Discover Sonoma County’s Roadhouses
A visit to a roadhouse is a quintessential, nostalgic travel experience. If you were born before or in the 80s, then you’ve likely seen Road House, the 1989 film starring Patrick Swayze as James Dalton, a professional “cooler” at a newly refurbished roadhouse bar, who protects a small town in Missouri from a corrupt businessman.
The traditional roadhouse often consists of an old school inn or tavern, usually outside city limits, that consists of a no-frills bar and restaurant, and often has live music, dancing, and sometimes card games. Here in Sonoma County, many historic roadhouses have been preserved, and now find life as unique restaurants, bars, and music venues.
Below, discover Sonoma County’s roadhouses. If you’re planning to try what’s on tap at each, we recommend reserving Sweet Pea, or another vintage VW Van by West Wine Tours to continue that nostalgic theme. Or, for a more modern ride, choose the cool comforts of a Tesla SUV from the Healdsburg Tours fleet.
West County Roadhouses
Take to the scenic back roads of Sonoma County to West County, an area that is a treasure trove of tiny towns, historic landmarks, acclaimed restaurants, and thrilling backcountry roads that offer something new just around the bend. Sidle up to the bar or chow on classic bar bites at these Sonoma County roadhouses.
Fork Roadhouse’s little red eatery is located off Bodega Highway in Sebastopol, nestled in a quiet valley idyllically set amongst redwoods and farms. Specializing in farm-to-table American Wine Country cuisine, Fork features a fresh and creative menu, using the best local ingredients. Locals are drawn in for a few popular favorites, such as the house-smoked bbq meats and fish, and a variety of burgers like the grass-fed Stemple Creek beef, Moroccan spiced lamb, and house-made veggie burger. Enjoy it all in the backyard eating area, which in spring is marked by blooming tulips and blossoms.
As a part of the amazing culinary community of Sonoma County, Fork Roadhouse features some incredible local farms, wineries and purveyors who help bring you the best roadhouse experience possible.
Canneti prides itself on using the freshest local ingredients available to create a unique blend of Tuscan and Californian cuisine. Though you can’t take a wrong turn selecting from their menu, you might start with their house-made Focaccia that is served with smoked prosciutto and mascarpone, or one of the various antipasti options. Next, dive into their freshly-made pastas, or unique grilled dishes, such as the stuffed zucchini with breadcrumbs, parmesan, peppers, tomatoes, capers and shallot sauce, or the roasted wild king salmon with marinated cherry tomatoes.
Canneti Roadhouse Italiana officially opened its doors on March 2, 2013. Canneti’s owner, Francesco Torre, hails from the Tuscan coastal town of Massa. His culinary adventures have ranged from Florence to New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area and now Sonoma County. Torre’s unique Italian roadhouse features custom-built tables and chairs, vintage Healdsburg machine shop parts, and a hand-forged rotisserie and fire pit. Great attention to detail, and numerous personal touches can be found throughout Canneti Roadhouse Italiana, with a story that accompanies each item. It’s a classic roadhouse experience, but with elements of Italian heritage and inspiration.
Located in the heart of the redwoods in the beautiful Russian River Resort area, the converted double-wide trailer of Rio Nido Roadhouse combines family-friendly fun, great comfort food, a large outdoor space, and a wide selection of beers. Rio Nido Roadhouse features 15 craft Beers on tap, daily menu specials, live music, and it even has a swimming pool. Enjoy hanging out on the lawn, playing horseshoes or lying by the pool, and engaging in conversations with the bartenders while listening to the old juke box.
Rio Nido Roadhouse takes traditional pub food up a notch with appetizers like steamed clams, artichoke jalapeño dip and wings tossed in a spicy and sweet Thai chili sauce. Burger fans can enjoy the Western Burger with BBQ sauce, bacon, pepper jack cheese, and onion rings, or choose from a variety of different handmade and hand-tossed pizzas. For families, parents can enjoy a drink while the kids enjoy food from the pool snack bar. Make a visit to the Roadhouse for a laid-back and friendly atmosphere in the redwoods.
The Casino, located in the historic town of Bodega, is a landmark roadhouse saloon, a community touchstone, and a place where friends and visitors can gather for a drink, a bite, or a round of pool, and experience the authentic culture of small-town Northern California. Despite what one might infer from its name, the Casino Bar & Grill is not a gambling establishment.
At Casino, you won’t find traditional burgers and fries on the menu like you may expect. Instead, it features a small rotating menu from different chefs showcasing a variety of cuisines. Depending on the day, offerings may include kimchi frittatas, fresh local seafood, and mushroom garlic noodles. The kitchen only buys enough food for the day, so eating early and staying for drinks is the best chance of enjoying Casino's unique menu options. Remember to bring cash, since Casino Bar & Grill is cash only.
Southern Sonoma County Roadhouses:
Venturing to southern end of Sonoma County, into the historic downtown Petaluma. Between antique shopping and getting your feel of local cheese and wine, discover a few roadhouses that are ripe for exploring.
The small red tavern along Old Redwood Highway in Penngrove offers more than a stop for the tired traveler. Built in 1926, Twin Oaks Roadhouse offers a wide selection of beers and a small menu of delicious bites and full meals. Enjoy your beverage and bites on the outdoor patio listening to live music while taking in the historic tavern that’s brimming with character and charm.
At Twin Oaks, there’s a beer for everyone, from a wide-selection of their own Hopmonk craft beers, to other local favorites. Pair it with fried pickles or a warm soft pretzel. For a larger meal, try the Nashville fried hot chicken sandwich or bacon cheeseburger, or for something lighter, try the Mediterranean quinoa salad or tomato soup. Enjoy great beer, delicious food, and a tavern filled with conversation and great music at Twin Oaks Roadhouse.
Take a step back in time at the Washoe House in Petaluma, which is one of Sonoma County's most fabled establishments. Built in 1859, the building has served as a stagecoach stop, hotel, restaurant, and stop for mail carriers. Here, comfort food is on the menu all day long. For breakfast, highlights include chicken fried stteak and the breakfast special featuring the choice of pancakes, waffles or French toast served with eggs and bacon or sauce. Lunch includes entrees like a Philly steak sandwich and fish & chips, while the more expansive dinner menu features a number of different burgers and steaks, pasta and beer-battered prawns. Enjoy hearty food, classic drinks, and a great ambiance on the weekends at one of Sonoma County's most famous landmarks.
Take a step back in time at the Washoe House in Petaluma, which is one of Sonoma County's most fabled establishments. Built in 1859, the building has served as a stagecoach stop, hotel, restaurant, and stop for mail carriers.
Here, comfort food is on the menu all day long. For breakfast, highlights include chicken fried stteak and the breakfast special featuring the choice of pancakes, waffles or French toast served with eggs and bacon or sauce. Lunch includes entrees like a Philly steak sandwich and fish & chips, while the more expansive dinner menu features a number of different burgers and steaks, pasta and beer-battered prawns.
Enjoy hearty food, classic drinks, and a great ambiance on the weekends at one of Sonoma County's most famous landmarks.
Stormy’s Spirits and Supper, established in 1854 and owned by the Cramer family since 1961, serves warm and hearty food in an old-timey atmosphere. From a steakhouse in the 70s to the present-day restaurant serving prime ribs and classic house specialties in a casual and cheerful setting, Stormy’s offers a traditional roadhouse experience.
Whether you’re in the mood for beer-battered fish and chips or a 16 oz. New York steak, don't miss out on Cramer’s clam chowder. All dinners here are served family-style with clam chowder, garden salad, buttermilk mashed potatoes, vegetables, and French bread. Complete with a full bar and eight rotating beers on tap, Stormy’s Spirits and Supper serves a wide selection of drinks to enjoy with a hearty meal. Take a trip to Stormy’s and embrace the historic roadhouse charm.
Voted “Best Hidden Gem in Petaluma” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Butcher Crown Roadhouse offers comfort food with a contemporary twist. Just minutes from downtown Petaluma, the roadhouse serves unique dishes with international flavors in a countryside setting. From BBQ and brisket to Mexican street corn and Piri Piri chicken tacos, the menu showcases Chef Pete Schnell’s culinary creativity.
Start a leisurely afternoon on their patio with a beer or sangria and papas fritas, an elevated version of French fries made with Mexican chorizo, Vaquero sauce, cheddar & jack cheese, pickled red onions, green onions, goat cheese, green onions, and cilantro. Everyone loves crispy Brussels sprouts and Butcher Crown Roadhouse adds a twist with house-cured smoked pork belly and preserved lemon gremolata. Next up is their Roadhouse burger, a custom blend brisket and chuck patty with bacon, three cheeses, iceburg lettuce, grilled onions, and pickles on a Portuguese bun. If you haven’t met your maximum French fry consumption, add a side of Old Bay fries for $4. Other hearty meals include meaty sandwiches, BBQ platters, and loaded tacos.