The Wine Country region is associated with many things aside from its namesake wine. Kind of Disneyland is more than just rides, people come here for the full experience — the Michelin-star restaurants, the cheese tours, barrel tastings, and lots of photos in sundresses and floppy hats. We didn’t make the rules, that’s just how it is.
But it’s unfair to write off this dynamic area as single-faceted. Whatever your flavor and vibe is, it’s here to be explored. Here are some of the best places to get lunch in Wine Country.
Brewsters Beer Garden
With a spacious, open-air patio and fire pits, this beer garden is a great place to spend a laid-back afternoon soaking up the sun — and listening to live music, if you’re there Thursday through Sunday. Local craft beers and specialty cocktails accompany the South Carolina style BBQ, fried brussels sprouts, beyond veggie burger, fried chicken sandwich… the list goes on. Unshakable sweet tooth? Have them swirl up some Strauss soft serve and add toppings like graham cracker pie crumb, salted caramel sauce or toasted coconut. brewstersbeergarden.com
Canevari’s Delicatessen & Catering
There’s nothing fancy about this old-school Italian deli, but it’s been making hungry folks happy since 1929. Ask about the daily special sandwich, but know we’re partial to the Italian Sub and find it hard to leave without a cannoli. canevarisdeli.com
Along with sourcing from top-notch local purveyors, this Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand awarded restaurant pulls from its own farm to create a stellar seasonal menu. Selections can range from Black Truffle Hand Pies and an Open Face Croque-Madame, to Hanger Steak Tartar. Seemingly always on the menu are the “Sonoma-Hot” Chicken Goujons. Try them and you’ll understand why. folktable.com
Jam Jay's Bungalow
You know it’s good when “vibrant food for spirited people” is the restaurant’s slogan. Blossoming from its food truck form, this Vietnamese eatery, cheffed by co-founder and NorCal native Jamilah Nixon-Mathis, now also holds fort in Sebastopol with their little walk-up cafe. While the menu remains food truck length (under 10 items), flavorful nourishment abounds. Popular items include Bahn mi sandwiches, savory rice porridge with a soft-boiled egg, nutty soba noodles and, of course, Vietnamese iced coffee. Outdoor seating available — guaranteed to spark joy! jamsjoybungalow.com
Tucked on the backside of Montgomery Village Shopping Center in Santa Rosa, Monti’s arguably has one of the most inviting restaurant patios in Sonoma County. Dishes include everything from flatbread with hummus and marinated feta to pizza, and mussels with frites. starkrestaurants.com
There are a handful of Superburger locations in Sonoma County these days, (Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cotati, and Petaluma) but the tiny outpost on 4th Street in Santa Rosa is the original. Burgers here are topped with all sorts of goodness including avocado, chili, and pesto. Milk shakes are made-to-order and come in more two dozen flavors. originalsuperburger.com
The Parish Cafe
A local legend serving Cajun and Creole favorites, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a wider selection of po-boys anywhere — really. Aside from the standard options like ham and cheese and catfish, the Parish Cafe also offers fried shrimp, fried green tomato and fried oyster po-boys. Wash them down with chicory coffee and get some beignets to-go. theparishcafe.com
Matt and Sonjia Spector call their offerings “finer fast food.” We call it delicious. Korean BBQ burritos, shrimp tacos, lamb shawarma, crispy Brussels sprouts — we could go on and on. Did we mention they also serve breakfast all day? zoftigeatery.com
PizzaLeah’s mush-a-roni pan pizza was named The Bay Area’s Best Dishes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. At this Sonoma County pizzeria right off the 101, you can find thin-crust round pies of all sizes, pan pies, and a do-it-yourself option. PizzaLeah is also conveniently located near world-class wineries, so it’s an excellent spot to check out after wine tasting. pizzaleah.com
Sebastopol’s newest pizzeria has arrived in town! What makes this Sonoma pizza spot special is that their dough is made with a sourdough starter, which gives the crust a great fermented flavor. Psychic’s menu features four main house staples and seasonal offerings for variety. They also offer yummy salad and dessert options — try their PB miso cookie for a treat! psychicpie.com