Restaurants in Sonoma County
Like their San Francisco neighbors, the restaurants in Sonoma County boast world-class reputations, drawing in foodies from near and far with their farm-to-table California cuisine. Many a celebrity chef has either gotten a start in Sonoma County or adopted it as a second culinary home. And as pioneers in the locavore movement, many restaurants in Sonoma County source their ingredients from nearby farms and vineyards.
In Healdsburg, restaurants like Madrona Manor and Cyrus have earned Michelin stars for their multi-course prix-fixe meals and encyclopedic wine lists. In Sonoma proper, the El Dorado Kitchen, housed in its namesake hotel, serves up a first-class New American menu both inside its chic dining room and al fresco beneath the properties fig trees. Close by, The Girl & the Fig employs Sonoma County ingredients in fresh, French-influenced bill of fare.
Sonoma County restaurants aren’t all formal, however. Visitors can find some of the area’s most satisfying bites at casual Mexican taquerias or soul food-centric roadhouses like the Fremont Diner, which specializes in down-home favorites like chicken and waffles and barbecue.
Frequented by the renowned winemakers of Sonoma County, Underwood Bar & Bistro is located about an hour north of San Francisco in the tiny town of Graton.
Chef John Toulze and proprietor Sondra Bernstein—the same duo behind The Girl and the Fig—set their sights on rustic Italian cuisine with this new eatery, which they opened in 2008 in a spectacular 1864 Victorian mansion.
A Sonoma County favorite since 1997, this charming spot serves French-country cuisine for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
The food here is simple and fresh, much of it grown on the owner Dan Smith’s farm down the road. He operates a produce market at the restaurant on Sundays.
At the Healdsburg, the lawn is the best place for a cold drink. The raspberry lemonade here is spiked with vodka and Chambord, while the margarita is a mix of tequila, Patrón Citrónge, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice.
With a focus on seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine, the chefs at Zin Restaurant make almost everything from scratch, including condiments, breads, charcuteries, and desserts. In addition, they also incorporate fresh produce from the restaurant’s own Eastside Farm.
The menu at this 2008-opened restaurant is eclectic, with crab cakes and a pulled-pork sandwich and a cassoulet. There are also oysters, local sardines, and osso buco. Order the amazing fish stew, with salmon, rock cod, and potatoes in a light tomato-and-fennel broth.
Located at the Singletree Inn, this small diner serves breakfast all day. There is not much in the way of decorations, but patrons come for the food, which includes everything from blueberry pancakes to biscuits and gravy, and even a breakfast burrito.
Located off Highway 101, Willi’s Wine Bar pairs globally inspired small plates with more than 100 local and international wines.
A casual and self-consciously funky place in Santa Rosa. The narrow room is lively, with copper-top tables and a long bar. The staff is young, tattooed, and coolly professional.
Chef and owner Ken Tominaga moved to Sonoma from Tokyo as a child, eventually opening this Japanese restaurant in 1990. The understated dining room is decorated in a color palate of cream, lavender, and blue, while a list of specials is displayed behind the sushi bar.
Chef and owner Tony Najiola's downtown Petaluma restaurant serves locally sourced New American cuisine inside an open dining room.