The Best Restaurants & Hotels In Healdsburg guide image

HLBGGuide

The Best Restaurants & Hotels In Healdsburg

Where to grab Oaxacan food, barbecued oysters, BBQ platters, and more.

Healdsburg used to be just a sleepy agricultural city along Highway 101, but times have changed. Now home to some of the country’s best restaurants and wineries, Healdsburg is the perfect spot for a food-and-wine-focused getaway. 

Healdsburg has easy access to both the Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley, two of the most sought-after wine regions in Sonoma County. And while you can certainly spend the weekend in a car visiting winery after winery, you could also take a tour of Sonoma’s food and wine scene just by wandering around downtown Healdsburg, which has over two dozen tasting rooms and some truly excellent restaurants. 

Here are our favorite places to eat in Healdsburg, as well as a few suggestions for where to spend the night if you’re planning an overnight stay.


CASUAL SPOTS


photo credit: Allison Green

Campo Fina review image

Campo Fina

$$$$

330 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
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If you want to pretend you’re summering in Italy in a Tuscan villa, think of Campo Fina as your local watering hole, where you can grab an aperitivo and have a spirited game of bocce with friends. The restaurant is known for its wood-fired pizzas, but they also make fresh ravioli, excellent cocktails, and a fantastic selection of bar snacks like Castelvetrano olives and saffron arancini. And, because this is an Italian restaurant in Sonoma County, the wine list is impressive. You’ve got choices from Sicily and Piemonte if you want to stick to the Italian theme, or Russian River and Dry Creek Valley options if you’d prefer to stay local.


This local favorite has been serving up food from Oaxaca and Jalisco for more than 40 years. The interior is spacious with a central bar and a small handful of seats, but you should sit on their excellent patio when the weather is great (which is almost always in Healdsburg). Don’t miss their mole oaxaqueño, a rich chile-chocolate sauce incorporating more than 20 ingredients, that’s especially delicious heaped on top of carnitas. Wash it down Oaxaca-style with a mezcal-passionfruit cocktail, or try a hibiscus-tequila cocktail for a taste of Jalisco.


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If you’re about to dive headfirst into Healdsburg’s wineries, you’re going to want to be prepared, and a full stomach of BBQ is the kind of prepping we can get behind. Customize your BBQ platter at Kin Smoke with a bunch of meats, including brisket and St. Louis-style ribs, plus sides like bourbon baked beans and fried pickles, all served with their tasty cornbread. It all gets piled up on a tray ready to be eaten in the casual space with exposed brick and a handful of TVs playing whatever game’s on that day.


For the perfect breakfast before heading out on a wine-tasting spree, head to The Parish Cafe for New Orleans-style comfort food that would make even the most homesick Louisianan proud. Grab their pillowy fried beignets dusted in powdered sugar and pair them with chicory coffee to be transported right to NOLA, or dig into a more hearty breakfast like their breakfast po’boy or shrimp and grits. Lunch is all about seafood po’boys, but they also serve other Cajun classics like red beans and rice and gumbo.


photo credit: Allison Green

Lo & Behold review image

Lo & Behold

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Known for cocktails and small plates perfect for sharing, Lo & Behold is a relaxed option perfect when you’re in town with a group of friends. Grab a guava paloma or cucumber-fennel mezcal cocktail, then split a world tour of plates like Sichuan-spiced pork spareribs, bánh xèo with pork belly and shrimp, and dukkah-spiced grilled halloumi. The dining room has an industrial-meets-rustic feel with vintage mirrors, wooden details, and a gorgeous bar at its center, whereas the patio is a private, canopy-covered garden escape. Wherever you end up sitting, you’ll probably want to stick around for more than just a few quick bites and cocktails.


Willi’s is a casual spot in downtown Healdsburg that’s always busy around lunchtime, bringing together Latin flavors and New England-style seafood in a way that just works. Oysters are the name of the game here: try them barbecued in the traditional Tomales Bay-style, or opt for a variety of raw oysters from near and far. For your entrée, grab a New England-style lobster or crab roll, or try their selection of ceviches, crudos, and seafood tacos. And if it’s Dungeness season, don’t miss the crab cakes.


At Bravas, you’ll find traditional Spanish tapas like pan tomate, patatas bravas, and chicken croquetas, alongside more creative options like clams steamed in cava and crab-stuffed peppers, as well as larger dishes including paella. This low-key tapas bar is buzzy at night, so it’s great for a group who enjoy adding to a lively hum of conversation in the background. We tend to skip the main dishes and load the table up with tapas instead.


SOMETHING QUICK


If you want to grab something quick to have on hand before hitting the wineries, drop by Troubadour Bread & Sandwiches. The excellent bread is baked in-house, and the thick sandwiches filled with options like pastrami, chicken salad, and goat cheese with pesto and vegetables are sturdy enough to last a few hours while you visit a few wineries. They’re perfect for a picnic lunch between wine-tasting stops or to nibble on as you wait in traffic on the drive home. It wouldn’t hurt to snag a loaf of sourdough to bring home, either.


If you’re looking for a vegan option, Little Saint is a new, intriguing spot in Healdsburg. Sit outside on the patio for table service at the restaurant, or head inside to grab something quick: this food hall-style venue houses a cafe, marketplace, and bar all under one (vegan) roof. It’s run by the same owners as SingleThread, so it’s an option if you want a more casual and budget-friendly introduction to their thoughtful approach to produce. All arms of Little Saint uses local produce from small farms that emphasize sustainable, biodiverse farming practices: that means their menu changes often, but they are always plant-based, sustainably sourced, and most importantly, delicious.


A family of winemakers is behind Journeyman Meat Co, where they pay just as much attention to salami and charcuterie as they do to their wines. All the charcuterie is made locally in Sonoma County, and is perfect for an on-the-road picnic or to stash in your luggage for the trip home. The sandwiches are near-perfect and made to order—we like the smoked sausage sandwich with garlicky aioli, roasted peppers, and fennel.


In a town filled with coffee shops, it’s hard to pick just one, but we keep coming back to Black Oak Coffee Roasters. Their single-origin pourover coffee is prepared flawlessly to bring out subtle flavors, and they also have inventive lattes infused with lavender, spiced brown sugar, and wildflower honey with bee pollen. And if you’re hungry, there's a menu of tartines, breakfast burritos, chia puddings, and more. The pastries are great too, especially the jalapeño cheddar scone.


UPSCALE OPTIONS


This upscale restaurant takes note from Japanese traditional fine dining, with attentive-but-unstuffy service and beyond-elegant plating. Embracing the kaiseki style, diners start with a playful selection of amuse-bouches and then move through a progression of 10 courses that bring together the owner-chef’s Japanese training and locally-grown produce from the restaurant’s farm. Dishes change constantly and are in tune with the seasons: during winter you might find freshwater eel and braised konbu over brothy koshihikari rice, while summer brings in fresh peas and celtuce to liven up steamed black cod. At $425 per person, a meal here isn’t cheap, but it’ll be one to remember your whole life.


Barndiva serves up creative seasonal dishes in a rustic barn-inspired setting. The patio is the perfect spot for late lunch or early dinner, beautiful but not overly romantic, so it works equally well for a group of friends or a date. If you want a more intimate setting, grab a table indoors. The menu changes monthly to best incorporate seasonal local ingredients, but it’s important to start off a meal here with the famous, always-on-the-menu goat cheese croquettes. On our most recent visit, the menu included egg yolk dumplings with peas and bacon, roasted duck with blackberries and chanterelles, and Hokkaido scallops with clams and a sansho pepper broth.


There are two parts to The Matheson: a more formal dinner spot on the ground floor, and Roof 106, a more casual option on the (you guessed it) roof, open for both lunch and dinner. Downstairs, you’ll find a menu full of local seafood and seasonal produce in a huge dining room with a sweeping view of the full bar and open kitchen: if you’re dining solo or in a party of two, grab a bar seat facing the kitchen to watch the chefs work their magic. Roof 106 is more about wood-fired pizzas and piadinas with interesting ingredient combinations like broccolini and preserved lemon or merguez sausage with manchego and shishito pepper. Whatever you pick, it’s best enjoyed with a perfectly-balanced cocktail and a view of Healdsburg Plaza.


Located off of Westside Road, one of the best stretches of Healdsburg’s wine country, the Madrona is a hotel in a Victorian-era manor that recently reopened after a lengthy renovation. Its restaurant’s menu was updated as well in the overhaul, definitely for the better. It used to be pretty fussy, but the menu now puts an elevated twist on comfort food, with dishes like salmon belly crudo, potato gnocchi with a duck bolognese, and chicken paillard with spiced brown butter.


THE HOTELS


photo credit: Kassie Borreson

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SingleThread Inn

If you’re having trouble getting a table at SingleThread (and have money to burn), stay here to be guaranteed a spot at dinner. But don’t consider this only a shortcut to a reservation—this is a wonderful hotel in its own right. The Inn’s five rooms are all quite spacious, with high ceilings with redwood beams, spa-quality bathrooms, and a generous selection of in-room amenities as a welcome gift. The biggest draw is breakfast, made every morning by the SingleThread team, with options including a Sonoma breakfast box with local ingredients and a traditional Japanese breakfast.


photo credit: Allison Green

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h2hotel

If you love the look of greenery crawling up a building, you’ll fall in love with h2hotel at first glance. But this hotel is green in more ways than one: h2hotel has achieved the highest standard in sustainability, using as little energy and water as possible while creating minimal waste. Its 36 rooms each have their own private balcony or patio, with minimalist decor that still manages to feel warm and inviting. Three different sizes of rooms are available: the eco-studios and eco-suites are especially cozy, with plunge tubs for long pre-dinner baths.


photo credit: Allison Green

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Harmon Guest House

Harmon Guest House mixes modern architecture on the outside with a chic but cozy interior: its lobby even hosts a rotating art exhibit. The 39 rooms each have a balcony or patio, as well as a bar cart to mix your own cocktails. Take a dip in the private pool to cool off on a hot day, or grab a drink and watch the sunset from the charming rooftop bar.


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