Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.11mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.43mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi
  1. Distance: 0.11mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.43mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.11mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.43mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi
  1. Distance: 0.11mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.43mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi

About Balboa Cafe - Mill Valley

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.

38 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Californian

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Sunnyside

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 381-7321

Website:
http://www.balboacafe.com/

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.

Parking Details:
Street parking available.

Private Party Facilities:
Please contact the restaurant for more information.

Private Party Contact:
Kara Mibach: (415) 381-7321

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

Balboa Cafe - Mill Valley Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.3

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (11)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Business Meals (8)
See All
Authentic (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Good for a Date (7)
Comfort Food (6)
Cozy (6)
Special Occasion (5)
Bar Seating (4)
Kid-friendly (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Fun (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Great for Brunch (4)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Romantic (3)
Seasonal (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Healthy (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Live Sports (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Organic (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
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939 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

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

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Wait person did not give his full attention to us until we asked for it. He seemed to want to help everyone at other tables and not us.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2018

I love the Balboa. It has a wonderful atmosphere, great service and delicious, fresh food.
It is a restaurant that is consistent and professional in every way. I have taken many clients here for lunch and they always want to come back. We come for special occasions and dinner with friends. It is peerless and when in Mill Valley, look no further.
Sincerely,
Arden Hawley

Tags: Authentic, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Healthy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Business Meals, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Excellent service and comfortable atmosphere.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2018

service was a trainwreck. Server see's waits till I have food in my mouth then asks how I like the food. Then server disappears after entre is served. I tracked server down while i was about to ask another wait-person for my bill for dinner.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Food was good not great at brunch. Huevos Rancheros heavy on black beans, bland. Egg was cooked right on beans , just right and avocado portion was generous. Omelet of the day not very creative, ham and cheese, but the cheese was cheddar. Toast was overdone sourdough chunk. Smashed spuds were flavorful and an interesting concept. Bar service slow and portions in drink when it did arrive were wrong. Waiter not attentive and we had to flag down the hostess to get our check.

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food3
ambience4
service2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Balboa cafe is extremely noisy in the dining area. There are no vegetarian options and I left with an upset stomach that lasted for 24 hours. It is not a place that I would return to.

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food1
ambience1
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 12, 2018

We had a great date night. This was our first time to Balboa and we will be back

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Always the best.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Our stakes were undercooked and we were comped a bottle of wine. Oh well.

Tags: Cozy, Seasonal
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

they have a real issue with fruit flies - terrible

Tags: Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch
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food3
ambience2
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Went for brunch, we tried burger and Crowe madame..both were wonderful. Service was attentive, great spot for weekend brunch!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 22, 2017

It was freezing in there to the pint that at every table Simone was wearing a down jacket..that is he second time in a few weeks I️ have been there and was freeing both times..ruined the lunch:(

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Balboa Café is always a consistently great experience. Service is always really excellent, and the food presentation is polished but not pretentious. Have and will come here often without hesitation.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

Always a great experience. Service is wonderful.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

We go to the Balboa fairly often because we love their Monday fried chicken special. And it is convenient because we live close by. But beyond the fried chicken it is just another over priced Marin restaurant with decent but not exceptional food, nice ambience, and expensive wine.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

I'm a big fan of Balboa and have been going for years. My recent experience was disappointing as the service was sub par. We had to wait 10 minutes just to get water and the server was late checking in and the overall experience was frustrating. I'm hopeful it's just a one time issue versus a new normal.

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food4
ambience5
service1
value3

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Really enjoyed out meal--menu was a bit limited but everything we had was tasty and well presented.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

Balboa cafe was great. Took my mom there for thanksgiving and they had tradition thanksgiving options for her and I had the filet. The bartender Alex and our server Tito were wonderful.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 16, 2017

I like the roomy booths and and friendly service. I had Cobb salad, which was a little dry, but the highly accommodating waiter quickly brought more dressing. My friend had a cheeseburger. I sampled his French fries, which were terrific.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 2, 2017

The food was somewhat disappointing. I had a salmon dish and my husband had a pork chop. My salmon was on a bed of green beans and both the salmon and the beans were floating in a gravy like sauce. Too rich for the dish. The beans were overcooked. My husband's dish had the same issue; pork chop on a bed of Brussel sprouts , both covered in a sauce. Enough with the sauces! Simple dishes would be more appealing , at least to our tastes.
It's a nice restaurant, but it feels as if the chef is trying too hard.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on October 29, 2017

First time in and glad we came. Terrific food with very reasonable prices for the Bay Area. Will be back for sure.

Tags: Hot Spot, Casual, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Time and again, the Balboa Cafe has delicious food, unique but not quirky. The prices are quite reasonable, the service excellent. This is really a gem, worthy of many returns.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2017

How can you mess up a burger and French fries? Fries hard, bread hard, burger hard. Oh well, the ice tea was nice.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

My risotto was over cooked, the rise was like a mash potatoes.

Antonella

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

One of my go-to places in Mill Valley, in fact, my fave!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Food was okay - not great by any means - it was good just nothing to write home about. The service was probably the most disappointing - waited 10 mins before wait service staff acknowledged our table, water was hastily placed on the table and spilled because the poor maitre d' looked overwhelmed with seating guests and getting water on the tables. it definitely felt as if they were short staffed for a fairly busy Sunday evening. our cocktails took over 10 mins to get to us after ordering - the excuse was that the bar printer didn't print out our order. in all, 35 mins passed before a drink even showed up. So no.. overall i wasn't impressed by the restaurant which is unfortunate because i'm still trying to find an excellent meal in Mill Valley.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Win a few loose a few. We go to the Balboa frequently and love their fried chicken special on Monday. But we are 0 for 2 on Sunday prime rib. Last night's prime rib was overcooked and dry. The kitchen must have been having a bad night because my the mozzarella for my caprice was dry and old. We did get a $20 credit (which did not even cover the full cost of our two glasses of wine), but would have much preferred if our server had warned us about the prime rib ahead of time. Overall we like the Balboa, some dishes are great, but inconsistency is a problem as is their high wine prices.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Great food, great service, but the noise level was just a little too loud for us. Other than that, I’d recommend it & go back next time I’m in town.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 14, 2017

Our reservations were early (5:30 pm) so we were the first table seated, although there were several people at the bar. The receptionist saw us quickly and came over, she offered the table of our choice. Water and bread were brought to our tale quickly and our waiter came to the table within a few minutes of us being seated. We received our food in a timely manner and it tasted fine.
However; we were frustrated with our waiter, who just didn't listen to us and seemed bored. I order a bottle of sparking water, requesting that it have no ice and no lemon, lime or other fruit. He brought the sparking water with an empty glass that had a wedge of lime on it. I asked him to bring me an empty glass without a lime. I ordered a cheeseburger without the lettuce, pickles and tomato. My husband ordered the NY steak. Our waiter told him that the steak came with mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans and a sauce on the side. When my plate arrived the cheeseburger was resting on top of a dozen pickles, of course the roll was soaked with the pickle juice. I cut off the portion of the roll that was soaked in the juice. My husband's steak came and the mashed potatoes had horseradish in them (which the waiter never mentioned) and the sauce was on top of the steak (not on the side as the waiter stated). Our waiter was oblivious to his mistakes or just didn't care. Clearly he didn't listen. When we were done we requested 3 small boxes. Our waiter brought us 2 boxes and we had to send him back to get another box. If we do go back I will ask for a different waiter if he comes to our table.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 29, 2017

Always love Balboa. My favorite place to go in fact....

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Balboa has a nice ambiance and comfortable booths as well as bar seating. However, the food was underwhelming at best. The meat eaters at the table had a tough sweetened porkchop that was not good and a bad burger with side order of fries (only good thing ordered). As for the vegetarians at the table, there were few options except for weak starter salads. The only pasta had meat and they said we could order without meat (of course), but it was awful (heavily sauced with terrible yellowish cream sauce that was almost inedible). The waitress was surly, had no suggestions for anyone at table, and didn't recommend any wine when we asked. We ordered an overpriced white burgundy ($18 glass that was mediocre) and a Cabernet (really bad). Waitress basically forgot about us after bringing bad food and drink. Thankfully, the busboy was attentive and finally we asked him to clear barely half eaten plates and get out check (waitress bailed after bringing terrible food). Check was expensive (as usual in downtown Mill Valley), but food was not good and waitress as bad as food. Will not return to this place unfortunately.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Business Meals, Kid-friendly
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food2
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 25, 2017

The server and host were so friendly, helpful and fun! Plus the food was delicious :)

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 19, 2017

best hamburger in town, fabulous textbook cab! always enjoy the waiters.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 18, 2017

Seated promptly and waiter checked on us quickly, explained menu additions and gave us time to consider order; restaurant, in general, has a festive feel. The bar with it's tv is not intrusive to diners. Salads are innovative. Roast chicken was a bit overwhelmed by a tart sauce; the saffron infused risotto topped with fish filet was nicely flavored. Portions quite generous.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Dungengess crab risotto was amazing . Tito provided excellent service on a quiet Sunday night

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food5
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on August 6, 2017

Great Brunch!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 29, 2017

I have been going to Balboa Cafe on a regular basis for a number of years. In the past I have also recommended it to a number of people. I have always enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. The service also was good. The last two times I have been there, however, the service was horrible. Food and drinks were very slow in coming out. On my last visit when the food finally came out, the table had not yet been cleared of the appetizer plared. My dining companions and I cleared the table so the sevrver could set down the food. On both of my last visits I had to repeatedly ask someone to find our waiter . Once, after a lengthy search, I was told by a busboy that he was unable to located our waiter. The busboy ended up taking our dessert order. I left very frustrated and have no plans to return.

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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 24, 2017

A couple of friends and I met for dinner on a Monday evening. Service was prompt but not overbearing, and our waitperson was very knowledgeable and professional, and also incredibly patient with a member of our party who was undecided about wine choice. I love the atmosphere of the Balboa Cafe -- friendly, relaxed, and fun, with great food and wine. One of our favorite places in Marin!

Tags: Fun, Great for Brunch, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Quick Bite, Casual, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 27, 2017

We've been twice now for pre theatre dinner and found the food consistently good and the service familiar and fun..

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service5
value5

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