While Sonoma County has put itself on the map as a bastion of celebrated wine, the restaurant and food scene are in a league all their own. With the farm-to-table movement having started in Northern California, Sonoma County eateries truly embody the agricultural region and the diversity of the people who call this area home. From Latin cuisine and noodle houses, to hip local joints that serve food grown on their own farms, Sonoma County restaurants boast some of the best food in the world.
Mix It Up
291 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448
: 4 stars; 327 reviews
Located in downtown Healdsburg, spoonbar serves up locally sourced meats and farm-to-table produce in an airy, contemporary setting. When the “walls” are removed, you are opened up to the sidewalks of Healdsburg to people watch and enjoy the sublime Northern California weather. If you thought the food was local though, give the cocktails a try. Their talented mixologists behind the bar can pour you a glass of local wine or they can create an experimental union of local herbs, mixers, and spirits that is bound to knock your socks off.
Head in on a Sunday for their prix-fixe, four-course, homemade pasta night where they showcase different regional styles along with seasonal ingredients. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, pair our pasta with a beverage from their Experimental section of their cocktail menu.
131 North Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
: 5 stars; 21 reviews
SingleThread can be summed up in one word — experience. This is not your typical Sonoma County restaurant, but instead the culmination of years of preparation, thought, and passion to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the heart of Healdsburg. With an eleven course tasting menu catered to all dietary restrictions and needs, SingleThread creates a journey from their own farm, located in the Russian River Valley, to their meticulously set tables. A reservation is considered a “ticket” to this culinary experience that fuses Japanese influence with Sonoma County agricultural bounty.
SingleThread has placed itself in the highest region of Northern California‘s fine dining echelon. Be prepared to purchase tickets for a minimum of $294 per person, not including alcohol. But it’s worth every delicious penny.
Sebastapol Spice and Sake
6948 Sebastopol Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472
: 4.5 stars; 51 reviews
The town of Sebastopol has adopted a hippie vibe that it can’t quite shake (nor does it want to). But that “hippie” sensibility to live from the land and harvest its bounty is seen in Ramen Gaijin, a “uniquely Sonoma County noodle shop”. Ramen Gaijin puts out an extensive and fresh menu of regional ramen styles paying homage to the culture that created the dish and the local agriculture that helps sustain it. Fresh fish, local produce, and hand-made noodles factor into every plate or bowl.
After your delicious bowl of ramen, walk a few blocks over to the Barlow, an industrial-chic campus that includes the Crooked Goat Brewery. A great place to quench your thirst after a salty bowl of goodness.
344 Center Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
: 4.5 stars; 301 reviews
And back we go to Healdsburg, to the main square and Valette. This Sonoma County restaurant provides not only a comfortable neighborhood feel but an attention to the true artistry of cuisine. This restaurant isn’t just locally sourced, it’s hyper locally sourced, with most of the produce grown less than a mile away. From charcuterie that is cured in-house to homemade pasta to a menu that changes based upon the produce and protein that look best that day, Valette makes it easy to enjoy the simple pleasure of eating. Unless you can’t decide what you want.
If the above is true and the menu has you salivating over everything, try the “Trust Me” tasting menu. With small bites of anything the chef thinks is particularly fabulous that day, you can’t go wrong. After all, chef knows best.
Are you ready to eat yet? With so many culinary experiences in the Sonoma County restaurant scene, these are just a sampling. But from the uber-elite experience to a hidden gem in an old hippie conclave, Sonoma County has a lot to offer when it comes to food.