When we were scouting for a place to shoot Ross Butler for our November cover story, one of the crew suggested Nick’s Cove Restaurant & Cottages, a cosy hideaway at Tomales Bay about an hour’s drive away from San Francisco for the location. It was such a great place that it deserved its own story.

The place has been a local institution for more than 80 years and was relaunched in 2007 after extensive renovations.

People stay at Nick’s Cove for two things: the fresh, succulent BBQ oysters and the charming cottages. There are 12 of the latter in total, each with a private entrance and waterfront views. There is nothing ramshackle about these cottages. All of them have rainforest showers, heated ceramic tile floors, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the most comfortable beds we’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping in.

One of Nick’s Cove cottages with waterfront views

One of the charming bathrooms

When it comes to food, Nick’s Cove adopts a farm- and sea-to-table concept, and since the seas are literally a step away from the restaurant, it’s no wonder that the place is well-known in the city for its aquatic dishes. Thanks to its proximity to the famed Bodega Bay fishery, the chef has first-pick of the bay’s offerings. Unfortunately, if you’re thinking about bringing your own rod to fish, you can leave it at home instead because it’s illegal to do so. 

The menu changes regularly due to the seasons and the catch the fishermen haul to shores but one of the mainstays and fan favourites is its BBQ oysters, one that the photographer could not stop raving about.

BBQ oysters and cauliflower salad

Fish & chips

The fruits and vegetables that Nick’s Cove uses are grown in its own farm, which it calls The Croft. Approximately three acres in size, The Croft supplies all the leafy greens, honey, herbs and eggs that the restaurant uses. In the mornings, you can hear the one rooster crowing his head off. The locals affectionately call him Slick Rick.

If you’re ever in the city of San Francisco and want to explore the countryside of California, Nick’s Cove is a spot we highly, highly recommend for a night or two. Rooms start from US$206 during off-peak periods and US$314 when it’s the high season.

Nick’s Cove, 23240 California One, Marshall, CA 94940, nickscove.com

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Ross Butler Cover Shoot : The Magic of Nick’s Cove
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