The 50 Best Things to Eat in Sonoma County


There’s no road map to what makes a dish iconic. Instead, it’s a roughly sketched record of personal experiences, memorable moments, and collective consent. We worked as a team to hash out these winners, striving to represent the people, the land, the ingredients, and the point of view of our foodie paradise. At times, a truly outstanding pick came from little more than a gut feeling. Take that humble fried chicken sandwich, for example. Folks make them all over, but Belfare Sonoma’s super-snappy, wolf-it-down-fast version, enjoyed with a glass of rosé along the side of the highway outside the Three Fat Guys tasting room— that’s true Sonoma style.

Fried Chicken Sandwich – Belfare

What began as a simple pop-up has become a sensation. Chef Erik Lowe is making his own rules, with a mobile operation that cooks up a ridiculously good (and spicy) fried chicken breast sandwich with dill pickles, Cajun cabbage slaw, sesame mayo, and house-made Belfare hot sauce. The bun is from upstart Petaluma bakery Fire Swamp Provisions, which donates a portion of its proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. At the Petaluma East Side Farmers Market on Tuesdays and at other locations weekly. 

‘Old Greybeard’ Pizza – Pizza Leah

We’d like to pretend that owner Leah Scurto invented the idea of spicy honey atop a pizza, but sadly, it was probably some hipster in Brooklyn. Either way, this badass Windsor pizzaiolo advances the sweet-hot concept with a killer crust, tangy red sauce, fresh mozzarella, fontina, Italian sausage, Calabrian peppers, hot honey, and orange zest for a pie that’s way better than anything in Brooklyn. Gauntlet thrown. 9240 Old Redwood Highway, Suite 116. 707-620-0551

Bingo Baked Oysters – The Shuckery

variety of oysters and bread on plateAluxa and Jazmine Lalicker know their North Coast bivalves inside, outside, and all around their flinty shells. After years of running a mobile oyster bar, the sisters brought the best of their roadshow to the Hotel Petaluma, where they run a charming restaurant dedicated to local seafood. You’ll find plenty of raw oysters on the menu, but Bingo baked oysters are a ritzy alternative with a mixture of Cognac, mayonnaise, Parmesan, and garlic that makes for a crispy and browned crust. 100 Washington St., Petaluma, 707-981-7891

Aguachiles – El Charro Negro

With flavors as bright as its fuchsia, blue, and orange mobile kitchen, summer is the perfect time to hit up the Mexican beachside flavors of El Charro Negro. Spanking fresh mariscos (seafood) is the specialty here, whipped up by former Willi’s Seafood chef Rodrigo Mendoza. Though everything is tasty, we crave aguachiles, a ceviche made with raw shrimp marinated in lime and mango juice. The mix is served to-go in a tall cup rimmed with hibiscus and mole salt, garnished with fresh cilantro, jicama, pickled onions, avocados, and cucumbers. Mitote Food Park, 665 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa

Butter Chicken – Cumin Restaurant

butter chicken, rice, and other indian food
Heather Irwin

Move over, tikka masala. In our book, butter chicken is here to take the crown for best Indian entrée. We’ve searched high and low throughout the county for the best version of this dish, featuring shredded dark meat chicken in a delicately spiced tomato cream sauce. Served with garlic naan, it’s as comforting as a warm hug. 170 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa, 707-771-8336

Barbecue – Sweet T’s

One of a handful of Santa Rosa restaurants destroyed in the 2017 wildfires, Sweet T’s quickly became a symbol of hope and healing as owners Dennis and Ann Tussey began working on their new Windsor location. Now, fans both old and new line up for pitmaster George Ah Chin’s smoky barbecue. While the ribs and brisket are outstanding, don’t overlook the fried chicken. With an extra crispy shell and steamy interior, this bird is extra-special and extra worth ordering, especially alongside the world’s best mashed potatoes, slaw, and a biscuit. 9098 Brooks Road S., Windsor. 707-687-5185

Portuguese Small Plates – Tasca Tasca

The casual little sister to Sonoma’s iconic LaSalette offers a lengthy list of painstakingly authentic tapas from chef Manuel Azevedo, who was born in the Azores Islands of Portugal. Presented on charming wooden serving boards, the tapas arrive in groups of three, five, or seven items at a time — perfect to share, or when you’re feeling a bit indecisive. 122 West Napa St., Sonoma, 707-996-8272

Sonoma Coast Seaweed Salad – Sushi Kosho

seaweed salad with fruits and vegetables
Heather Irwin

Forget about slippery strips of neon-green seaweed that could double as dental floss in a pinch. Chef Jake Rand sources from our own coastline for a mix of fresh red, white, and green seaweed ribbons with all kinds of delightfully bumpy, lumpy, and tickly textures. Marinated in an orange-yuzu vinaigrette, this East-meets-West salad gets a Cali touch with avocado and fresh cherry tomatoes. 6750 McKinley Street, Sebastopol, 707-827-6373

Spicy Tan-Tan Ramen – Ramen Gaijin

It’s no secret that the owners of this casual ramen shop and izakaya are two white guys — “gaijin” is Japanese for “foreign-born.” But Moishe Hahn-Schuman’s and Matthew Williams’ devotion to creating the perfect bowl of freshly made noodles with homemade stock, locally grown vegetables, and crispy pork belly sets their ramen apart from all others. Our favorite stuns with a sneaky heat softened by fatty pork belly chasu, the creaminess of a barely set egg, bitter charred cabbage, and earthy woodear mushrooms. 6948 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol, 707-827-3609

Mom’s Mole – Agave Healdsburg

Oaxacan mole negro isn’t a dish made in an afternoon. With a laundry list of some 30 ingredients — most of which require separate roasting, blanching, or toasting — it’s a labor of love passed down through generations of Oaxacan women. That’s why executive chef Octavio Diaz leaves the long simmering of this richly spiced regional specialty to his mom, who balances the sweet and the bitter as only a mother can. On chicken or burritos, it’s a Wine Country classic with deep Latino roots. 1063 Vine St., Healdsburg, 707-433-2411

Country Benedict – Dierk’s Parkside Cafe

There’s literally no room for pretension at this intimate neighborhood restaurant with plenty of regulars sipping coffee at the bar. The north end of Santa Rosa Avenue may be a surprising place to find one of Wine Country’s favorite toques, Mark Dierkhising, but over the years, he’s created a morning institution popular with bed-headed kids, après-bike groups, and a patient line of locals waiting for pancakes, chicken fried steak, and the Country Benedict, whose magical powers include poached eggs, bacon, mushrooms, oven-dried tomatoes, spinach, and hash browns drenched in from-scratch hollandaise. 404 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-573-5955

Korean Burrito – Zoftig Eatery

There’s so much to love on the menu of this casual breakfast and lunch spot where husband and wife team Matt and Sonjia Spector cook everything from scratch, a nod to their fine-dining backgrounds. The burrito, an of-the- moment food truck mash-up stuffed with sweet grilled short ribs, kimchi, daikon, and shortgrain brown rice, is rib-sticking and power packed. 57 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, 707-5219554

Roadhouse Burger – Butcher Crown Roadhouse

Soaring above a sea of so-so burgers, this tried-and-true favorite is a custom blend of brisket and chuck with bacon, three kinds of cheese, grilled and crispy onions, shredded iceberg lettuce, and pickles on a toasted Portuguese bun. A roadhouse classic that’s become a Petaluma staple. If you go, check out the piri-piri chicken and chorizo fries to really complete the experience. 1905 Bodega Ave., Petaluma. 707559-3735

Ten-Layer Lasagna – Catelli’s

You can literally read a newspaper through each layer of super-thin pasta. Owners Domenica and Nicholas Catelli have held onto this family recipe for years, adding their own twists. 21047 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville. 707-857-3471

Extraordinary Ice Cream 1 – Noble Folk’s Cardamom Ice Cream

small cups of colorful ice creamThe crisp, piquant, almost astringent quality of this holiday spice works beautifully in the form of an ultra-creamy ice cream. 116 Matheson St., Healdsburg, and 539 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 707-3954426, 707-978-3392

Extraordinary Ice Cream 2 – La Michoacana’s Guava Paleta

Just fruit, sugar, and awesomeness. This tart-sweet popsicle, inspired by Mexico’s best-known ice cream-making region, is a perfect way to cool down. 18495 Highway 12, Sonoma

Extraordinary Ice Cream 3 – Screamin’ Mimi’s Grapefruit Campari Sorbet

It’s always cocktail hour with this sweet-yet-bitter sorbet that transports to the Amalfi Coast. 6902 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol. 707-823-5902

Sabich Platter – Grossman’s Noshery & Bar

spread of Jewish food
Heather Irwin

The great pastrami sandwich in the sky has finally bestowed upon Sonoma County a Brooklyn-worthy Jewish deli for the 21st century. Fresh challah and bagels are made daily, the egg salad is dangerously good, and the chopped chicken liver with crunchy gribenes is grandmother-approved. But our go-to is their ample board featuring falafel, pickled cabbage, a soft egg, tart tahini, Israeli salad, and spicy amba sauce with pita. 308 ½ Wilson St., Santa Rosa, 707-595-7707,

Mount Lassen Trout Salad – Blue Ridge Kitchen

You’ll find similar salads at a handful of other restaurants around the county, but this clever take on a Niçoise is our very favorite. Instead of tuna, chef Matt D’Ambrosi uses hickory-smoked trout alongside plenty of farm-fresh vegetables for a perfect summer dish. 6770 McKinley Street, Sebastopol, 707-222-5040

Khai Man Gai Jok – Jam’s Joy Bungalow

rice porridge with egg
Heather Irwin

From what may be the tiniest kitchen in Sonoma County comes some of the most epic flavors of Southeast Asia. Little more than a walk-in closet, Jamilah Nixon-Mathis kicks out banh mi, rice bowls, and crisp salads for lunch. But we’re special fans of her morning hangover-helper, jok: a tummy-filling rice porridge with prickles of spicy ginger, a custardy six-minute egg, herbs, fried shallots, and khao man gai sauce, a traditional Thai street food favorite. You’ll never look at oatmeal the same way again. 150 Weeks Way, Sebastopol

Wild Mushrooms – Mycopia

Sonoma locals hunt for chanterelles in late winter, morels in spring — a gift of fire, they fruit in last year’s fire zones — and porcini and the elusive Shaggy Mane in early summer, which seem to vanish as quickly as they emerge. As foraging season wanes, locally owned specialty mushroom company Mycopia steps up to satisfy cravings with maitakes, pioppinis, and more. On Fridays, from 1 to 3 p.m., extras on hand are offered to the public in 3-pound bags at wholesale prices. 2901 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. 707-823-174

Sonoma-Grown Olive Oil – DaVero Farms & Winery

In 1990, Ridgely Evers became the first American to import olive trees from Italy in over a century. His first commercial harvest was in 1994, yielding all of 25 gallons. Today, Healdsburg’s DaVero is the gold standard for American oils. Four different varieties of Tuscan olives —Leccino, Frantoio, Maurino, and Pendolino — create a suave, fruity, sophisticated extra-virgin olive oil that is rich on the palate, with a delightfully peppery finish. (A shout-out, too, to the excellent Shone Farm olive oil, made by students in the ag studies program at Santa Rosa Junior College and sold at Oliver’s Market.) DaVero, 766 Westside Road, Healdsburg. 707-4318000

Vegetablicious Melt – The Farmer’s Wife

Is it an exaggeration to call Kendra Kolling’s sando the Gucci of grilled cheese? Stuffed with gently braised seasonal greens, roasted vegetables sweet as candy, fresh chèvre, aged cheddar, and an egg so yellow it outshines the sun, this melt is bougie-er than a stretch Hummer. And that’s how we do grilled cheese Sonoma- style. 6760 McKinley Street, Sebastopol. 707-827-3306

Mee Maw’s Famous Cinnamon Roll – Sax’s Joint

close up of cinnamon roll with melting frostingDuring shelter-in-place, these colossal cinnamon rolls doused in creamy frosting became so popular that new pop-up pickups in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol were needed to meet the demand. Now you can taste them for yourself at the 1950s-themed Petaluma café that’s a favorite of families and a destination for pastry-lovers. 317 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma, 707-559-3021

Landmark Sonoma Cheese 1

Valley Ford Creamery, founded in 1931 in Sonoma, makes several signature cow’s milk cheeses that are widely distributed. But the extraordinary Golden Bear Dry Monterey Jack, aged 2-4 years, is only available direct from the factory store — and it’s worth the trip. 315 Second St. E., Sonoma. 800-848-0505

Landmark Sonoma Cheese 2

goat cheese on charcuterie boardBefore Laura Chenellaunched her company in 1979, most goat cheese sold here came from Europe. Laura studied cheesemaking in France, then brought her fresh chèvre to the back door of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and the rest is history. The company was sold several years ago, but the classic fresh chèvre remains as flavorful and iconic as ever.

Landmark Sonoma Cheese 3

Thirty years ago in Two Rock Valley west of Petaluma, Cindy Callahan started Bellwether Farms, one of the first commercial sheep-milk dairies west of the Mississippi. Her San Andreas has a smooth texture and delightfully floral, grassy, and nutty flavors. 9999 Valley Ford Road, Petaluma. 707-7630993

Cioppino – Rocker Oysterfeller’s

Sonoma Coast is all about the seafood, and this quirky, charming saloon in the town of Valley Ford (pop. 34) beckons with some of the best around. The fisherman’s cioppino is lovingly crafted in a deep, complex fennel-tomato broth stocked with lots of local rock cod, mussels, clams, Dungeness crab, and prawns. Spritz with lemon, dunk in some crispy grilled ciabatta, and swoon. 14415 Highway 1, Valley Ford, 707-8761983

Arctic Gem Peaches – Dry Creek Peach

The cult-favorite fruits from Gayle and Brian Sullivan’s farm stand are well worth a drive. With 30 varieties of peaches on five acres, the farm’s season stretches from June through September, peaking in July with the magnificent Arctic Gem. Locals know that the farm stand is open only when there is enough fruit, so it’s wise to get on the mailing list. And if you ever find yourself at the farm for one of their annual events, don’t miss Gayle’s alluring peach leaf ice cream — like nothing else we’ve tasted. 2179 Yoakim Bridge, Healdsburg. 707-433-8121,

Pho – Pho Vietnam

You’re here for the soup, not necessarily the decor or the service. Best of the best consommé with bold beefy flavor and gentle notes of star anise and cinnamon. We stick with rare steak, but tendons, tripe, flank, and brisket are available. What makes the dish perfect? Super-fresh basil, bean sprouts, jalapeño, and fresh lime to add in and make it your own. 711 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa

Chipotle Peppers – Tierra Vegetables

Before anyone in the U.S. knew how to pronounce chipotle, grower Lee James was launching an industry with the smoky, seductive chile powders she created from dozens of different varieties of smoked peppers grown on her organic farm. Production has slowed because of recent fires, as the process puts a lot of smoke into the air, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for this year. 651 Airport Blvd., Santa Rosa. 707-544-6141

Smoked Duck Breast – Liberty Ducks

Answering a call from chefs for a larger, more flavorful bird than was available at the time, Jim Reichardt, a fourth-generation farmer in Petaluma, founded Liberty Ducks in 1992. It used to be that Sonoma diners enjoyed the company’s duck primarily at restaurants. But now, there’s wider access to the company’s products through online sales of whole duck, smoked duck breasts, and amazing duck sausage. 707-791-0397

Boho Bowl – Altamont General Store

vegetable and grain bowl
Heather Irwin

This hidden spot in the tiny town of Occidental is about to be huge. The wife-and-wife team of Jenay and Andzia Hofftin, spent four years rehabbing the town’s iconic 1876 hotel to house a destination- worthy eatery and market serving wildly creative dishes that appeal to the diversity of the West County community. Andzia’s thoughtfully composed vegan Boho Bowl offers up a super appealing mix of lentils and rice, earthy sprouts, fresh arugula, beets, and curry-spiced cauliflower. 3703 Main Street, Occidental. 707-874-6053

Beet Salad – Diavola Pizzeria

While this Geyserville mainstay from chef-owner Dino Bugica is deservedly beloved for its wood-fired pizzas (the “cha cha cha” with smoked pork belly and roasted peppers) and from-scratch pastas (squid ink bucatini, potato gnocchi), the beet salad here is also really something special, with mustard greens, pistachios, Laura Chenel goat cheese, and three types of citrus. 21021 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, 707-8140111

Early Summer in Sonoma Appetizer – Single Thread

seasonal produce on large boardHave fairies from a woody glen left behind this floral sculpture, filled with tiny, exquisite nibbles? Sort of. Sourcing from their Healdsburg farm, Kyle and Katina Connaughton pair up for each show-stopping arrangement of seasonal flora and one-bite appetizers of fish, vegetables, and other of-the-moment fare. It’s one heck of a first impression for diners embarking on the hours-long, Michelin-starred culinary adventure. 131 North St., Healdsburg. 707-723-4646

Beignets – The Parish Cafe

beignets on white plate
Heather Irwin

Owner Rob Lippincott brought New Orleans to Sonoma County with his farmers market beignet pop-up more than a decade ago. That turned into a brick-and-mortar Healdsburg restaurant with all of the easy of the Big Easy, including gumbo, fried okra, muffuletta, and of course, the warm, pillowy beignets that disappear into your face with a poof of powdered sugar. 60a Mill St., Healdsburg, 707-431-8474

Best Brunch – Table Culture Provisions

eggs benedict and other brunch dishes on tableWe have Tesla to thank for one of the best and brightest openings of the past year. Longtime locals Stéphane Saint Louis and Steven Vargas invested their pandemic stimulus checks into the car company, and as proceeds stacked up, they launched in the former Wishbone space. For brunch, tuck into an outstanding veggie omelet or the duck hash, or, if you visit for dinner, don’t miss fried chicken and delicata squash rings. 841 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma, 707-796-3375

Clam and Scallop Chowder – Ginochio’s Kitchen

We’ve found the ultimate coastal chowder. Patty Ginochio’s recipe is a well-guarded secret, made from scratch daily at her family’s Bodega Bay café. The chowder is beautifully balanced and perfectly seasoned, with plenty of clams, not too many potatoes, and bonus nuggets of scallop that take things to the next level. If there’s caramel-bacon monkey bread on the menu, grab that too. 1410 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay. 707-377-4359

Straight-From-The-Docks Dungeness Crab – Spud Point Marina

Spoiler alert (literally): Crab does not age well. In fact, within a few hours of being cooked, ammonia starts to build up in the meat and the sweetness dissipates. That’s why instead of the holy grail of shellfish, some grocery store crab can be a disappointing, Windex-flavored mess. Instead, head to Bodega Bay, where crab pots are piled high, pots are roiling with steam, and angry crabs are still bent on pinching your fingers. One favorite spot is Anello Family Crab & Seafood. 1820 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay. 707-232-800

Chicken Liver Mousse – Street Social

Chef Jevon Martin’s six-table Petaluma restaurant feels surprising and insider-y, like you’ve stumbled across your coolest friend’s secret culinary hideout. And we dare you not to fall in love with Martin’s excellent chicken liver mousse. Blended with plenty of butter, cognac, and cream, liver is transformed into a silky spread for savory Cassava waffles with caramelized-onion jam and pickled onions. 29F Petaluma Boulevard, N., Petaluma, 707-7746185

Heirloom Carrot Salad – Wit & Wisdom

carrot salad
Heather Irwin

While it’s easy to discount celebrity chef Michael Mina as a bit of an outsider to Sonoma County, his new(ish) Lodge at Sonoma restaurant gets everything so right, from the duck wings to the Bohemian Creamery cheese board. Our favorite dish? Heirloom carrots roasted to a sweet softness, piled high with Vadouvan-spiced yogurt, pomegranate seeds, a pool of piquillo pepper sauce and tangerine vinaigrette. Each dish is better than the next, but we just can’t quit the carrots — as beautiful to look at as they are to eat. 1325 Broadway, Sonoma, 707-931-3405

Lox & Bagel Breakfast – The Spinster Sisters

lox and bagel brunch plate
Heather Irwin

It’s not that this is the only place for lox and bagels, it’s just one of our favorites. Belly up to the bar for freshly made, toasted bagels with lightly smoked lox, cream cheese, paper-thin slices of red onion, and capers. The coffee is always strong, the staff welcoming, and the vibe chill. Locals are often found reading the morning paper, and if you’re lucky, you might overhear a bit of neighborhood gossip from the artsy SOFA district. 401 South A St., Santa Rosa. 707-528-7100

Gravenstein Apples

It wouldn’t be right to leave out the most famous of Sonoma-grown fruits, the beloved Gravenstein. The Grav is one of the earliest apples to ripen, and it’s one of the most flavorful, too — though the season is regretfully short, just a few weeks long. Try it in apple fritters at the Gravenstein Apple Fair in early August, or in pies and salads at area restaurants, such as K&L Bistro, which serves a caramelized onion and apple tart with blue cheese.

Burrata Plate – Boon Eat + Drink

Chef Crista Luedtke’s casual Guerneville cafe has long been a destination for West County visitors because of its dedication to the best ingredients available. And while we can’t miss the 5 Dot Ranch burger or mac-n-cheese with Mycopia mushrooms and truffle breadcrumbs, its the creamy burrata with fava and mint pesto, Marcona almonds, and grilled bread that we truly can’t leave without. 16248 Main St., Guerneville, 707-869-0780

Whole-Roasted Branzino – Glen Ellen Star

Just about anything from chef Ari Weiswasser’s wood-fired oven is a stunning bit of culinary magic, but a roasted whole fish — the delicately flavored branzino in this case — is transformative. Crispy and flaky with a gentle bit of char, it’s served with shaved fennel and preserved lemon to add a sunny brightness, while Romesco sauce brings it all back to earth. Perfection. 13648 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, 707-343-1384

Cowboy Candy Beef Jerky – Bud’s Custom Meats

The sweet-tangy savory snack, slow-smoked to a buttery chew with whisper-thin sliced beef, is a Sonoma County staple, made with superior, local pasture raised meat. Bud’s, founded by artisan butcher Bud Gamba in 1975 and passed on to son Matt Gamba in 1997, puts extra joy in jerky. 7750 Petaluma Hill Road, Penngrove, 707-795-8402,

Creamed Spinach – Stark’s Steak & Seafood

This 1950s steakhouse side dish is so anachronistic, you just can’t ignore it. Sure, you could order trendy roasted Brussels sprouts or crème fraîche mashed potatoes from the area’s top steakhouse, but diving into a grass-green bowl of cream and butter with pureed spinach is a trip back to a simpler time before LDLs and triglycerides were a thing. 521 Adams St., Santa Rosa. 707546-5100

Dry-Aged Steak – Panizzera Meat Co

Given the county’s long ranching history, it’s no surprise that Sonoma is home to a number of top artisan butchers (props to Journeyman, Thistle, and Sonoma County Meat Co.). But even among that heady competition, this gem in the town of Occidental is turning out some of the most flavorful, tender steaks we’ve ever tasted. The secret? A specially built room lined with blocks of pink Himalayan rock salt, which wick moisture from the air during the 28-to-60-day drying process. 3905 Main St., Occidental, 707-874-9770

Early Girl Tomatoes – The Patch

One famous rite of summer here is the wait for the first tomatoes of the season — and it’s a rare year when any other local farm beats the Patch to the finish line. Founded in a warm microclimate in Sonoma in 1996, the Patch’s highly prized Early Girls can show up as soon as mid-May, followed by beefsteaks and, later, by the delicate heirlooms for which they are also known. Find them at local markets or direct from the farm stand in Sonoma. 280 Second St. E., Sonoma. 707-849-7384. 

Korean Soft Tofu Soup – Tov Tofu

tofu soup
Heather Irwin

You’ll find this powerhouse of a meal in an unlikely shopping- mall location in east Santa Rosa. With velvety nuggets of tofu in a spicy chile broth, it’s exactly the kind of comforting siyo you want to snuggle down with when June gloom starts to encroach on warm summer evenings. Thinly sliced pork, mushrooms, onions — kimchi, too, if you like — add delicious texture. 1169 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. 707-5669469,

Wild Boar Cacciatore Salami – Salumeria Ovello

Why would a Michelin-starred chef from northern Italy start a tiny, off-the-beaten-path charcuterie operation near the Sonoma Plaza? Well, for love of course. Chef Andrea Marino was running a high-end restaurant in Italy’s Piedmont region when he met an American doctor from Petaluma. They married, and now Marino sells his succulent salami, porchetta, and chicken liver pâté to an in-the-know foodie crowd. The wild boar salami, made “hunter-style,” is especially incredible, but really, you can’t go wrong here. 248 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 707-721-1478

Cheddar Soft Pretzels – Wooden Petal

Pretzel goddess Clare Hulme left a career with notable Bay Area restaurants to open her boutique bakery in early 2020. Her soft pretzels are pure magic, in plain salt, Cheddar, or cinnamon — all the better with a dunk in Hulme’s homemade cheese, mustard, or spinach dips. Especially go for the sweet satisfaction of summer’s Sebastopol Gravenstein apple pretzels with salted caramel, and autumn’s Sonoma Chardonnay-soaked pear pretzels with tangy Gorgonzola. 404 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa,

World-Class Kid Food 1 – Handline

Kids (and their grown-ups) savor goodies like plates of west county-raised chicken with fancy beans, avocado, and Sebastopol’s St. Jorge cheese, or hand-battered Bodega fish and crispy hand-cut chips. 935 Gravenstein Ave. S., Sebastopol, 707-827-3744

World Class Kid Food 2 – El Molino Central

We’ve never met a child who didn’t adore a chicken-and-cheese quesadilla. What sets this version apart is slow-braised organic chicken and made-to-order tortillas using organic corn ground daily in-house. 11 Central Ave., Boyes Hot Springs, 707-939-1010.

World-Class Kid Food 3 – Taub Family Outpost

Is your kid adventurous enough for green pasta? The answer should be yes, especially here, where it comes in a succulent mac and cheese topped with crunchy bacon and breadcrumbs. 497 First Street West, Sonoma, 707-721-1107

By Heather Irwin, Michele Anna Jordan, Abigail Peterson, Diane Peterson, Dana Rebmann, and Carey Sweet

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