Slow Food in Sonoma County awards the Snail of Approval to local restaurants, farms/ranches and producers that are making a significant contribution to improving the food system. By celebrating these businesses, Slow Food in Sonoma County highlights the importance of the Slow Food philosophy of “good, clean, and fair food for all people.”
Snail of Approval is an international program that is run locally in partnership with Slow Food USA. In Sonoma County, there are two local Slow Food chapters: Russian River and Sonoma County North.
The following local Sonoma County restaurants, cafes, bakeries, bars, and cooking schools exemplify the core values that Slow Food USA advocates for. Therefore, when you patronize these businesses, you are also supporting the Slow Food movement!
Enjoy a delicious meal or beverage, sign up for a cooking class, or pick up supplies for brunch, lunch, or a picnic. Your stomach and tastebuds will thank you. (For other Sonoma County Slow Food-approved businesses, read Slow Food at Food Trucks, Bakeries, and More in Sonoma County.
Diavola Pizzeria (Geyserville)
Housed in a historic building on the main street in Geyserville, Diavola is an Italian-Californian inspired pizzeria and restaurant (think Italian trattoria style with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and California-inspired dishes) with a daily changing menu. The restaurant features carefully sourced meats, fish and produce from local sustainable farms, ranches, and fisheries on its menu. Diavola is open from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for lunch and dinner. Walk-ins only.
Estero Cafe (Valley Ford)
Estero Cafe in Valley Ford is an intimate cafe and restaurant serving farm-to-table American-style comfort food for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. The business takes care in procuring locally grown and sustainably raised eggs, meats, cheeses, and produce. At any given time, Estero’s menu includes ingredients from 10 or more local farms, bakeries, or producers. The cafe is open seven days a week, serving both breakfast and lunch all day.The owners of Estero also opened up Americana, which has the same theme and a very similar menu, in downtown Santa Rosa in 2021. Americana also serves farm-to-table American-style breakfast, brunch, and lunch menu items all day.
Epicurean Sonoma is run by local Sheana Davis, a chef, cheesemaker, culinary educator, and caterer. The business uses local, farm-fresh produce and adheres to clean, fair, and ethical business practices supporting Sonoma County and local food-related businesses. You can visit and support this business by pre-ordering prepared foods for pick-up, shopping in the Sonoma store, or attending cheesemaking or cooking courses.
Geyserville Gun Club
The Geyserville Gun Club is the first bar in Sonoma County to receive the Sonoma County Slow Food Snail of Approval. This neighborhood pub features a full bar and creative dishes made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients including meat and produce sourced from local farmers and ranchers. Cocktails are made using fresh ingredients as well as locally sourced spirits, wine, and beer. The bar also offers live music on Saturday evenings.
Handline is a casual restaurant located in a repurposed and renovated Foster’s Freeze in Sebastopol. The concept of the restaurant is to offer a “modern take on order-at-the-counter service” (i.e., this isn’t a restaurant that offers table service). The restaurant works hard to source the best and most locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, including fresh, sustainable seafood from the California Coast and locally grown produce from Sonoma County farms and their own backyard.
Handline’s focus is on “fundamentally Californian” cuisine. The menu focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients, seafood-inspired dishes, and dishes that draw inspiration from California culture and farms.
Handline is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Maison Porcella produces artisanal charcuterie. The company is the most recent northern Sonoma County business to receive the Snail of Approval from Sonoma County Slow Food North, earning it in recognition of its use of local products and traditional methods, and support for good, clean and fair food in Sonoma County.
You can find their delicious products at local farmers’ markets.
Patisserie Angelica (Santa Rosa)
Patisserie Angelica is a cozy, French-style bakery and cafe that crafts non-GMO and organically focused desserts, custom cakes, truffles, and other sweet baked treats (such as made-to-order holiday cookies for any holiday). Their motto? “Life is short, eat dessert first.” Owner Gergana Karabelov makes her artisan cakes and pastries with care and uses only natural ingredients (no artificial ingredients, colors, or dyes) that are free from pesticides, additives, and preservatives.
The patisserie’s breakfast items include cream scones, almond croissants, seasonal fruit tarts, and Basque-style gateaus. Seasonal fruits are incorporated throughout the year.
Quail and Condor Bakery (Healdsburg)
Quail and Condor is a community-minded, neighborhood bakery located in downtown Healdsburg. Co-founder and baker Melissa Yanc (winner of the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Competition in 2019) incorporates local, seasonal, and heirloom vegetables and fruits into the bakery’s savory and sweet baked goods. Quail and Condor Bakery offers a wide assortment of sweet and savory (though mostly sweet) baked goods (from cookies to cream-filled pastries and everything in between) and sandwiches, made with organically grown flour. The bakery is open seven days a week.
Relish Culinary Adventures (Healdsburg)
Based in downtown Healdsburg, Relish Culinary Adventures is a culinary school, event space, and culinary tour company. The school offers a variety of culinary-focused and cooking classes from DIY canning to specialty ethnic or Wine Country cuisine courses and mushroom foraging.
All of Relish’s events feature seasonal, locally grown, locally produced ingredients whenever possible, including olive oil, cheeses, seafood from the northern California Coast, produce, meats, wines, beers, etc. The school’s focus is bringing people together in the kitchen to connect over food.
Take a culinary tour, book a cooking class, or attend a cooking demonstration at Relish to experience the bounty of Sonoma County.
SingleThread Farm Restaurant and Inn (Healdsburg)
SingleThread Farm is an inn, farm, and 3 Michelin star restaurant in Healdsburg. At the core of SingleThread’s values is the support of authentic craftsmanship and sustainably produced agricultural products. Many of the ingredients on the restaurant’s menu come from the restaurant’s own farm, located just three miles from the restaurant. The restaurant’s farm property boasts a greenhouse, loamy fields, chicken coops, an heirloom fruit orchard, olive trees, beehives, a cattle paddock, and vineyards. The farm supplies vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, honey, eggs, and olive oil to SingleThread’s restaurant kitchen, interspersed with ingredients from other local, sustainable sources when necessary.
Tilted Shed Ciderworks (Windsor)
Tilted Shed is a local cider business that has a production facility and taproom/tasting room in Windsor and a farm in Sebastopol. Their mission is to “elevate the apple to greatness and show what beauty comes from our local [Sonoma County] orchards.” Founded in 2011, Tilted Shed has made it their mission to source 100% of their apples and other fruit or fermentation ingredients from Sonoma County organic and sustainable farms and orchards.
The cidery also practices low-intervention cidermaking, specializing in wild fermentations, no fining or filtering, and the addition of very minimal sulfites, to allow the true expression of Sonoma County fruit to shine through in their ciders. Supporting nonprofits and causes that are close to their heart is also a part of Tilted Shed’s business model with a percentage of proceeds on special limited-series ciders going to different nonprofits every year.
Looking for more ways to support businesses with sustainable practices?
Written by Brooke Herron
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