An open, exposed-brick bistro emphasizing organic foods. It's all delish, but for a taste of the area, we especially love the simple little gems salad with chopped egg, smoked bacon, and Point Reyes blue cheese ― all local, of course. Don’t miss out on fresh bread from their wood-fired oven. centralmarketpetaluma.com; 42 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma; 707/778-9900.
The girl is restaurateur/whirlwind Sondra Bernstein, whose bistro on the ground floor of the Sonoma Hotel is one of the best reasons to visit Sonoma Plaza. Garden patio dining, an award winning Rhone-alone wine list, restaurant farm, and seasonal dishes keep visitors coming back for 19 years and counting. thegirlandthefig.com; 110 West Spain Street, Sonoma; 707/938-3634.
The cool bar and outdoor lounge area might be a hangout for the denim crowd, but the ultramodern dining room will make you want to dress up and sip a martini. Chef Armando Navarro uses only the best Sonoma County produce presented in an elegant fashion. The seasonal menu changes often. eldoradosonoma.com; 405 First Street West, Sonoma; 707/996-3030.
Enjoy this sweet little stucco-walled dining room right on the square, with patio seating behind. Chefs Jen and Nick Demerest get back to basics in a short, fresh Mediterranean menu. Remind yourself how good perfectly cooked beans can be, especially topped with stellar homemade pork sausage. harvestmooncafesonoma.com; 487 First Street West, Sonoma; 707/933-8160.
Journey to the heart of Sonoma for this small American bistro. The Mediterranean-inspired dishes that come out of the postage-stamp kitchen are some of the best you’ll ever taste. They’ve only got a dozen or so tables, but working your way in via reservation (only 30% of the seats are for walk-ins) is worth the effort. cafelahaye.com; 140 East Napa Street, Sonoma; 707/935-5994.
Go here for earthy, delicious Portuguese dishes, with an emphasis on seafood. Just off Sonoma Plaza, LaSalette serves a fisherman’s stew, kind of like cioppino, that’s dynamite. Plus, they have a great tasting menu, where you can pick three, five, or seven dishes, like fried Sonoma goat cheese or escargots. lasalette-restaurant.com; 452 First Street East, Suite H, Sonoma; 707/938-1927.
After a recent visit, Sunset food editor Margo True said, "How can bread be that good?" Housed in the 1860 U.S. Bakery building, Della Fattoria Cafe opens for breakfast and lunch. Start with a sandwich at an outdoor table and finish with the strawberry chiffon cake. Thank us later. dellafattoria.com; 141 Petaluma Blvd. N.; 707/763-0161.