A Gluten-Free Foodie Guide to West Sonoma County
Over the past decade, Sonoma County has become a haven for gluten-free travelers. From gluten-free bakeries and baked goods stands at farmers' markets to gluten-free bread or bun options at sandwich shops and restaurants (even dedicated gluten-free menus at some of our top dining spots) – Sonoma County is a delicious place to be a gluten-free traveler. So much so, that we had to split our gluten-free foodie guide to Sonoma County into different posts, by region!
Use the guide below to help you plan your gluten-free West Sonoma County foodie itinerary, which includes businesses that cover the western portion of Sonoma County (Petaluma, Sebastopol, Forestville, Guerneville and Occidental). (For the Healdsburg and Windsor area, use this guide. For Santa Rosa and Sonoma, use this guide.)
Restaurants and Cafes with Special Gluten-Free Offerings
When it comes to restaurants, eateries, and cafes in West Sonoma County that either cater to gluten-free diners or offer delectable specialty items prepared by local gluten-free bakeries, the following are our picks for a few of the best.
While it's not technically a restaurant or cafe, we're including Altamont General Store due to its yummy selection of gluten-free friendly prepared food items and the fact that there are tables where you can sit and eat. This general store, dubbed a foodie gem by locals and visitors alike, is more of a gourmet shop and eatery. The rotating menu of prepared food items and dishes includes delectables such as polenta olive oil cakes and gluten-free seasonal veggie tartlets as well as fresh, healthy, gluten-free friendly fare like veggie, rice, and lentil salad bowls just to name a few recent offerings.
Society Bakery and Cafe offers a wide selection of gluten-free pastries, gluten-free sandwiches, and cakes. The business makes 42 different gluten-free pastries that rotate into the pastry case weekly, offer any sandwich from their cafe on gluten-free bread (from Mama Mel’s Bakery in Petaluma), and can bake gluten-free cakes by special order.
Wild Goat Bistro offers gluten-free pizza, gluten-free bread options for their cold and hot sandwiches, and freshly baked gluten-free desserts (there's usually at least one gluten-free cake on offer) provided by Mad Batter Cakery (a local bakery that bakes both gluten-free and non-gluten-free items in separate ovens but not in a dedicated gluten-free facility). Most recently, we've seen gluten-free carrot, coconut, German chocolate, and sea salted caramel cake plus a vegan/gluten-free tart option at Wild Goat.
Mama Mel’s Bakery
This Petaluma based gluten-free bakery bakes up fresh bread, baguettes, bagels, and more every week. Get your hands on these freshly baked goods at local farmers' markets or order online and pick your items up on the bakery's bi-monthly scheduled pick-up dates. You can also find Mama Mel's products at the following West Sonoma County businesses:
The Bagel Mill (Petaluma)
The Altamont General Store (Occidental)
Gluten-free pizza? Are you for real? Yes! Here are some of our favorite places to eat gluten-free pizza in West Sonoma County.
Wild Goat Bistro (Petaluma)
As mentioned above, Wild Goat Bistro offers gluten-free pizzas in addition to many other gluten-free offerings. Try the 'In Season' pizza for a taste of seasonal Sonoma County bounty or, if you're a meat lover, the Fog Lifter (with sausage, bacon, and pepperoni). *Wild Goat also offers a vegan cheese option.
Rosen's 256 North is a mostly glutenous place, but there is a gluten-free pizza served on a crust made with Mama Mel Gluten Free Bakery's gluten-free pizza dough – and we can tell you from personal experience, that it's delicious!
La Dolce Vita is a wine bar and lounge that serves small plates and light fare such as salads, soup, paninis, and pizzas. The establishment offers a gluten-free pizza crust option (the pesto, artichoke pizza with a glass of white wine is one of our personal favorite combos).
Places That Offer Gluten-Free Sandwiches and Burgers
For gluten-free folks who are used to having to forego the burger or sandwich option while dining out or traveling, there may be nothing more satisfying than being able to casually order a gourmet deli sandwich or nosh down on a burger you don’t have to wrap in lettuce and eat with grease streaming down your hands. The following West Sonoma County markets and restaurants are here to help you get your carb-y sandwich or burger fix.
Brewster's Beer Garden in Petaluma is a great place for drinks, food, beer, and live music. They beer garden also offers a big, juicy, gluten-free burger, served on a plump, soft, gluten-free bun that is to die for. *It's necessary to request the gluten-free bun option.
Community Market located in the Barlow is a great place to grab a gluten-free sandwich (and other local foodie items) to-go for a picnic or to enjoy at one of the market's outdoor tables. The market uses Mama Mel's gluten-free bread (made in Petaluma) and plenty of fresh, organic ingredients on its sandwiches.
There may be no more gluttonously gourmet sandwich than the Belly & Jelly at Farmer's Wife: Honey lavender bacon, apricot conserve, aged cheddar, blue cheese and a drizzle of wildflower honey on toasted bread – Lord have mercy. But the establishment also has chicken, lamb, sausage, bacon-avocado, and vegetarian options. And you can get any sandwich here on toasted gluten-free bread.
Whole Foods (Petaluma and Sebastopol)
Whole Foods has always offered a gluten-free bread option at its sandwich/deli counter. Most Whole Foods toast gluten-free bread (because it's much better this way, in our opinion) but make sure to ask. This is one of the most affordable places (between $8-$10, depending on which sandwich you choose) to grab a gluten-free sandwich. There are two Whole Foods stores in West Sonoma County, one in Petaluma and one in Sebastopol.
Wild Goat Bistro has a great sandwich menu with the option to substitute freshly baked gluten-free bread for regular bread on any sandwich.
Markets With Wide Selections of Gluten-Free Specialty Products
Being able to purchase your own products for picnics or cooking at home (or in your Airbnb or vacation rental) is something gluten-free travelers rely on as it's one of the easiest ways to ensure that they'll have enough snacks, food, and meals that they can eat on their trip. It's more difficult in some areas than others to find great gluten-free product offerings at the local supermarkets (beyond just a few packaged, lackluster, poor-quality cookie and cracker options). Luckily for those gluten-free travelers coming to Sonoma County, our markets have got gluten-free travelers well covered.
Community Market (Sebastopol)
From the gluten-free bread at the sandwich/deli counter and in the freezer section to the gluten-free cookies, treats, and sweets selection, Community Market in the Barlow has got a great gluten-free selection. Especially for such a small market! The market also carries gluten-free pasta, gluten-free crackers, and a bevy of other locally made gluten-free products!
Whole Foods (Petaluma and Sebastopol)
From grain-free fresh or packaged pasta, gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, donuts, and cakes to gluten-free breads, crackers (we counted at least 5 options the last time we visited) and baking mixes (at least a dozen including savory and sweet), Whole Foods is one of the best places in West Sonoma County to stop and shop if you're gluten-free.
Written by Brooke Herron