5 Great Coffeehouses in Sonoma County
Our boutique Sonoma County coffee purveyors hand-roast artisanal beans, grind them to order, and serve them in all styles, from Americana to Vienna. As we all know, a steaming hot cup of java is as critical to a happy morning, for many people, as oxygen.
Lift a mug to these standout sips:
Come for the coffee; stay for the character. The hum of a (very) vintage roaster churning out beans, the warm rapport of baristas and longtime customers, live piano music in the mornings — Sonoma County’s oldest coffeehouse and roastery is a must-visit stop on your trip.
Located in historic downtown Petaluma’s iconic Warehouse District, Petaluma Coffee & Tea Co. opened its doors in 1989 and has amassed a loyal following both locally and nationwide. They specialize in crafting house roasts of Fair Trade international beans as well as creating house blends of teas from around the world. Here you can pick up a bag of beans as a souvenir — try the Godfather’s Roast or the Rooster Roast II — or stay and sip.
Pea-berry coffee, anyone? And you know it will be perfect, since baristas here get three months of training before they make their first cup for a paying customer. Call it a labor of love - in 1991, owners Chris and Terri Martin bought 100 acres on Taylor Lane in Occidental, to raise their family and explore entrepreneurial farming opportunities.
In 1993, Chris started roasting organic coffee in an old barn on the property, and the dream of organic brews was realized. The flashy new two-story coffee shop and roastery in The Barlow is a stylish neighborhood hot spot, for catching up with friends over a scone-of-the-day and exotic single-origin coffees like Organic Sidamo SRFCF from Ethiopia and Organic Aceh from Sumatra.
At Retrograde Coffee Roasters, situated right on Main Street in Sebastopol, visitors are greeted like family from the moment they step in the door. Freshly roasted coffee in signature teal bags adorns one wall, while rotating exhibits of local artists’ work graces the others. This coffee shop is a community.
From seasonal Cardamon lattes to lattes made with Charcoal and Rose or Beet, this coffee community puts wellness first, and hand makes all their own syrups and natural additions to the espresso (which is also roasted in-house) to bring you the most authentic and rejuvenating flavors of Sonoma County.
The Parish Café, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa
Chef Rob Lippincott is a transplant from Louisiana, so he knows a thing or two about honest, New Orleans-style coffee. But he also respects Wine County taste buds and coffee fans who want their brews locally roasted. The best of both worlds come together in a small, yellow, 1860s-era cottage in Healdsburg that's so packed each morning that crowds spill out to the front porch and onto a street-front patio. It's so successful, Lippincott opened a second location in downtown Santa Rosa, also a popular spot.
For Southern sippers, there is the Café Au Lait-French Market Coffee & Chicory, swirled with hot milk. Chicory is the root of the endive plant (who knew!). Being roasted and ground softens the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee with subtle chocolate notes. Paired with puffy light beignets, rolled out by hand before being quick fried and smothered in powdered sugar, it's a bit of heaven. And more traditional coffee lovers can cozy up with Santa Rosa's own Bella Rosa Coffee fresh brewed. Savor it with a rich, Sonoma County-style spin on eggs Benedict, bringing buttery poached eggs, generous amounts of sweet lump blue crab meat, silky house-made hollandaise, and a scattering of shallots, or a crawfish-andouille omelet sprinkled in Creole sauce and Honkey Donkey hot sauce.
Flying Goat Coffee, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa
Costa Rica. Santa Lucia. Espresso No. 9, Mrs. Garland's Blend, The Organic Optimist Blend. At this chic hometown hero destination, the coffees are globally sourced, uniquely named and distinctively flavored, even when they're wimpy decaf (like the robust Opening Night Decaf Blend). The stuff is so good, Flying Goat was chosen as the 2013 winner in the Good Food Awards coffee category, out of 200 entries from the best roasters around the country. Too, it was designated as a Gold Seal winner, a special distinction for winners that go beyond the Good Food Awards sustainability guidelines. It now has two locations, one in Healdsburg and one in Santa Rosa's Historic Railroad Square District.