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Martha Cromar

Where to Eat and Drink in Sebastopol

The Sonoma County town is home to some of wine country’s best food

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Each town in Sonoma County has its distinct personality — Sonoma with its charming and classic go-to restaurants, Healdsburg with its mix of the fancy and the artsy. A decade ago, Sebastopol, on the other hand, was mainly known for its creative hippie vibe, with Florence Avenue lined with recycled junk art and a killer farmers market. Its most notable restaurant was the now-shuttered Peter Lowell’s, which served hyper-local cuisine that starred produce grown at restaurateur Lowell Sheldon’s Two Belly Acres farm.

These days, Sebastopol’s bounty, combined with a community that appreciates organic, sustainable, and local eating, has come together to turn this somewhat sleepy hamlet into a chill food mecca — one where Peter Lowell’s itself is being reborn as a trendy Thai restaurant. “The farming thing is a really important component of it,” says Sheldon. “If you look back to Lowell’s, it was the first farm-to-table restaurant fully integrated into the local wine scene as well. The chefs could feel that energy, and it created a domino effect for that kind of food culture.”

Over the years, that agricultural richness has attracted like-minded chefs and food artisans who are drawn to Sebastopol’s laid-back vibe and bucolic beauty. And fortunately, most of the area’s best restaurants, cafes, and bakeries are open for takeout during the pandemic. So until the current shelter-in-place order ends, customers can help support these spots by dropping in to pick up some food.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Khom Loi

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7385 Healdsburg Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Located in the former Peter Lowell’s space, this Thai restaurant is the hotly anticipated collab between Lowell Sheldon and Ramen Gaijin owners Moishe Hahn-Schuman and Matthew Williams. The long-running pop-up is slated to open by the end of January with a menu that reflects “two chefs’ passion for the flavors of Thailand,” Sheldon says. Count on curries made from scratch, a whole fried fish blanketed in chilies and fresh herbs, and a nice selection of local wines.

2. Patisserie Angelica

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6821 Laguna Park Way
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-7998
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This petite patisserie earned a Slow Food Snail badge for its French specialties like frangipane and gateau Basque, a dense cake loaded with butter and eggs that hails from Southwest France. Angelica’s many fans also love the cream scones, gluten-free goodies like flourless chocolate cake, and the SIP, a shelter-in-place high tea to go that includes your choice of Mariage Freres Tea, macarons, mini scones, and finger sandwiches for $25 per person.

3. The Farmer's Wife

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6760 McKinley St Unit 120
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-3306
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The sandwich initially may have been invented to make multitasking easier, but the cheesy melted sandwiches from the Farmer’s Wife definitely require both hands. Kendra Kolling, who’s also a regular at a couple of Bay Area farmers markets, loves stuffing a couple of cheeses, sustainable meat, jam, and eggs in her creations. “What I bring back from my farmers market represents the strength and bounty of our local foodshed,” says Kolling. She got into the sandwich business after she married an apple farmer and needed to boost their margins. Start slowly with the patty melt, which features grass fed beef, caramelized onions, cheddar, and secret sauce. Or go whole hog on the Belly & Jelly, a substantial mashup of honey lavender bacon, apricot preserves, wildflower honey, and melted cheddar.

Martha Cromar

4. Blue Ridge Kitchen

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6770 McKinley St Ste 150
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 222-5040
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Some of the most delicious fried chicken in the Bay Area can be found here. Chef Matthew D’Ambrosi says it took him 287 batches to perfect the batter, whose deep golden hue is like a cross between tempura and a beer-battered fish fillet. The batter is crunchy, savory, and light with caramelized notes reminiscent of a perfect apple fritter. And the meat is tender and juicy, even without the spicy beurre blanc that comes on the side. The chef brings the same level of intensity to the rest of the menu, but especially his cioppino, hardwood smoked prime rib, shrimp and grits, and burger — all currently available for takeout.

Blue Ridge Kitchen

5. Two Dog Night Creamery

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6760 McKinley Ave #110
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 823-9376
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Ice cream that’s made fresh with liquid nitrogen has been around for a while. But the flavor volume is turned up to high when it comes to the gelato at Two Dog Night Creamery. In the summer, customers might be seduced by the signature Blackberry Pie (vanilla ice cream with sweet organic blackberries). But the shop’s regulars also dally with the Caramelized Apple Pie flavor, which is studded with warm spices, and have a steady thing with the Bananas Foster. They’ve also got vegan peanut butter ice cream, and you can get a couple of free toppings on your cone.

Two Dog Night Creamery

6. Infusions Tea House & Sonoma Chocolatiers

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6988 McKinley St
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-1181
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Everything is thoughtfully done at this chocolate and tea shop near Whole Foods repeatedly named the best chocolate shop in Sonoma County. It’s usually a cafe, but during the pandemic, they’re offering their menu to go. They only work with dark chocolates from Valrhona, Guittard and organic maker Pacari, crafting them into satiny bittersweet truffles infused with ingrtedients like olive oil, local honey cacao nibs. The standout is the dark salted caramel, which has just the right balance of bitterness and salt to make you want another one. The coconut black tea is a local favorite, but the rose matcha latte, which starts with gently steeped organic rose petals, is the stuff of dreams.

7. Sebastopol Cookie Company

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168 N Main St A
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 824-4040
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If you need a cookie to make your day a little brighter, head on over to Sebastopol Cookie Company. Whether you’re craving oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, or peanut butter chocolate, this shop run by Browen Shears, a local director and actress, and her husband Dave MacNab, an acclaimed guitarist, has what you want in a substantial handmade cookie. On the savory side, the portobello sandwich is a local favorite, and the shop also serves muffins, scones, Italian sodas, tea, and coffee.

8. Ramen Gaijin

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6948 Sebastopol Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-3609
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The shoyu broth at Ramen Gaijin is a thing of beauty: deep, dark, and intensely flavored. Even though chef-owners Matthew Williams and Moishe Hahn-Schuman aren’t from Japan, they’ve lovingly translated the flavors they found there, including ramen, fried chicken karaage donburi, and a satisfying wintry curry. At times, the front of house staff has this arch solemnity going on, perhaps to match their status as one of the finest restaurants in town. Just ignore it and go for the noodles. 

9. Retrograde Coffee Roasters

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130 S Main St #103
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-8065
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Though their Milky Way Nitro Cold Coffee has star power on its own (it’s brewed hot over ice and then hit with nitrogen for texture), Retrograde is also notable for being the first Certified Green coffee roaster and cafe in Sonoma County. So besides having recyclable or compostable packaging, they donate chaff from the roasting process to a chicken farm to use as bedding, they turn coffee grounds into compost. And they pay more than the Fair Trade price for their coffee beans sourced from places like Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Chiapas, Mexico. Pop in for a to-go pour over, a Yama Japanese cold brew jasmine tea, or a latte flavored with matcha, beets, or charcoal and rose syrup.

10. Viva Mexicana

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841 Gravenstein Hwy S
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 823-5555
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Viva Mexicana has been a Sebastopol institution since 1986; in the past 10 years owner Sima Mohamadian has added more organics and local produce to the menu. The flavors are clean and direct, from the mole negro made in house for the chicken Holy Mole Burrito to the marinated grilled rock cod from Bodega Bay. Popular comfort dishes include organic chicken pozole and beef birria stew with tomatillo salsa. Carnivores and vegans are equally fond of the Gratitude Burrito: yam and potato hash browns, jalapeño salsa and corn-studded guacamole in a big gluten-free tortilla. Mohamadian has recently added a mini Persian market to the restaurant, in tribute to her parents who both passed away last year.

11. Handline

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935 Gravenstein Ave. South
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-3744
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Handlining is an intimate style of fishing with just a line, a hook, and your hands. At Handline, an old Foster Freeze with a woodsy, Asian-inspired makeover, you’ll find sublimely fresh seafood, like fried fish tacos, ceviche, and grilled Hog Island oysters in season, alongside creative burgers made with organic beef. The menu is also filled with local wine, brews, and produce. Sao Jorge, a Portuguese white cheese from Matos Cheese Factory, is served as a zesty sauce that’s good on anything, including your finger. Say yes when they ask if you want fries with that: They’re double-fried Belgian style in rice oil, so they’re supremely light with a crunchy outside and creamy inside.

Dawn Heumann

12. Pack Jack Barbecue

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3963 Gravenstein Hwy S
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-3665
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For more than 40 years, Donnie Harris has served up Texas-style barbecue from the Wild West-themed restaurant on Gravenstein Highway. And now his sons and grandson are helping him carry on the tradition they brought here from the cowboy town of Egypt, Texas. They slow cook beef brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, and more on the wood-fire pit just outside the restaurant. Sides run from greens to macaroni and cheese, but don’t miss the baked beans made according to a secret 100-year-old family recipe.

Close-up of smoked pork ribs on a white paper plate Maria Hunt Media

1. Khom Loi

7385 Healdsburg Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Located in the former Peter Lowell’s space, this Thai restaurant is the hotly anticipated collab between Lowell Sheldon and Ramen Gaijin owners Moishe Hahn-Schuman and Matthew Williams. The long-running pop-up is slated to open by the end of January with a menu that reflects “two chefs’ passion for the flavors of Thailand,” Sheldon says. Count on curries made from scratch, a whole fried fish blanketed in chilies and fresh herbs, and a nice selection of local wines.

7385 Healdsburg Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472

2. Patisserie Angelica

6821 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, CA 95472

This petite patisserie earned a Slow Food Snail badge for its French specialties like frangipane and gateau Basque, a dense cake loaded with butter and eggs that hails from Southwest France. Angelica’s many fans also love the cream scones, gluten-free goodies like flourless chocolate cake, and the SIP, a shelter-in-place high tea to go that includes your choice of Mariage Freres Tea, macarons, mini scones, and finger sandwiches for $25 per person.

6821 Laguna Park Way
Sebastopol, CA 95472

3. The Farmer's Wife

6760 McKinley St Unit 120, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Martha Cromar

The sandwich initially may have been invented to make multitasking easier, but the cheesy melted sandwiches from the Farmer’s Wife definitely require both hands. Kendra Kolling, who’s also a regular at a couple of Bay Area farmers markets, loves stuffing a couple of cheeses, sustainable meat, jam, and eggs in her creations. “What I bring back from my farmers market represents the strength and bounty of our local foodshed,” says Kolling. She got into the sandwich business after she married an apple farmer and needed to boost their margins. Start slowly with the patty melt, which features grass fed beef, caramelized onions, cheddar, and secret sauce. Or go whole hog on the Belly & Jelly, a substantial mashup of honey lavender bacon, apricot preserves, wildflower honey, and melted cheddar.

6760 McKinley St Unit 120
Sebastopol, CA 95472

4. Blue Ridge Kitchen

6770 McKinley St Ste 150, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Blue Ridge Kitchen

Some of the most delicious fried chicken in the Bay Area can be found here. Chef Matthew D’Ambrosi says it took him 287 batches to perfect the batter, whose deep golden hue is like a cross between tempura and a beer-battered fish fillet. The batter is crunchy, savory, and light with caramelized notes reminiscent of a perfect apple fritter. And the meat is tender and juicy, even without the spicy beurre blanc that comes on the side. The chef brings the same level of intensity to the rest of the menu, but especially his cioppino, hardwood smoked prime rib, shrimp and grits, and burger — all currently available for takeout.

6770 McKinley St Ste 150
Sebastopol, CA 95472

5. Two Dog Night Creamery

6760 McKinley Ave #110, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Two Dog Night Creamery

Ice cream that’s made fresh with liquid nitrogen has been around for a while. But the flavor volume is turned up to high when it comes to the gelato at Two Dog Night Creamery. In the summer, customers might be seduced by the signature Blackberry Pie (vanilla ice cream with sweet organic blackberries). But the shop’s regulars also dally with the Caramelized Apple Pie flavor, which is studded with warm spices, and have a steady thing with the Bananas Foster. They’ve also got vegan peanut butter ice cream, and you can get a couple of free toppings on your cone.

6760 McKinley Ave #110
Sebastopol, CA 95472

6. Infusions Tea House & Sonoma Chocolatiers

6988 McKinley St, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Everything is thoughtfully done at this chocolate and tea shop near Whole Foods repeatedly named the best chocolate shop in Sonoma County. It’s usually a cafe, but during the pandemic, they’re offering their menu to go. They only work with dark chocolates from Valrhona, Guittard and organic maker Pacari, crafting them into satiny bittersweet truffles infused with ingrtedients like olive oil, local honey cacao nibs. The standout is the dark salted caramel, which has just the right balance of bitterness and salt to make you want another one. The coconut black tea is a local favorite, but the rose matcha latte, which starts with gently steeped organic rose petals, is the stuff of dreams.

6988 McKinley St
Sebastopol, CA 95472

7. Sebastopol Cookie Company

168 N Main St A, Sebastopol, CA 95472

If you need a cookie to make your day a little brighter, head on over to Sebastopol Cookie Company. Whether you’re craving oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, or peanut butter chocolate, this shop run by Browen Shears, a local director and actress, and her husband Dave MacNab, an acclaimed guitarist, has what you want in a substantial handmade cookie. On the savory side, the portobello sandwich is a local favorite, and the shop also serves muffins, scones, Italian sodas, tea, and coffee.

168 N Main St A
Sebastopol, CA 95472

8. Ramen Gaijin

6948 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472

The shoyu broth at Ramen Gaijin is a thing of beauty: deep, dark, and intensely flavored. Even though chef-owners Matthew Williams and Moishe Hahn-Schuman aren’t from Japan, they’ve lovingly translated the flavors they found there, including ramen, fried chicken karaage donburi, and a satisfying wintry curry. At times, the front of house staff has this arch solemnity going on, perhaps to match their status as one of the finest restaurants in town. Just ignore it and go for the noodles. 

6948 Sebastopol Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472

9. Retrograde Coffee Roasters

130 S Main St #103, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Though their Milky Way Nitro Cold Coffee has star power on its own (it’s brewed hot over ice and then hit with nitrogen for texture), Retrograde is also notable for being the first Certified Green coffee roaster and cafe in Sonoma County. So besides having recyclable or compostable packaging, they donate chaff from the roasting process to a chicken farm to use as bedding, they turn coffee grounds into compost. And they pay more than the Fair Trade price for their coffee beans sourced from places like Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Chiapas, Mexico. Pop in for a to-go pour over, a Yama Japanese cold brew jasmine tea, or a latte flavored with matcha, beets, or charcoal and rose syrup.

130 S Main St #103
Sebastopol, CA 95472

10. Viva Mexicana

841 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Viva Mexicana has been a Sebastopol institution since 1986; in the past 10 years owner Sima Mohamadian has added more organics and local produce to the menu. The flavors are clean and direct, from the mole negro made in house for the chicken Holy Mole Burrito to the marinated grilled rock cod from Bodega Bay. Popular comfort dishes include organic chicken pozole and beef birria stew with tomatillo salsa. Carnivores and vegans are equally fond of the Gratitude Burrito: yam and potato hash browns, jalapeño salsa and corn-studded guacamole in a big gluten-free tortilla. Mohamadian has recently added a mini Persian market to the restaurant, in tribute to her parents who both passed away last year.

841 Gravenstein Hwy S
Sebastopol, CA 95472

11. Handline

935 Gravenstein Ave. South, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Dawn Heumann

Handlining is an intimate style of fishing with just a line, a hook, and your hands. At Handline, an old Foster Freeze with a woodsy, Asian-inspired makeover, you’ll find sublimely fresh seafood, like fried fish tacos, ceviche, and grilled Hog Island oysters in season, alongside creative burgers made with organic beef. The menu is also filled with local wine, brews, and produce. Sao Jorge, a Portuguese white cheese from Matos Cheese Factory, is served as a zesty sauce that’s good on anything, including your finger. Say yes when they ask if you want fries with that: They’re double-fried Belgian style in rice oil, so they’re supremely light with a crunchy outside and creamy inside.

935 Gravenstein Ave. South
Sebastopol, CA 95472

12. Pack Jack Barbecue

3963 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Close-up of smoked pork ribs on a white paper plate Maria Hunt Media

For more than 40 years, Donnie Harris has served up Texas-style barbecue from the Wild West-themed restaurant on Gravenstein Highway. And now his sons and grandson are helping him carry on the tradition they brought here from the cowboy town of Egypt, Texas. They slow cook beef brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, and more on the wood-fire pit just outside the restaurant. Sides run from greens to macaroni and cheese, but don’t miss the baked beans made according to a secret 100-year-old family recipe.

3963 Gravenstein Hwy S
Sebastopol, CA 95472

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