10 Restaurants with Outdoor Seating
Sonoma County's Mediterranean climate means luxuries like enjoying dining outside year-round. A farm-to-table meal tastes even fresher, somehow, when we're relaxing al fresco, surrounded by gorgeous gardens.
Chef Ryan Fancher works in a Sonoma-style setting, in a mahogany barn with pitchforks on the walls, next door to Barndiva owner Jil Hales's art gallery, Barndiva Gallery + Bar. You know you're in for a special meal at Barndiva when you see the garden patio, lushly landscaped so that eating outdoors seems like grandeur. A few of the farms that the chef partners with include Bellwether Farms, Early Bird's Place, Mix Garden, The Patch, Philo Apple Farm, and Preston Farm & Winery. That translates into mouthwatering dishes like cauliflower soup with caramelized florets, raisins, fried capers, toasted almonds, and sage; and sautéed Pacific swordfish with fregola sarda, green goddess, cracked crab, olive, and tomato confit.
Bear Republic Brewing Company Lakeside, Rohnert Park
Located in Healdsburg for more than two decades, the renowned Bear Republic Brewing Company now operates its family-friendly brewpub in Rohnert Park. Bring the kids, enjoy a beer outside in the beer garden overlooking Roberts Lake (a city park and reservoir), and play a game of Jenga or Cornhole with your family and friends. They offer quality, handcrafted beers, housemade specialty cocktails, pizza, and more. Popular favorites include the Brewers' Mac and Cheese or the classic BBQ Park Sandwich, made with sauce from the brewery's Peter Brown Tribute Ale.
Brewsters Beer Garden, Petaluma
Located in downtown Petaluma on the edge of the river, this family- and pet-friendly open-air dining restaurant offers more than 350 seats in a beautiful historic setting, with the comforts of large heat lamps, a fire pit, bocce court, children's playground, and live music stage. Think southern BBQ meets California produce with a refined touch of explosive flavors, and featuring a smattering of locally sourced and and sustainably raised Petaluma producers and ranchers. Brewsters offers more than 30 revolving local craft beers on draft, Sonoma and Napa Valley wines, and a full selection of spirits and cocktails.
Ca' Bianca, Santa Rosa
Enjoy al fresco flair on the porch overlooking the fountain garden framed in flowering trees at this grand old mansion in old town Santa Rosa. But even more, you'll love the excellent Italian cuisine, showcasing various regions and crafted by owners and husband-and-wife Marco Diana and Karin Hoehne. Recipes draw from Milano in the north to Sicily in the south, for dishes like seared ahi with home-made ravioli in almond sauce; Sardinian semolina gnocchi with porcini and slowly braised beef; or roasted breast of duck served with sautéed spinach and fingerling potatoes. Dressing up isn't necessary, but makes the meal more fun, as you'll feel extra glamorous in the old-school sophisticated setting with chandeliers, white tablecloths, antique furniture, and those gracious gardens.
Campo Fina, Healdsburg
The patio is irresistible year-round, where we relax at salvaged-wood tables under an open-beamed canopy framed with brick columns and creeping vines, take in a game on the bocce court, grab a cocktail at the concrete bar, and watch the action around the freestanding wood-burning pizza oven.
More recently, the former tiny wood patio in back was transformed into a 7,000 square foot wonderland boasting a full bar, al fresco bistro seating, an adjacent garden, and the main floor done in elaborate, circular swirl of Italian, black-and-white checkerboard marble.
Gravenstein Grill, Sebastopol
Californina cuisine meets Sonoma County's local and seasonal bounty at Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol. Working with local farms, ranches, wineries, and breweries, Gravenstein Grill brings the best of Sonoma County under one roof, and featuring a patio that's spacious and dog-friendly. While Gravenstein's Grill's dishes, like house-made charcuterie and Petrale Sole, have a California elegance to them, the restaurant itself is so warm, comfortable, and inviting. Pair it with wines and beer that they locally source.