A Guide to Local Eateries

Elle MacDonald, Reporter


As the pandemic has financially crippled many parts of the world, small businesses have found it hard to stay afloat. Within Novato, there are many small eateries in need of a bit of extra support throughout this trying time. 

Grazie (823 Grant Ave.)

Located on the tail-end of Grant Avenue, Grazie is an Italian restaurant known for their delicious food and friendly staff members. They provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner and are available on Doordash, in-person pickup, and outdoor dining. To accommodate the colder weather these months have brought, they have purchased outdoor heaters to make for a much more comfortable experience. 

“Grazie’s owner Abe is super nice and comes out to form personal connections with a lot of his customers,” said Novato High sophomore Payton Grafeld. “He and his servers are personable and always get our food to us quickly.” 

Another Novato High sophomore, Hale MacDonald, appreciates the Grazie staff. 

“We get the same waiter a lot, so we kind of got to know each other,” MacDonald said. “We talk about our fantasy football teams, it’s cool being able to talk with them personally.” 

My favorites from Grazie include:

  • The Grazie Special: 2 eggs any style, 2 buttermilk pancakes, and 2 slices of bacon.
  • Smothered hash browns: salsa, sour cream, fresh avocado, two eggs any style, and melted cheese over a bed of hash browns, served with 2 slices of bacon on the side.

Dr. Insomniacs (800 Grant Ave.)

Just a couple steps down the road from Grazie is Dr. Insomniac’s, another Novato favorite. 

Known particularly for their ‘scuffins’, or scone-muffins, Dr. Insomniac’s has been providing delicious breakfast and lunch options for many years. 

If you ever find your stomach growling, Dr. Insomniac’s is a great choice. Orders are handled without much wait time and have fresh tastes each and every time. In addition to food and coffee, they have an impressive selection of fresh smoothies to choose from. 

Their large outdoor area includes many tables spaced apart so you can enjoy your meal in the fresh air. Dr. Insomniac’s is available on Doordash, as well as for outdoor dining. 

My favorites from Dr. Insomniac’s include:

  • The bacon breakfast burrito: fresh diced potatoes, scrambled eggs, baked smoked bacon, a three-cheese blend, and Spanish spices, served with a side of Yucatan salsa.

“Hands down, my favorite from Dr. Insomniac’s is the chicken pesto sandwich,” said Novato High senior Katie Sullivan. “It’s just a good-ass sandwich.”

Italian Delite (971 Front St.)

Sitting off Front St. is one of Novato High’s most beloved lunch stops, Italian Delite. Italian Delite is a small deli specializing in mouth-watering submarine sandwiches with fresh ingredients cooked right in front of you, and a selection of cold drinks and snacks to accompany it.

Italian Delite is only available for in-person ordering and pick-up. Since the ingredients are fresh, it may take several minutes for your sandwich to be made. Calling in and ordering prior to arrival is the smart decision for a smooth and seamless experience. 

There is no outdoor seating available, so for the remainder of this pandemic Italian Delite is something to enjoy in the car or at home. 

My favorites from Italian Delite include: 

  • Philly Cheesesteak sub: Steak, provolone cheese, sliced green peppers, and onion on an Italian roll.
  • Pastrami sub: pastrami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, and onion on an Italian roll.
  • Pizza Sub: provolone, pepperoni, and marinara sauce on an Italian roll.

“I get the Philly Cheesesteak,” said junior Rhys Friend. “It has a variety of flavors, and everything compliments each other. I keep the veggies on, my palette needs greens.” 

Head down to this charming sandwich shop for a tasty and filling lunch.

Marin Coffee Roasters (466 Ignacio Blvd. and 1551 S Novato Blvd.)

Looking for a pick-me-up on the way to school or work? Family-owned Novato coffee shop Marin Coffee Roasters is the place for you! Marin Coffee Roasters has two locations on either side of Novato for the convenience of all the town’s residents. 

Marin Coffee Roasters is staffed by friendly and efficient workers who are able to push out orders quick enough for a pre-work pit stop, and is available on Doordash, for outdoor dining, pickup, and in-person ordering.

While the South Novato Blvd location is only available for drive-through, Ignacio has many outdoor tables available to relax and enjoy your morning coffee. 

My favorites from Marin Coffee Roasters include: 

  • Everything bagel served with cream cheese. 
  • Lavender Italian soda. 
  • Bite-sized apple pies.

Novato High senior Abbie Brandt enjoys this local coffee shop.

“I always get the vanilla latte. It’s good hot or cold and keeps me awake during my classes. Sometimes vanilla flavored coffees have a funky taste. Coffee Roasters’ doesn’t, it has a good flavor,” she said. 

Marin Coffee Roasters is also a frequent donor of Novato High School, and are well deserving of a little love back.