Located ninety minutes north of San Francisco in the heart of Sonoma County, the area around Healdsburg is internationally famous for its wine -- this is where the Russian River Valley meets Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, after all -- but the town is also known for its vibrant local food scene: it's the ground zero for farm-to-table cuisine. Despite all the restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and galleries, Healdsburg still retains its small-town charm, and it's this laid-back, unpretentious style that comes across in both the food and ambiance. These are our favorite spots where you can get to know this area, where comfort trumps formal dining, and everyone's happier for it -- plus our picks for where to stay after a long day of indulging.
344 Center St
Brothers Chef Dustin Valette and Aaron Garzini cook and greet guests at this high-end, chic restaurant, which has a reputation for beautifully constructed, artistic food plates and minimalist decor. A canvas for local farmers and winemakers, we'd recommend the chef’s tasting menu (and spring for the wine pairing). Highlights include Hawaiian ahi poke, summer squash soup, and char grilled prime New York steak. For dessert, your options only get better: go for the strawberry jam toasted brioche with salted brown butter ice cream, or the popular Chocolate Bloc, a chocolate mousse with sea salt and toasted meringue.
25 North St
SHED is everything you’ve ever wanted in a food space. It’s a café, coffee bar, produce market, restaurant, wine bar, and store. This is California’s answer to Eataly, plus it offers a fermentation bar, which serves homemade kombucha on tap, kefir water, and shrubs. Plan to spend a few hours eating, shopping, and generally perusing food nerdery, including cookbooks, fancy cooking utensils, herbs, and wines.
231 Center St
The stylish, barn-like atmosphere of this farm-to-fork restaurant is genuinely gorgeous (just soak in that spacious garden patio), so it's no wonder that a lot of people are hosting weddings here. Barndiva’s motto, "Wherever you are, eat the view," speaks to the view on your plate: it's stunning. Prepare for plenty of edible flowers and dishes that look like paintings, and a focus on fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Start with the house Champagne cocktail, made with orange peel infused with Korbel brandy, coriander syrup, and Creole bitters.
116 Matheson St
OK, we almost lost our minds when we discovered this place: only in Healdsburg would you find a pie bar that makes crust from old-world grains like bolero, faro, and buckwheat, and pairs them with mind-blowing, homemade artisanal ice cream flavors like pumpkin chocolate and corn flake crown maple. The staff especially recommends the following pairings: spiced apple pie with salted caramel ice cream, lemon custard pie with lemon lavender ice cream, or the maple chocolate walnut pie with organic vanilla bean ice cream. We're here for all of them.
324 Center St
Otherwise know as FGC, you'll want to show up early here... but not too early. Pour-overs don’t start until 8am, after all. In a town that takes its food seriously, Flying Goat is no exception: the coffee is strong, the staff knowledgeable, and the atmosphere stark.
1474 Alexander Valley Rd
Inspired by the Bordeaux tradition, this vineyard make only two wines: Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon and Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Located just outside town, Jordan Winery offers daily wine tastings, but you can also arrange for guided tours of the estate’s scenic vineyards, lakes, chef's garden, and apiary. While you tour the grounds, you can taste their wines and olive oil, while sampling food pairings from the chef.
214 Healdsburg Ave
Chef-owner Mateo Granados was executive chef at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen before opening Cocina Latina, a nod to his Mexican roots. He sources local vegetables in season and sustainable meats from nearby farms (all listed on the menu). Some of the menu's gems include tacones, empanadas, and olive oil guacamole. Come here for the mixed drinks or agua fresca, if you need a break from wine tasting (what, it happens).
345 Healdsburg Ave
This family-owned brewpub makes award-winning craft beers. Step inside, and chances are there will be a game on (Go Warriors!), so come here amped up for some crowds and noise. The brewery’s three most popular beers are Grand-Am, Ricardo’s Red Rocket Ale, and Racer 5 IPA, a full bodied, hoppy IPA that's won countless medals.
219 Healdsburg Ave
Spoonbar offers contemporary California cuisine in a lofty, open-plan interior. Chefs Casey and Patrick Van Voorhis are well-respected for their unique take on traditional American fare, but the award-winning "farm-to-bar," cocktails made from local herbs and natural ingredients, really shine here. The signature drink, Three Dots and a Dash, packs a powerful alcoholic punch. Also try the Bergamot Blossom, which involves vodka with orange blossom water and raspberry shrub, for a lighter alternative.
381 Healdsburg Ave
Moustache serves rich, creamy cupcakes stuffed with everything from homemade jam to cream cheese. They also serve French macarons, seasonal ice cream sandwiches, financiers, and the Moustache-O, which is basically an oversized, organic version of an Oreo cookie. But if you're only going to get one thing, go for the cupcakes -- these may be the best you'll ever eat. Recommended: the Mistress (lemon cake with blackberry rosemary jam filling) and The Outlaw (caramel filled chocolate cake with sea salt.) Oh, they also serve Four Barrel coffee to wash it down.
417 Healdsburg Ave
Locals flock to this open-air bistro at lunchtime for the chicken salads, French onion soup, and the artisan breads. We like to order the Cousteau French Dip, with thinly sliced rib eye, Roquefort aioli, and caramelized onions on a classic sourdough roll.
14 Matheson St
Learn how to prepare meals you actually want to eat under the tutelage of owner Donna del Rey. After you prepare dinner, you and your fellow classmates can down to eat the seasonal menu, which includes easy recipes for Pollo alla Mattone (literally chicken under a brick), quinoa with cherry tomatoes, and grilled farm peaches with ricotta and honey.
330 Healdsburg Ave
If you're tired of fancy food, grab a pizza and a brew at Campo Fina, then sit out on the patio. After a few slices, you may be inspired to challenge your friends to some bocce on the outdoor court.
4900 West Dry Creek Rd
Rent a bicycle from Wine Country Bikes and peddle out through Dry Creek Valley to the Quivira tasting room. This scenic, hour-long ride along back roads involves minimal car traffic and just a few hills. All of the wines made here are biodynamic -- though you'll want to be tasting that 2015 rosé in particular. You can order a glass and drink it on their outdoor patio, which overlooks breathtaking views of the winery’s vineyards and surrounding region.
317 Healdsburg Ave
Celebrity chef Charlie Palmer put Healdsburg on the map when he first opened this groundbreaking restaurant for Progressive American cooking at the Hotel Healdsburg. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, some of the country’s best chefs have followed him here, setting up shop in town. This place is still very much worth dining at, and the kitchen has a list of over 500 wines to pair with your meal (so, you know, we'd call that extensive). Recommended: the garlic-crusted chicken breast with Bloomsdale spinach and baby carrots.
27 North St
This hotel makes a true ritual out of turndown service: look for a small box of chocolates on your pillow each night, along with a variety of treats, including French macarons and freshly baked Moustache cupcakes. Each evening, you will find a menu on your door handle, to fill out your breakfast order, which staff deliver to your room. Wake up to a small tray of fresh coffee, croissants, homemade jam, fresh eggs, Greek yogurt, and fruit. Other tasty benefits of staying at this European-style hotel include an in-room espresso coffee station and a wine and cheese reception each evening -- all inclusive
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1. Valette344 Center St, Healdsburg
2. The Shed25 North St, Healdsburg
3. Barndiva231 Center St, Healdsburg
4. Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar116 Matheson St, Healdsburg
5. Flying Goat Coffee324 Center St, Healdsburg
6. Jordan Vineyard & Winery1474 Alexander Valley Rd, Healdsburg
7. Mateo Granados Cucina Latina214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
8. Bear Republic Brewery345 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
9. Spoonbar219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
10. Moustache Baked Goods381 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
11. Costeaux French Bakery417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg
12. Relish Culinary Adventures14 Matheson St, Healdsburg
13. Campo Fina330 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
14. Quivira Vineyards and Winery4900 W Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg
15. Dry Creek Kitchen317 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
16. Hotel Les Mars27 North St, Healdsburg
Standing proud in its corner spot in the heart to Healdsburg, Valette is restaurant born of two brothers' dream to showcase the talents and offerings of their home Sonoma County. Sourcing all their ingredients from local farmers, winemakers,and artisans, chef Dustin Valette and restauranteur Aaron Garzini serve up a handful of seasonally rotating appetizers, entrees and sides with both domestic and global influences like Hawaiian ahi poke, coriander crusted duck breast from Liberty Farms, and cabernet-braised pierogies. Speaking of wine, the restaurants close relationship with NorCal's winemakers gives Valette an award-winning (a mighty long) wine list.
Healdsburg's Shed looks less like the rundown shack you'd expect and more like an IKEA fever dream come to life. This shining example of modern architecture, with floor-to-ceiling windows and industrial furnishing, hosts not just a restaurant, but a coffee bar, cafe, market and wine bar. Shed's a prime example of the Healdsburg way: The coffee is straight from Flying Goat Coffee, the wine, as it should be in NorCal, is from Napa Valley, and the food is so fresh, the menu of small bites changes every day.
You'd rarely think a barn was chic, but Barndiva sure is. The rustic-looking, wood-paneled barn surrounded by shrubbery and lit by string lights catches the eye of everyone who passes, and its interior and yards have even more beauty to offer (that's probably why its an extremely popular wedding and party venue). Home to a luscious backyard, an art gallery and a bistro, this cozy spot is all about local talent and suppliers. The menus change with the season, but you're always likely to have a main course of succulent chicken, duck, pork, or fish. Make sure to plan ahead because this place is popular and only takes group reservations.
This dessert shop on Matheson is simply the most quintessentially Healdsburg thing you can imagine. The crusts of each pie, inspired by nordic and Japenese cuisine, is made from a locally sourced grain like bolero, faro, or buckwheat, for a treat that's sustainable, fresh, and healthy. They come in flavors like lemon custard, chocolate maple walnut, and blackberry almond custard, and if that weren't enough, they're paired with homemade artisan ice cream made with stuff like Stumptown coffee, Japanese purple yam, and matcha almond green tea.
Although you can find this brand's coffee all over Healdsburg and the rest of NorCal, the original Flying Goat Coffee cafe is where you oughta be drinking it. It's modern and minimal space with clean white walls and seating on the main drag of Center offers a no-fuss place to sit, drink, and work with no distractions, a freshly baked pastry, and a cup of Flying Goat coffee or chai or tea prepared by those who know it best.
Tom and Sally Jordan set out to be the first creators of a Bordeaux-style California Cabernet Sauvignon in 1972 and succeeded with Jordan Winery's approachable red. To this day, the signature wine, along with its Russian River Valley Chardonnay, are still handcrafted by the Jordan family on its massive property in Alexander Valley. Although you can only drink those two wines here, you're more in it for the lush scenery -- and the food pairings made with ingredients plucked straight from their own garden.
Owner and executive chef draws inspiration from many different cultures, mainly his own Mexican heritage, and a barrage of sustainable vegetables and meats from nearby farms to create gourmet dishes with top-notch presentation. As is usual of a sustainable or local restaurant, Meteo's menu changes often, and the meat cuts change daily, but staples like ceviche, caramelized chicken breast, and ciabatta garlic crustini will always be there, waiting for you. A rare move for a Sonoma joint, this spot boasts a tequila bar instead of a wine bar, so swing by for a shot or a house cocktail when you get sick of living the Napa life.
Bear Republic is without doubt the most sustainable brewery in the game. They use solar power and a minimal amount of pretreated wastewater to make their brews in addition to donating extra funds to a cattle rancher who supplies meat to low-income families. And while those things might not sound like they make for good beer, here's the kicker: it's really, really good beer. Racer 5, an ultra-hoppy IPA has won countless awards, and washes down a burger or bbq dish from the Bear Republic restaurant effortlessly.
With Spoonbar, the wine country's got a Bourbon & Branch-caliber cocktail bar, with libations by Tara Heffernon (of Chalk Hill Winery & Dry Creek Kitchen); it occupies the ground floor of Healdsburg's ultra-green h2hotel, with a 16ft bar that's bathed in natural light, plus an adjoining lobby lounge that's lit by a fireplace, though you'll find there are plenty of other places to get lit.
Worth hitting up on your next Healdsburg wine binge, Moustache is a just-opened, antler-interiored dessert shop from two dudes in their early 20s who thought, "Why put mustaches on car bumpers when you can put mustaches on cupcakes?" Then they realized that was a bad idea health-wise and opted to sling desserts like maple-spiced buttercream vanilla cupcakes topped with chunks of bacon, Four Barrel coffee, house-made Oreos, and s'mores instead. A much better choice, if you ask us.
This local favorite slings award-winning, freshly baked breads, cakes, and other sweet treats in its wide-open reclaimed space with whimsical, France-inspired decor. You can pick a dessert from the counter sitting near the left of the entrance and explore the nearby Healdsburg Town Square, or take a seat and have a leisurely, full breakfast of omelettes, quiches, or french toast with fresh-pressed fruit juice any time of the day.
Sometimes, if you want something done right, you just have to do it yourself. At Relish in Downtown Healdsburg, a chef will help you prepare wine-country cuisine with fresh, local ingredients in a hand-on culinary demonstration. Even if your creation doesn't come out quite right under the helpful watch of chef and owner Donne Del Rey, they'll still have a fully prepared version of the night's dish like Pollo alla Mattone for you to eat instead.
This Healdsburg restaurant channels Sonoma County charm in an outdoors-centric space that offers ample seating under a lit, intimate canopy, as well as a bocce court to pass the time. The menu is primarily Italian, with pizza options prepared in a wood-burning pizza oven, and plenty of snacking items like spicy fried chickpeas and a chicken liver plate. Wine options come in extensive Italian varieties, though a meal would probably best be capped with a Shakerato Sicilian iced coffee.
Comprised of four vineyards producing strictly biodynamic wine, Quivira offers au naturel products for an earth-conscious crowd. At the tasting room, you're encouraged to try one of their Zinfandels or Sauvignon Blancs. two of their top varietals, in an airy, welcoming, and warmly-colored room. And the winery and vineyard employ solar panels and zero chemicals or pesticides, so you can rest assured your particular glass' flavor is completely organic.
This dressy restaurant located on a verdant block of Healdsburg manifests wine country through a bright, classily dressed-up space. Outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, floral arrangements, and a white tablecloth atmospheres that forgoes pretension for unfussy class, the kitchen serves up incredible high-end fare like duck confit and a perfect filet at prices that are (for wine country) relatively affordable.
This fancy maison-style hotel in Healdsburg lavishes attention on all its lucky residents, in the form of chocolates on your pillow each night, along with a variety of treats, including French macarons and freshly baked Moustache cupcakes. Best of all, you can easily treat yourself at any one of the 100+ wineries and tasting rooms in the area, and when you come back, you can expect a wine and cheese reception each evening -- all inclusive.