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A dish at Flower + Bone
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11 Hot New Dining Destinations in Downtown Santa Rosa

The city center continues to grow

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A dish at Flower + Bone
| Flower + Bone/Facebook

With its punitive parking scheme in constant flux and a ringing emptiness to the streets after 6 p.m., downtown has had a tough time attracting, well, anyone. But the downtown area — from the Santa Rosa Plaza stretching east to Super Burger down Fourth Street — suddenly has interesting new places open and planned to open. Keep an eye out for the following spring openings:

  • Gerard’s Paella and Tapas (701 Fourth St.): West County chef Gerard Nebesky is bringing the excellent paella that beat Iron Chef’s Bobby Flay, plus Spanish wines, small bites, and a convivial atmosphere.
  • The Jade Room (643 Fourth St.): Sift bakery owners Andrea and Jeff Ballus will harken Rat Pack-era Santa Rosa with their enormously necessary downtown wine bar and oyster club.
  • The Parish Cafe (703 Fourth St.): The southernmost outlet of this Nawlins kitchen is heading down from Healdsburg with beignets and bloody marys.

For the larger Sonoma County area dining, check out this map of essential restaurants and North Bay breweries.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 2 Tread Brewing Company

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1018 Santa Rosa Plaza
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 327-2822
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Newly opened at the Santa Rosa Plaza with an eye to welcoming thirsty bicyclists after a cool century ride (that’s 100 miles) on rural Sonoma County roads, 2 Tread has hooks for hanging your two-wheeler along the wall and plenty of fresh beers on tap. An expansive outdoor seating area welcomes walk-ins with a full pub grub menu and the inside bar provides plenty of seating.

2. Beer Baron Bar & Kitchen

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614 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 757-9294
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While saddled with an uninviting name, this Courthouse Square-side remodel of the former Rendezvous spot has a comfortable bar stocked with eager young mix-masters and serves an extremely respectable burger accompanied by duck-fat fries. Plus: outside seating.

3. City Garden Doughnuts & Coffee

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1200 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 595-1932

Black pepper pistachio doughnuts with fresh lemon glaze and brioche topped with Guittard chocolate and sea salt are just two items on a rotating list of compelling reasons to drop any diet immediately and deliver yourself to doughnuts. Gluten-free and low-sugar treats are also available.

4. The Naked Pig/Flower + Bone

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435 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 978-3231
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In 2014, Dalia Martinez and Jason Sakach transformed an oil change-type building into their infinitesimally small breakfast and lunch café the Naked Pig (435 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa) and had an immediate hit by serving fresh real food. Taking over a downtown storefront in 2016, they most recently opened the Flower + Bone diner to focus on preserved and foraged foods. Rewarding the brain as well as the stomach, F+B’s cerebral portioning has prompted at least one request for second helping.

5. Miso Good Ramen

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507 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 545-7545
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An easy sit-down noodle house for small plates and rice bowls with a dedicated sushi bar. A recent bowl of ramen was suspiciously rich and delicious. What’s in the broth? “heavycream,” the server answered in a rushed whisper. Pardon? “HEAVY. CREAM.” Oh.

6. The Pharmacy

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990 Sonoma Ave #1
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 978-2801
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Housed in the crazy architectural folly of a former pharmacy that contrasts with the kitchen’s dead-serious approach to the art of take-out food. Salads are thoughtfully sourced and seasonal, sandwiches are constructed with the same care given soufflés, and there are one-serving jars of lemon meringue pie in the cold case, like poems you can eat with a spoon.

7. Wilibees Wine and Spirits

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700 3rd St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 978-3779
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A liquor store to make F. Scott Fitzgerald weep in deep dipsomania. With a sister store in Petaluma, Willibees has everything good and grape-like to drink, as well as a staffed deli and a wine and beer bar with sit-down service. Unusual selections in the cold case make this a great run-in-and-grab-a-bottle spot but the bar welcomes a longer stay.

8. Goguette Bread

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59 Montgomery Dr
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Next to Zoftig and featured on their menu, this long-fermentation cult bakery opens to the public at 1:30pm and always has a line greeting the door.

9. Acre Coffee

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615 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 757-5700
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The fifth outpost of this Sonoma County-only palace of caffeinated excellence has found lonely splendor in the former Mr. Pickle’s franchise hall. Entirely empty before the workforce arrives downtown around 9 a.m., this Acre has all of the great food, coffee, and artful succulent arrangements of its siblings but without the early day lines.

10. Zoftig Eatery

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57 Montgomery Dr
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Former owners of Calistoga’s acclaimed JoLe and Philadelphia’s Mattyson, chefs Matt and Sonija Spector have taken over a take-away Mexican spot next to Rosso’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar and created a spectacular and informal sandwich/salad spot. Build your own salad, try a Korean barbecue burrito, or dig into a Banh Mi sandwich built on next door’s Gouguette bread and filled with porchetta and fresh chicken liver mousse.

11. Perch + Plow

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90 Old Courthouse Square
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Overlooking the new Courthouse Square in the former Christy’s on the Square, this is a solid date spot for its good drinks, fresh seafood, and parallel play side-by-side window seating. Not having to watch each other eat the surprisingly tender calamari can sometimes be helpful.

1. 2 Tread Brewing Company

1018 Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Newly opened at the Santa Rosa Plaza with an eye to welcoming thirsty bicyclists after a cool century ride (that’s 100 miles) on rural Sonoma County roads, 2 Tread has hooks for hanging your two-wheeler along the wall and plenty of fresh beers on tap. An expansive outdoor seating area welcomes walk-ins with a full pub grub menu and the inside bar provides plenty of seating.

1018 Santa Rosa Plaza
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

2. Beer Baron Bar & Kitchen

614 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

While saddled with an uninviting name, this Courthouse Square-side remodel of the former Rendezvous spot has a comfortable bar stocked with eager young mix-masters and serves an extremely respectable burger accompanied by duck-fat fries. Plus: outside seating.

614 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

3. City Garden Doughnuts & Coffee

1200 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Black pepper pistachio doughnuts with fresh lemon glaze and brioche topped with Guittard chocolate and sea salt are just two items on a rotating list of compelling reasons to drop any diet immediately and deliver yourself to doughnuts. Gluten-free and low-sugar treats are also available.

1200 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

4. The Naked Pig/Flower + Bone

435 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

In 2014, Dalia Martinez and Jason Sakach transformed an oil change-type building into their infinitesimally small breakfast and lunch café the Naked Pig (435 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa) and had an immediate hit by serving fresh real food. Taking over a downtown storefront in 2016, they most recently opened the Flower + Bone diner to focus on preserved and foraged foods. Rewarding the brain as well as the stomach, F+B’s cerebral portioning has prompted at least one request for second helping.

435 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

5. Miso Good Ramen

507 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

An easy sit-down noodle house for small plates and rice bowls with a dedicated sushi bar. A recent bowl of ramen was suspiciously rich and delicious. What’s in the broth? “heavycream,” the server answered in a rushed whisper. Pardon? “HEAVY. CREAM.” Oh.

507 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

6. The Pharmacy

990 Sonoma Ave #1, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Housed in the crazy architectural folly of a former pharmacy that contrasts with the kitchen’s dead-serious approach to the art of take-out food. Salads are thoughtfully sourced and seasonal, sandwiches are constructed with the same care given soufflés, and there are one-serving jars of lemon meringue pie in the cold case, like poems you can eat with a spoon.

990 Sonoma Ave #1
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

7. Wilibees Wine and Spirits

700 3rd St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

A liquor store to make F. Scott Fitzgerald weep in deep dipsomania. With a sister store in Petaluma, Willibees has everything good and grape-like to drink, as well as a staffed deli and a wine and beer bar with sit-down service. Unusual selections in the cold case make this a great run-in-and-grab-a-bottle spot but the bar welcomes a longer stay.

700 3rd St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

8. Goguette Bread

59 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Next to Zoftig and featured on their menu, this long-fermentation cult bakery opens to the public at 1:30pm and always has a line greeting the door.

59 Montgomery Dr
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

9. Acre Coffee

615 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

The fifth outpost of this Sonoma County-only palace of caffeinated excellence has found lonely splendor in the former Mr. Pickle’s franchise hall. Entirely empty before the workforce arrives downtown around 9 a.m., this Acre has all of the great food, coffee, and artful succulent arrangements of its siblings but without the early day lines.

615 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

10. Zoftig Eatery

57 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Former owners of Calistoga’s acclaimed JoLe and Philadelphia’s Mattyson, chefs Matt and Sonija Spector have taken over a take-away Mexican spot next to Rosso’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar and created a spectacular and informal sandwich/salad spot. Build your own salad, try a Korean barbecue burrito, or dig into a Banh Mi sandwich built on next door’s Gouguette bread and filled with porchetta and fresh chicken liver mousse.

57 Montgomery Dr
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

11. Perch + Plow

90 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Overlooking the new Courthouse Square in the former Christy’s on the Square, this is a solid date spot for its good drinks, fresh seafood, and parallel play side-by-side window seating. Not having to watch each other eat the surprisingly tender calamari can sometimes be helpful.

90 Old Courthouse Square
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

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