19 Sonoma County Eating places We Return to Once more and Once more

19 Sonoma County Eating places We Return to Once more and Once more

“The place do you need to go eat?”

“I don’t know. The place do you need to go?”

Selecting a restaurant is one in every of fashionable city-dwellers’ biggest conundrums. Positive, it sounds easy, however have you ever ever tried to get 4 individuals to agree on one restaurant?

I believed not.

It is a checklist (impressed by Texas Month-to-month’s “The Good Place” article) we hope will reply that query and probably finish a couple of household arguments. Perhaps it is going to take some stress off entertaining guests from out of city. And perhaps I’m making it as a lot for myself as I’m for you, as a result of the plain selections by no means appear to be on the tip of my tongue.

The rubric is straightforward: These are eating places which can be dependably good, have skilled employees and are rooted in the neighborhood. They’re the type of locations everybody has been to, or desires to go to, or has heard good issues about. They’re locations I personally frequent with family and friends.

The eating places I’ve chosen are all about consistency and luxury, not “it” elements or multicourse meals. They aren’t newcomers.

Are all of them “greatest at school” eating places? Nope — that’s far too subjective. I discovered way back that world-class cooks and outrageously inventive menus don’t usually generate consensus amongst a large swath of eaters.

One other vital issue is the menu: All of those can cater to various diets and meals preferences, making them crowd-pleasers.

Inevitably, I’ll pass over a favourite neighborhood hang-out or apparent selection from this checklist, however that’s what makes it enjoyable. Let me know your favourite spots at heather.irwin@pressdemocrat.com and we’ll replace this checklist once in a while.

Click on by means of the above gallery for a peek at some prime dishes at every restaurant.

Santa Rosa

Ausiello’s Fifth Road Bar & Grill: Consuming at most bars means rolling the cube, however this family-owned pub has nice burgers to go together with your beer, wine or tonic of selection. Cozy, pleasant and an excellent spot for sports-watching. 609 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, ausiellos5thstreetgrill.com

Dierk’s Parkside: Breakfast classics achieved with a chef’s contact. Corned beef hash, biscuits and sausage gravy, fried hen with biscuits and an only-in-Sonoma County Nation Benedict with scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, spinach and oven-dried tomatoes on a crispy baguette. It’s a Hollandaise hug on chilly mornings. 404 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, dierksparkside.com

The Range: For Californians, tacos and burritos rank equal to pizza for Taco Tuesdays or actually, any day. El Fogon does it proper, with top-notch birria, spectacular machete (a foot-long quesadilla full of meat, cheese, bitter cream and tomato) and straight-up road tacos. 623 Fourth St, Santa Rosa and 6650 Commerce Blvd., No. 5, Rohnert Park, santarosa.elfogognca.com

Michelada at El Fogon Taco Store in Santa Rosa. (Christopher Chung/The Press Democrat)

Riviera: Locals have been flocking to this Italian kitchen for greater than 25 years. Household-owned and downright neighborly, it has acquainted pasta dishes (I’m all concerning the Gnocchi Riviera), traditional Caesar salad and tiramisu which can be greatest bets. 75 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, rivieraristorante.com

Rosso: If pizza and pasta aren’t comforting meals, I don’t know what’s. Crispy Neapolitan-style pizzas (the Funghi di Limone is a favourite), hearty Bolognese with penne and the legendary fried hen with caramelized pancetta glaze with creamy smashed potatoes are my go-to orders. 53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, rossopizzeria.com

Willi’s Wine Bar: Earlier than I used to be a meals author in Sonoma County, this was the spot I went to for a “fancy” date. Their Tunisian carrots sounded ridiculously unique, and as soon as upon a time chef Mark Stark’s foie gras poppers have been one in every of my favourite dishes. After 20 years, the restaurant continues to impress me regardless that I’ve eaten at far fancier digs since. The complete bar makes it an incredible happy-hour cease, and their wine checklist is very approachable. The menu stays constant (the Tunisian carrots are nonetheless round), and the concentrate on small plates retains issues attention-grabbing. One among my favourite “off-duty” hangouts. 1415 City and Nation Drive, Santa Rosa, starkrestaurants.com

Tunisian carrots from Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. (Willi’s Wine Bar)


The miracle: The alternatives in north Sonoma County will be restricted, particularly for a gaggle. However this family-owned Mexican kitchen is all the time an incredible selection. The menu goes far past taqueria requirements, with regional Mexican delicacies like pumpkin-seed mole sauce with hen, pork ribs with nopales in tomatillo sauce and a la carte road tacos. The intensive menu additionally has acquainted favorites like carnitas, fish tacos and moist burritos. 485 South Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale, elmilagrocloverdale.com


Acme Burger: The burgers are massive and juicy (and you may nonetheless get a easy single for $6.95), however the addition of fried hen and fried rock cod has elevated the menu far past quick meals. Day by day soups are particularly good, and the child’s menu is a cut price. Seasonal milkshakes are scrumptious, too. Stroll-up ordering retains issues shifting, and you will get out and in virtually as quick as at In-N-Out. 550 E. Cotati Ave., Cotati; 1007 W. School Ave., Suite D, Santa Rosa; and 330 Western Ave., Petaluma, acmeburgerco.com

Brewsters: Informal outside seating at picnic tables makes this a sensible choice for a crowd, particularly with a play space for teenagers and a dog-friendly coverage. An important beer and cocktail choice retains everybody content material. The wide-ranging menu is informal, with some pretty upscale touches like duck-fat fries with garlic aioli; buttermilk fried hen sandwich with bacon and goat cheddar; and ahi tuna poke with fried wontons. And there’s wonderful house-smoked barbecue besides. 229 Water St., Petaluma, brewstersbeergarden.com

Paradise Kitchen: With upscale Italian meals that isn’t stuffy and all the time hits the mark, it is a good selection for a 3rd date, a dinner with mother and father or a piece dinner (there are a number of bigger tables to accommodate teams). The genuine menu will get excessive marks for its portion sizes and consistency. Costs aren’t low-cost, however you received’t depart disenchanted over a poorly executed dish. 114 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma, cucinaparadisopetaluma.com

Lunchette: Not solely are the grab-and-go salads and grain bowls wonderful, however house owners Naomi Crawford and Joel Baecker are aware house owners who supply regionally, purpose for zero waste, are energetic in the neighborhood and are simply darn good individuals. The trout salad with roasted beets, carrots, pickled raisins and preserved lemon dressing is my go-to, together with their tart Meyer lemon pot de creme. You’ll additionally love the Tahini Bowl with natural brown rice, chickpeas, pickled cauliflower and spiced candy potatoes. 25 Fourth St., Petaluma, lunchettepetaluma.com

Sax’s Joint: Breakfast paradise with a ’50s vibe and gigantic parts. They’re well-known for his or her plate-size cinnamon rolls. Pleasant waitstaff make everybody really feel welcome. Anticipate to attend in case you’re rolling up at peak weekend breakfast occasions, however it’s so price it. 317 Petaluma Blvd S, Petaluma, saxsjoint.com


Fern Bar: Although the menu will not be for everybody, I usually find yourself right here with mates after we’re making an attempt to resolve the place to seize a drink. Fernbar’s craft cocktails are their calling card, however I’m all the time intrigued by their ever-evolving starters and shared plates. A present favourite is the okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), however I’m dying to strive the aged beef dumplings and savory Vietnamese crepe (bahn xeo). Rooster-liver toast with plum rosemary jam is all the time on my order, and the stuffed roti with butter hen can’t be beat. 6780 Depot St Suite 120, Sebastopol, fernbar.com

At El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma. (Mariana Calderon)


El Dorado Kitchen: This resort restaurant all the time delivers, with all kinds of dishes from fancy dinner picks (caviar, Wagyu beef carpaccio, filet mignon) to a “I simply went wine tasting all day and need one thing easier” dishes like a vegan rice bowl with mushrooms and seaweed and beet salad with orange yogurt. Each meal (breakfast by means of dinner) has inclusive vegan plates which can be each bit pretty much as good — if not higher — than different picks. Burgers and shrimp tacos and nice lunch selections. The restful backyard patio is a pleasant meetup spot, and the bar is a pleasant single-person eating expertise. 405 First St. W., Sonoma, eldoradosonoma.com

Lady and the Fig: Legendary bistro-style French delicacies at this vacation spot restaurant. Calm down on the patio, sit on the polished wooden bar or meet mates within the pleasant lemon-yellow bistro. Steamed mussels and frites, duck liver mousse or duck confit are nice picks. Fig and arugula salad is a required order. 110 W. Spain St., Sonoma, thegirlandthefig.com

Shrimp Diablo at Grata restaurant in Windsor. (Heather Irwin/The Press Democrat)


Grata: The Gnudi Alla Vodka is a consolation go-to, together with the Cacio e Pepe with tons of zingy pepper and Parmesan that speaks to your internal little one. Dishes like goat cheese and ricotta ravioli with native wild mushrooms and pea shoots are a extra Cal-Ital twist. Ensure that to strive no matter seasonal risotto is on the menu. Blissful hour is a steal of a deal. The outside patio is our favourite spot to eat. 186 Windsor River Highway, Windsor, gratawindsor.com

Kin: Child-friendly and adult-endorsed is a uncommon mixture in a restaurant, however Kin has it down. Burgers and dips are wonderful, Kin macaroni and cheese is decadent (additionally in a pizza model) and tempura-battered and fried pickles are crowd-pleasers. Extra grown-up entrees like lasagna Bolognese are wonderful. Cheap costs for a household dinner. 740 McClelland Drive, kinwindsor.com

Candy T’s: Anybody who can’t discover a tasty dish on this menu is clearly a grouch. Memphis barbecue nachos with smoked brisket (vegetarian choices out there) is the place to start out. Fried hen with biscuits and Southern sides (creamed corn and braised greens are wonderful), barbecue plates, Key lime pie and a Texas margarita are what we’re all about. 9098 Brooks Highway S., Windsor, sweettssouthern.com

Pecan Pie from Candy T’s in Windsor. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

On the coast

Spud Level: Although I’ve favorites for chowder, contemporary crab and barbecued oysters elsewhere, this always-packed spot is unmatched for its Dungeness crab sandwich (and I do love their garlicky chowder). Crab muffins (solely out there on the weekend) are additionally wonderful. What makes this an undisputed “good place” is its constantly wonderful high quality. 1910 Westshore Highway, Bodega Bay, spudpointcrabco.com

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