Best Dinner in Sonoma County

After a long day of sipping and swirling, there’s nothing better than tucking into a delicious, nourishing meal filled with local ingredients. From cozy and elegant-chic, to poolside and garden dining, Sonoma County Wine Country has something for everyone. As expected, wine plays a big role when you sit down at the table — but know the food in these parts is as unmatched as the beverage offerings.

With an overwhelming amount of eateries to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to the cream of the crop. These are the best dinner spots in Sonoma County. Bon appétit!

Photo: Scallion pancake courtesy of Lazeaway Club, Flamingo Resort

Healdsburg

Close-up of a juicy cheeseburger with a sesame seed bun, lettuce, cheese, and a thick beef patty, placed on a rustic wooden surface. A beige cloth napkin is partially visible in the background, making it the best dinner choice in Wine Country.

Barndiva

The name can be polarizing, but as soon as you see the place you’ll understand why it’s named as such. A perfectly rustic-yet-refined barn with a gorgeous and spacious patio, it’s no surprise that this is such a popular spot for weddings and one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County. Much like its neighboring restaurants, Barndiva serves food that’s been sourced from local farmers, ranchers and small batch purveyors. barndiva.com

A lively bar scene in one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County, a modern restaurant with high ceilings. Patrons chat at the bar and tables near large windows. A bartender in an apron serves drinks. Colorful murals adorn the walls above the bar, and natural light fills the space.
Photo: Courtesy of Michael Woolsey

The Matheson

The newest delicious venture by Dustin Valette, The Matheson is essentially two restaurants in one. Downstairs is a more formal dining experience; don’t miss the Tamanishiki Rice Porridge topped with a day boat scallop. While you’re waiting for a table, check out the Wine Wall and its mind-boggling 88 wines on tap. Rooftop lounge and cocktail bar, Roof 106, serves an assortment of pizzas, piadines and plates of crispy pork belly, alongside views of Healdsburg Plaza, making it one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County. thematheson.com

A plate of grilled peach salad with burrata cheese, garnished with sliced grapes and slivered almonds, served alongside grilled bread. Paired perfectly with a glass of white wine in the foreground, it's the best dinner to enjoy in Wine Country.

Valette

The story of this restaurant begins in the 1940s with Grandpa Valette, a French-born baker who landed in the Alexander Valley at this very corner (minus the stop signs and cars on the road) to open a bakery. In 2014, Valette’s two grandsons returned to the corner and are now running one of the most popular restaurants in Sonoma County. Aaron runs the front of the house and Dustin, a veteran chef, runs the kitchen. The undecided and adventurous won’t want to miss the “Trust Me” tasting menu. valettehealdsburg.com

Sonoma

A close-up of a pasta dish featuring tube-shaped noodles in a creamy white sauce, garnished with shredded purple radicchio, and sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. This best dinner option is presented in a wooden bowl, capturing the essence of Wine Country dining.
Photo: Courtesy of Glen Ellen Star

Glen Ellen Star

Located in the heart of Jack London’s beloved cozy hamlet, Glen Ellen Star specializes in wood-fire cooking that brings out the finest flavors of their California-inspired dishes. The team sources ingredients from local producers and craft daily menus that showcase the best of the region. Make a reservation and check out a few of our favorites like the house baked sourdough, brick chicken and house made rigatoni. glenellenstar.com

A rustic wooden table set with a variety of dishes including a burger with fries, a hot dog, a colorful salad, and a bowl of pasta awaits at one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County. Drinks such as wine, a cocktail, and lemonade complement the meal against an outdoor dining area filled with greenery.
Photo: Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa

Layla

MacArthur Place’s three-meal restaurant features an inspired Mediterranean style menu. The menu changes with the season, but diners can expect options including tomato bisque, lamb merguez meatballs, whole roasted dorade and cast iron Parker (House) rolls. macarthurplace.com

A freshly baked Margherita pizza displayed on a wooden pizza peel, perfect for New Year's Eve Celebrations 2023. The pizza has a golden brown crust, with a generous layer of tomato sauce, melted cheese, and scattered fresh basil leaves on top. The background shows a lightly floured surface.
Photo: Courtesy The Lodge at Sonoma, Autograph Collection

Wit & Wisdom

Located in the heart of Jack London’s beloved cozy hamlet, Glen Ellen Star specializes in wood-fire cooking that brings out the finest flavors of their California-inspired dishes. The team sources ingredients from local producers and craft daily menus that showcase the best of the region. Make a reservation and check out a few of our favorites like the house baked sourdough, brick chicken and house made rigatoni. glenellenstar.com

Santa Rosa

A wooden plate holds crispy, golden scallion pancakes cut into triangular slices, perfect for the best dinner in Wine Country. Beside the pancakes, a ceramic dish with three compartments contains green avocado salad garnished with sesame seeds, a brown dipping sauce, and a creamy orange dip.
Photo: Courtesy of Lazeaway Club

Lazeaway Club, Flamingo Resort

We challenge you to spend an evening poolside in the newly spruced Flamingo Resort and not find a reason to come back. Refreshingly casual, the patrons range from locals to hotel guests on vacay mode.Highlights on the menu include scallion pancakes (see feature image above), bibimbap and the Lazeaway smashburger sliders. flamingoresort.com/dining

A white plate with a serving of creamy pasta mixed with diced meat pieces. A spoon is placed to the left of the pasta. The table, reminiscent of one you'd find at the best dinner spots in Sonoma County, also has a water glass, a salt shaker, and a potted plant in the background.
Photo: Courtesy of Mimi Towle

Riviera Ristorante

It’s a lot less expensive to book reservations at Riviera Ristorante — in Santa Rosa’s downtown — than to take a flight to Rome, and regulars claim the pasta here is on par. This family-owned spot has been serving classic dishes like trofie, ravioli and gnocchi for over twenty-five years, but the best kept secrets of true Italian fare are not carbohydrate-focused. Steak with gorgonzola sauce, “brick” chicken, and prawns cooked perfectly in lemon garlic sauce is what it’s about, and all are on the regular menu. Don’t skip the specials based on the fresh-market availability, like petrale sole sauteed with lemon and capers and lamb shank roasted and served over polenta. All items are sourced locally so it’s hard to go wrong. Both Rita and Luca Pesce are cooking in the kitchen, but you’ll also find Rita greeting you. Be sure to look out for the weekly gathering of Italians from the motherland on Thursday evenings. rivieraristorante.net

A person wearing a red shirt, blue apron, and face mask carefully places garnishes on plated dishes in a kitchen. The individual appears focused on the task, with various kitchen items visible in the background—a scene reminiscent of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County.
Photo: Courtesy of The Spinster Sisters

The Spinster Sisters

Tucked away in Santa Rosa’s SOFA district, have a seat in the garden and prepare to be dazzled by what chef Liza Hinman has in store for the night. From a dip with baked Dungeness crab and kale, to chicken and dumplings, to a selection of local cheeses. You’ll wish you’d skipped lunch. thespinstersisters.com

Petaluma

A close-up of a pizza with a thin, crispy crust. The pizza is topped with ground sausage, melted cheese, and shredded green vegetables. The edges of the crust are slightly charred. In the background, there are a few blurred objects, including a glass of beverage at one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County.
Photo: Courtesy of Dana Rebmann

Central Market

Chef Tony Najiola makes a point to get out and about in the dining room, checking in with guests while they enjoy seasonal dishes ranging from local Liberty Farm duck wings to handmade pappardelle, and wood fired pizzas. centralmarketpetaluma.com

Plates of bruschetta with chopped tomatoes and herbs adorn a table at one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County. Glasses of water and white wine accompany the dish, with a bottle of wine in the background. Diners enjoy their evening near the railing that overlooks a picturesque bridge and water.
Photo: @simplysonoma

Cucina Paradiso

Mangia, mangia! It’s easy to do while at this small Sonoma County trattoria serving old-school Italian dishes. Everything from the focaccias to the pastas are made from scratch. Expect heated outdoor seating, great service, a warm and romantic ambiance, a full bar and an extensive wine list. For a brief rundown of their menu: Grilled calamari, spaghetti alla vongole, gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts, bitter greens salad with radicchio and endive — our favorites are too numerous to name. cucinaparadisopetaluma.com

Luma

Mediterranean cuisine with Petaluma River views. Plus, Luma’s recently revamped menu boasts a Stemple Creek Burger and burrata with heirloom cucumbers and Calabrian chili vinaigrette. lumaeatery.com

Coastal Sonoma (West County & Sonoma Coast)

Sonoma Dinner
Photo: Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn

Farmhouse Inn

The ethos of modern farmhouse pulls through from the comfortable, easy chair and fluffy pillows decor to the table. The seasonally-changing menu might feature ahi tuna paillard with green yuzu-kosho, red wine-braised short rib or mushroom risotto. Grilled octopus with Calabrian chili and fennel is a menu must. farmhouseinn.com/restaurant

A wooden dining table holds plates of various gourmet dishes, including salads, grilled vegetables, pasta, and meat. Glasses of red wine sit beside the plates. Utensils and napkins are arranged neatly around the setting, reminiscent of one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County.
Photo: 230524_DAWN_RANCH_dinner_Courtesy Gentl & Hyers

The Lodge at Dawn Ranch

In the shade of towering redwoods, this Russian River newcomer serves local ingredients infused with Argentinian tradition. Sit on the deck and take in views of the colossal redwood trees while enjoying dishes the likes of seared sea scallops with roasted cashew cream, homemade fettuccine and freshly baked sourdough topped with jamon iberico. dawnranch.com

An overhead view of a table setting featuring various dishes suggests one of the best dinner spots in Sonoma County. The main dish in the center appears to be grilled fish garnished with vegetables and sauce. Surrounding it are plates with bread, a meat dish, and a salad, along with a striped napkin, knife, and fork.
Photo: Courtesy The Sea Ranch Lodge

The Sea Ranch Lodge

The ethos of modern farmhouse pulls through from the comfortable, easy chair and fluffy pillows decor to the table. The seasonally-changing menu might feature ahi tuna paillard with green yuzu-kosho, red wine-braised short rib or mushroom risotto. Grilled octopus with Calabrian chili and fennel is a menu must. farmhouseinn.com/restaurant

More Local Favorites in Wine Country

Who’s writing these?

Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite eat@localgetaways.com.

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