20 Best Restaurants in Sonoma County

SingleThread Farm Restaurant & Inn

Sonoma Wine Country overflows with delicious and award-winning restaurants — so much so that it can be difficult to know where to start. True to the refined-yet-laidback spirit of Sonoma County, the restaurants on this list encompass everything from epic tasting menus to no-frills eateries serving some of the most vibrant Mexican and Thai food you’ll find this side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The one thing they all have in common? They’re all supplied by an endless bounty of local, seasonal ingredients thanks to Sonoma County’s many farms and food producers.

In no particular order, here are 20 of the best restaurants in Sonoma County for every occasion.

1. SingleThread, Healdsburg

A salad of beautiful vegetables at SingleThread Farm Restaurant & Inn, Healdsburg
SingleThread Farm Restaurant & Inn, Healdsburg

The only restaurant in Sonoma County to earn three Michelin stars, the wildly creative SingleThread added an award in 2022 with a Michelin Green Star for sustainability. Set in a grand building owned by the Seghesio wine family near Healdsburg Plaza, the elegant space is home to equally sophisticated cooking.

The concept is kaiseki — elaborate, multi-course meals crafted as art — and donabe — rustic clay pot cooking. Menus change daily but might bring delicacies like cod Fukkura-san with root vegetables, cabbage, charred onion, and walnut-nori pesto or wild salmon smoked over cherry-blossom wood with fermented rice, salmon roe, and wild ginger. To paraphrase the Michelin guide, exquisite barely begins to describe it. Reservations are highly competitive, so plan way ahead.

2. Folktable, Sonoma

Recognized with Michelin Bib Gourmand honors, FolkTable showcases locally grown ingredients at down-to-earth prices. Conveniently located among a handful of other highly recommended shops, tasting rooms, and restaurants at Cornerstone Sonoma — and literally surrounded by some of Sonoma County’s best-loved wineries — Folktable’s eclectic menu is full of crowd-pleasers, from Chicken Fat Rice to farm salads composed of kales and chards, pickled apples, pecans, ricotta, and sumac dressing.

3. Bird & The Bottle, Santa Rosa

Mini Burgers from Bird & The Bottle, Santa Rosa
Bird & The Bottle, Santa Rosa

Matzoh ball soup prepared ramen style or cheesy grits topped with pickled shiitakes, grilled chicken, cured egg, and spicy schmaltz are some of the deliciously creative offerings you’ll find here. Restaurateurs Mark and Terri Stark bring lots of experience to their modern tavern melting pot. There are grilled and chilled shellfish accompanied by Southern saltines and Korean chile buerre blanc; clam chowder studded with kielbasa; kimchee latkes with sour cream and garlic chives; chicken fried oysters with shiso leaf and spicy mayo; and schmears like smoked black cod with sour cream, and fresh horseradish. Try it, and you’ll likely be happily surprised.

4. Khom Loi, Sebastopol

In recent years, Sebastopol has become a simmering hotpot of global cuisine, and this Thai restaurant is one of its shining stars. Khom Loi is what you get when you combine authentic Thai cooking with the bounty of Sonoma County’s small farms. Whether you’re in the mood for sweet green papaya salad, a comforting plate of silky Pad Thai, or a new-to-you-Thai dish (and there are probably a few), you’re in capable hands at Khom Loi.

5. Valley Bar and Bottle, Sonoma

Another Bib Gourmand selection in Sonoma, this restaurant’s self-described “California comfort food” menu revolves around simple food driven by seasonal produce. Veggies are elevated to main attractions, like roasted carrots with curry yogurt and braised greens with chili oil. Fans of quality meat and fresh seafood will also find plenty to love. Serving weekday lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, this restaurant is also a wine shop focusing on wines grown with organic, biodynamic, regenerative, and traditional agricultural practices.

6. Barndiva, Healdsburg

Exterior of Barndiva Restaurant in Healdsburg, California at night
Barndiva, Healdsburg

Barndiva’s stunning garden terrace and Sonoma Wine Country cuisine sourced from nearby farms, ranches, and waters have made it a favorite since 2004. Just take it from the Michelin Guide, who bestowed Barndiva with its first Michelin star back in 2021: “The cooking, as conceived by chef Jordan Rosas, hones in on prime local produce and sustainability. There is a tangible deftness in such aromatic flavor combinations as seared day boat scallops with kohlrabi, grapefruit, and lemongrass-ginger butter sauce. Of course, it should be unlawful to forgo the creative goodies from pastry chef Neidy Venegas.”

7. Diavola Pizzeria + Salumeria, Geyserville

You can’t go wrong with pizzas pulled from the wood-fired ovens at this gem in downtown Geyserville, especially the signature pie, the Dictator (topped with marinated short rib, garlic, mozzarella, scallions, serrano chiles, kimchi, and kewpie mayo). But the menu is full of surprises in the form of excellent salads, mains, and plates of pasta (the Gnocchi with Cacao & Oxtail is just one example of the culinary creativity on display here).

8. Hazel, Occidental

Owners Jim and Michele Wimborough wow at this cute cottage with Cal-Med cuisine in savory signatures like scallop crudo dressed with Santa Rosa plums or grilled octopus with River Dog cannellini beans, shaved fennel, watercress, orange, and olives. Most ingredients are local, like the Valley Ford cheese on the sweet corn, cherry tomato, and jalapeno pizza, or the just-caught salmon roasted in the oven with leeks, Yukon creamers, tomatoes, spring onions, and Greek olives. Local wines? You bet.

9. Valette, Healdsburg

Liberty Duck Trio is served at Valette, Healdsburg
Valette, Healdsburg

Dustin Valette brings in crowds for his contemporary Cal-global cooking in the inviting ambiance of an open kitchen trimmed in reclaimed wood. Reservations are recommended to score a table laden with seasonally (and often weekly) changing dishes like slow-cooked celeriac soup with toasted pistachios, yellow beet tartare, and goat cheese meringue, or crispy skin local sablefish with garden bok choy, roasted ginger dashi, toasted soba noodles, and spicy kimchee purée.

Be sure to start with hand-crafted charcuterie from the custom-made curing case, and if you’re feeling adventurous, tuck into the “Trust Me” menu, where Valette sends out a multi-course feast of his daily picks.

10. Farmhouse Restaurant, Forestville

Offering a six-course menu with optional wine pairing, this restaurant is a perfect extension of the Farmhouse Inn where it’s located — sophisticated and carefully appointed, yet refreshingly relaxed. The menu changes frequently, but dishes like white sturgeon caviar, Dungeness crab with sea urchin and Meyer lemon fettuccine, and grilled venison loin with duck liver mousse, are good examples of the elevated cuisine you can expect on any given evening.

11. Cyrus, Geyserville

Cyrus offers a unique “Dining Journey,” where guests are invited into different, inspired spaces and served curated plates with wine pairings. The experience begins in the Bubbles Lounge for first bites and expansive views. The second destination is the heart of the kitchen, where 12 guests witness culinary magic while enjoying plates selected and presented by the chefs. Next, each individual party is ensconced at their own table in the Dining Room for dishes matched with wine from an extensive list. Finally, guests enter the “Chocolate Room” for a sweet treat and a parting gift.

12. El Molino Central, Sonoma

From Dungeness crab tostadas to enchiladas with butternut squash, caramelized onions, and white cheddar, this is not your mother’s Mexican food (although several menu items were inspired by recipes crafted by owner Zoraida Juarez’s mother!). El Molino Central is so good that the San Francisco Chronicle called it “the best Mexican food in the Bay Area.” The regular menu is served 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily, and you can get your chilaquiles fix with Mexican breakfast on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

13. Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg

Dry Creek Kitchen is an institution on historic Healdsburg Plaza and a perfect special occasion meal. Choose between a three-course prix-fixe menu or a five-course tasting menu, and let Chef Charlie Palmer take you on a culinary tour of Northern California, from openers like seared octopus and short-rib agnolotti to the world-class wines that accompany you on the journey. For those looking for something more casual (but no less transcendent), Spirit Bar at Hotel Healdsburg — just a few steps away — offers small and large plates from Dry Creek Kitchen alongside an extensive drinks menu.

14. Guerneville Bank Club, Guerneville

Chile Pies Baking Co. and Nimble & Finn's Ice Cream are found in the Guerneville Bank Club, Sonoma County
Guerneville Bank Club, Guerneville

In 1921, this big white building on Guerneville’s Main Street housed an actual bank full of money. Now, its vaults are full of ice cream and wine. Doing double duty as a collective retail and art gallery space, the design offers an eclectic mix of art shows, homemade ice cream, curated local and imported wines, microbrews, and kitchen accessories, plus a history display of Guerneville. The ice cream is the work of Nimble & Finn’s, in tempting flavors like Maple Bourbon Bacon Brittle, Lavender Honeycomb, and Strawberry Buttermilk.

15. The Spinster Sisters, Santa Rosa

Located in Santa Rosa’s SOFA (South of A Street) arts district, Spinster Sisters has a weekly rotating menu courtesy of chef Liza Hinman that combines expertly grown and crafted ingredients found in Sonoma County with dishes inspired by flavors and traditions from around the world.

16. Hana Japanese Restaurant, Rohnert Park

In 2015, owner Ken Tominaga completed an extensive renovation of his wildly popular Japanese eatery, nearly doubling the space. He added a lounge with a low-slung couch, a long wood table, and a raw wood bar with stump stools to complement the main dining room and sushi bar, which shines with seasonal offerings like gnome fish and amberjack. The sprawling kitchen menu is also full of winners, like A5 Wagyu steak, miso black cod, and a head-spinning list of small bites.

17. Willi’s Wine Bar, Santa Rosa

People sit and enjoy the evening on the patio
Willi’s Wine Bar, Santa Rosa

This iconic Santa Rosa roadhouse has been reborn in an extensively renovated, 3,000-square-foot space. You’ll find both locals and visitors here, enjoying a quick bite or lingering over a glass of wine. The menu features international small plates, some wildly inventive and others comfortingly familiar. Popular favorites like goat cheese fritters, Tunisian roasted carrots with mint, Moroccan lamb chops, and filet mignon sliders have landed Willi’s on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Bay Area Top 100 Restaurants list for four years.

18. Layla, Sonoma

First, feast your eyes on the bright and airy dining room, which features vaulted ceilings and abundant light courtesy of ample windows and oversized wicker lights that dangle overhead like upturned baskets. Then, dig into the understated Mediterranean menus that prioritize seasonal ingredients. Lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner all bring new discoveries — like olive oil pancakes, scallops swimming in saffron cream, and lamb meatballs with charred pepper and tomato sauce.

19. Journeyman Meat Co., Healdsburg

Not just a world-class butcher shop, this meat haven is also a wine bar, gourmet retailer, and café specializing in wood-fired pizzas. Run by one of Sonoma County’s oldest wine-growing families, Journeyman is a great place to assemble a gourmet picnic complete with charcuterie, vino, and artisan snacks.

20. Jam’s Joy Bungalow, Sebastopol & Cotati

“Vibrant food for spirited people” is the motto at Jam’s Joy Bungalow, the brainchild of chef Jamilah Nixon-Mathis. This Chinese-Thai-Vietnamese fusion concept began as a food truck and has since expanded to two colorful brick-and-mortar locations, thanks to its loyal following. The compact menu offers delicious and affordable staples such as Banh Mi and jok, a Thai-style warm rice porridge, but don’t overlook the daily specials, which may include anything from Chili Crisp Crab Noodles to garlicky NYC Halal Cart Chicken & Rice.

Now, get ready to eat!

For more destination dining, take a look at Michelin-Star Restaurants and Award-Winning Eateries in Sonoma County, and browse more Sonoma County restaurants here.

Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet

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