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Creative Dining in Mendocino

I am taking my girlfriend for a week to Mendocino. In addition to all the restaurants that I have frequented, I was looking for some alternative options... cheese stores, gourmet stores, sandwiches to go, stuff to stash away in our B&B mini fridge for those snack moments - any ideas that are fun, funky, unusual. Help!!

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  1. Oh come on man... Somebody HELP ME!!!!!

    1. I’m not much help on the treats thing – but I remember seeing a place or two in the little town (towns?) on 128 between Hwy 101 and 1. Sounds like you know the restaurants in Mendocino – I’ll recommend the Mendo Bistro too. It’s actually in Fort Bragg, about 10 miles north. Interesting and affordable menu - only open for dinner.


      1 Reply
      1. re: FireFlyFiftyFive

        Thanks for the recommendation... I am making a list! We will be spending about a week, so I hope to have plenty of time to visit many restaurants big and small... I have been to Mendo and surrounding areas quite a few times, but only for shorter trips. So, most restaurants I am familiar with... but this time, I thought it would be nice to do some lunches picnic style. On the beach, at our b&b... on one of the great benches for people watching etc....

        Thanks for the idea for Mendo Bistro... I have read good things about it, but haven't had the chance to visit yet... I'll report back.


      2. Corners of the Mouth in Mendo is a nice health/organic store. Harvest Market in Ft. Bragg. Roundman Smokehouse in Ft. Bragg. There is a little market at the gas station in Little River that had some nice goodies. There was a nice soup place in the same building but I'm not sure if they are still there. It was called Edge of the earth.

        There are fish markets in Noyo Harbor that have nice snack /fish cocktails.

        What route are you taking to get there?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Stan

          Oh good... Thanks for all the places.. I will put them on my list. It will be nice to just putz around and pick up things here and there. YUMMMMM... I can't wait, I am getting more excited everyday.

          We will be most likely driving 101, 128, 1. But unfortunately will be getting a late start and most likely will be unable to stop too many times. I was thinking of that fruit stand... but I only know it when I pass it. Happen to know what I am talking about? Where it is?

          Thanks for ALL the great ideas.

            1. re: Stan

              THAT'S it!! You're the best. Thanks!!!

              1. re: soapgirl

                Have to say that on my trip weekend before last I was pretty disappointed in most of the produce at the Gowan's Apple Stand: some of the apples were pretty good, but nothing outstanding, and the rest of what I picked up was only average, at best....that said, the produce isn't that great in Mendocino. Still, you could do just as well getting your produce in the bay area before you go.

        2. Here's a link to my road trip 2006 report that should give you some ideas:


          Have fun and please report back on your trip!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Carb Lover

            Hehehehe... I snuck a peek at your trip right before I posted... and made some notes. I have an ongoing list of places to visit. Thanks for being so thourough in your "report". :o) Helps the rest of us who LOVE to eat. I can't promise I will remember to take pics of all the food, but I will try.

            Thanks again,

          2. Mendosa's, the grocery market in the town of Mendocino, has surprisingly high quality meats, given the location and the 'feel' of it as a general store; their wine selection isn't too bad either. The Noyo fish markets are better for seafood...

            Last time I was at Edge of the World, the place in the building with the gas station at Little River, it was a full fledged (and not too cheap, but good) restaurant, not just a soup place...but that was two years ago. Time flies....(I've been to Mendocino since, but haven't stopped in at Little River).

            Anyway, will be back up there this weekend, so will scope out what is there now, and report back! Here's hoping the wind and seas calm down so my dive buddies can get some abalone for our Saturday night dinner!

            3 Replies
            1. re: susancinsf

              You're the best, I can't wait for the report... We will be there the week of 10/15-10/21. Mmmmmm.... abalone. I love it when it is in season and buying it right from the divers...Lucky you with a diver friend!!

              Thanks for the info on the markets... I will try to check out Edge of the World... see if it is still around.

              Thanks for the post!!

              1. re: soapgirl

                Edge of the Earth (Stan was right about the name so either it changed since I was last there or my memory was off) is closed. Will post more seperately, but had to add just FYI, that buying abalone from sport divers is illegal and could get them and you into trouble....

                1. re: susancinsf

                  I don't know what the penalties are for private citizens who get caught buying sport-fished abalone, but I know that RESTAURANTS have been fined thousands of dollars for buying from ab poachers...and anybody who sells a sport-fished ab IS a poacher.

            2. The Garden Bakery in Mendocino next to the MacCallum House Hotel has wonderful cookies, breads, filled rolls and pizza slices. I can't recommed this place strongly enough. Also, the folks at the Wine Shop in Mendocino are very friendly and will likely have great ideas, both for wine and a picnic to accompany it. Enjoy!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jamie Rudman

                Mmmmmm... now that you mention it, I remember this place... It is kind of a hidden enterance in a little garden???

                You guys are making me hungry!!
                The Wine Shoppe is a great idea!!

                Thanks for the ideas,

              2. If you are traveling on 128 north turn off on Greenwood Ridge and do not miss the Apple Farm.
                This is an organic farm that Tim and Karen Bates own and they sell chutneys, jams, organic cider and hard cider. It's a gorgeous place where one of the barns has been turned into a cooking school and they also have some cottages for rent. Karen is the daughter of the Schmidts who started the original French Laundry before Thomas Keller bought it.

                In Gulala, below Mendocino, there's a very good restaurant, called Pangaea (misspelling). Also in Fort Bragg don't miss the Headlands Cafe--excellent coffee and pretty good lunch fare.

                The Little River Inn also just a few miles below Mendocino has a great old fashioned bar although I wouldn't eat there.

                1 Reply
                1. The Bates are really nice people and its apple season! The Little River Inn does have pretty good food especially breakfast. I personally like the Albion River Inn. If the budget is tight just go there for a drink.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: soapgirl

                      Oh, I forgot to mention that we are not going until the middle of October... Then comes the report.

                  1. Wowsers..the Fiancee and I are beginning to make Mendocino our own...by that I mean we are trying all the places we can get to before our wedding in June 07.

                    And wow, have we struck gold. We have nailed so many good places that our tummies hurt. Please make us stop eating!!

                    1) Garden Bakery (next to the Maccallum House)...ever so good...everything. Our first stop when we come to town.
                    2) The MacCallum House. So Good. Excellent food. If you're rich/drunk, I STRONGLY recommend getting the wine pairing dinner..try a lot of the menu and several different Mendo Wines...it's gastro-riffic.
                    3) Albion River Inn. Holy cow. So good. Just got back from there...we shared a Blue Cheese Salad. It's the best salad I've had in 2 years (since Kensington Circus Pub...but then again, I don't eat many salads.) Then I had the Roast Duck Breasts with Magic Vanilla/Shallot/Marsala Sauce, Magic Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes, and Magic Snow Peas. I wiped up every bit with good crusty bread. TheFiancee had Lime & Ginger Prawns (I stole one when she dropped her fork)...they were excellent..and the funny thing was that she raved about the coconut-jasmine rice that was with the dish. Dang good.

                    Anyhoot, Mendo is a treasure trove of food waiting to be explored...but if you do the top 3 above, you're on your way.

                    And if you're looking to just 'splode with FOODY goodness, I'd say go to the Mac House and order the full "We're-Thinking-About-Getting-Married-Here-Let's-Try-Everything" dinner they have. TheFiancee and I almost died from foody goodness.

                    Enjoy Mendo Foods.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lord of pain

                      Thanks for the report!! The "We're-Thinking-About-Getting-Married-Here-Let's-Try-Everything" dinner thing sounds out of this world... and I guess in Mendo they wouldn't question that we were two women... I can almost see this working!! :o)

                      Thanks for all the info... I am leaving Texas tomorrow.. wha who!! Sacto - SF - Mendo... I'll post when I return... If I can still fit in one plane seat on return that is...


                    2. Two women will not have a problem on the Mendo coast. You should make some dinner reservations before you leave. There are lots of couples traveling this time of year up here. You are in for a treat, the weather is unbelievable right now.

                      1. What the heck, soapgirl?! Where is your post on your experience in Mendo? :(

                        I can only assume that you had the "we're thinking of getting married here, let's try the entire menu" dinner and that you exploded from foody goodness.

                        R.I.P., soapgirl, rest in peace.


                        1 Reply