Now that San Francisco’s real, fogless summer has begun, it’s time to hit the coast. An hour-long scenic drive from San Francisco gets you to the charming railroad town of Point Reyes Station, home to oyster farms and some of the best seafood in the country. Here are the must-stops along Point Reyes oyster trail, which starts in Point Reyes Station and extends a little over 10 miles down CA-1, making for the perfect day trip.
Where to start your day: Bovine Bakery
The tiny old railroad town of Point Reyes Station (population: 350) definitely has more delicious food options than residents — but that doesn’t stop seemingly the whole town from crowding into this tiny bakery, known for its handmade pastries and strong coffee. Load up on the necessary carbs and caffeine before hopping back in your car for the 15-minute drive along Highway One to your first oyster stop.
Must order: Morning bun
11315 CA-1, Point Reyes Station; 415-663-9420
For seafood-shack charm: The Marshall Store
If the shuck-your-own farms of the nearby Tomales Bay Oyster Company or Hog Island Oyster (more on that next) are too packed — as is typical on sunny weekends — The Marshall Store delivers all the scenery and exceptional seafood with less of a wait. Operated by the same team that runs Tomales Bay Oyster Co., this historic shack, which often tops best seafood lists, has been in operation in some form for over 100 years. Today, it delivers the likes of fresh Dungeness crab and fish tacos in addition to oyster specialties in a charming, no-frills shack, while the wraparound deck provides stellar views of Tomales Bay.
Must orders: Oysters Kilpatrick, with Worcestershire sauce and bacon, or the house-favorite oyster Rockefeller with spinach, cheese and bread crumbs.
Insider tip: Sit outside at the long communal table on the side of the road if you want to drink beer or wine with your food. (It’s oddly the only place in the property where alcohol can be consumed.)
19225 CA-1, Marshall; 415-663-1339
Where to shuck your own (or not): Hog Island Oyster
With options to shuck and BBQ your own oysters as well as enjoy full-service on local fare, this scenic oyster farm is the obvious one-stop shop for Point Reyes revelry. Purchase oysters by the dozen and pay a $5 picnicking fee to receive all the tools and accouterments (including the housemade mignonette) to go the DIY route, or leave it to the pros and order from the bar made from the bow of an old wooden ship. Local beer, wine, cheeses, salads and, of course, oyster specialties are on offer.
Must order: BBQ oysters topped with chipotle bourbon butter.
Insider tip: BYOB if you go the shuck-your-own route. Reservations are required for picnic tables, but walk-ins are welcome if you order from the bar.
20215 CA-1, Marshall; 415 663 9218
Where to have a sit-down meal: Osteria Stellina
Chef-owner Christian Caiazzo has been known to describe the farm-fresh fare at this stellar spot “Point Reyes Italian,” meaning hyper-local cuisine and familiar Italian entrees are the stars. Enjoy housemade pastas, salads and soups, pizzas, locally raised meats and seafood.
Must order: The pizza topped with Drakes Bay Family Farms oyster, braised leeks, parsley and lemon thyme.
11285 CA-1, Point Reyes Station; 415-663-9988