Eat & Drink | Best Sonoma Restaurants
Image by Emma K Morris, courtesy of Valley Bar + Bottle
Sonoma is home to an impressive array of culinary establishments, from funky roadside diners to fancy farm-to-table hotspots. We’ve rounded up “bests” (in our humble opinion) in each category of eat and drink in the beloved food mecca of Sonoma. Read on for two dozen of our favorite spots to break bread. Each eatery’s name is linked to their website so you can explore further. Note that advance reservations are required at most restaurants, so plan accordingly!
Price Guide (per person)
Locals Favorite | Valley Bar + Bottle
$$$ | 487 First Street West, Sonoma
Newly-minted neighborhood favorite from four Scribe veterans. Refreshingly unique farm-fresh dishes and food-friendly wines (lots of imports!), mostly organic and biodynamic.
Italian Market | Salumeria Ovello
$ | 248 West Napa Street, Sonoma
The real deal. Housemade porchetta, salumi, panini and pastries (plus imported goodies like truffles) from Chef Andrea’s motherland – Piemonte, Italy.
Intimate & Charming | Café La Haye
$$$ | 140 East Napa Street, Sonoma
Beloved Sonoma eatery since 1996 (early pioneers of farm-to-table dining), with daily menus, a small-but-mighty local wine list and gracious hospitality from proprietor Saul.
Mexican | El Molino Central
$ | 11 Central Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs
Arguably the best Mexican food in the Bay Area, served up in a quaint-yet-colorful roadside stand.Tacos, tamales and enchiladas lovingly made with masa that’s stone-ground on site.
Oysters | Wit & Wisdom
$$$$ | 1325 Broadway, Sonoma (in the Lodge at Sonoma)
New “tavern” from iconic restaurateur Michael Mina, with a solid assortment of fresh Pacific Coast oysters, shrimp and fish plus wood-fired vegetables, pizzas and meats.
From the Hearth | Glen Ellen Star
$$$ | 13648 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
An intimate setting centered around the open kitchen and wood-fire oven. Pizzas, pastas, and proteins are divine, but the wood-roasted veggies are show-stoppers. Say hi to chef and owner, the inimitable Ari Weiswasser.
Brunch | Boon Fly Café
$$ | 4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa (in Carneros Resort)
Vibrant “roadhouse” cafe at the entrance of Carneros Resort. Brunch menu flips every switch, from sweet to savory to boozy. Don’t leave without trying their donuts – $10 for a baker’s dozen.
Rhône & Ribs | Kivelstadt Cellars Eatery
$$ | 22900 Broadway, Sonoma
Small-lot, Rhone-style wines paired with decadent-yet-delicate dishes from the smoker (baby back ribs, pork belly bánh mì, tacos al pastor). Plus live music on weekends.
Coffee | The Porch
$ | 29 East MacArthur Street, Sonoma (in MacArthur Place Hotel)
One of Sonoma’s best kept secrets. Whipping up classic and specialty coffee drinks with beans from local indie roastery, ACRE. Housemade pastries and paninis and, as the name implies, an open-air porch (patio) make this spot a daily ritual.
Pizza | The Red Grape
$ | 529 First Street West, Sonoma
Crushable brick-oven pies with a hyper-thin crust and a dizzying array of toppings. Not just the classics, you can opt for California flair (ie. pear, gorgonzola, hazelnut & smoked bacon).
Fried Chicken | Lou’s Luncheonette
$ | 2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma
Down-home cooking elevated with local, seasonal ingredients. Fried chicken is king, served up in a buttery biscuit sando or part of a country (or nashville) dinner. Don’t forget the hush puppies
Craft Cocktails | The Starling
$ | 19380 CA-12, Sonoma
Neighborhood cocktail joint offering masterful mixology without the pomp and circumstance. Set in a converted roadhouse at the edge of town, the bar’s vibe is spirited and anything-but-boring.
Star-Studded | Single Thread Farms
$$$$ | 131 North Street, Healdsburg
Three Michelin-star “farm to table” mecca, brainchild of Chef Kyle Connaughton. Bespoke 11 course prix-fixe menu uses ingredients from the owners’ farm. Spendy but worth every penny.
Small Plates | OSO
$$ | 9 East Napa Street, Sonoma
Great happy hour spot to sample from their eclectic offering — deviled eggs, ceviche, poutine and meatballs to name a few must-haves — in a cozy rustic setting.
Restaurant & Marketplace | Taub Family Outpost
$$$ | 497 First Street West, Sonoma
Clever mixed-use space (market, dining, speakeasy) in a historic two-story building on the Plaza. Marketplace boasts well-curated wines, provisions, grab-and-go bites and, wait for it, a coffee and frosé window! Restaurant features seasonal items and innovative daily specials.
Burgers | El Dorado Kitchen
$$$ | 405 First Street West, Sonoma
A classic burger – juicy angus beef goodness stacked high on a pillowy bun, served up with the standard fixings and a side of fries. Also offered in a zippy seared Ahi iteration.
Dive Bar | Ernie’s Tin Bar
$ | 5100 Lakeville Highway, Petaluma
An unseemly spot for a drinking establishment (at the crossroads of two highways), this former garage serves up cold cans of beer, wines BTG and no frills. Bonus: free shuttle on weekends.
Bubbles | SIGH
$ | 120 West Napa Street, Sonoma
Everything sparkles. From the impressive champagne selection to the gold and cream modern decor to the scintillating owner, Jayme. Perfect reboot for the wine-fatigued palate.
Classic Farm-to-Table | the girl and the fig
$$$ | 110 West Spain Street, Sonoma
One of the “OG” farm-to-table spots in wine country (founded in 1997) with a slight French twist. Consistent, classic, charming and always abuzz, especially at the height of tourist season.
Portuguese | La Salette
$$$ | 452 First Street East, Suite H, Sonoma
A modern take on classic Portuguese dishes are served up in this intimate spot tucked on a little lane behind Sonoma Plaza. Cozy up in their dining room or pull up a seat on their charming terrace. Either way, don’t miss the wood oven roasted octopus, or the Caldeirada – Portuguese fisherman’s stew.
Mediterranean | Layla
$$$$ | 29 East MacArthur Street, Sonoma (in MacArthur Place Hotel)
Convivial “farm kitchen” serving fresh, seasonal, local and sustainably-farmed dishes with a coastal Mediterranean bent (France, Italy, Spain). Bright, airy and verdant setting, inside or out.
Sandwiches | Sonoma Market
$ | 500 West Napa Street, Sonoma
Fast, filling and not-at-all fancy. Sometimes a classic meat-on-bread scenario is just what the doctor ordered, especially if the ingredients are delicious and fresh.
Brewpub | HopMonk Tavern
$$ | 691 Broadway, Sonoma
Craft beers, well-made bar food and live music in a former 1888 farmhouse in downtown Sonoma. Great for families, large groups, as well as dogs and bikes (patio only).
Pop-up | EDGE
From the team at Stone Edge Farm Winery, EDGE is a Thursday-Saturday supperclub of sorts, hosted in a beautiful Victorian home. Prix-fixe pairing menus highlight ingredients from the farm.
Bakery | Basque Boulangerie Café
$ | 460 First Street East, Sonoma
Second-gen bakery in the iconic Sebastiani Theater building (first one est. 1856). Hailing from southwestern France, the owners make dreamy “old world” style French breads and pastries.