Sustainable Seafood Restaurants in Sonoma County
Seafood lovers, take heart: Casting a wide net around America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA strive to create a sustainable fishing industry by preventing overfishing and pollution while also supporting fishing communities. Their collective goal is to ensure that the seafood you enjoy today can also be enjoyed by future generations.
Here in Sonoma County, where you'll find more than 55 miles of Pacific Coastline and three rivers, these responsible management practices are vital not only to preserving the health of our fish and shellfish, but also that of our neighbors, land, and watersheds.
With such precious benefits in mind, the following Sonoma County restaurants are committed to sourcing sustainable seafood, and serving conscientious, delicious cuisine with a real sense of place.
This hip, modern, and friendly spot at the southern end of Sebastopol is part of Zero Foodprint (ZFP), a nonprofit organization that sees sustainability within the food system as a major solution to global warming. To this end, ZFP members crowdfund grants for food producers/purveyors to switch to renewable farming and fishing practices, thus reducing their environmental footprint.
For its own particular part, the Handline kitchen merges the sustainable seafood bounty of Sonoma County with California's diverse culinary heritage. Specialities lean heavily towards Mexico, including stellar fish tacos, grilled oysters, and ceviches, but European influences can be tasted in the house-smoked trout and hearty fisherman's stew.
Anna’s Seafood Market, Petaluma
After learning the trade in her parents' Santa Rosa Seafood market, Anna Svedise opened her own shrine to fresh, sustainable seafood in 2017. The seasonal fish she carries in her glorious Petaluma market is all line-caught rather than netted, and she only works with fisherfolk who share her passion for healthy stocks and waterways. In addition to sashimi-grade offerings that might include arctic char, oysters, crabs, prawns, and much more, Svedise sells prepared items like poke, cioppino, chowder, tuna salad, and hardwood-smoked salmon—making this one-stop shopping for the sustainable seafood picnic of a lifetime.
The Shuckery, Petaluma
Set beside the grand lobby of the Petaluma Hotel, this family-owned establishment (sisters Jazmine and Aluxa Lalicker also own The Oyster Girls, a traveling oyster bar) serves the freshest oysters—both baked and raw—from pristine waters all over North America. The expansive menu also includes chef specialties like an addictive ceviche, a rich clam chowder, and a hearty linguini del mar. Seek out the sweet yet briny oysters from Tomales Bay and Humboldt County, and definitely sit at the splashy bar, which is scale-tiled like a mermaid's tail.
Raku Ramen & Rolls, Santa Rosa
This minimalist, fast-casual izakaya celebrates Japan's most popular street foods, including ramen, donburi (bowls), and sushi rolls. Inspired by a desire to revise some of the sushi industry's less-than-sustainable practices, chef duo Takeshi Ushida (former owner of the Shoubu Sushi food truck) and Tony Ounpamornchai (owner of SEA Thai Bistro) use only sustainably-caught fish from sustainable stocks—as well as organic produce and GMO-free ingredients—in their shared kitchen. Dig into the multi-fish Raku Roll, anything with freshwater eel, the colorful poke don, and/or the panko-crusted salmon katsu.
Blue Ridge Kitchen, Sebastopol
Located in The Barlow in Sebastopol, Blue Ridge Kitchen offers California-Cajun-Creole comfort food made with ingredients largely sourced in West County—the seafood included. While BRK isn't only a seafood restaurant, Chef Matt D'Ambrosi (a veteran of Healdsburg's Spoonbar) is also a fisherman, and cares passionately about the quality and sustainability of the seafood he sources for this neighborhood-meets-special-occasion spot. Allow yourself to be dazzled by seafood options like the "raw platter," a two-tiered glory of lobster tail, jumbo prawns, ceviche and oysters; the spicy cioppino; possibly the freshest ahi tuna tartare you've ever had; the hickory-smoked trout salad; and the ever-so-crispy steelhead fillet.
Spud Point Crab Company, Bodega Bay
Set just across from Spud Point Marina in Bodega Harbor, this family-owned operation embodies Sonoma County's commitment to a sustainable seafood industry. Co-owner Tony Anello has been commercially fishing in the county since 1970, and he and his son Mark own the boats that provide the restaurant with its locally famous crabs and wild king salmon. Other area fishermen use the restaurant as a morning meeting place, and Tony's wife, Carol, and daughters Lisa and Gina, who run the shop, serve them hot coffee and donuts each morning. Both the red and white clam chowders here are wildly popular, and their crab cakes are packed with fresh-caught crab meat, rather than fillers.
Fishetarian Fish Market, Bodega Bay
Fishterian's husband-and-wife owners, Shane and Dana Lucas, are all about protecting the natural beauty of the ocean. They offer only locally-caught, in-season, and sustainably-managed seafood in their market and restaurant, which offers traditional crowd-pleasers like fish and chips, BBQ oysters, and a creamy clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. (If dairy and wheat aren't your things, go for the coconut-milk-based Brazilian fish stew in a gluten-free bread bowl.) In a well-rounded nod to sustainable consumption, all Fisheterian's tableware is recyclable, biodegradable and compostable.
To find even more sustainable seafood restaurants in California and beyond, check out Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants map. And before you order seafood from any menu in America, make sure it isn't listed on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.