The 25 Best Restaurants in Sonoma County

  • Food
  • by WINECOUNTRY STAFF
  • on MAY 25, 2017
  • 50980
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Sonoma County is known for its wine, but make no mistake: this region offers a full culinary experience. From lively Italian eateries to Michelin starred cuisine, Sonoma has no shortage of outstanding restaurants offering an amazing experience, even better food, and of course, expert wine pairings. We’ve highlighted 25 gems of Sonoma County dining, from casual to high end and local favorites.

Essence of Farm To Table

Glen Ellen Star
13648 Arnold Dr.
Glen Ellen, CA
(707) 343-1384
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 185 reviews

Michelin Bib Gourmand, Zagat Essential 12 Glen Ellen Star highlights the best of what Sonoma County has to offer with a menu that features seasonal, organic ingredients from local purveyors. The restaurant makes great use of their wood fired oven with flavorful vegetables and pizza.

Insider’s tip: Ask for a seat at the counter so you can watch the chefs hard at work. For dessert, don’t pass up the opportunity to dig into their homemade ice cream.

French Country Charm with a Taste of Sonoma

the girl & the fig
110 W Spain St.
Sonoma, CA
(707) 938-3634
Yelp: 4 stars, 284 reviews

Specializing in country food with a French passion, the girl & the fig is a favorite in Sonoma featuring exceptional cheese plates, fig salad, and duck confit. Features a wonderful antique bar with French aperitifs & traditional cocktails, an award-winning “Rhone Alone” wine list, a seasonal menu, cheese & charcuterie platters, and outdoor patio seating. Expect top notch wine pairings, as this restaurant is often involved in Sonoma County wine events. Make reservations a few weeks in advance to be sure you’ll be able to enjoy this culinary treat.

Insider’s tip: The bar area highlights a beautiful mahogany bar that was brought from the East Coast in the 1920s. Alongside the bar is a comfy lounge for cocktails or a quick bite.

Fresh and Flavorful

Cafe La Haye
140 E Napa St.
Sonoma, CA
(707) 935-5994
Yelp: 4 stars, 174 reviews

Fresh food and delectable bites are on the menu at Cafe La Haye. This small restaurant has great ambiance with an open kitchen and clean design. You’ll find flavorful dishes with beautiful presentation, including the filet mignon and risotto specials. Reservations are highly recommended in this cozy restaurant.

Insider’s tip: Their butterscotch pudding is hands down the must order for dessert.

An Old World Taste in the New World

LaSalette
452 First Street East, Suite H
Sonoma, CA
(707) 938-1927
Yelp: 5 stars, 558 reviews

Open for lunch and dinner, every day, LaSalette is an upscale approach to Portuguese cuisine. Picking highlights from all over the lands influenced by the seafaring explorers of old, Chef Manuel Azevedo offers dishes ranging from Portugal, the Azores, Brazil and the Indian state of Goa.

Insider’s tip: If your tastes run more Old World, make sure you check out a flight of Portuguese wines.

Crafty Cocktails and Small Plates

Spoonbar
219 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 433-7222
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 345 reviews

Located inside the h2hotel, Spoonbar offers outstanding seafood, cocktails, and small plates. Chefs Casey and Patrick moved to Healdsburg to helm the kitchen of spoonbar together as Co-Executive Chefs where they’ve created a menu inspired by locally sourced and seasonal ingredients with Italian influences. The beets are a runaway favorite, so be sure to give them a try.

Insider’s tip: Look for innovative cocktails designed by popular mixologists, particularly the Cucumber Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz. Read more about one of our favorite bartenders Alex Vlastnik.

Sonoma County Classy

Dry Creek Kitchen
317 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 431-0330
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 477 reviews

Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen has been a mainstay of high-end Healdsburg cuisine for years now, offering American cooking and immaculate service. Sit inside the well-appointed dining room, or outside on the large veranda looking out at the town’s historic plaza.

Insider’s tip: On Tuesdays during the summer, pair your delicious meal with some live music played from the gazebo on the plaza.

Sonoma County Brewing Must Stop

Russian River Brewing Company Brewpub
724 4th St.
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 545-2337
Yelp: 4 stars, 1607 reviews

If you’re ready for a break from wine, you can’t beat Russian River Brewing Company’s award winning beers. Famous for their Pliny the Elder, Russian River, and impressive sour beers – many aged in wine barrels. Snack on pizza or Pliny Bites and get their sampler flight to try as many of their beers as you’d like.

Insider’s tip: Be ready to wait for your table, as the brew pub often has a line formed before they open and throughout the day. But once in, so worth it to sit and hang out.

Exclusive Italian Eatery

Campo Fina
330 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA
Yelp: 4 stars, 303 reviews

There are two Campo Finas, really. The intimate indoor dining experience and the slightly more boisterous outdoor experience. Inside, snuggle into a booth and pick from menu favorites including Nonna’s Tomato Braised Chicken. Outside, order up a pizza from the wood-fired oven and engage in a game of bocce with friends. Actually, you can order all the food off the menu inside or out, but you can’t play bocce inside. They draw the line at that.

Insider’s tip: Go hungry and sample from Campo’s extensive list of appetizers, such as the can’t miss fingerling potatoes or burrata cheese.

Seafood Lovers’ Paradise

Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar
403 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 433-9191
Yelp: 4 stars, 746 reviews

Oyster lovers will feel right at home in this Healdsburg gem that always has at least eight varieties of fresh oysters on the menu. Other favorites include warm sourdough with garlic parsley butter, Dungeness crab cakes, daily ceviche specials, and flash fried calamari with orange chili gremolata.

Insider’s tip: Patio seating is dog friendly and perfect on a warm summer night.

Shareable Small Bites

Chalkboard
29 North St.
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 473-8030
Yelp: 4 stars, 284 reviews

Find outstanding small plates in this Healdsburg center of culinary creativity. The menu features favorites such as pork belly biscuits and buttermilk fried chicken thighs, as well as house made pastas including squid ink gigli and cocoa rigatoni. Looking for fresh, locally sourced organic food?

Insider’s tip: Chalkboard maintains a dedicated three acre organic garden on the Chalk Hill Winery estate, where many of Chalkboard’s ingredients are sourced.

International Fare in the Vineyard

RUSTIC
300 Via Archimedes
Geyserville, CA
(707) 857-1485
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 299 reviews

Located at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, RUSTIC features the winemaker’s personal favorite recipes paired perfectly with wine from the Coppola label and beyond. Expect family style Italian and international dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients from the organic herb, and produce garden on the property.

Insider’s tip: Sit outside to enjoy the vineyard atmosphere and great views, and be sure to try one of the restaurant’s specialty wood grilled meats.

Organic Seasonal Eatery

Peter Lowell’s
7385 Healdsburg Ave
Sebastopol, CA
(707) 829-1077
Yelp: 4 stars, 233 reviews

This West Sonoma organic eatery features local, sustainably produced California cuisine that’s vegan friendly and changes with the seasons. Expect exceptional service and a cozy gourmet setting.

Insider’s tip: Try the macro bowl or fresh fish and save room for thyme ice cream.

Mixology Dreamland

Barndiva
231 Center St.
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 431-0100
Yelp: 4 stars, 499 reviews

Known for creative cocktails and satisfying late night meals, Barndiva is a joy to visit for locals and visitors alike. Highlights include the goat cheese croquettes with lavender honey, filet mignon burger, and moist shareable chicken. Of course, you can also try the five course tasting menu and let the chefs really impress you with their best.

Insider’s tip: Don’t forget to grab a cocktail, as Barndiva has an outstanding cocktail program.

New Kid on the Block

Brass Rabbit
109 Plaza Street
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 473-8580

A brand new restaurant on the plaza in Healdsburg, Brass Rabbit is a new offering from Chalkboard chef Shane McAnelly. With supper club-inspired dishes served seven nights a week, Brass Rabbit is already turning into a hot spot.

Insider’s tip: Before or after dinner, pop next door to Duke’s, one of Healdsburg’s foremost shrines to the art of tending bar.

Romantic Sunsets on the River

River’s End
11048 Hwy 1
Jenner, CA
(707) 814-0111
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 408 reviews

River’s End offers a breathtaking experience in views and romantic dining. Take in sunset drinks on the back balcony overlooking the Sonoma coast, then try the seasonal tasting menu. Call at least two weeks in advance to reserve a great window seat.

Insider’s tip: Leave those cell phones in your pocket! River’s End offers an unplugged experience with no WiFi or cell service.

California’s Best Pizzas

Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria
21021 Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA
(707) 865-2484
Yelp: 4 stars, 295 reviews

Known for their smoked meats and brick oven pizzas, Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria is a welcome respite after a day of wine tasting. The restaurant specializes in one of a kind pizzas—some call them the best in California.

Insider’s tip: If in season, order the local favorite Dictator pizza. You’ll either love it or you won’t because it’s so far out of the box (pun intended)—sort of like Korea meets Italy. It’s topped with marinated rib eye, mozzarella, garlic, scallions, Serrano chile, kimchi, Kewpie mayo (a Japanese mayo) and shichimi (a Japanese spice blend).

Bistro Burger with Friendly Service

Underwood Bar & Bistro
9113 Graton Rd.
Graton, CA
(707) 823-7023
Yelp: 4 stars, 262 reviews

A hopping bar and restaurant serving cocktails and upscale cuisine like duck confit, salmon and oysters. A local favorite, Underwood Bar & Bistro is a charming spot with a lively bar and patio area. Service is extremely friendly, but not overbearing. Though the emphasis is on small plates, this bistro’s burger and cocktails really stand out.

Insider’s tip: The bar is open between lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday for drinks and has an afternoon menu available.

Popular Neighborhood Cafe

Terrapin Creek Cafe & Restaurant
1580 Eastshore Rd.
Bodega Bay, CA
(707) 875-2700
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 277 reviews

At Terrapin Creek, you’ll find comfort food done well with local produce and meats from Bay Area farmers. Enjoy oysters and carpaccio from the raw bar, as well as buttery Kobe flat iron steak and duck breast. The desserts are hard to resist, with favorites including the German chocolate cake and lemon tart.

Insider’s tip: Be sure to call ahead for a reservation, as this popular spot usually has a packed house.

Prime Location, Casual Eatery

Pizzando
301 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 922-5233
Yelp: 3 Stars, 174 reviews

It’s hard to beat Pizzando for location in Healdsburg – the corner lot across from the plaza is in the middle of all the action, and when it comes to victuals, Pizzando lays it down, too. With pizza fresh from the wood-fired oven, an array of interesting appetizers and a plethora of panini, this casual spot is one of the places to eat and people watch in wine country.

Insider’s tip: Hit up the happy hour, everyday from 3 to 5 p.m. for discounted pies and pints.

Grocery with the Most-ery

Oakville Grocery
124 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-3200
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 213 reviews

This charming grocers doubles as a high quality sandwich shop, with a well-stocked cheese counter and more jams and spices than you can shake a stick at. On top of all that, it’s also the only wine shop on the plaza and a great place to assemble a picnic basket before a trip out to the vineyards.

Insider’s tip: On hot days, hang out with a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc on the patio while the built-in misters keep you cool.

New in Town but Already Booming

Single Thread
131 North St,
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 723-4646
Yelp: 5 Stars, 31 reviews

The much-anticipated Single Thread restaurant is earning rave reviews from the critics, with an exquisite seasonal menus serving haute cuisine takes on dishes such as Japanese-inspired Dungeness crab Dashimaki Tamago, a rolled egg specialty.

Insider’s tip: Crank up the indulgence and book one of the guest rooms above the restaurant to wake up at a restaurant touted to be one of the finest in the country.

Bounty from Tomales Bay

Rocker Oysterfellers
14415 Highway One
Valley Ford, CA 94972
(707) 876-1983
Yelp: 4 stars, 220 reviews

The ruggedly sophisticated charm of Sonoma’s coast is on display at Rocker Oysterfellers in Valley Ford. As one might expect, the oysters are the crown jewel of this eatery, though the rest of the menu doesn’t let them sit on their laurels. Be sure to try the eponymous Rocker Oysterfeller oysters that come laden with arugula, bacon, cream cheese and a cornbread crust

Insider’s tip: Head by on a Thursday evening for $1 oyster nights.

Russian River Raw Bar

Seaside Metal
16222 Main Street
Guerneville, CA
(707) 604-7250
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 121 reviews

Tucked along the main drag in the quaint town of Guerneville on the Russian River lies the 35-seat Seaside Metal. The restaurant is a reimagining of Chef Mike Selvera’s popular San Francisco Bar Crudo. Diners can enjoy a range of oysters and other seafood dishes as well as craft beer.

Insider’s tip: Chef Selvera’s chowder is a must try!

Farm-to-Tummy

Central Market
42 Petaluma Boulevard North
Petaluma CA
(707) 778-9900
Yelp: 4 stars, 506 reviews

Sourcing produce from its own local organic farm, Central Market is a true farm-to-table restaurant that makes everything in house and from scratch every day. They bake their bread in a wood-fired oven fresh each morning. With a great mix between American and Italian cuisine,

Insider’s tip: Go with a choose your own three or four course tasting menu for a great way to enjoy an excellent meal – under $100 for two!

New American Made New All Over Again

Spinster Sisters
401 South A Street
Santa Rosa CA
(707) 528-7100
Yelp: 4 stars, 578 reviews

Spinster Sisters is hidden away in a cute little neighborhood in Santa Rosa, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the culinary powerhouses of the county. Chef Liza Hinman creates New American dishes at the restaurant such as roasted fresh garbanzo beans and packs more flavor into veggies like the Tokyo turnips than seems physically possible.

Insider’s tip: Never miss a chance to grab some brunch at Spinster Sisters, because there are chocolate doughnut holes there.

Ready to explore all the culinary offerings of the Sonoma County food scene? Start planning now.


Author

WineCountry Staff

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