Sonoma Restaurants Cheat Sheet

Top spots for fine dining, comfort food, tapas, breakfast, ice cream, and picnic items.

No need to wade through hundreds of user reviews. Here are the top Sonoma eating establishments in a nutshell.

Truly Special

Cafe La Haye
Small restaurant known for owner’s warm welcome and risotto, pasta, and roast chicken menu staples.  American $$$

El Dorado Kitchen
The chef layers in the flavors at this Sonoma Plaza fine-dining spot.  American $$$

El Molino Central
Subtly spiced, carefully crafted Mexican cuisine in casual setting or to go.  Mexican $$

The carefully chosen ingredients at El Molino Central include heritage grains in tacos and tortillas.

LaSalette Restaurant
Portuguese-inspired cuisine prepared and served with care, with patio the best option in good weather.  Portuguese $$$

Layla Restaurant
Elaborate preparations at MacArthur Place resort’s elegant fine-dining establishment.  Mediterranean $$$

Angel-hair pasta with lobster, tomato-shellfish broth, and saffron was a recent menu pleaser at Layla Restaurant.

Among Sonoma’s Best

The Girl and the Fig
Fig-loving owner Sondra Bernstein’s winning casual play on Provençal cuisine.  French $$$

Lou’s Luncheonette
Former Fremont Diner and Boxcar Fried Chicken remains a hot spot for Southern faves. American $$

 

Lou’s Luncheonette pleases with Nashville Hot fried chicken with cheesy grits and slaw plus onion rings deviled eggs, and other old-school faves.

OSO Sonoma
Hip-rustic space for small-plate cuisine of much-lauded former winery chef (St. Francis).  American $$

Sunflower Caffé
Cheery spot (great patio) for breakfast and lunch salads and sandwiches.  American $

Good streetside people-watching at the Sunflower.

Tasca Tasca Portuguese Tapas Restaurant & Wine Bar
Flavorful small plates (lead photo), reasonable rates at acclaimed LaSalette chef’s tavernlike alternative.  Portuguese $$

Specialty

Kivelstadt Wine Garden and Eatery
Roadhouse hangout with outdoor wine garden (also beer) quietly opened as Sonoma emerged from coronavirus lockdown; tri-tip sandwiches and short ribs were among the early hits, with salads and vegetarian items also on the menu.  American $$

Sausage Emporium
Sausages in sandwiches, salads, and pizzas are the specialty of this spot that outgrew its original location (as Hare and Hatter) east of Sonoma Plaza in less than a year; look for south-of-square reopening in the second half of 2020.  American $

Sweet Scoops Homemade Ice Cream
Former Denver couple’s shop near Sonoma Plaza a hit for handcrafted ice cream.  Ice cream $

Taub Family Outpost
Set to open just as the coronavirus struck, this casual eatery across from Sonoma Plaza’s southwest corner debuted with a limited menu of burgers, pastas, rotisserie chicken, and other  other comfort foods, some vegetarian.  American $$

New in 2020 on the plaza, Taub Family Outpost for burgers, pastas, and other comfort food.

Vella Cheese Company
Still a homey feel at longtime (since 1931) local factory known for Monterey Jack (with jalapeños, the best) and other cheeses.  Cheesery $


Sonoma Itinerary

Sonoma Pinot Noir Day Trip

Sonoma Wineries

Blue Farm Wines
Hamel Family Wines
Patz & Hall
Sojourn Cellars
Three Sticks Wines
WALT Wines

More About Sonoma County

Sonoma County Basics
Sonoma County Vineyard Walks

This story first appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.

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