaurant again and compare our dining experiences.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate