Balboa Cafe - Mill Valley

4.3
978 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
Located in the heart of Mill Valley, Balboa Cafe serves classic American bistro fare that is featured on our casual lunch, brunch and dinner menus. Diners can also choose from an extensive wine list and a terrific cocktail menu.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Californian
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Tuesday - Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday-Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Sunday: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Happy Hour: Tuesday-Sunday 3:00pm-6:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 381-7321
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Please contact the restaurant for more information.
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Private party contact
Kara Mibach: (415) 381-7321
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Catering
We offer catering services for off-site events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Our experienced catering staff will work closely with you to create a memorable event for you and your guests whether in the comfort of your own home, the convenience of your office or staged in a specific venue. Services include: full service off-site catering, experienced catering staff, full service bar, event planning, rental coordination.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Sunnyside
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Parking details
Street parking available.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 978 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 2 days ago

The food and service was very good. At times the noise level was high.

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4.0Dined 3 days ago

After a lapse in my visits of several years, I was pleased to find Balboa having made significant improvements. The dishes were more creative, better presented, made good use of local produce, and generally seems to fit the atmosphere of Mill Valley very comfortably indeed. It's upscale without being pretentious.

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1.0Dined 4 days ago

I was really disappointed during my last visit. The Caesar salad was really small and lacking; crummy croutons; shrimp was good. But for what they charged - the salad bar at Safeway is better.

Friend ordered the Filet - which was the filet tail and tough to cut and sent back.

The Wednesday wine was a buy but won't come back probably.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2018

Patio for our dogs.

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3.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Waiter certainly wasn't overly attentive. Lobster Risotto was a true disappointment. Cold raw shelled peas in a warm risotto..never had that before. Not a fan. Excellent wines. Miso salmon was nice. Probably the third or fourth time we've eaten there. This is the first time it was a disappointment. Cold raw peas..amazing.

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1.0Dined on May 22, 2018

the hamburger ordered was not the requested temperature. it was sent back, at the insistence of the manager. the second burger was cooked exactly as the first one. well done. very disappointing.

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4.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Love this place! The food is always fresh and delicious. Great menu with so many items to choose from and really good wine list! We dine there frequently and they are always friendly. Super place for everyday or for a date night!

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Lucas is great!😀

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

We drove over from Walnut Creek for an early afternoon Mothers Day brunch, and it was well worth it! We dressed casually and brought our small dog, we sat out on the patio and had a lovely quiet family brunch. The service was good, although we asked three different people to turn on the heater above us and it never happened. Food was excellent - my wife got a special quiche and I got eggs benedict, my daughter (14) got a BLAT sandwich and my son (12) got the cornflake crusted French toast. Plus two starters - avocado toast and cronuts. Everyone was happy and stuffed. Not cheap but not outrageous either. We would (will!) definitely go back.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Celebrated Mother's Day here. The food and environment were great! Everyone was nice and welcoming.

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Absolutely love the burger here!

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4.0Dined on May 11, 2018

Always a good neighborhood standby!!!! Food and service are always consistently good.

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3.0Dined on May 6, 2018

The Balboa Cafe is just not a particularly good value -- okay food at inflated prices. My burger was small and the swiss cheese not properly melted. The mass of fries were limp and lacked the crisp texture that most restaurants can achieve. A disappointing experience.

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4.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Should remove the carpet and put hardwood floors. Yucky

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2.0Dined on May 6, 2018

The waiter was very loud and a bit intrusive it took about 10 minutes to get our first drink order even take them much less delivered. The Rizzuto was quite good but my tuner was overcooked and the dessert was very very good

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4.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Server awesome! Thanks- and sorry his name slipped my memory. He is a nursing student at COM😀

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2018

Our 2nd time and was as good as the 1st time. Will bring our family next time.....

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2018

Love the Balboa, great crowd. Food excellent.

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5.0Dined on April 24, 2018

Great lunch at Balboa Cafe after a hike in Muir Woods. Service was spectacular and food was delicious and presented beautifully. We will be back!

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2.0Dined on April 22, 2018

Balboa Cafe in SF used to be the place to go in the 80s and 90s. Either drugged out haze made it better or they've gone downhill.
Had 4 drinks between us at $10/each and they wanted to charge $1.50 when I ordered anchovies for my anchovy-less Caesar salad. Service a little weak and overall, only go here if you can't get into D'Angelo's.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Excellent in every way. We love going back to Balboa

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

We celebrated a special night here and were well taken care of!

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Known for the omelets and burgers at lunch, dinner was truly special. Out of this world lobster risotto and 1/2 off wine bottles on Wednesday with purchase of an entree. Great personal service and large tasty salads.Drinks are always very good. Nice to have the S.F. based Balboa in Mill Valley!

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Love this restaurant!

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Loud kids nearby, parents weren't doing a good job of controlling them. Unfortunate. Otherwise great experience. It was a Sunday night, maybe this is a family time?

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Food was good, we got a table in the corner but it was still difficult to hear until the early diners finished and left. Not the restaurant's fault. Mark was a great waiter!

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2.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Food was meh but staff was fabulous. I wasn't impressed with the lunch at all and probably wouldn't come back.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday. The waitress offered a complimentary dessert which was lovely.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Excellent service. The best and most professional servers town. Thank you Shellen, Adolpho, Rene, Jennifer and mark. Five star all the way.

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4.0Dined on March 14, 2018

This was the first time we dined at Balboa Café. Food was very good. We will be back.

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4.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Jen is an awesome server❣️

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

My wife had the shrimp tacos (the special of the day) and I had a chef's special: Penne pasta with seared scallops. The pasta was in a cream sauce with capers, arugula, roasted garlic, and other tasty items. The three large scallops were seared just right; I think they may have been dusted in garlic powder. We split a Racer 5 IPA and all of it came to ~$42; with tip, we were well-fed for $50.

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5.0Dined on March 2, 2018

Balboa is a great and reliable restaurant! Food and service always spot on.

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2018

Hosted a birthday dinner for 11 people. Everything went smoothly. Food is delicious, staff are super friendly and nice. A great spot!

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5.0Dined on February 26, 2018

Our waiter was great, funny and friendly

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Friend was visiting from out of town, the wife said "I'm not cooking, let's go to the Balboa". Great downtown Mill Valley restaurant for good drinks, good food and good service. Wonderful evening catching up with a friend.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

This is a very pleasant restaurant that we frequent occasionally. We just wish they would dim the ceiling lights. Too many tables have bright veining lights that negativity impacts the setting.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

I’ve eaten pork chops all over the U.S. Balboa was one of the best I ever had . It must of been the potato mash and the berry chutney.

Spice date cake was amazing. It looked like a work of art but tasted even better. I think the quality of the food commensurate of the price is worth the 5 stars. Although BF is less generous..

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5.0Dined on February 22, 2018

Great arugula and kale salads. Perfect lunch spot.

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2018

Awesome lunch, private table for 2, we stayed over 90 minutes, great service.

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