Artist's rendering of The Matheson in Healdsburg
Artist's rendering of The Matheson in Healdsburg, which opened in Fall 2021

Healdsburg Is Hotter Than Ever: Here Are 6 New Places to Check Out

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With its picturesque plaza surrounded by top notch restaurants, wineries and shops, Healdsburg has always been a popular destination. Over the past few months, the northern Sonoma town has added even more reasons to put a visit on the calendar: Buzzy new tasting rooms and restaurants and a reimagined historic inn are among the highlights.

Read on to discover some Healdsburg spots destined to become new favorites.

The Matheson

Arguably the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year, Chef Dustin Valette’s new ambitious project across from the Healdsburg Plaza is finally open for business. The three-story building has special meaning to Valette; his great-grandfather operated his first Sonoma County bakery here, almost a century ago. It now houses two restaurants: The Matheson occupies the ground floor and Roof 106 is located on the third.

The Matheson's state-of-the-art, self-serve wine wall features 88 wines on tap. Located on the ground floor next to The Matheson Bar, it’s open from 12 p.m. until closing, at 10 p.m. Eight colorful murals in the restaurant by San Francisco artist Jay Mercado celebrate Sonoma County’s agricultural roots.

The Matheson's rooftop bar and lounge, Roof 106, overlooks the plaza. It’s open for cocktails and outdoor dining on a first come, first served basis (reservations not accepted). Add your name to the waitlist by the host stand, located outside the restaurant. Menu items include a variety of pizzas, crispy pork belly, sushi and the Volo Chocolate S’more for Two.

The Matheson Bar offers selections from the dining room and the Sushi Bar (with dishes created by sushi master Ken Tominaga), along with cocktails, wine and sake. 106 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, 707-723-1106, thematheson.com 

Marine Layer Wines

Specializing in cool-climate chardonnay and pinot noir from the Sonoma Coast, Marine Layer Wines — a boutique winery — recently opened a tasting room on the Healdsburg Plaza. The casual tasting room in coastal-inspired hues is the work of Sonoma designers HommeBoys. The space is bright and inviting thanks to large skylights, a fireside lounge complete with comfy couches and arrangements of fresh flowers throughout the tasting room.

The Marine Layer tasting flight ($35) features five limited-production cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot noir wines from the Sonoma Coast. Wines are also available by the glass.

For an additional $15, guests can add a mezze plate to their wine tasting. The mezze plate comes from Little Saint, the soon-to-open plant-based restaurant from Single Thread owners Kyle and Katina Connaughton in the former SHED space, and features spreads, crackers and rotating seasonal dishes based on what’s growing on the nearby Little Saint farm. Reservations are recommended. 308 B Center Street, Healdsburg, 707-395-0830, marinelayerwines.com

Bacchus Landing

One of the most anticipated tasting venue openings this year, Bacchus Landing is home to more than a half-dozen small, family-run wineries pouring their wines in five separate tasting rooms.

The venue was developed by Sonoma County siblings Monica and Francisco LOPEZ, along with their parents Al and Dina. The LOPEZ family owns Aldina Vineyards, a Sonoma County-based wine label focused on Cabernet Sauvignon.

Bacchus Landing has a classic Mediterranean feel. The five tasting rooms (one is a co-operative that's home to three labels) and the market surround a piazza. 

Each tasting room at Bacchus Landing comes with a generous amount of indoor and outdoor space, but each winery has taken a different to approach to interior design. The fun and modern Montagne Russe tasting room features a mural of a rollercoaster that winemaker and owner Kevin Bersofsky designed as a senior engineering project while in college. 

With the exception of Smith Story Wine Cellars, all of the wineries at Bacchus Landing are opening their first brick-and-mortar tasting rooms. The tasting rooms of Dot Wines13th & Third WinesAldina Vineyards and Montagne Russe are already open. AldenAlli and Smith Story Wine Cellars are expected to open any day. 

Located less than a five-minute drive from the Healdsburg plaza, Bacchus Landing also includes Market, a coffee, deli and artisanal food shop; event spaces; picnic areas; and bocce courts on a 3-acre property. Open Thursday through Monday; food trucks serve food on Fridays. 14210 Bacchus Landing, bacchuslanding.com 

The Madrona

The historic Madrona Manor is expected to reopen as The Madrona in February 2022 after a change in ownership and an extensive facelift. The 22-room inn was originally built as a private residence in 1881. The building houses a Michelin-starred restaurant, which is temporarily closed but will also reopen in early 2022, with a refreshed look and a new, more casual concept and menu. 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg, themadronahotel.com

Legion Projects Gallery and Healdsburg Center for the Arts

Gallerist Sydney Pfaff of the recently opened Legion Projects gallery (711A Healdsburg Ave.) has an eye for new talent and often works with young artists of color. Her streamlined gallery space, with a huge mural on the wall outside, is tucked into a cluster of modern gray studios, north of the Healdsburg Plaza. Pfaff curates contemporary shows that rotate about every six weeks. Open Thursday to Saturday 12-3 p.m. and by appointment. Find more art and classes at the new location for the Healdsburg Center for the Arts (334 Center Street). 


Written by Dana Rebmann