The Santa Rosa restaurants listed below are just a fraction of the many restaurants in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. We have eaten at nearly all the restaurants listed below. All are in Santa Rosa unless otherwise specified. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Have a suggestion for a Santa Rosa restaurant not yet listed here? Are you a Santa Rosa Restaurant owner who has been in business at least 5 years and would like your restaurant visited/mentioned here? Email: Dave. Look for this symbol indicating favorites (there are very few of these given as Santa Rosa is certainly not a culinary hotspot).
- Abyssinia Restaurant is located at 913 4th Street – next to El Patio Restaurant. There are several streetside metered parking spots or many more metered parking spots on the side street around the corner. This restaurant focuses on authentic Ethiopian cuisine. If sharing a meal, request that your dishes be brought out to you on a platter. The food sits on the edible “injera”, a flat bread that has a spongy texture (full of small holes). Injera will also be given to you on your own plate as this food is meant to be eaten with your hands. However, don’t worry forks are given! A couple of dishes we recommend are the Yebere Tibs (beef strips marinated in Ethiopian spices served with sauteed onion) and the Yabesha Gomen (delicious greens). The entres come with sides of salad and other accompaniaments. For a unique wine – try their dry or mild Honey Wine. They only had a little left in the bottle during a recent visit so gave us what they had “on the house”. Nice! Service was quick. Phone: 568-6455 – Visit: www.my-abyssinia.com
- Aji Sushi & Grill (formerly Boathouse Sushi) is located in the far northwest corner of the Safeway Shopping Center off of Mendocino Ave. After many years of being called Boathouse Sushi, the ownership made the name change in March 2019. Parking in located directly in front and nearby in the shopping center parking lot (a bit further of a walk). The interior features a small reception area (wait to be seated) a small sushi bar and a room with tables.
We found the food to be a bit average but there is a large diversity of items on the menu including both sushi and sashimi. A decent spicy tuna roll (albeit not very spicy) and sashimi. During our visit the service was incredibly slow (but they said they were missing one of their servers) so hopefully that was just a one time event. Ownership, same family that owns Kettles Vietnamese Bistro. Visit: www.ajisushionline.com
- A’Roma Roasters Coffee & Tea is a cozy drinkery, eatery and place to just hang out. Located in Old Railroad Square this stone landmark is popular with hipsters, kids, artists and others. It attracts a diversity of folks and is always our go to hangout when we are in town for meeting people from around the world.
Plenty of light eats and drinks including a good selection of coffees and teas. Great location within seconds walk of the nearby train depot and the California Welcome Center. An institution in Old Railroad Square. Visit: www.aromaroasters.com Phone: 576-7765
- Best of Burma Upon entering there was no one to greet us in a fairly empty restaurant so we grabbed several menus and seated ourselves. This restaurant is sizable – using the space that previously was a nightclub.
Nicely decorated – very clean. Once seated service was prompt. Not having much experience with Burmese food we ordered a dish we had tried before – the tea leaf salad. It was a somewhat oily and caused a bit of an upset stomach. Other dishes included Basil Lemongrass Chicken and the Chili Beef. The food wasn’t nearly compelling enough to warrant a return trip.
- Bird & The Bottle is located in the old Italian Affair restaurant building at 1055 4th St. Completely redecorated inside with a nice bar and plenty of seating. When the weather is decent, also features outside dining (second floor on the deck). A place to see and be seen. Part of the Stark Reality Restaurants, operated by James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalists and husband and wife Mark and Terri Stark.
During a recent visit the waitress asked us if we were excited to be eating here (since it was our first visit). Excitement at visiting Antarctica, winning the lottery or landing a part on a prominent Television show perhaps – but excitement about eating at a new restaurant, not so much.
With that said, we were impressed with the cuisine. The focus here is on small plates (tapas style) created from the open kitchen and their wood fired grill. Offers a variety of ingredients from Asia, the southern part of the country, the East Coast and Jewish comfort foods. Also fresh seafood. A number of house cocktails available including our favorite, The Hummingbird. Excellent beet dish. Nice atmosphere and a good vibe. Choose a warm Sunday for the best outdoor experience (less traffic then on other days). For more information visit: www.birdandthebottle.com
- Bistro 29 is a small restaurant tucked away at 620 5th Street just down the street from Gary Chu’s bright orange exterior. They have a decent wine list with the majority coming from Sonoma County as well as several from France.
They focus on regional cuisines from specific parts of France. This is a dinner only restaurant other than Fridays when they are open for lunch. Visit: www.bistro29.com Phone: 546-2929
- Bluefish Sushi & Grill , formerly the location of Yao-kiku Japanese Restaurant is located at 2700 Yulupa Avenue in Santa Rosa (Bennett Valley) in the CVS Longs Shopping center on the east side of Yulupa Ave. Phone Number (707) 578-8180. The inside features a small dining area. We have eaten here 1x and would return again – the food is definitely better than average. Please visit their website at: www.santarosabluefish.com
- Bruno’s on fourth is a tiny restaurant located at 1226 Fourth Street just east of downtown Santa Rosa. Located along part of Fourth Street near a number of residential neighborhoods. This restaurant features both indoor and outdoor seating. Owned and operated by long time chef, Rick Bruno (and his wife Linn). Rick has worked at numerous restaurants including at Chateau Souverain Winery in Geyserville, in Maui, Boulder, and additional stints in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This restaurant (opened in 2007) focuses on American cuisine including foods instantly recognizable such as meat loaf, pulled pork sandwiches and flat-iron steak and fries among other dishes. Open every Sunday for Brunch only; they serve lunch and dinner the other days (closed on Mondays). Fairly cozy and cute inside – also features a small bar. For more information visit: www.brunosonfourth.com
- Ca’ Bianca is open 7 days a week and serves authentic Italian food. This is one of Santa Rosa’s more elegant restaurants both inside and outside. A bar, private rooms, and outside dining available when the weather is decent. They have won numerous awards, some of them are from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Marin Independent Journal, and from the San Francisco Chronicle. They are moderately priced. Excellent salad, fish and meat dishes. Excellent service too. Intimate dining. Definitely one of the better value to price ratio meals in Santa Rosa. They are located at 835 Second Street a few blocks from the downtown business district. For more information call Phone Number (707) 542-5800 Website: www.cabianca.com
- Cafe des Croissant is located near residential neighborhoods at 2444 Lomitas Ave (they have shut their second location in the old KFC building on the corner of 4th Street and Brookwood). Freshly baked croissants (many flavors!), other bakery items and excellent salads with Italian dressings are their specialty. This restaurant is almost like a house with both indoor and a few seats outdoors when the weather permits. After new ownership took over the quality of food has dropped. Phone: 544-6710 (Lomitas location). Visit: www.cafedescroissant.com
- Cattleman’s is a restaurant and saloon with locations not only in Santa Rosa, but also in Redding, Selma, Rancho Cordova, Dixon, Carson City, Roseville, Livermore, Newark, and Petaluma. They are home to the famous 2lb porterhouse, which is a 32oz “King of Steaks.” They have a full banquet and reception facilities available. They are located at 2400 Midway Drive in Santa Rosa at Montgomery Village. They can be reached at Phone Number (707) 546-1446. Visit: www.beststeakinthewest.com
- Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant is sandwiched between two popular streets near downtown on the corner of Fourth Street and College Ave (1079 4th St). More recently used to be a hamburger joint. Has onsite parking. This family owned and operated Mexican restaurant (owned by two brothers) focuses on reasonably priced Mexican food. Both worked in the restaurant business for several decades before opening this restaurant.
They are open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A wide diversity on the menu including tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Small selection of locally grown wines (bigger name wineries). Also a Sangria imported from Spain. Counter, booth and table seating with very limited outdoor seating. For more information, visit: www.chelinosrestaurant.com
- Chevy’s is located in an older building in Old Railroad Square on the west side of the 101 in Santa Rosa (the heart of Santa Rosa’s Old Town). This is a Mexican restaurant – they serve good grilled meat dishes. Great virgin Margaritas also. Good open dining feel in their main room. Fast service and reasonable prices. This particular Chevy’s was mentioned in a mystery novel. For more information about the Chevy’s restaurant chain visit: www.chevys.com They are located at: 24 Fourth Street – Phone Number (707) 571-1082
- City Garden focuses on offering a variety of donuts and coffees; they are located at 1200 4th St. They are named for a 100 plus year old nearby garden that used to be located nearby. Traditionally a bit out of place in Sonoma County but highly welcomed by locals since they opened in 2017.
The variety of donuts offered is quite diverse – some were hand created and only sold here. The donuts are not cheap. Also offers scones. Works with a fairly local coffee company in Ukiah. They also sell ice tea. Uses local ingredients – all donuts are baked fresh daily. Not a bad place to make a stop in the AM on your way up county for some wine tasting. Not much parking but sometimes parking curbside in front or near on 4th Street.
- Dierks Parkside Cafe is a mom and pop type restaurant located on the east side of Santa Rosa Ave at 404 Santa Rosa Ave. On weekends this can be a very popular spot for breakfast (mostly locals).
For a good selection of very typical somewhat bland American style breakfasts choose this restaurant. Two main seating rooms and counter seats also available. 707-573-5955. Visit: www.dierksparkside.com
- El Coqui calls the corner of 5th Street and Mendocino its home. A number of restaurants or food type businesses have been in this location over the years and it would be great to see this restaurant “stick”. This is actually a very visible corner and is a highly trafficked location. This is the first restaurant in Santa Rosa that we are aware of to focus on Puerto Rican food. They also have a nice bar. Food reasonably priced – we treated some friends to dinner here last time we were in town. Phone: (707) 542-8868 Visit: www.elcoqui2eat.com
- El Patio has two locations in Santa Rosa, one on 4th Street near the Santa Rosa Middle School and the other one out off of the corner of Stony Point and Highway 12. Both restaurants are very small and specialize in healthy Mexican food. The El Patio on 4th Street near downtown used to be a hamburger shop and the building has been there for many years. Just a few tables are available indoors with larger outdoor covered seating also available. The food is decent, nothing special. The steak and el pastor super burritos are good. A McDougall Menu is also available.
Location downtown: 901 4th St – (707) 571-2222
Location Stony Point: 425 Stony Point Rd – (707) 578-4757 Photo above is of the 4th Street location. Visit their two appropriately named websites: www.elpatio1.com and www.elpatio2.com
- El Taqueria in the same spirit as the old Gary Chu’s restaurant has gone for the bright painted orange look. This is an old standby for Santa Rosa – they’ve been here for many years and are popular with the Junior College crowd – (the JC is located just down the street). They specialize in affordable Mexican food – they have a very good selection on their menu. We’ve eaten here many times over the years. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Location: 544 Mendocino Ave, Phone: (707) 545-9476.
- Fosters Freeze in a twist of nostalgia still present in modern day Santa Rosa, this Foster’s Freeze continues to hang on to its clientele and historical roots. With a working pay phone still rooted outside its covered walk up window, patrons will feel like they walked back in time. Located at 1400 Fourth St (sometimes one can find parking curbside near or in front of the restaurant).
Originally founded as a single restaurant in beautiful Inglewood in 1946, Foster’s Freeze still maintains numerous locations up and down the golden state. Perhaps known most for their soft serve ice creams, they also serve a variety of fast food items including several hamburgers, sandwiches and fries.
- Go Go Wok is located in the Safeway anchored shopping center at 1791 Marlow Road, Suite 4 in the far left corner of the shopping center as you enter the main entrance off of Marlow.
This Chinese restaurant is geared towards takeout but they have a number of tables inside as well as several outside. Food is served in cardboard takeout boxes regardless of whether you eat on site or not. The food is average – but the portions are generous and the prices are low. During a recent visit, we had Hot & Sour soup – not that flavorful, Kung Pao Chicken (again bland) and Szechuan beans – ordered spicy were not spicy. The service was extremely quick. Phone: (707) 575-8868
- Goji Kitchen is located in the CVS anchored shopping center at 1965 Mendocino Ave on the far end of the center near the Community Market. This Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant is quite popular. We visited on a recent weekday and most of the tables were filled. The pho is we ordered was average and quite bland. The salad was nice with good dressing. The service was super quick. Outside dining is available when the weather cooperates. A nice waterfall in front of the door as you enter provides soothing water sounds. Phone: (707) 523-3888 Visit: www.gojikitchen.com
- Hana Sushi is located in Rohnert Park (about 15 minutes south on the 101 from Santa Rosa) in the Double Tree Plaza just west of the freeway. This is one of the top Sushi restaurants in Sonoma County. Chef Ken Tominaga was also associated with the old Go Fish Restaurant in Napa Valley. The dining experience here is intimate – the restaurant is elegantly decorated and the service is prompt. During a recent dinner here for 2 we spent about $150. The food is delicate and well prepared and the sashimi is of very high quality. Good sake menu also. Visit: www.hanajapanese.com Phone: (707) 586-0270
- Hang Ah Dim Sum – is located in the old A&W building at 2130 Armory Drive. We’ve tried this place one time and that will be it – they added another $15 on to our bill by doubling up some items by mistake. Ooops, hope this doesn’t happen to often. The main Chinese food we tried from their dinner menu was just average at best. We tried a number of Dim Sum items which for the most part were also very average. Santa Rosa is a planetary community lacking in good International cuisine. You don’t have large numbers of ethnic communities that live here and as a result the quality of food is not cooked for those who know how a type of food should taste. The owners and waiters are very friendly. Service was quick – the restaurant was maybe 50% full when we visited. Phone: 576-7873.
- Hank’s Creekside Restaurant is located close to the busiest intersection in Santa Rosa, the corner of Farmer’s Lane and 4th Street – they are located at 2800 4th Street. Restaurant not reviewed yet due to long lines at breakfast time. Open 7 days a week. Have heard very mixed reviews about this restaurant from friends but will reserve judgment until we eat there during one of our trips to Santa Rosa. Phone Number: (707) 575-8839 Visit: www.hanks-creekside.com
- Ike’s Place (never to be confused with Mike’s Place in Kent, Ohio) has enjoyed a rather remarkable expansion since they opened their first sandwich shop in 2007. Now they have locations up and down the state – mostly in the San Jose Bay Area and select locations in Los Angeles and Orange County. Conveniently located in Santa Rosa across from the Santa Rosa Junior College – they capture some of the JC student market.
A popular place to pickup a tasty sandwich for lunch – however they are also open for breakfast beginning at 9am. Features large gourmet style sandwiches – a variety of options are available from halal to vegan. A few straggler chairs usually in front for those who want to hang out outside. For more information visit: www.ikesplacesantarosa.com
- Ippinn Udon is a convenient slurp spot, located near Santa Rosa Junior College in the tiny shopping center on the west side of Mendocino Ave (Address: 1880 Mendocino Avenue). Due to its location, often will see JC students eating here. Plenty of parking on site. Once inside order from a select menu of noodle dishes and pick either thin or thick noodles. The Udon Spicy is our recommendation (the beef cooked to a tender stringy consistency). One can also add sides to the Udon (such as cooked egg).
Grab a tray and move down towards the cashier – several fried (tempura) items are lined up cafeteria style to choose from. We ordered a number of these and found them to be plain, rather average tasting. Pay at the cashier and wait for your soup to be prepared. A number of sauces and spices are located next to the cashier. Several Japanese drinks are offered (some very sweet) including some alcohol choices. This restaurant is very narrow – the kitchen lines one side while tables line the other side. Almost a feel of being in a sauna with the knotty pine wood lining the walls. Service was very fast during our visit. Open daily from 11am until 930pm. Visit: www.ippinnllc.com
- Jack & Tony’s is located at 115 Fourth Street in the heart of Old Railroad Square. Jack Mitchel is the owner and chef. They are open on Sunday which is nice as several neighboring restaurants are closed. Very nice bar with good selection of drinks – there are several tables near the bar or you can eat in the main dining room. Excellent artichoke appetizer (when in season) and salads. The Hangar steak is cooked to perfection over a bed of steamed spinach and is our top pick. Nice atmosphere, & friendly bartender. This is a very good restaurant.
- Jackson’s Bar & Oven is located in the heart of Old Railroad Square at 135 Fourth Street. A restaurant that is still crowded after 9pm in Santa Rosa? Wow. A restaurant that has a feel of somewhere else besides Santa Rosa. We’ve driven by this restaurant a number of times and always seen it full – the vibe inside is great, a mix of both tourists and locals in the summer. With a large bar and plenty of dining, this is the hip place to be. Service was quite fast despite almost being at capacity. They have a very good selection of yummy specialty drinks and a decent selection of mostly Sonoma County wines. After ordering several seafood dishes we both ended up unfortunately getting sick immediately upon returning home (throwing up and diarrhea). Despite this, the food was well prepared and tasty, and perhaps next time, we will stay away from the seafood. We really wanted to give this restaurant our “starred” choice but getting sick on the seafood nixed that. Visit: www.jacksonsbarandoven.com
- Jeffrey’s Hillside Cafe is located at 2901 Fourth Street (near the Flamingo Hotel) and is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch (no dinner). Brunch is only served on the weekends. Upon entrance to the restaurant your not sure what to expect – its on site of an older looking hotel and the word “restaurant” is all the signage they have on the actual building. The owner Jeffrey Madura however worked at the well-regarded John Ash Restaurant as Executive Chef for 20 years. The food is certainly better than average. A couple good choices we recently sampled are the Cobb Salad with the delicate vinaigrette dressing and the Bagel & Lox. The only problem with the Bagel was someone apparently left it sitting in or near some sort of cleaning detergent as half of it smelled and unfortunately tasted as such. Service was fairly quick and our waiter friendly. Along with table seating there is a counter that seats a few as well. Phone: (707) 546-6317 and visit: www.jeffreyshillsidecafe.com
- JhanThong BanBua , is a Thai restaurant located at 2400 Mendocino Ave. The food tends to be on the sweet side, which is not authentic. This restaurant cooks food to match American’s taste (as many Thai restaurants do in the states and beyond) and anyone who tells you this is the best Thai food restaurant they’ve eaten at has never been to Thailand. It seems like a majority of Americans prefer Thai food to be prepared like this. Their coconut soup is below average at best. This restaurant is always crowded, but especially so on the weekends and when there is a large event at the Luther Burbank Center north of town. This restaurant shares the parking lot with the somewhat run down looking Golden Coin Motel. Next to Safeway center. Phone (707) 528 8048
- John Ash & Co is located at the Vintners Inn at 4330 Barnes Road. They are located just off of Mark West Springs Road – just west of the Luther Burbank Center. We have eaten here several times over at least 15 years – for the price the quality of food is not where it should be. Its a nice elegant setting, good service, but have never been wowed by the meals. There are a few highlights – when in season, be sure to try the classic tomato, lettuce, and mozzarella appetizer – they also have an extensive wine list.
The restaurant is composed of several small rooms that are tastefully decorated. It sits among 92 acres of vineyards and rows and rows of grapes are all you see when you look through their main windows. The focus is on locally sourced ingredients – their dinner prices are generally between $24 to $40. Appetizers and deserts are in the $12-20 range. A large selection of wines are available on their wine list. Their hours are from 11:30am to 2:00pm and then from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. The hours vary slightly on Sunday. Reservations are suggested. Smart Casual. Phone Number is (707) 527-7687
- Kettles Vietnamese Bistro is located 1202 W Steele Lane in a tiny triangular 1-story center surrounded by Steele Lane, Guerneville Ave and Range Ave. Coddingtown Mall is located across the street. Despite being surrounded by three well trafficked streets, there is only one entrance and exit. You enter and exit via Range Ave. Phone Number (707) 528-3747. Two banana plants greet you as you enter the establishment.
The restaurant is clean, nicely decorated and the staff very efficient. Capitalizing on its Sonoma County location, this restaurant offers a number of mostly Sonoma County wines and makes recommendations next to a number of dishes for which wine to pair the food with. The several pho soups that we have ordered have always been very bland and uninspiring. No MSG is used here and a Gluten Free menu is also available. A decent fried banana ice cream desert.
This restaurant has built in a number of wooden planter beds under the eaves and are growing herbs and other ingredients. You might even see one of the employees pop out of the restaurant and hop gracefully from one planter box to the next in pursuit of specific ingredients during your dining experience. And an extremely rare site for Sonoma County is a thriving Dragon Fruit also growing here. We are waiting for this to produce fruit – we know of one other one growing outdoors in Sonoma County which has been producing fruit each year for years so they are not the first.
What is highly annoying is they often close one half of the restaurant and refuse to let you sit in this section despite being right next to the other half of the restaurant. As a result it can get very crowded and noisy and you are sitting back to back next to other parties – when the other side of the restaurant is completely empty. Ridiculous. Visit: www.kettlesvietnamesebistro.com
- Khoom Lana . There are a lot of Thai restaurants in the North Bay and pretty much all are uninspiring, missing key Thai ingredients and cooked to the American taste, not to the authentic Thai taste. We rate this one slightly above average as most of their dishes are somewhat better than the majority of the Thai food we have eaten in the North Bay. New owners took over recently and we went back to review again. We have eaten here several times. They are located in Old Railroad Square at 107 Fourth St. Parking is metered in front unless its after 6pm and then its free. A parking lot is also available around the corner towards the 101 freeway and in the opposite direction towards the Visitor’s Center.
The food at Khoom Lanna is a bit higher priced than some of the other local Thai restaurants (especially their drinks, i.e. $3.75 for a Thai Ice Tea??). If you enjoy mussels, their Lemongrass Mussel dish is pretty good. Also nice soups and salads. You can request levels of spiciness. Double check the bill to make sure everything is added up correctly – we ran into a problem with this during one of our dinners here. Phone number: 545-8424. Open 11-2:30pm for lunch, 5pm to 9:30pm for dinner Sun – Thurs and Friday and Saturday they close at 10pm. Visit: www.khoomlannathai.com
- Kirin Restaurant is located in the CVS Longs Shopping center on the east side of Yulupa Ave (2700 Yulupa #3). Phone Number (707) 525-1957. This small restaurant can certainly get crowded on weekends for dinner. The Chinese food is well prepared, tasty and offers good sized portions. A couple of favorites are the hot & sour soup and the shredded pork ginger. They also have a number of vegetarian and tofu options. The wait staff is efficient. Visit: www.kirinsr.com
- La Gare French Restaurant is a family owned restaurant located in the heart of Santa Rosa’s Old Town at 208 Wilson Street. First time we ate here was in the early 1980’s. They are rated 3 stars and their prices range from $17 to $30. One of the nice things about this restaurant is that they have kept their prices reasonable throughout the years as owning their own building certainly helps in this regard. Their hours are from 5:30pm until 10:00pm. Their hours vary slightly on Sundays. Reservations are suggested as this place is usually packed with locals and tourists alike. Casual dress. The food is excellent and with good prices! The menu rarely varies and you can come back years later and enjoy the same good food. Soup and salad served with each entre. Adventurous? Try their frog legs. Nice wine list also. Phone Number (707) 528-4355. Visit: www.lagarerestaurant.com
- LA Rosa is located in the heart of Santa Rosa’s quaint downtown at 500 4th Street. This restaurant replaced the popular Cantina which operated here for many years. They are open daily and serve a wide variety of affordable Mexican food. They have outside dining available overlooking 4th street, with heat lamps for the colder evenings (pretty much every evening in Santa Rosa). This is a popular place during warm weekend summer nights. The bar is a fun place to hang out – the tequila and margarita menu is vast. Enjoy! Visit: www.larosasantarosa.com
- LoCoco’s Cucina Rustica is located in Old Railroad Square at 117 Fourth Street. This two level restaurant focuses on a variety of Italian dishes. During a recent visit on a mid week night, the restaurant was filled with guests. A festive component to our visit was also evident in the number of birthdays being celebrated. The staff provides a nice Italian rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
Tasty salads and good angel hair pasta with tomatoe sauce and giant prawns. Focus is on pasta – heavy dishes with heavy sauces. Bring an appetite. Excellent service despite being busy the night we visited. For more information visit: www.lococos.net
- Lynn’s Thai Restaurant is located at 8492 Gravenstein Highway Suite M (shopping center just off the freeway on the south side of the road) in Cotati (about 12 minutes from Santa Rosa). They are open daily for lunch and dinner (closed on Sundays). This restaurant is run by a Thai couple – the husband has been cooking for 20+ years. Nice flavors and a good selection of dishes. You can order brown rice – (not that common at local Thai restaurants) – quite tasty by the way. The eggplant dish is well prepared. In season look for Mango Sticky Rice for dessert. The food is slightly above average in a county severely lacking in good Thai food. Visit: www.lynnthai.com
- Macs is a deli located right on 4th street (630 4th Street), downtown Santa Rosa. This restaurant is popular for breakfast and lunches with lots of sit down indoor dining. This is a good meeting location – a large number of booths are available for seating along the wall – great selection of sandwiches and other snacks. Service is usually very fast. Phone Number (707) 545-3785. Visit: www.macsdeliandcafe.com
- Mai Vietnamese Cuisine is located at 8492 Gravenstein Highway (shopping center just off the freeway on the south side of the road) in Cotati (about 12 minutes from Santa Rosa). The inside is nicely decorated with paintings, musical instruments and other Vietnamese decor. Service is fast. The prices are a bit more than other area Vietnamese restaurants but the quality of food seems to be of a higher standard. Very nice soups – you can order them mild or spicier if you like. The restaurant has some of the more flavorful Pho in Sonoma County.
- Monti’s Rotisserie & Bar is located in Montgomery Village at 714 Village Court. They serve American style cuisine – soups, salads, seafood etc. Raw bar options also available. Their prices range from $10 to $25. Their hours are from 11:30am until 2:30am and then from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Reservations are suggested. Dress is casual. This used to be Lisa Hemenway’s restaurant. Patio dining may also be available depending on the time of year. Visit: www.montisroti.net Phone (707) 568-4404
- My Ha Vietnamese Restaurant is located at 385 Aviation Blvd. Whenever we are in Santa Rosa we enjoy trying new restaurants and this is one of them. A major highlight of this restaurant is the service – they are fast and for those with limited sit down time this is a great choice. We also affirmed this with a couple sitting nearby. Within minutes of ordering our food we had our soups. The style of soup is similar to Simply Vietnam on Dutton Ave in Santa Rosa as described below. We sat next to several couples who were discussing airplanes the entire time we were there! How appropriate since this restaurant sits on Aviation Blvd and is fairly close to the Charles M Schulz Airport. The restaurant is in a shopping center next to movie theatres just a minute from the 101 freeway (You can see the freeway from some of their seating). Phone: 527-8882
- Noodle Palace is located at 1310 Petaluma Hill Rd in the building that used to house a Mexican Restaurant. Not always the best part of town – note the bars on the windows. The staff we talked to were Cambodian – the dishes seem to be predominately Vietnamese leaning. The grilled beef appetizer is quite nice – tasty. The pho is very bland – to start with and wasn’t even improved much with all the condiments available on each table.
A large screen TV in the corner keeps one company if eating here alone. Plenty of old Press Democrat newspapers sit next to the entrance to the bathrooms. Phone: 528-1548
- Omelette Express – is located at 112 4th Street in Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square. For food this restaurant is way over-rated, even though most every weekend there are literally up to 50 people standing in line outside the restaurant waiting for available seating. It has consistently been voted the best breakfast in Sonoma County. The food is quite bland, the potatoes dry and flavorless, and the omelet’s have too much cheese. The one highlight of the meal, was the whole wheat bread served with the main omelet which was quite good. The dining atmosphere is also very pleasant. You may also see an assortment of young guys who frequent this restaurant as apparently their hiring criteria focuses on employing young cute waitresses. Refreshing mints and postcards are available on the way out.
- Perch + Plow is located upstairs on the north east side of the downtown Old Courthouse Square. Walk up the stairs to the second floor or take the elevator. Parking is around Courthouse Square using metered parking on the side streets. Excellent views looking West over the square and the iconic Empire Building (now a boutique hotel). The focus of the cuisine is in fresh – often using Sonoma County grown ingredients. Dinner menu is categorized into Snacks, Raw, Salads, Small Plates, Large Plates and Desserts.
Our favorite of the raw menu is the Ahi Tuna Poke and of the salads, the seasonal Beet Salad. Very good service. Plenty of space – tables plus seats at the bar and for singles, the coveted seats overlooking the square (which include windows that open for the cooling westerly breeze). Sitting here one always looks cool – especially to passerbys below. Very good service. An innovative drinks menu – our Rosemary Margarita even came with a tiny photo of Winston Churchill. A decent wine list focusing on producers that have more extensive distribution with both Napa and Sonoma represented (rather then all Sonoma as is often the case with Sonoma County based restaurants). Visit: www.perchandplow.com
- Phyllis’ Giant Burgers (formerly Heavenly Hamburger) is a small Hamburger joint located at 4910 Sonoma Highway (Highway 12) in Rincon Valley. Heavenly Hamburger was here for many many years until this chain took over in April 2008. Phyllis has totally modernized this restaurant – no longer that “old” small town burger feel. They have several other locations in Marin County. Still is popular employment for young high school kids. Great shakes and malts here. Hamburgers are cooked on grill close close to dining area, you can hear and see the flames. You put your own condiments on. Outside table dining available also. Phone Number (707) 539-9791
- Pho Crazy is located in the small one story shopping center located at the intersection of N. Dutton and W. Third Street (almost in the shadow of Highway 12). The focus is on Vietnamese pho (and other dishes) using local ingredients as much as possible along with using natural grown meats, free range chicken and organic vegetables. Fromthe outside one would think seating availabity is tiny – but there is surprisingly enough space inside spread out over multiple tables.
During a recent visit to town we stopped here and tried the Spicy Lemongrass Beef Noodle Soup and the Combination Beef Noodle Soup/Pho. The spicy soup was quite tasty – the Combination Pho was lacking in flavor and the meat was surprisingly tough. They also have a small vegetarian selection on their menu. Service was very fast – only about a 1/3 full at the time of our meal. Parking can be a bit tight when this shopping center fills up – parking spots are available directly in front of the restaurant.
- Pho Vietnam is an established Vietnamese restaurant best known for their Pho, or soups. They started out in this shopping center located just south of Highway 12 as just a “hole in the wall”. Their initial restaurant was a narrow shop. Restaurants that have good food typically remain in business – its that simple. This restaurant has since grown. They now have a much bigger restaurant with more seating but despite the larger venue it can still be packed at times. This is an inexpensive place for lunch or dinner and has one of the nicer tasting Vietnamese soups in Santa Rosa. They are located at 711 Stony Point Road #8. For more information you can call Phone Number: (707) 571-7687
- Pupusas Salvadorena is located at 1403 Maple Lane near Highway 12 not far from the fairgrounds. This very tiny restaurant is located in a small 1-story shopping center (Maple Lane is a one way street) on the corner of Brookwood and Highway 12 (next to the 7-11). Try to get here off hours for lunch as this place can really fill up especially on the weekends and they have very limited seating. The food is tasty and affordable. Being lovers of seafood, we recommend their seafood soup (usually only served on the weekends). The decor is simple. Vegetarian dishes also served. Phone: (707) 544-3141
- Riviera Ristorante is located at 75 Montgomery Dr (not far from Memorial Hospital – in a part of town that is semi residential mixed in with various businesses. Remarkably they have been open for 25+ years. Features indoor and outdoor dining (outdoor seating is in a small patio under their arbor, with some heat lamps – these are usually needed nearly every day of the year in the evenings).
During a recent visit, it seems like nearly every customer was a good friend of the wait staff with plenty of hugs and welcoming greetings. We heard Italian being spoke by by several of the staff/owners. Offers a variety of appetizers, salads and pasta. Decent pork tenderloin although the sauce may be quite sweet for some. Even a dish named for Sonoma County’s most famous bicyclist, Levi Leipheimer – the Spaghetti Levi Leipheimer. Parts of our meals were good mixed with parts that were just average. Nothing stood out as excellent. Fairly reasonably priced. Visit: www.rivieraristorante.net
- Rosso Pizzeria + Wine Bar is located in the Creekside at 53 Montgomery Drive in the vicinity of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Outside dining is available during the “warmer” months – but even in the middle of summer you can often sit here in the midst of the heat lamps which are turned on. This is a good addition to the Santa Rosa pizza scene. There are a number of tasty personal pizzas on the menu – thin crust – you can actually eat and enjoy the crust. Our recommendation is the Uovo pizza – no longer on the menu but still made if you ask for it (if you ask for this you will present yourself as a local – as they haven’t offered this on the menu for quite some time!). Also a decent selection of very good salads. Wine is a big part of the menu here (they offer a wine club as well). The price for Napa’s Harlan Estate on their wine list merely says, “don’t even ask” – nice! Visit: www.rossopizzeria.com
- Royal China is located in a one story shopping center on the corner of Marlow and Piner in North West Santa Rosa. From the outside this looks like a cheap Chinese restaurant. Not so, once you walk inside you will see this is a classy restaurant, well decorated with elegant interior artwork. They have also been here since 1994 which in the world of Chinese restaurants is a very long time. We were promptly seated and after ordering the service was very fast and efficient. The hot and sour soup is excellent. So is the Hunan styled spicy Prawns with vegetables. Both of these dishes are marked as spicy, but they aren’t really. We also ordered the Roasted Duck which was the only dish we would not order again. Chinatown San Francisco has more authentic and tasty versions. The green tea ice cream is a true representation of this ice cream – nice strong tea flavors, rather than some of the watered down green tea ice creams we have had at other restaurants. They are located at 3080 Marlow Road #4. Phone: (707) 545-2911
- Russian River Brewing Company is located on 4th Street Downtown at 725 4th Street. They serve a variety of micro brews that make themselves – as well as pizzas and other snacks.
A real brew pub; often times on weekends or Fridays people will be seated or standing outside. Large pizzas, beer and TV – what more could sports enthusiasts want! Walk by here when they are brewing and you will experience the unmistakable smell of hops saturating the air. Visit www.russianriverbrewing.com
- Sam’s For Play Cafe has two locations, the one pictured here on Cleveland Ave and their original restaurant located in the heart of Santa Rosa’s Roseland District. Judging by the name alone, this is a good date restaurant. They serve American styled food – breakfast and lunch at both locations and dinner at their Cleveland Restaurant. They also cater events and weddings. Visit: www.samsforplaycafe.com
- Sazon Santa Rosa opened in 2010 – located at 1129 Sebastopol Road in the heart of Santa Rosa’s Roseland district (a number of small hispanic restaurants are in the vicinity). There are only a few parking spots in the front of the restaurant – but more parking is available behind. The dining room is tiny – with just a few tables as well as bar seating. As a result, reservations are strongly recommended, especially for dinner. Part of a good restaurant experience is the front staff – and during our recent visit Roberto (one of the partners) was an extremely hospitable and personable host. The service was quick and efficient.
Combine that with excellent food and you have a winning combination. Sazon really shines with their appetizers – some standouts ceviche (fish marinated in lime), Limena (crab & aji amarillio-lime infused potato) and Palta Rellena (crab & shrimp salad).
A couple of recommended entrees are the Ensalada Bistec and the Lomo Saltado.
There is nothing to hide in the kitchen here – it is open sitting right behind the counter seating area. Sazon also has some great “classic” Peruvian drinks from Chicha Morada to Pisco Sour. Visit: www.sazonsr.com
- Sea Thai Noodle Bar is located in the Coddingtown Shopping Mall (286 Coddingtown Center) on the north side of the mall. Coddingtown Mall is Santa Rosa’s first mall and parts of the mall look dated from the outside. This restaurant is not one of these areas – it was part of a major renovation and remodel in this one section that now looks quite modern and features several neighboring restaurants.
The owner and chef runs Sea Thai Bistro in Montgomery Village. During a first visit and review here we found some of the food markedly improved over that restaurant – dishes were creatively designed and flavorful. The spicy soup has a variety of ingredients (we asked for vinegar to make it slightly more sour) – possibly to spicy for some, but not to spicy for our palate. A real shame they stopped including the pea pods in this soup. A number of seafood options. Plenty of both noodle and salad choices – some very nice salads. Thai ice tea comes in large and tall glass – was a bit watery on arrival. The drunken noodle dish was definitely sub standard. The wings were ok, nothing special. Reasonably priced oyster specials on certain days.
Indoor and semi outdoor seating (which can be quite chilly anytime of the year depending on the weather – and they really should have more heat lamps outside). Lots of bar seating – although the counter top tends to be a bit high in comparison to the height of the bar stools. Unlike nearly all Asian restaurants in Sonoma County, when we are in town we actually return to this restaurant to selectively choose items on the menu. Phone: 521-9087. Visit: www.seanoodlebar.com
- Sea Thai Bistro opened in 2007 in Montgomery Village (current location, 2350 Midway Drive). It is the most upscale Thai Fusion restaurant in Santa Rosa and as a result the prices are slightly higher than the other Thai restaurants. They serve a lot of Asian fusion type dishes so its not entirely Thai food. The first time we ate here we got slightly sick right after finishing the meal- never figured out from what dish.
We’ve eaten here several other times since with no problems. The quality of food here is over-rated. The interior of this restaurant is very long and there are a bunch of seating areas next to the windows and wall. We also revisited after they moved locations and found the food to still be about the same. www.seathaibistrobar.com
- Shogun Japanese restaurant features fine Japanese cuisine and a Sushi Bar. They are closed Monday. Food to go is available. Lunch and dinner are served. This is Sonoma County’s oldest Japanese restaurant. For a number of years they were located in Montgomery Village – they have moved further south on Farmers Lane – and are now nestled in the northwest corner of the Farmer’s Lane Plaza (near Farmer’s Lane and Highway 12). Address: 1531 Farmer’s Lane. Their Phone Number is (707) 575-5557.
- Simply Vietnam Express (the original Simply Vietmam restaurant was formerly Cam Ranh Bay) serves Vietnamese Cuisine (at affordable prices) located at 3381 Cleveland Ave in north Santa Rosa (near Trader Joe’s). The original Simply Vietnam on Dutton Ave closed in mid summer 2017 to great disappointment from its long time loyal followers. The inside of the ‘express’ is hip, open and throws out a good vibe. They are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 10am to 8pm, Sunday from 10am to 7pm. They have a good selection of appetizers. They also have a good selection of Vietnamese soups but also serve rice and noodle dishes.
If you like sweet drinks try the Logan drink – sweet water with peeled Logan’s (a type of tropical fruit) at the bottom of the glass. The former owner trained the Hispanic chefs on how to cook Vietnamese food. The portions are very good and the prices are extremely affordable. Often super crowded on Fridays and Weekends with folks looking for a quick affordable bite to eat. Good Thai Ice Tea also. Phone Number: (707) 566-8910 Visit: www.simplyvietnamexpress.com
- New Sizzling Tandor is located along the busy Mendocino Avenue just before you enter the downtown area of Santa Rosa. This is one of the nicer Indian restaurants we’ve eaten in town. They have a wide selection of dishes and attentive staff. Entertainment is also one of the highlights of weekend visits including belly dancing and classical Indian live music. This restaurant has some nice staying power – they have been in their same location for quite some time, while nearby restaurants come and go. Phone: (707) 579-5999
- Skyview Restaurant & Raw Bar – is located at the Charles M. Schulz Airport. After eating here, the idea of finding superior cuisine at a small airport and the romance of sitting next to the runway watching planes leave and take off was more appealing than the reality of the actual experience. Alaska Air, from LAX to STS was delayed because of the nasty weather so we didn’t even get to see the plane land – certainly not the restaurant’s fault. But there is something to be said for sitting here – a connection to the rest of the world. This is our connection to our “home airport” of LAX which connects to the rest of the world.
The sushi and sashimi are average at best and definitely overpriced for the quality. The house salad with balsamic vinegar is good. Only one other couple was at the bar and us and all the tables were empty save for one guy furiously plugging away at a laptop. WiFi is free although it was down the night we visited. We have stopped in several times since this review was originally written – the staff are always very friendly and attentive. The restaurant closes at 8pm. Two hours of parking is free in the closest airport short term parking lot. Phone 542-9200 or visit: www.santarosaskylounge.com
- Spring Lake Chinese Restaurant is conveniently located at 4219 Montgomery Dr just down from the Rialto Theatre and Howarth Park. The inside is very clean – and during a recent visit, the service was extremely efficient and attentive. The owner is pleasant.
The food however seemed to be very Americanized – the Cashew Chicken seemed to be “off flavor” and the scallop dish we ordered was way to sweet. The veggie dish was very average. The hot and sour soup was also average but was the best tasting of any of the dishes we ordered.
Phone: (707) 539-1462
- SRJC Culinary Academy is located at 1670 Mendocino Avenue at Carr Avenue. From their main window you can see students cooking up a storm. This restaurant serves excellent food prepared by Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Arts students. For reservations please call: Phone Number (707) 522-2796. https://culinary.santarosa.edu/cafe-and-bakery
- Stark’s Steak & Seafood is located at 521 Adams St on the edge of the West End Historic Neighborhood and near Historic Railroad Square. Located in an old section of town – somewhat industrial in natural. A part of town that feels like you are walking into the 1930’s. Ingruiging exterior.
The focus here is on premium steaks offering dry-aged beef and American Kobe. The chef hand selects all meat served to patrons. Plenty of sustainable seafood options as well. Decent wine list featuring both Sonoma County wines as well as an international selection. Excellent bar. Parking is curbside on the nearby streets. Often a well attended Happy Hour. Part of the Stark Reality Restaurant Group – currently owners of 6 fine restaurants in the area, most in Santa Rosa.
- Superburger is located at 1501 4th Street, just east of downtown. Not a new establishment, originally founded in this location following World War II as “Dog-E-Diner”, known for their freshly baked pies. Opened as Superburger in this location in 1978 – today owned by two cousins. Both indoor and outdoor seating available. This is their original location; as of our latest update they currently operate three other locations within Sonoma County. Known for their hamburgers (a bit pricer then some hamburger restaurants) and their milkshakes.
With a name like this it would be nice to see this franchise jacked up to the next level and expand throughout California and the Western United States. In the process finally taking some of the hamburger luster and lore away from Southern California. For more information visit: www.originalsuperburger.com
- Sweet T’s Restaurant and Bar was located in the same shopping center where Traverso’s Market unsuccessfully tried to move to at 2097 Stagecoach Road in Fountaingrove. Both indoor and outdoor seating was available – outdoor seating is under an awning with small heat lamps installed above for colder days/nights which are so common here.
Nice feel when entering the restaurant – hostess is immediately next to the door. A wide open kitchen allows for guests to easily see the culinary masters work their craft. Also a sizable bar. Focus is on a mix of American cuisine strongly influenced by southern USA cooking. One of the highlights from the appetizers menu are the Brussels sprouts. Rib salad was a bit on the sweet side. The shrimp came on a sizable bed of ice separated by some lettuce. Ok but not that great. Good drink menu – very strong Sazerac. Despite the restaurant being fairly busy, the service was exceptionally fast. NOTE: this restaurant burned down in the Tubbs Fire of October 2017. The restaurant has reopened in Windsor at 9098 Brooks Road South.
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowl is located in the shopping center at the corner of Stony Point and 3rd Street on the west side of Santa Rosa (Address: 473 Stony Point Road). The owner is from Laos, this is billed as a Japanese restaurant but with a number of tasty Asian (Thai) influenced items, most notably from Laos and Thailand. We enjoy the Laos thick noodle soup and have had good chicken vegetable dishes. The owner enjoys “street food” in Thailand which is the most authentic Thai food you will find and she incorporates some of the styles and flavors in the food here. Sit down or takeout is available. In our opinion, this is one of the better “hole in the wall” authentic Asian restaurants in Santa Rosa. Phone Number: 578-0416
- Thai House is located across from the old Cantina Restaurant on 525 4th Street (2nd floor). You can either enter this restaurant directly from 4th street, or enter from the parking lot in the back using the elevator – which is also ok. They have mat as well as regular seating. Also note that a very high 18% gratuity is charged for parties of a minimum of 5 people. A very quiet/untalkative sometimes unfriendly staff is present. Sometimes its so crowded service can be a little slow. This is one of Sonoma County’s older Thai restaurants and they have been in this downtown location for years.
During our most recent visit after about 7 years we had one of the worst Thai meals in memory. The beef salad was super sweet, the beef tough – this dish had no creativity whatsoever. The Catfish special just looked unappealing. The taste was even worse – breaded, oily. Yuck. The quail appetizer was less than desirable – it was dripping with a foul smelling oil and the taste was average at best. Phone Number (707) 526-3939.
- Tipp Thai Cuisine is located in a small shopping center at 1778 Piner Road near the corner of Coffey Lane. Phone: (707) 542-5772. This is family owned (Thai) and they serve a variety of Americanized Thai dishes.
Very average Thai food cooked for western taste. Takeout is available. Very friendly owners. Decent prices.
- Tomi Thai is located at 426 Emily Rose Circle in Windsor (just west of the freeway – turn right on Windsor Road off of Windsor River Road. The owners Tom and Mimi Khamvongsa ran Bangkok Villa (now closed) in Santa Rosa for a number of years before opening this restaurant simultaneously. While Bangkok Blvd was more of a restaurant for locals, Tomi Thai attracts both locals and tourists. This is one of the better Thai restaurants in a county with a very poor showing for Thai food. With that said the restaurant is still cooking for westerners rather than Thai.
The Crying Tiger (tender beef served with Thai sauce) is excellent but not authentic. Its served like a steak here and not marinated a long time and cut into strips as it should be. A very tasty salad is also served with this. Tomi Thai serves best Pad See Ew in Sonoma County (especially if you request the “priks” (seasonings) for additional flavor and “heat”. The green curry is just average.
We found a rock or a piece of metal in one of the dishes – lucky we didn’t bite down hard as this had some size to it. Our primary waitress had a tone of voice that sounded quite fake whenever she talked to you. The other waitresses were great and very friendly. The restaurant is small with very pleasant decor and additional seating along their wide bar area. Visit: www.tomi-thai.com
- Tov Tofu has replaced the old Bangkok Villa Restaurant. This small Korean restaurant has approximately 13 tables. We visited recently for dinner and were only 1 of 2 parties there for about an hour. The inside was freezing so we had to ask the waiter to turn the heat on. Very friendly and prompt service. A number of complementary appetizers are brought out before your meal as you will find in Korean restaurants. The Kimchee was average. The spicy soup is good as are several of their dishes served in the hot clay pots. They are located in the Safeway Shopping center at 1169 Yulupa Ave – Phone: (707) 566-9469
- Toyo Sushi Grill is located at 3082 Marlow Road, Suite B3 in the corner shopping center. This restaurant is owned by David and his wife – David has a great personality as well as a long history owning Chinese restaurants in Sonoma County going all the way back to a small restaurant in the Larkfield Shopping Center north of town. For some reason he decided to open a Japanese restaurant after all his experience with Chinese restaurants. This small restaurant has two main dining rooms – their focus is on affordable sushi and sake. For a small restaurant they have a fairly large selection on the menu. The quality of food is just average but the prices are decent. Their specialty dessert is the Fried Banana with Green Tea Ice Cream. Visit: www.toyojapanese.com
- Ume Japanese Bistro is located in the town of Windsor, about 10-15 minutes north of Santa Rosa. Take the main Windsor Exit and once off the freeway you hit Old Redwood Highway – turn right and its about 1/4 mile down on the left side of the street. In our opinion this is one of the top 2 or 3 Sushi restaurants in Sonoma County. This is an upscale restaurant with good service and excellent food, especially the Sashimi. An adjoining bar sits next to the entrance but is completely separated from the main dining room. The small oysters are some of the best we’ve ever had. Ume is located at 8710 Old Redwood Hwy and their phone is: (707) 838-6700 Visit: www.umebistro.com
- Union Hotel has three locations, their original location in Occidental, a small town about 40 minutes west of Santa Rosa towards the ocean, their second location in the Safeway Shopping Center on West College Avenue and a location off of Mission Blvd next to the Santa Rosa Creek (with a nice lounge and open area overlooking the bike path next to the creek).
Occidental is always a nice place to stop in and eat after a day at the ocean. This restaurant features family style Italian dining and very large portions with soup and salad included with entrees, a throwback to the “old days” of dining. Phone Number (707) 874-3555.
- Zee’s Diner is located at 3135 Cleveland Ave in the former building once occupied by Brody’s Burgers & Brews. The claim to fame for Zee’s is they are open all day for breakfast. They are also in a part of town that does not feature many close by restaurants and are easily within walking distance of several of the nearby hotels including a Motel 6.
Open 630am until 3pm. Will this become a regional fast food diner – growing to beyond this one location? Only time will tell. This is not their first restaurant – they used to be open in Petaluma. Friendly young staff, food is very American including corned beef hash, a variety of eggs, sausage, bacon etc.
Arrigoni’s (now a pizza place) & Rendezvous no longer exist. Sea Thai is in a new location. You mispelled Omelet Express, just fyi. Nice reviews tho. I’ll recommend it to out of towners. Cucina Paradiso (2) of Petaluma will be opening in the sight of the old Roberto’s on Hwy 12 if you didn’t know that yet. Very excited!
Kim – thanks for the updates. Their website shows Omelette Express – as I have it listed. Fixed the others 🙂