The 10 Best Restaurants in Healdsburg

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Healdsburg’s lovely and lively downtown plaza is ringed with excellent restaurants, making the small yet chic town the center of Sonoma County’s dining scene (most of the restaurants listed below are located around the plaza, within only a two-block radius). Healdsburg first received national attention in 2001 when Charlie Palmer opened Dry Creek Kitchen. From there, things snowballed for Healdsburg, and these days, you can’t throw a white truffle in town without hitting a celebrated restaurant.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Scopa Restaurant

This is a tiny, loud, wonderful local's hangout that's always packed. It's a popular eating spot among winemakers, and area vintners pour their latest creations on Winemaker Wednesdays. The pizzas and pastas are hearty and tasty, yet they also tend to incorporate inventive twists. The air is filled with the smell of bread, olive oil, and garlic, as well the sound of laughter and clinking glasses.

Insider Tip

Scopa is small and popular—and crowded. For something a bit more low-key, go around the corner to Campo Fina; it's their other restaurant, and the food is just as good and you'll get seating.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

SHED

SHED is not just a place to eat; it's a multi-faceted experience, boasting a cafe, a market, and a fermentation bar. It's a seed-to-table adventure where you can learn to make fermented shrubs, talk to a forager, and have an incredible meal, all in the same place. Chef Perry Hoffman is a farmer, a gardener, and a Michelin-starred chef. Several years ago, when he was just 25 and working at Domaine Chandon's Etoile restaurant, Hoffman became the youngest American chef to ever receive the honor.

Insider Tip

SHED serves the locally raised Liberty Farms duck, which has a cult-like following. Try the Liberty Farms duck leg with pistachio dukka, baba ganoush, and pomegranates, regarded as one of the best dishes in Sonoma County.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Valette

Valette is where hometown atmosphere meets world-class cuisine. The restaurant was opened by two brothers—one of them was the executive chef of Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen beforehand—in a building their grandfather owned 75 years ago. With a Wine Country upbringing like that, it's needless to say that the brothers are all about using locally sourced food and having a great wine list.

Insider Tip

Valette's $15 “Trust Me” tasting menu is a favorite. They will adjust the menu for couples so that they serve different dishes for each person, allowing diners to sample an even wider range.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Barndiva

Chef Ryan Fancher, who has worked at both the French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York, always offers up incredible meals like the pork belly, mozzarella, and duck confit or herb-roasted Pacific sole. As if that's not enough, Barndiva is also known for its wonderful, spacious patio, festooned with lights dripping off the sycamore trees.

Insider Tip

Check out The Gallery, an extension of Barndiva, next door. It's part art gallery, part bar, and at night, there's even dancing. Like their patio, the gallery is a feast for the eyes.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Chalkboard

Chalkboard took over the space that used to house the legendary Cyrus restaurant; now, Chalkboard has become celebrated in its own right. It’s known for its creative small plates and beautiful presentations, but along with some of the more unique dishes, Chalkboard is also known for simple comfort fare, like warm pretzels with cheddar cheese sauce.

Insider Tip

If you're on a date, there's a sweet patio out back, and one of the walls features a built-in fountain. There, you will find the most intimate and cozy area in the restaurant.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Dry Creek Kitchen

Renowned New York chef Charlie Palmer opened the Dry Creek Kitchen in 2001, and Healdsburg has never been the same. The elegant restaurant is located inside the upscale Healdsburg Hotel and is the perfect place to go for a special night out. While it’s a fancy place with fancy food, some of the best dishes are the ones that combine down-home favorites with sophisticated techniques and luxurious twists, such as their smoked macaroni and cheese or the kobe beef sliders. The restaurant is also known for its excellent wine list featuring Sonoma County labels.

Insider Tip

Dry Creek Kitchen has an amazing policy of no corkage fees for local wines.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Bravas Bar de Tapas

Brava's traditional Spanish and modern tapas-style dining has been receiving rave reviews since its opening. Locals just call it a great place to hang out with friends. Do like the locals, and sit out on the patio, share some small plates, and drink sangria. If you need an ice-breaker, order the octopus plate: some people love the dramatic presentation, others find it strange, but it always gets people talking.

Insider Tip

Readers of the Press Democrat newspaper voted Brava's Spencer Osburg the best bartender in Sonoma County for 2015. His gin and tonic is a specialty.

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Restaurants / Healdsburg

Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar

This lively restaurant has hints of both the east coast, with the scrumptious seafood rolls, and South America, with skewers, ceviches and tartares. The selection at the raw bar changes daily, and there are always at least eight varieties of fresh oyster on hand, making Willi’s a seafood joint for the ages.

Insider Tip

This one of the rare restaurants where you can get delicious Dungeness crab cakes that are made with all crab meat and no fillers—give them a shot.

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Lodging / Healdsburg

Madrona Manor

This 1880s Victorian mansion has romance and charm in spades, but it’s also home to one of the more hip, adventurous kitchens in the area. The food is excellent, and Madrona Manor consistently earns a star in the Michelin Guide. In addition to the gorgeous mansion itself, the restaurant also boasts a fabulous terrace, perfect for watching the sunset over a glass of wine, and lovely gardens to stroll through.

Insider Tip

Madrona Manor puts on some brilliant themed events in which the entire place is decorated and diners can come in costume. They've hosted a Great Gatsby dinner, as well as a Downton Abbey one, and they hold an annual Dickens' Christmas dinner series complete with carolers.

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