The Best Hidden Gem Restaurants in Every Sonoma County Town (2023)

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Geyserville Gun Club, Geyserville: This Fellini-esque watering hole is almost too absurdly wonderful to be true. Brought to life by Chef Dino Bugica, it’s the flip side of his more tourist-friendly Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria. 21025 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)

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Taqueria Molcajetes, Santa Rosa: Even after Guy Fieri’s DDD love-fest, this strip mall Mexican restaurant still has a local clientele that live for their carne asada and fiery molcajetes. 1195 W. College Ave. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)

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Canevari’s Deli, Santa Rosa: A JC neighborhood classic that’s been around since, well, as long as anyone can remember. Tri-tip BBQ sandwich, meatball sub (pictured) and homemade raviolis, plus…where else can you get a good gabagool? 695 Lewis Road, Santa Rosa. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

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Walter Hansel Bistro, Santa Rosa: An excellent French bistro without all the hoity-toity. Lobster bisque, Boeuf Bourguignon, Coquille St. Jacques, bon appetit! 3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa. (Chris Hardy/for Sonoma Magazine)

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Lita's Cafe, Santa Rosa: We know where the cops go for a hearty, gut-filling breakfasts. And really, what better recommendation can you get than that? 1973 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. (Courtesy of Lita's Cafe)


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Tambayan, Santa Rosa: Authentic Filipino cuisine. Banana sauce, pork belly and pork sisig make it worth a trip. 600 Larkfield Center, Larkfield-Wikiup. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

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Butcher Crown Roadhouse, Petaluma: This sassy little barbecue and burger joint keeps getting more word of mouth buzz, for good reason. 1905 Bodega Ave., Petaluma. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

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Pearl, Petaluma: Mediterranean cuisine tucked away in a surprising spot. We recommend it for a special brunch with someone special. 500 First St., Petaluma. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

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Sax's Joint, Petaluma: You’ll find plenty of folks waiting to get in on the weekend but, outside of Petaluma, Sax’s is pretty much unknown. All the usual diner fare done deliciously. 317 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma. (Chris Hardy/Sonoma Magazine)

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Penngrove Market, Penngrove: An adorable gourmet grocer and kitchen. Try the pizza or piandine. 10070 Main St., Penngrove. (Houston Porter/for Petaluma Argus-Courier)


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Twin Oaks Roadhouse, Penngrove: Fried chicken sandwiches are the best bet. Live music, fresh beer, good friends and bread pudding with whiskey cream. 5745 Old Redwood Highway, Penngrove. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat)

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Shige, Cotati: Along with Hana Japanese in Rohnert Park, this is one of the few Japanese-run restaurants in Sonoma County with Tokyo-worthy nigiri and udon. 8235 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)

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Azalo, Rohnert Park: Charbroiled kabobs, burgers and dogs. Conchinita pibil is a best bet. 5979 Commerce Blvd. Suite 8, Rohnert Park. (Sachin S. / Yelp)

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Ludukas Cafe, Rohnert Park: A passionate following for the Oaxacan-style dishes like meaty tortas, chicken mole, pork chops and chilaquiles. 7285 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. (Courtesy of Ludukas Cafe)

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Smokin Bowls, Rohnert Park: French fries topped with so much yum. 295 Southwest Blvd., Rohnert Park. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)


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Sonoma's Best, Sonoma: Coffee, pastries and sandwiches, along with an impressive wine collection. Great for picnic fare. 1190 E. Napa St., Sonoma. (Robbi Pengelly)

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Angelo's Wine Country Deli, Sonoma: Meats smoked onsite make for tasty sandwiches. Stop for lunch but make sure to grab some sausages and pasta for later. 23400 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. (Heaney F. / Yelp)

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Glen Ellen Village Market and Deli: You’ll be amazed at the deli case, prepared foods and gourmet goodies hidden inside this unassuming grocery store in Glen Ellen. Possibly one of Wine Country’s best-kept secrets. 13751 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)

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Palooza Brewery and Gastropub, Kenwood: Patio dining with burgers, wood-fired pizza and more. A permanent outdoor space has towering heaters and plenty of coverage to keep you warm during chilly evenings. 8910 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. (Courtesy of Palooza)

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PizzaLeah, Windsor: Leah Scurto is an award-winning pizzaiolo who puts every bit of her soul into making the best pies in Sonoma County. We're obsessed with the Old Grey Beard with mozzarella, fontina, sausage and hot honey. 9240 Old Redwood Highway, Suite 116, Windsor. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)


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Guiso Latin Fusion, Healdsburg: Recently named one of the best restaurant in America by Open Table, this tiny cafe mixes Latin and Caribbean flavors with panache. 117 North St., Healdsburg. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

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Taste of Tea, Healdsburg: Healdsburg gets plenty of play for its chef-driven cuisine, but we like the homey Japanese flavors of this tea shop. 109 North St., Healdsburg. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

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Journeyman Meat Co, Healdsburg: Stop in for a salumi tasting or order one of their daily sandwiches or meaty sausages. 404 Center St., Healdsburg. (Chris Hardy/Sonoma Magazine)

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Dahlia and Sage Community Market, Cloverdale: A charming gourmet grocer with lots of locally-sourced goodies, including a full deli, hot bar, salad bar and bakery. 115 E. Second St., Cloverdale (Courtesy of Dahlia and Sage)

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Willow Wood, Graton: Though this breakfast and brunch spot has been around since 1995, it's often overlooked in the one-stop-sign-town of Graton. Try their homey-yet-impressive menus. 9020 Graton Road, Graton. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)


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Fork Roadhouse, Sebastopol: Super delish brunchy-lunchy faves made with local ingredients and lots of love. 9890 Bodega Highway, Sebastopol. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

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Carr’s Drive-In, Forestville: Old-fashioned burgers and fries. And ice cream. 6533 Covey Road, Forestville. (Christopher Chung/The Press Democrat)

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Altamont General Store, Occidental: A new lunch favorite in Occidental, The Altamont General Store is a breath of fresh air, with an Instagram-worthy interior and plenty of grab-and-go dishes. 3703 Main St., Occidental. (Beth Schlanker/Sonoma Magazine)

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Koala's Fine Food, Guerneville: Sushi restaurants aren't exactly a dime a dozen in far west county, but then again, nor are cheese steaks. This casual, family-run eatery brings together fish and chips, Korean bulgogi, Chinese Won Ton soup, Japanese ramen, cheese steak, nigiri and Hawaiian poke for a true something-for-everyone experience. 16380 Mill St. A, Guerneville. (Jil C./Yelp)

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Lightwave Coffee and Kitchen, Monte Rio: Located by the Creekside Skatepark in Monte Rio, this curious little cafe is a mix of smoothies, bagels, pies and Middle Eastern cuisine. 9725 Main St., Monte Rio. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)


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Strawberry cheesecake from Lightwave Coffee and Kitchen in Monte Rio. (Lightwave Coffee and Kitchen)

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Northwood Bistro at the Northwood Golf Club, Monte Rio: This hidden gem golf club has its own cafe with a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the course. The menu is simple, but the standard pancakes, omelettes and Benedicts just off the green start the day in style. 19400 Highway 116, Monte Rio. (Courtesy of Northwood Bistro)

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Cape Fear Cafe, Duncans Mills: A quaint little town with a tasty cafe featuring bacon chowder, a regional lineup of Benedicts (grits to crab cakes) and ginger teriyaki chicken. 25191 Main St., Duncans Mills. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)

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Casino Bar and Grill, Bodega: This is a place to discover accidentally and then love unconditionally. Local chefs Holly Carter and Tali Aiona run the show Monday through Thursday. On the weekend, Chef Mark Malicki does exactly what he feels like, whether that's local seafood chowder or beef stew with chanterelles. 17000 Bodega Highway, Bodega. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

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Ginochio’s Kitchen, Bodega Bay: Say hello to our new favorite Dungeness crab sandwich. Ginochio’s buttery, griddled slices of white bread hold huge chunks of freshly picked crab and a slice of melted cheese. 1410 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)


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Raymond's Bakery at Elim Grove Cottages, Cazadero: A quaint family-owned B&B with freshly made pastries, focaccia pizza and bread. 5400 Cazadero Highway, Cazadero. (Darryl Bush/For The Press Democrat)

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Cafe Aquatica, Jenner: We always, always stop here on trips up the coast for coffee, soup and whatever else sounds delish. 10439 CA-1, Jenner. (Courtesy of Cafe Aquatica)

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Twofish Baking Company, Stewart's Point: Freshly made pastries, sandos, bread, salads, pizza and soup worthy of a drive up the coast. 32000 CA-1, Stewarts Point. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

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The Sea Ranch Lodge, Sea Ranch:The 1960s-era Sea Ranch Lodge recently reopened with new public spaces, including a redesigned restaurant, a new café and expansions to the bar, lounge and general store. 60 Sea Walk Drive, Sea Ranch. (Carlos Chavarría/The Sea Ranch Lodge)

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Lodge Burger from the Sea Ranch Lodge restaurant. (Courtesy of The Sea Ranch Lodge)

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