Picture of waiter placing food down on table for a couple
Salt and Stone Restaurant in Kenwood

10 Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

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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.  

Barndiva, Healdsburg

The exterior of the barn is lit up at night in Healdsburg
Barndiva at night

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 Co., Rohnert Park

The patio overlooks the lake at Bear Republic Brewing
The patio overlooks the lake at Bear Republic Brewing

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

A group of women enjoy beers on the patio at Brewsters
The beer garden at Brewsters

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

Image of exterior of Ca' Bianca in Santa Rosa, California.
Ca' Bianca in 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 bocce court comes alive at night at Campo Fina, Healdsburg
Bocce at Campo Fina

It feels like a touch of Italy has landed in Wine Country at this venture from Dawnelise and Ari Rosen. Burrata arrives in generous dollops of creamy-rich cheese plopped on grilled bread with salty curls of prosciutto and dots of aged balsamic, while pizza is divine, crispy-crusted with just enough give for some good chew, and a hint of char that doesn't overwhelm the pristine toppings like pork belly with smoked mozzarella, squash, chanterelles, and arugula.

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.

Catelli's, Geyserville 

The outdoor patio at Catelli's in Geyserville
The outdoor patio at Catelli's in Geyserville

This forever-favorite draws diners near and far for its rustic, soul-satisfying Italian cooking like an out-of-this-world chicken sauté sec roasted with rosemary, garlic, mushrooms, and white wine over soft polenta and chard.

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

Picture of dinner dish and red wine at Gravenstein Grill

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.

the girl & the fig, Sonoma 

People enjoy the shade-covered patio at the girl & the fig
the girl & the fig

The restaurant recently expanded, enclosing its garden patio for extra shade and seating, and that's a good thing, since there are usually lines out the door. The lure is lovely plates like breakfast tartine of housemade chicken sausage, veggie scramble, white cheddar, smoked paprika hollandaise, salsa verde, and grilled French bread; baked eggs Provencal with garden tomatoes, fennel, leeks, organic eggs, gremolata, and grilled bread; and a decadent pork belly sandwich with fennel aioli, apples and cabbage on a brioche bun, served with crispy frites.

Fishetarian Fish Market, Bodega Bay

Few dining experiences are as iconic in Sonoma County as enjoying a bowl of chowder or plate of fresh seafood while overlooking the Bodega Harbor. Fisheterian Fish Market is one of a few Bodega Bay restaurants where you can do this. Enjoy casual outdoor dining mere steps from the very waters the food comes from. Try Fishetarian Fish Market's staples like Charlie's Chowder, crab sandwich or crab cakes, and pair it with a selection of local wine or craft beer. Other headliners include the fish tacos, fish and chips, and smoked salmon. Afterward, walk it off as you stroll the harbor.

Rustic, Geyserville 

Two women enjoy a glass of wine on the patio at Rustic in Geyserville
The patio at Rustic in Geyserville

Sit outside on the beautiful terrace and watch the sun set over the gentle rolling hills of the Alexander Valley. Dine on cuisine that embraces both international and traditional Italian dishes. And, relax in casual style at the onsite restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Drawing on a life that has taken him around the world, Coppola shares his personal favorite dishes on the menu. The emphasis is on family-style cooking and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Authentic, Neapolitan-style pizzas are also a specialty. As an added bonus, you can also sip wines from one of Hollywood's most famous movie directors. A full-service bar next to the restaurant serves cocktails and offers an extensive wine and beer list.

Here are some other recommendations by region:

Central: Bird & The Bottle (Santa Rosa), Franchettis' (Santa Rosa), John Ash & Co. (Santa Rosa), Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa), and Wild Bird (Santa Rosa).

Coast: Cafe Aquatica (Jenner), Coast Kitchen at Timber Cove Resort (Jenner), Ginochio's Kitchen (Bodega Bay), Spud Point Crab Company (Bodega Bay), and Tides Wharf Restaurant (Bodega Bay).

East: Glen Ellen Star (Glen Ellen), Salt and Stone (Kenwood), HopMonk Tavern (Sonoma), Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Garden & Eatery (Sonoma), Palooza Brewery & Gastropub (Kenwood), and Sunflower Caffe (Sonoma),

North: Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria (Geyserville), El Milagro (Cloverdale), Geyserville Grille (Geyserville), Mateo's Cocina Latina (Healdsburg), and World Famous Hamburger Ranch & BBQ (Cloverdale).

South: Cafe Salsa (Cotati), Heirloom Café (Rohnert Park), Risibisi (Petaluma), Twin Oaks Roadhouse (Penngrove), and Wild Goat Bistro (Petaluma)

West: boon eat + drink (Guerneville), Farmhouse Inn (Forestville), Handline (Sebastopol), Stumptown Brewery (Guerneville), and Woodfour Brewing Company (Sebastopol).