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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 27 times today

Balboa Cafe - Mill Valley

4.4
941 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Business Meals
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 - 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
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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 941 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4  based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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vipLopaka (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined 2 days ago

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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berto41 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined 3 days ago

Great arugula and kale salads. Perfect lunch spot.

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vipJolieW (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 16, 2018

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

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  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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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  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

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ACMV (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

Excellent service and comfortable atmosphere.

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vipzorro (San Francisco)
3.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  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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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  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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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 5, 2018

Always the best.

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Scott (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 24, 2017

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

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 24, 2017

they have a real issue with fruit flies - terrible

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vipTrBr (San Francisco)
5.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 18, 2017

Always a great experience. Service is wonderful.

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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  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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ACMV (San Francisco)
2.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (Denver)
4.0  Dined on December 1, 2017

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

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OpenTable Diner 
5.0  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.

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Jaybob (San Francisco)
4.0  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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vipvicki (San Francisco)
3.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (Atlanta)
5.0  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.

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vipreviewer (San Francisco)
5.0  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.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  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.

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vipAntonella (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on October 8, 2017

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

Antonella

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on October 7, 2017

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

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  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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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
2.0  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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