15 New Sonoma County Restaurants to Try This Fall

Dave's Hot Chicken in Santa Rosa

Summer and early fall have spawned one restaurant after another throughout Sonoma County. The fact that we, as full-time restaurant writers, can barely keep up leaves us wondering how anyone else is managing to follow the ever-expanding tally.

To help you navigate the latest in the restaurant scene, we’ve pared down the newest spots to a list of those that have risen to the top and are, in our opinion, worth checking out.

Acme Burger

What’s new is this second location for the popular family-friendly Cotati burger restaurant. Fish and chips are a top pick, oddly enough, along with excellent soups. Local beef from Sonoma Mountain Beef Co., also used at Sonoma Burger in Sebastopol, makes for a great patty. 1007 W College Ave, Santa Rosa, 707-615-7309, acmeburgerco.com

Austin’s Southern Smoke BBQ

This legit Texas-style barbecue pop-up can be hard to pin down, appearing most (but not all) Mondays at Old Possum Brewing in Santa Rosa. Brisket and pulled pork nachos are best bets. Check their pop-up schedule to see when the pitmaster is in. 357 Sutton Place, Santa Rosa, austinssouthernsmokebbq.com

Bistro 201

This family-run Peruvian restaurant is still getting its footing, but serves homestyle dishes made with heart. The Cau Cau de Mondongo, a comfort dish made with potatoes and tripe, has been a huge favorite. Pollada 201, a dish of baked chicken, is available by quarter, half or whole with aji amarillo huacatay sauce, which has a nice bite from the peppers. 613 E. Washington St., Petaluma, 707-559-5130, bistro201petaluma.com

Burdock Bar

The sister eatery to Duke’s Spirited Cocktails is Healdsburg’s version of Harry Potter’s Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, existing only to a self-selecting crowd. Once inside, you see there’s a bit of magic about it, but bring a full wallet. Cocktails are $20 each (crafted with care) and each small-plate dish is better than the last. Pork belly with mole and beef carpaccio are favorites. 109A Plaza St., Healdsburg, 707-431-1105, burdockbar.com

Dave’s Hot Chicken

Stack of fried chicken sandwiches from Dave's Hot ChickenSpicy, Memphis-style fried chicken from a national chain has lines out the door. Sliders loaded with sauce and pickles are a delicious hot mess, and a spicy one too, should you go for the crazy hot “reaper” level. 2240 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, daveshotchicken.com

El Meson de los Molcajetes

Molcajete from Meson de las Molcajetes in Santa RosaHere Zacarias and Diego Martin, owners of the casual Molcajetes taqueria, present more upscale Mexican cuisine. Cocktails are outstanding as is chorizo fondue, a remarkably tasty molcajete (meat stew in a sizzling stone bowl) and brunch chilaquiles. 1950 Piner Road, Santa Rosa, elmesonmolcajetes.com

Inca’s Peruvian

Prawn ceviche from Inca's Peruvian Cuisine in SebastopolThis Sebastopol Peruvian presents dishes with flair and plenty of flavor. Mango habanero ceviche with prawns, papa relleno croquettes with ground beef and raisins, and causa de Santa Rosa, made with pickled beets and potatoes, are top picks. Seco de carne (short ribs in a cilantro beer broth) is outstanding. 799 Gravenstein Highway S., Sebastopol, 707-861-9057, incas_peruviancuisine

Matheson/Roof 106

Sushi at The Matheson in HealdsburgThis buzzy new three-story restaurant concept comes from Dustin Valette. Downstairs features a self-service “wall” of wine along with fancier fare and sushi from Ken Tominaga of Hana Japanese. Upstairs, Roof 106 is a casual bar with approachable pizzas, piadine, salads and appetizers. Reservations required for downstairs (and hard to get); expect a wait for first-come, first-serve on the rooftop. 106 Matheson St., Healdsburg, thematheson.com

Sarmentine

After gaining a following for her home-delivered French pastries, Alexandra Zandvliet has opened a brick and mortar with some of the best croissants we’ve found. Offerings are expanding as Zandvliet and her staff ramp up, but you’ll find croissants and baguettes on most days, along with brioche, fougasse (a French flatbread similar to focaccia) and rustic boules. Don’t miss the espresso drinks and the refrigerated case with Laura Chenel marinated goat cheese, Marin French Cheese Co.’s washed rind Triple Creme Brie and French pates. 52 Mission Circle, Santa Rosa, sarmentine.com

Sonoma Burger

Gravenstein Grill’s pandemic pop-up burger spot has become a brick and mortar fast-casual restaurant in west Sebastopol. Burgers are small but tasty and most ingredients are sourced locally. The thin, bacon-fat fried onion rings are a delight, as is the fried chicken sando and a very flavorful tempeh burger. Griddled dogs get a nice crisp caramelization through and through. 173 Pleasant Hill Ave. North, Sebastopol, sonomaburger.com

Stellina Pronto

This couple-run bakery cafe from Christian Caiazzo and Katrina Fried, former owners of Osteria Stellina in Point Reyes, serves Italian pastries and coffee along with excellent salads and sandwiches. Make room for the deliciously topped focaccia. 23 Kentucky St., Petaluma, stellinapronto.com

Tony’s Galley

Lobster roll and fries from Tony's Galley in Santa RosaA fifth restaurant from SEA Thai Bistro’s Tony Ounpamornchai is a seafood-centric catch with fish and chips, terrific lobster rolls and my favorite poutine ever (loaded with crab and cheese sauce). A massive fish tank dominates part of the restaurant, making for a charming ocean-esque experience. 722 Village Court, Santa Rosa, 707-303-7007, tonysgalley.com

Warike Restobar

Lomo at Warike Restobar, a Peruvian restaurant in Santa Rosa This new Peruvian restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa is a sibling to Ayawaska in Petaluma (and Novato). A full bar with pisco sours and other pisco cocktails, plus excellent ceviche, tequenos de cangrejo (wontons stuffed with crab and shrimp with spicy pepper aioli) and causa marina (potatoes and crab) make this place worth a visit. The lomo saltado (pictured above) is one of the most flavorful versions around and aji de gallina is a comforting dish of shredded chicken and rice. 527 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 707-536-9201, warikesf.com

Wishbone

Wishbone PetalumaWhen Wishbone closed last year, Petaluma lost a gem of a restaurant. Fortunately, owners Miriam Donaldson and Josh Norwitt have reopened, in the same spot, and are serving their pickled, grainy, cheesy goodness once again. Open for breakfast and brunch 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday. facebook.com/WishbonePetaluma

Zimi on Mission

Labeling this place simply “Pizza with a Greek twist” doesn’t really do it justice; it’s more than that. Dino Moniodis, owner of Dino’s Greek Food truck and the newish Zimi pizza at The Block in Petaluma, brings his pizzas, calzones, gyros and “pastichio,” a sort of Greek lasagna, to Santa Rosa. 500 Mission Blvd., Santa Rosa, eatzimionmission.com


Written by Heather Irwin

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