7 Great Restaurants for a Weekend Getaway in Sonoma County
You've been looking forward to your weekend getaway in Sonoma County for a long time, and it's finally here! Between the wine tasting, boutique shopping, time in nature, and ample opportunities to relax and unwind, you're going to work up quite an appetite.
Luckily, Sonoma County's patio dining, craft cocktails, and farm-to-table menus make it a foodie haven. Whether you're planning a girls' getaway, a boys' weekend, or a much-needed retreat with friends, here's where to eat in different areas of Sonoma County.
Northern Sonoma County
Share delicious and innovative small plates on the back patio or inside the fashionable dining room at this boisterous spot. Recognized by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the top 20 tapas restaurants in the U.S., it's a perfect place to relax and sample a variety of delights. Chef Mark Stark crafts straight-out-of-Barcelona tapas like boquerones, cream chicken croquettes, and local sardines in black olive ink, along with specialties like fried pig ears and a ham-and-cheese bar. Wash it all down with a signature gin and tonic, such as the aromatic Levante with Hayman's Old Tom gin, orange, saffron, and cardamom.
A third-generation family-owned Italian restaurant in the heart of Wine Country, this Geyserville favorite offers an extensive list of local wines and true Italian-style dishes with a Sonoma County twist. The menu features many of Grandpa Catelli's authentic Italian recipes, but chef Domenica Catelli has added her own signature to the dishes. Make sure you try her "Pasta of the Moment," which emphasizes seasonal ingredients along with her famous handmade pasta. The charming checkered patio in the garden is the perfect atmosphere to spend the evening sipping local wine and enjoying some of Sonoma County's most authentic Italian cuisine.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville
Luxury poolside service, gorgeous landscape views of the picturesque Alexander Valley, and a tasting room alongside a museum of Francis Ford Coppola's cinematic achievements (including Oscars, movie memorabilia, and film props)—an entire day can easily be spent at this lavish winery in Geyserville. Sip on luxury lemonade by the pool, play a little bocce ball, or enjoy the Sonoma Inclusive Wine Tasting. After you've worked up an appetite, enjoy some of Francis' favorite dishes at the on-site Rustic restaurant. You'll find everything from family-style Italian cuisine to international dishes such as Argentine grilled meat. End the night watching the sunset over the sustainably farmed vineyards with a glass of the Director's Cut Chardonnay in hand.
Western Sonoma County
Adjacent to The Barlow marketplace, modern Japanese restaurant Ramen Gaijin combines local Sonoma County ingredients with traditional techniques. They're known not only for their house-made rye noodle and caramelized pork belly ramen, but also for their unique take on traditional Japanese appetizers. Pull up a seat at their izayaka bar and enjoy a seasonal craft cocktail and a vibrant pickle platter, or sit down in the dining room and indulge in a massive bowl of mouthwatering Shoyu Ramen. The modern-day take on Japanese décor with a relaxed vibe sets the mood for the perfect night out.
Southern Sonoma County
Housed in the Hotel Petaluma building, The Shuckery was founded by entrepreneurial sisters Jazmine and Aluxa Lalicker, owners of Oyster Girl, an oyster catering business. Their latest venture, The Shuckery, features the most exquisite oysters from pristine waters all over North America, fresh seafood of all types, chef-prepared cuisine, elegant wines, and craft beers in a comfortable ambience. Signature dishes include oysters on the half shell, salmon two ways, Baja-style tacos, barbecued oysters, and calamari relleno. If you order oysters you might want to grab seats at the bar, where you can watch your shucker at work.
Eastern Sonoma County
Sondra Bernstein put Sonoma County on the big-league culinary map more than 20 years ago when she opened her signature restaurant, the girl & the fig. Her California-French cuisine was an immediate hit, garnering national attention for elegant dishes like local fig salad tossed with local goat cheese. The popular restaurant has since enclosed its garden patio for extra shade and seating, making it perfect for a fun, casual, and delicious meal with friends. Revel in lovely plates like seasonal breakfast tartines; baked eggs Provencal with garden tomatoes, fennel, leeks, organic eggs, gremolata, and grilled bread; or a decadent pork belly sandwich with fennel aioli, apples and cabbage on a brioche bun, served with crispy frites.
Sunflower Caffé, Sonoma
Breakfast and lunch are even better at this charming, sunny oasis, at the sidewalk tables out front. Sunflower Caffé serves up some of Sonoma's freshest and most local ingredients in unique and creative dishes. Grab a sunny table and tuck into a Peruvian breakfast burrito with eggs, roasted corn and yam, rainbow quinoa, aji verde salsa, cheddar cheese, aji amarillo crema, salsa criolla, and a chipotle tortilla, or the decadent smoked duck breast sandwich served warm in a split baguette with caramelized onions, melted gruyere, mayonnaise, Dijon, and dressed organic greens.
Sonoma County is the dream location for a girls' or guys' weekend getaway. Spend the day shopping in one of the many town squares in Sonoma County and end the day with a craft cocktail or a farm-to-table dinner. Another great way to spend the weekend is going wine tasting or pampering yourself with a relaxing, grown-ups-only day at the spa. To complete your perfect weekend getaway, check our list of Sonoma County hotels and lodging.
Written by Sonoma Insider Julia Millan