Head north from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and in just over an hour you’ll reach Marshall on Highway 1. Situated between the mountains and the rocky coastline, this tiny hamlet overlooks Tomales Bay, known for producing some of the finest oysters in California. Four brothers are credited with getting the town off the ground when they showed up with cattle in the mid-1850s. Originally the area was home to a dairy farms, but today the rugged coastline is dedicated to oysters.
The Marshall Store
Sit outside overlooking the water eating Tomales Bay oysters raw, smoked or barbecued. They also have shrimp and crab and meats from their smoker for sandwiches.
Pro Tip: It's a real find. You sit by the side of the road overlooking the beautiful bay eating BBQ oysters and drinking bubbly. The store sells all of their wine at retail prices. This is really off the beaten path." - Bartender Erik Adkins of Slanted Door, Hard Water
Pro Tip: “You can order any number of styles of oysters. They've got barbecue oysters and on the half shell garlic oysters. You sit outside with a ginger beer on their deck overlooking the bay and it's gorgeous. It's relaxing and you feel like you're so far away from everything." - Chef Josh Even of Tofino Wines
Time from San Francisco: 1 hour 23 minutes
19225 State Route 1, Marshall, CA 94940
Hog Island Oyster Co.
You can either book a picnic table and grill oysters yourself, or stop by their bar for oysters on the half shell. In addition to oysters, they offer local wine and beer, charcuterie from Fatted Calf, and cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.
Pro Tip: “It's a beautiful drive and you should probably take written directions, because a GPS will crap out on you since you're in the middle of nowhere. You drive along the most amazing bays and forests and all of a sudden you come to two or three oyster shacks along a half-mile stretch. You can buy a sack of oysters and grill them on the beach. Call ahead, especially during the summer, because everyone who has come here, comes here again."Chef Brad Farmerie of Saxon & Parole
Time from San Francisco: 1 hour 30 minutes
20215 Shoreline Highway, Marshall, CA
Also available at San Francisco's Ferry Building and at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.
Tomales Bay Oyster Company
You buy the oysters at their farm and take them to a nearby beach for your DIY picnic. Don’t forget your shucking knife.
15479 Highway One, Marshall, CA 94940