The Top 10 Bars In Healdsburg, California

A Selection of Shims at the Fermentation Bar
A Selection of Shims at the Fermentation Bar | © Sally James
Sally James

Nestled in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, Healdsburg is a small bustling town brimming with wineries, restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Surrounded by a myriad of local farms, you’ll find chefs and mixologists alike paying homage to the county’s produce. Whether down home is your penchant, fine wines or just a few local oysters and bubbly there is something for you. Better still, they are all walking distance around the central square.

The Fermentation Bar at Shed

1. The Shed

Cafe, Market, Restaurant, Grocery Store, Bar, Charcuterie, American

The fermentation bar at Shed is one of the most exciting you’ll find, with freshly fermented beverages such as Kombucha, Kefir Water and Shrubs, along with cider, wine, mead and beer on tap, and some shims that bring the sunshine out on a cloudy day with their fresh fruit forward flavors. The Blood Orange with Prosecco and Passionflower, and Tangerine Shrub with Rose, Orgeat and Hibiscus are particularly exquisite. Try with one of the chef, Perry Hoffman’s, local and abundantly fresh salads or a charcuterie plate. Relationships with local farmers and purveyors are key here, and it shows in the exceedingly fresh food. Afterwards, linger to shop for gift sets, pantry staples and gardeners’ treats.

2. Barndiva

Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

Interior of Barndiva farm to table restaurant with diners visible in the Sonoma County wine country, Healdsburg, California, August 24, 2018. ()
© Smith Collection/Gado / Gado Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Barndiva has two experiences to offer bar lovers. The first you’ll discover is Studio Barndiva, a large, rich room overflowing with unique artwork and signature ‘pieces’, with some communal tables, and an intimate bar snuggled into the corner where you can enjoy a private artisanal cocktail. Also on offer are boutique wines, beer and bistro fare. Try their seasonal margarita or the ‘Cosmo Killer,’ which you may find as their daily special when you visit, with EFFEN cucumber vodka, green chartreuse, St. Germaine elderflower and Navarro Verjus.In the main restaurant, just a few steps up the road, the bar gets really serious. Here you’ll see masters at work behind the bar, a pleasure to watch and even more to sip their creations. Travel and Leisure lists it as ‘the hippest scene in town.’ You can enjoy the fully sustainable menu here, which matches the creativity and local sensibility of the drinks.

3. Ralph’s House

Ralph’s House

Open from lunchtime, with happy hour and late-night specials; you’ll always find Ralph’s House abuzz with activity and a great selection of Sonoma County wines, generous martinis, house-created cocktails and beer in bottles. The menu focuses on ‘organic’ and ‘grass fed’, with items such as sliders, ahi tartare, and great salads and vegetables.

Ralph’s House, 109 Plaza Street, Healdsburg, CA, USA, +1 707 433 1380

Ralph’s House Door reflecting the charming tree-lined Healdsburg square | © Sally James

4. Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Seafood, American, Beer

Located just north of the town square in downtown Healdsburg, Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar is East Coast meets South America meets Wine Country. With an extensive list of small plates and a diverse seasonal cocktail menu, not to mention a varied wine list, it’s the perfect place to perch yourself at the bar and savor the ocean’s produce. Designed for sharing, the menu features items ranging from New England style ‘rolls’ and Latin inspired skewers to ceviches and tartares. The chef’s raw bar features an ever changing selection of fresh seafood, including at least eight varieties of fresh oysters.

5. Bear Republic Brewing Company

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, Vegetarian

Loud conversations and sports are the order of the day here
© Sally James
With a bustling loud crowd, big screen TVs, and more than 14 freshly brewed beers on tap, The Bear Republic Brewing Company is the place for hops lovers. Named as the 39th largest craft brewery in the US, their daring and bold brews have won 22 medals from the American Brewing Company. Food is beer friendly and hearty, and beer is often one of the ingredients.

6. Healdsburg Bar and Grill

Bakery, Bar, American, Beer, Pub Grub

Making Food & Wine’s Top 25 US Burger List is no small feat, but not a surprise as Healdsburg Bar and Grill was opened by Douglas Keane, the three Michelin star-awarded chef. Their signature burger, the HBG Burger (fresh-ground Meyer Natural Angus beef patty topped with Alexander Valley Gourmet pickles, served in a toasted Costeaux Bakery sourdough bun with roasted garlic mayonnaise on the side) is adequately matched with an extremely intriguing and extensive beer list, local wines, and even adult milkshakes. Salads, Cubanos and Korean BBQ are also among the tasty offerings.

7. Spoonbar at Hotel – Art and Craft, Right Down to the Plates

Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

Spoonbar Mixologists prepare for the evening
© Sally James
Airy and freeform with azure and turquoise furnishings, Spoonbar at the ultra-cool h2hotel features two bars: one that melds with the lobby seamlessly and the other lining the street with glassed walls that open on a sunny day to bring the indoors out. Cocktails are artfully crafted to meet the equally arty food, and even the plates are handcrafted by a local potter. Bar Manager Alec Vlastnik spotlights locally and domestically grown spirits, with herbs, fruits and vegetables grown by neighbors. With a nod to Spain, Southern Italy and France, their wine list focuses on the four surrounding wine regions of Healdsburg, with many being organic, biodynamic and sustainable to match the hotel’s own eco-mission.

8. Ferrari Carano

Bar, Wine Bar, Wine, Beer, South American

Seasons of the Vineyards
© Sally James
If you can’t make it out to the stunning Ferrari-Carano winery, with its expansive landscaped grounds (which is well worth the 15-20 minute drive), this is the perfect place for a tasting and a Scharffen Berger chocolate pairing. The bar is set amid an array of gorgeous Italian ceramics, glassware, wooden crafts and tableware, so you almost feel like you’re in someone’s exotic living room. Seasons of the Vineyard features wine tasting from Ferrari-Carano, as well as Lazy Creek Vineyards, and is a great spot to look for that perfect gift.

9. Williamson’s Wines

Bar, American, Wine, Beer

If a convivial atmosphere, cult small batch wine tastings and delicious food morsels specially crafted for pairing is your jive, then Williamson’s Wines is for you. Always bustling with a lively crowd, there is a small bar and lots of barrel tables dotted throughout the two rooms for enjoying your time slowly. It’s Australians making French-style wine in America, and the ambience reflects just that, you need to have fun, but the wines are seriously good. The wine menu includes Bordeaux and Rhone styles as well as some sparkling gems.

10. John and Zeke’s

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, Beer, Pub Grub

John and Zeke’s signpost
© Sally James
Every town has one, somewhere the local’s go to play pool, watch sports, listen to the jukebox, get a drink at a good price and just hang out, and Healdsburg is no exception. John and Zeke’s fits the bill perfectly with a relaxed vibe and a mix of young and old co-mingling comfortably over beers and spirits and amiable chatter.

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