Family Dining in Marin: Cafe Reyes in Point Reyes Station
July 11, 2011Posted by pamela |
Over the past few years the little West Marin town of Point Reyes Station has become a hot spot for tourists and Bay Area day-trippers. With its bucolic rural setting, charming downtown, nearby Point Reyes National Seashore, and emphasis on local sustainable foods and agriculture, it's no wonder why it's become such a popular place. For visiting families, however, Point Reyes Station can pose something of a challenge, especially when you're hungry and need something to eat. Offerings in town tend to be either expensive or extremely busy, especially on weekends and holidays. That's why we love Cafe Reyes.
Located on Highway One just around the corner from downtown Point Reyes Station, this rustic and charming restaurant is inexpensive, usually uncrowded (it's more of a hangout for locals rather than a tourist destination), and offers up some of the best and most authentic Neapolitan style pizza we've found anywhere. Cafe Reyes has been around for years, serving up Mexican-inspired fare for many years until they decided to switch gears a few years ago and install a massive wood-fired pizza oven, which you can see—or feel, owing to the amount of heat it gives off—when you walk in the front door.
Cafe Reyes is now all about pizza. The menu offers a handful of thin-crust pizza selections that will probably make just about everyone happy. Traditional Italian styles like margherita (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, sea salt, and olive oil, $11) and marinara (cheeseless but with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and oregano, $10) share the bill of fare with some creative pizzas named after local people and places. With two kids in tow, we opted for the Miwok ($12) with tomato, fresh mozzarella, dry-cured salami, black olives, and garlic for the grownups, and the Bodega ($10), a simple arrangement of tomato, fresh mozzarella, and oregano, to appease the picky eaters.
Both pizzas arrived in a short amount of time, with a nice blistered crust charred in spots from the hot wood fire, just like it should be. Needless to say, both were big hits, even with our five-year-old who is hard to please when it comes to food. Cafe Reyes's marries high quality imported Italian pizza ingredients—they use San Marzano tomatoes, Caputo 00 flour from Naples, and a Camaldoli natural sourdough starter—with the freshest local produce, local cheese, and meats from Niman ranch.
In addition to pizza, Cafe Reyes offers a variety of salads, a soup, and, since this is West Marin after all, local Drake's Bay oysters on the half shell. Besides pizza, the only other real entree on the menu is a deep-dish vegetable pie ($13). You'll find several beers on tap and a small selection of house wines, as well as a variety of sodas from Jones and Izze. Cafe Reyes also roasts their own coffee, in case you feel like getting caffeinated.
Cafe Reyes is housed in an old warehouse-like building with high beamed ceilings and lots of space. It's a pleasantly rustic atmosphere, with stucco architectural details and artfully arranged coffee bean sacks. On the side of the building is a pleasant patio that's nice on a sunny West Marin day. Well behaved dogs are welcome out there, too. Service is friendly, quick, and efficient, but nobody's in any hurry to turn your table. It's the kind of place where you can linger and enjoy your meal in a leisurely fashion. On the day we were there the crowd was a mix of hikers, tourists, and locals. It's the ideal place to stop for lunch on a family outing in West Marin or to recharge after a day hiking or playing at the beach.
Cafe Reyes is located at 11101 Highway One, right after your turn to leave downtown Point Reyes Station. They're open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 9 pm. Street parking is available right in front of the restaurant; you can also park in the gravel lot near Point Reyes Surf Shop and Black Mountain Cycles. For more information, call them at (415) 663-9493. They're website wasn't working when we tried to access it, but you can visit their Facebook page for more information and directions.