The 25 Best Restaurants in Sonoma County

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Ahi Crudo at Valette, Courtesy of Kim Carrol / Valette
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People from all over the world come to Wine Country for the stellar wine (of course). Luckily for them, and those of us who live to eat, Sonoma County not only has world-renowned wine, but has world-class restaurants as well. Offering everything from casual to Michelin-starred dining, there’s something for every palate in our roundup of the 25 best restaurants in Sonoma County. And, because good food doesn’t necessarily come with hefty price tags, you’ll find a selection of different price ranges too.

Crafty Cocktails and Small Plates

Courtesy of Kim Carroll / spoonbar

spoonbar

219 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-7222
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

Known for its cocktails, this Healdsburg staple nevertheless has great bites to pair with your spirit of choice. Inspired by locally sourced and seasonal ingredients with Italian influences, menu favorites include the Smoked Gouda Burger, Summer Squash Risotto, or Lobster and Asparagus Gazpacho. Whatever you land on, you can’t beat dining al fresco in spoonbar’s beautiful, open-air dining space.

Insider Tip: spoonbar has specialty dining events such as Crab Sundays, featuring Chef Matthew D’Ambrosi’s Roasted Dungeness Crab, and the Plaza Menu, a Chef’s Selection three-course menu for just $36.

Essence of Farm To Table

Wood roasted asparagus, Courtesy of Glen Ellen Star

Glen Ellen Star

13648 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 343-1384
Yelp Price Rating: $$

Resembling a quaint farmhouse in rustic California Wine Country, Glen Ellen Star is a taste of both local and international flavors. Helmed by the husband and wife team of Ari and Erinn Weiswasser, it is their mission to create an inviting, neighborhood-friendly restaurant. The menu changes every four weeks, so their offerings are always new and fresh, but definitely order their homemade ice cream, which is sure to not disappoint.

Insider Tip: Glen Ellen Star also offers a two-course menu on Wednesdays for an affordable $36 and complimentary corkage as part of their “Neighborhood Night.” Ask for a seat at the counter so you can watch the chefs hard at work.

Old World Taste in the New World

Courtesy of LaSalette

LaSalette

452 First Street East, Suite H, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-1927
Yelp Price Rating: $$

Chef Manuel Azevedo’s “New Portuguese Cuisine” celebrates the varied and complex flavors of his native Portugal and current home of Sonoma, California. Tantalize your taste buds with unfamiliar dishes which might just become new favorites, like the Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew; the Brazilian national dish of Feijoada Completa with stewed beef, pork, sausage, and black beans; or the Bacalhau no Forno, a traditional baked casserole of North Atlantic salt cod, potatoes, onions, and olives.

Insider Tip: There’s a $4 split plate charge, so you might as well order your own dish and try more things. And be sure to try a Port from their extensive Port and Madeira list.

French Country Charm with a Taste of Sonoma

The bar at the girl and the fig, Courtesy of the girl and the fig

the girl & the fig

110 West Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 983-3634
Yelp price rating: $$

This restaurant’s seasonal menu features rustic Provençal-inspired cuisine, or as owner Sondra Bernstein describes it, the girl & the fig serves up “country food with a French passion.” The Fig & Arugula Salad is a crowd favorite, as is the Grass-fed Steak Tartare and the Croque Monsieur. Featuring an antique bar with French aperitifs, an award-winning wine list, and outdoor patio seating, you’ll see why it’s a beloved spot with locals and visitors alike.

Insider Tip: They also have a food truck named The Fig Rig! If you’re looking to really wow a large party at your next group wine tasting trip, the girl & the fig can pull up in their mobile kitchen right to where you are and serve a pop-up experience.

A Seaside Seafood Gem

Courtesy of The Tides Wharf & Restaurant

The Tides Wharf & Restaurant

835 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, (707) 875-3652
Yelp Price Rating: $$

Located right alongside the picturesque Bodega Bay, this seaside restaurant specializes in fresh, local seafood, including such favorites as the Hot Crab Sandwich, New England Clam Chowder, Fish and Chips, and Cioppino. If you can’t seem to get enough Dungeness crab, be on the lookout for their seasonal Crab Feeds at Tides Wharf, which include chilled Dungeness crab, clam chowder, pasta, green salad, and french bread.

Insider Tip: Parts of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, The Birds, was filmed at Tides Wharf. Go ahead and pose on the infamous dock, but maybe keep an eye out for birds.

Expert Bubbly Pairings

The Bubble Room, Courtesy of J Vineyards

J Vineyards & Winery

11447 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 431-3646
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

J Vineyards & Winery is a stylish and modern winery known for their varietal and sparkling wines representing the Russian River Valley terroir. For delicious bites to go with the bubbly, visit The Bubble Room at J Vineyards, one of the first educational wine and food pairing programs in Sonoma County. Enjoy five courses of food and wine pairings expertly crafted by Chef Carl Shelton and Winemaker Nicole Hitchcock, with each course telling a different story of the relationship between their wines and locally sourced ingredients.

Insider Tip: Club J members receive a discount on the food and wine pairings.

Mixology Dreamland

Courtesy of Barndiva

Barndiva

231 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 431-0100
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

Barndiva’s mantra is ‘Eat the View,’ and with dishes so vibrant and beautiful, it’s clear this is something the team truly believes in. Feast your eyes, and your palate, with their Goat Cheese Croquettes, Crab BLT, and Crispy Duck Leg Confit. Don’t forget to grab a cocktail, as Barndiva is known for its outstanding cocktail program.

Insider Tip: Sister location Studio Barndiva hosts an art gallery, private dinner venue, and The Gallery Bar. Every Sunday there’s a limited seat prix fixe Country Supper, which you can enjoy while also taking in the eclectic collection of art on the walls.

An Extravagant Farm-Driven Experience

Summer vegetables, Courtesy of Eric Wolfinger / SingleThread Farms

SingleThread Farms

131 North Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 723-4646
Yelp Price Rating: $$$$

The Japanese-influenced, California produce-informed SingleThread Farms is a three-in-one: a farm, restaurant, and inn. All embody the thoughtfulness and care of Kyle and Katina Connaughton, the husband and wife team behind this three Michelin Star restaurant. They serve an 11-course tasting menu customized to each guest’s dietary preferences and restrictions. SingleThread takes patrons on a journey that begins with produce grown on their own farm, located in the Russian River Valley, and ends on an artfully set table.

Insider Tip: SingleThread has its own on-site winery, zoned with its own address, which makes it one of the smallest wineries in the U.S. Not only is that a fun tidbit, but with a different Sonoma County winemaker featured at this tiny winery each year, it might be worth splurging on the wine pairing.

Wine-influenced Culinary Offerings

Courtesy of St. Francis Winery

St. Francis Winery

100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, (707) 538-9463
Yelp Price Rating: $$

Chef Trevor Eliason is the creator behind the culinary offerings of St. Francis Winery’s Wine & Food Pairings. Between some of the best wine in Sonoma County, and elegantly prepared dishes such as Braised Kurobuta Pork Osso Bucco and Hibiscus Streusel Cake, your palate will be pleased.

Insider Tip: Check out the Estate Vineyard Tour & Tasting. Most wineries will take you on a tour through their barrel rooms, but few offer ones through their vineyards and vegetable gardens. It runs $25 for the public, $20 for wine club members.

A Beer Lovers’ Must Stop

Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Company

Russian River Brewing Company

700 Mitchell Lane, Windsor, CA 95492, (707) 545-BEER
Yelp Price Rating: $$

The brand new Russian River Brewing Company Windsor location boasts a staggering 195 seats and a more diverse menu than the popular downtown Santa Rosa joint. Offering beers by the taste, glass, or growler to accompany the food, choose to dine indoors on the year-round patio seating or in the one-acre beer garden, which also happens to be pet friendly. Cap off your experience with a self-guided tour or book a guided tour in advance to check out the space.

Insider Tip: IPA fans, if you’re in town at the right time, be sure pick up the very limited run of Pliny the Younger. But even if you miss the window for the Younger, Pliny the Elder is usually available, and just as tasty.

A Taste of the Sonoma Coast

Coast Kitchen outdoor dining, Courtesy of Timber Cove Resort

Coast Kitchen

21780 North Coast Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450, (707) 847-3231
Yelp Price Rating: $$

Located on 25 unrivaled acres above California’s stunning Sonoma Coast, Coast Kitchen promises staggering ocean views alongside its fine fare, featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, Sonoma cheeses, farm-raised chicken, 21-day dry aged rib-eye steak, oysters from Tomales Bay, and Bay Area favorite, Dungeness crab.

Insider Tip: Here for a staycation? If visiting on a Wednesday, bring an ID to show that you live in the local community and enjoy 20% off the cocktail, lounge, and dinner menus, as well as 20% off guest room rates for the same evening.

A Modern Melting Pot of Flavors

Cornbread waffles with fried chicken and egg, Courtesy of Bird & The Bottle

Bird & The Bottle

1055 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 568-4000
Yelp Price Rating: $$

This modern tavern celebrates the American melting pot, with James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalists Mark and Terri Stark re-interpreting popular street food dishes from around the world. Try the Smokey Poke, Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklings, Spring Hill Fried Cheddar Cheese Curds, or the BBQ’D Bone Marrow.

Insider Tip: Large and small plates are designed for sharing, but for brunch, try one of their sharing cocktails in giant shakers, which serves four to five. Talk about hair of the dog.

Shareable Small Bites

Biscuit sliders, Courtesy of Chalkboard

Chalkboard

29 North Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 473-8030
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

Chef Shane McAnelly’s menu of small plates is inspired by produce from Chalkboard’s own dedicated three-acre organic garden, located at the Chalk Hill Winery estate. The menu features favorites such as Crudo of the Day, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and a variety of housemade pastas.

Insider Tip: Chalkboard is a great spot for large groups looking to dine out. Required for parties of nine or more, the $55 per person Chef’s Menu features a ‘best of’ Chalkboard favorites — easy peasy for group decision making.

Seafood Lovers’ Paradise

Courtesy of Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar

Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar

403 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-9191
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

East Coast and South America meet at Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar, with an extensive menu of small plates designed for sharing. Oyster lovers will feel right at home as Willi’s always has at least eight varieties of fresh oysters on the menu, as well as items like the all meat Dungeness Crab Cakes (“no filler!”), Salt & Pepper Baby Back Riblettes, Uni & Dungeness Crab Orzotto, and Grilled Fish Tacos with “the usual suspects.”

Insider Tip: When we say extensive menu, we mean it — with the number of small plates available, best go with a group of people who love food as much as you do.

Freshly Made Scoops

Courtesy of Sarah Deragon / Sweet Scoops

Sweet Scoops Homemade Ice Cream

408 First Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 721-1187
Yelp Price Rating: $

There’s always room for ice cream, especially the kind that’s made fresh daily. With over 200 flavors that rotate the menu, expect everything from the classics to vegan and nut-free options, as well as sundaes and shakes. Since their flavors change so often, follow their Instagram Stories @sweetscoopsicecream to see what they’re making that day.

Insider Tip: Though Sweet Scoops specializes in sweets for you and me, they also sell dog treats, so if your pup is giving you irristable puppy eyes, go ahead and give them a treat.

Portable Food & Brews

Courtesy of Facebook: The Block Petaluma

The Block Petaluma

20 Grey Street, Petaluma, CA 94952, (707) 775-6003
Yelp Price Rating: $$

For a little bit of everything, we recommend The Block Petaluma, a food truck market with a constant rotation of cuisines, perfect to satisfy the munchies while sipping from their extensive menu of brews. Enjoy the indoor dining area, outdoor patio, or gather around the firepit and cheers to some new friends. Enjoy their signature “Hoppy Hour” Monday – Friday, 4pm – 6pm, with $2 off pints.

Insider Tip: Since the food trucks are constantly rotating, it can sometimes be an issue finding a great vegan option. Luckily, Firetrail Pizza, a permanent vendor at The Block, is happy to make customers a vegan pizza.

Seasonal Daytime Eats

Wagyu steak and Rocket salad, Courtesy of Facebook: Sunflower Caffé

Sunflower Caffé

421 First Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 996-6645
Yelp Price Rating: $$

This aptly named caffé is perfect for breakfast and brunch, especially the morning after consuming copious amounts of Sonoma wine. The food is simple and the ingredients real, with salt from the San Francisco Bay, milk from the cows grazing in the Sonoma pastures, and eggs from local organic farms. The Smoked Duck Bahn Mi is a favorite, as is the California Sandwich with folded eggs, avocado crush, bacon, and chèvre goat cheese sauce. Seating is first come, first served, but it’s plentiful. We recommend bringing your plates to the bright and cheerful patio garden to dine al fresco.

Insider Tip: The corkage fee is waived for bottles of Sonoma County wine, making it easy to eat and drink local at Sunflower Caffé.

For That Special Occasion

Dining room at John Ash & Co., Courtesy of Vintners Inn

John Ash & Co.

4330 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, (707) 527-7687
Yelp Price Rating:$$$

Located at the beautiful Vintners Inn, John Ash & Co. is a special occasion spot for many diners. With dishes such as their Lobster Risotto, Roasted Bone Marrow, or Chef Tom’s Lamb Trio, decadent is the name of the game. Can’t decide? Go with the Chef’s Tasting Menu, with an additional wine pairing at a very reasonable $35. Be advised that there is a dress code for the dining room, but if you’re feeling like getting spruced up for a traditional white tablecloth restaurant, this is the place.

Insider Tip: If you’re celebrating your birthday, dinner is on John Ash & Co.! Just sign up for the John Ash & Co. Birthday Club to enjoy a complimentary two-course meal.

Stylish American Fare

Courtesy of Chris Hardy / Valette

Valette Restaurant

344 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 473-0946
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

Opened in 2015, Valette Restaurant has garnered stellar reviews in short order. The two brothers behind the restaurant create high quality but honest food, with delectable dishes such as Butter Roasted Mushroom Fondue, Winter Root Vegetable Risotto, Crispy Skinned Striped Bass, and Roasted Sunchoke Soup.

Insider Tip: Chef Valette’s ‘Trust Me’ Tasting Menu is uniquely priced at $15 per course (minimum 5 courses). But if five isn’t enough, you can keep going.

Gastronomic Luxury

Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn

Farmhouse Inn Restaurant

7871 River Road, Forestville, CA 95436, (707) 887-3300
Yelp Price Rating: $$$$

Farmhouse Inn Restaurant has been a steady presence in the one Michelin Star world for over a decade. The menus are ever-changing, with the freshest ingredients straight from the owners’ ranch. Inside these charming farmhouse walls is modern luxury in the form of gastronomy. Your experience there isn’t going to be the exact same as your dining partners’ — the menu isn’t set, so you get to choose what tickles your fancy from a variety of menu items. If dining with friends, we recommend being strategic so that everyone is able to try a little of a lot.

Insider Tip: In their Winemaker Dinner series, Farmhouse Inn Restaurant collaborates with four local wineries to showcase a dinner paired with exclusive wines from partner wineries. Delicious and exclusive. Be sure to check their website for details.

A Great Place To Get Into The Italian Spirit

Courtesy of Sonoma Magazine

Campo Fina

330 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 395-4640
Yelp Price Rating: $$

This casual eatery offers two different experiences: the intimate indoor dining experience and the slightly more boisterous one outside. Inside, snuggle into a booth and pick from menu favorites including Nonna’s Tomato Braised Chicken, or head outside to order a wood-fired pizza and engage in a game of bocce with friends. Regardless of where you choose to sit, the friendly atmosphere and satisfying Italian fare are sure to please.

Insider’s tip: Go hungry and sample from Campo’s extensive list of appetizers, such as the fingerling potatoes or burrata cheese.

New American Made New Again

Calamari, Courtesy of The Spinster Sisters

The Spinster Sisters

401 South A Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, (707) 528-7100
Yelp Star Rating: $$

The 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 with loads of flavor, such as the Curried Kabocha Squash Soup with puffed millet and Tunisian Lamb Meatballs served with tomato-saffron broth.

Insider’s tip: If you have the chance, visit for brunch on Saturday or Sunday, when the restaurant features two rotating specials: one sweet and one savory. Specials aside, the chocolate doughnut holes with blackberry sauce are not to be missed.

Fresh and Flavorful

Courtesy of Facebook / Cafe La Haye

Cafe La Haye

140 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 935-5994
Yelp Price Rating: $$$

Fresh food and delectable bites are what make up the menu at Cafe La Haye. This small restaurant has great ambiance with an open kitchen and clean design, where flavorful dishes are beautifully presented in the cozy space.

Insider’s tip: Save room for dessert, as the butterscotch pudding is a sinfully delicious must-try.

Grocery Fare Done Right

Courtesy of Oakville Grocery

Oakville Grocery

124 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-3200
Yelp Price Rating: $$

This charming grocery doubles as a high quality sandwich shop, with a well-stocked cheese counter and more jams and spices than you’ll ever need. On top of all that, it’s also a wine shop, making it a great place to assemble a lovely picnic lunch to enjoy in a vineyard.

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.

Pizza That Will Win Your Heart

Pizza at Diavola Pizzeria, Courtesy of The Taste SF

Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria

21021 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville, CA 95441, (707) 865-2484
Yelp Price Rating: $$

Known for their house-cured meats and authentic Italian pizzas, Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria is a welcome respite after a day of wine tasting. Housed in a historic 1900s brick building, the restaurant specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas, cooked to perfection in the wood-fire oven, which some call the best pizza in California.

Insider 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). It’s topped with marinated rib-eye, mozzarella, garlic, scallions, Serrano chiles, kimchi, Kewpie mayo (a Japanese mayo), and shichimi pepper (a Japanese spice blend), for an Italy meets Japan-style pie.


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Author

Julia Chang

Julia Chang is a writer based out of San Francisco, California. In her early twenties, she made the transition from the eat-to-live to the live-to-eat type, and her waistline has suffered since. She works in tech by day and ekes out time to write about food and fiction on nights and weekends. She doesn’t sleep much. Follow her delirium on Instagram @onmywhimsy, and on Twitter @Jurichu.

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