Located a short distance from San Francisco in California’s famous wine country, Healdsburg boasts a culinary scene that does not disappoint. Temperate weather, a long growing season, and fertile land offer prime conditions for the very best fresh produce, and its close proximity to the ocean ensures fresh seafood. Vineyards and wineries also take advantage of the location, creating space for exceptional local wines. Chefs and restaurateurs have noticed this oasis for epicurean delight, and are taking advantage of Healdsburg’s bounty. Read on for 10 of the best restaurants in Heraldsburg.
The folks at SHED are passionate about the connection between food and farming. Working within a close network of like-minded enthusiasts, SHED has become more than just a restaurant; it is a community center for education, sharing and celebrating fresh, wholesome food. Stop in for a bite to eat at the cafe or take a class on beekeeping. Better yet, visit the market and buy farm-fresh produce to take home and prepare yourself. Either way, the staff at SHED is eager to serve you and share their love for slow, carefully crafted food.
Occupying the space that once housed Healdsburg’s renowned Cyrus Restaurant, Chalkboard offers a modernized and more relaxed atmosphere. The menu is mostly made up of small dishes that are easily shared, and gives diners an opportunity to try several. One of our favorite aspects of this restaurant is a three-acre farm, dedicated solely to providing the chefs with fresh, local and organic produce. Arugula is plucked daily and served with pomegranate arils and pistachios, and homegrown herbs abound in many dishes. Chalkboard is a true taste of local ingredients, prepared simply in a setting that is humble and friendly.
For over 10 years, Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar has been bringing fresh seafood with vibrant Latin influences to Healdsburg. The restaurant’s atmosphere is bright and approachable with dreamy patio seating for a pleasant meal outside. There is no wondering why Willi’s has been impressing critics and winning awards. The menu is simple and straightforward, allowing the quality of the ingredients to truly shine through. Dishes are served on small tapas-style plates for easy sharing. Fan favorites include the charred rare ahi, baby back riblets, and the crispy pork belly soft roll.
The team at Scopa is chiefly concerned with maintaining quality and an exceptional dining experience. To ensure this, they are only open daily for dinner and prefer to limit parties to six people. Menus are small and change frequently, highlighting ingredients that are at the peak of season and ripeness. Scopa serves Italian fare, including house-made pastas and pizzas. Customers can’t get enough of dishes like grilled calamari and fresh burrata cheese with warm focaccia and arancini appetizers. With just one visit to this cozy restaurant, Scopa will have you swept off of your feet in no time.
Baci’s owners are transplants to the area, but they have quickly become an integral part of the community. They proudly support local organizations with their fundraising campaigns and local food purveyors by using regionally sourced ingredients whenever possible. This neighborly vibe is felt in the restaurant thanks to its welcoming warmth and affordable prices. Authentic Italian dishes of pasta, vegetables, and meat reflect an attention to well-prepared food and classic flavors. Baci’s staff is attentive and eager to make every guest glad they came.
Whereas some of the restaurants on this list are great for relaxing with good food and a glass of wine, Barndiva is the place in town to have fun and kick back in an upscale way. This restaurant brings a light-hearted flare to local, sustainable ingredients it serves. Housed inside a large red barn, Barndiva combines an air of rustic charm with hip local art and creative design. The restaurant’s menu offers vibrant flavors and unexpected combinations. The space is also available for private events and makes a memorable place for special occasions.
The Parish Cafe is unique among the wineries and traditional American locales in Healdsburg. This restaurant serves traditional New Orleans fare, as if straight from the Crescent City. Shrimp and grits, Po’boys, and jambalaya are all regular dishes on the menu, and they keep diners coming back again and again. The dining area is small but creates a quaint and charming atmosphere. Don’t miss the cafe’s beignets; a lightly-fried French pastry served warm and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Parish Cafe is a beloved nod to the Southern way of life, far from the bayou.
From the immensely successful Charlie Palmer Group comes Dry Creek Kitchen, a contemporary fine-dining establishment in a stunning, historic hotel. The restaurant is especially popular in wine country, likely due to its famous parentage. Dry Creek is passionate about serving beautiful food with an extensive wine selection that strongly highlights local bottles. The menu boasts modern American cuisine influenced by the surplus of good ingredients and iconic flavors available in the Northern California region. This is an elegant way to experience the best of wine country.
This is everything that a neighborhood restaurant should be – warm, bright and unpretentious. Bistro Ralph is open all day, offering simple and mindful food in a setting that is comfortable and cozy. The menu features American classics with Mediterranean-European influences. Guest favorites include the lamb burger, the wild prawn risotto, and the rabbit lasagna. With affordable pricing and a friendly, professional wait staff, it’s clear why Bistro Ralph has become a local Healdsburg favorite.
Chef Mateo brings authentic Latin cuisine to Healdsburg, garnered from the recipes and traditions of his Yucatan roots. Mateo’s Cocina Latina combines traditional flavors in unexpected ways, and the chef’s classical training and extensive experience in fine dining ensure impeccable preparation. Favorite dishes include the olive oil guacamole with pomegranate, ceviche made from local and in-season fish and suckling pig tamales. Mateo’s also offers an extensive tequila bar and knowledgeable staff members available to make suggestions for a perfect tequila pairing.