Tasting wines in Sonoma County is a fantastic way to spend a spring or summer weekend, but at some point you will need to eat. (You can’t really live on wine alone. I mean, you can try but it’s not nearly as much fun as it sounds.) Fortunately, that cute little area that produces all the grapes just north of the city also offers many wonderful eateries.
Costeaux French Bakery
417 Healdsburg Avenue
Costeaux French BakeryFantastic for lunch and breakfast (served all day), Costeaux provides delightful sandwiches, soups, salads, boxed lunches and baked goods for those who want an inexpensive, casual French experience. They offer wine by the glass and provide both indoor and outdoor seating, which is just lovely on a Spring or Summer day. Musicians often play outside the restaurant, adding to country French feel. But be warned, they close pretty early in the afternoon and at 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Oakville Grocery Store
124 Matheson St
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Oakville Grocery StoreAnother lunch spot or snack stop on your wine tour of Healdsburg, Oakville is a full-service deli that also offers wine and coffee to-go. Outdoor seating is available (though sometimes can be hard to grab on a busy Saturday), and the location is fantastic for sipping a sauvignon blanc while people watching on the Healdsburg town square.
Dry Creek Kitchen
317 Healdsburg Avenue
Dry Creek KitchenIf you’re staying in Healdsburg overnight or are looking for something upscale, trendy and romantic, Charlie Parker’s Dry Creek Kitchen is the place to be. Featuring over 600 local wines and recipes created with ingredients from regional farms, this restaurant is absolutely worth the hype and the price. Before you go, check out what is being offered in the various tasting and pairing menus as the food changes with the seasons. Oh and we highly recommend that you make a reservation — even for lunch — as the place is rather popular with both visitors and locals.
29 North Street
CyrusEasily one of the best restaurants in the entire Bay Area, Cyrus is a fantastic place to go if you’re celebrating or just celebrating life. Open from Thursday to Monday, this four-star French restaurant offers eight-course tasting menus for both carnivores and vegetarians at a mere $130 per person. There are also impressive menus for those drinking cocktails, eating at the bar or savoring champagne and caviar. Private dining is available with a deposit and the restaurant can accommodate any dietary restrictions with proper notice.
The Girl & The Fig
110 W. Spain Street
The Girl and the FigOpen for lunch, dinner and brunch, The Girl & The Fig is a must for those sampling wines around Sonoma. With an ever-changing menu, the restaurant offers something for everyone and stays up later than most — 10 p.m. on school nights and 11 p.m. on the weekends! Sit on the back patio if you can, and order anything with cheese.
The Fig Cafe & Winebar
13690 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen, CA
The Fig CafeAnd if you’re in the Glen Ellen area just north of Sonoma, you must try The Fig Cafe. Open dinner and weekend brunches, this restaurant offers a quaint and relaxed atmosphere with an impressive list of comfort foods. (It’s a sister restaurant to The Girl and the Fig.) Plus, no corkage fee!
96 Old Courthouse Square
Santa Rosa, CA
Flavor BistroOne of the most popular restaurants with locals, Flavor pretty much offers everything — stellar service, an incredible drink menu, homemade pastas and breads, shared meals, fresh gelato and an incredible fish-of-the-day — at all very reasonable prices. The bar is hopping at night and the restaurants often offers special wine tastings on weekdays. You can even get your food and drink to go with their curbside pickup. And though the sheer variety of their menu can be daunting, we highly recommend trying any of their homemade pasta dishes as they are always amazing.
Willi’s Wine Bar
4404 Old Redwood Highway
Santa Rosa, CA
Willi’s Wine BarWilli’s Wine Bar is essentially tapas with a very Sonoma County touch. Serving only wine and beer, its menu is divided into surf, earth, turf, cheeses and desserts. Open all day and generally late into the night, it’s a perfect place to grab a few small bites with a glass or flight of wine. (The servers are incredible at recommending food and drink pairings.) Though rather reasonably priced, the small dishes can add up rather quickly if you’ve been tasting all day and are craving a big meal and full pour… so it’s best to visit for a light lunch or snack.