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lunch in downtown Santa Rosa

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I just had lunch at the new Cafe St. Rose and wondering what other lunch recommendations chowhounds have in downtown. I often eat at Cafe Japan (right name?) next to Wolf's but am getting a little tired of it.

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  1. La Vera is good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChefGirl412

      Gosh, it's been a long time since I've eaten at La Vera, maybe 10 years. Used to get the clam and pesto pizza. What's your lunch order?


    2. Though you're getting tired of Cafe Japan, Emily, could you share your favorites there? We've only had this post from marlon of late.

      I don't make it to downtown for lunch very often. A few places I have my eye on to try next are:

      JC's Cafe and Bakery

      Kabab & Curry House and Sizzling Tandoor

      and Anatolia

      Please report back if you try them or anything else of note.

      Here's an inventory of some of the spots I've tried and liked downtown. Some were at dinner time, but I believe those places also serve lunch. Also, a few were from years past. Please give us an update.

      Russian River Brewing Company

      Hot Dog City

      NY Pie


      Nhabee Cafe

      Paolo's Ravioli Deli

      Surf City Squeeze

      Ristorante Orsi

      Lococo's Cucina Rustica

      Syrah Bistro

      Cafe Saint Rose

      1. Hey thanx for all the suggestions. I come to Santa Rosa very infrequently for "errands" and I try to treat myself as some other aspects of the town are a little hard to take.

        I have tried a few of the places you note including AnnaPurna and the Culinary Cafe both which I though were pretty decent although I don't remember the particulars. I read about NY Pie someplace and always wanted to try it. I also like the idea of supporting the JC which really has a great program. One of the best inexpensive meals I've ever had was at the cafe at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park.

        I will report back as I try some of these places.

        1. About Cafe Japan, it is really a superior place with a small and homey atmosphere. Although the waitstaff are young people the service has always friendly and attentative. I often have had a chicken teriaki over rice. It must be organic and a very very good sauce. I don't know how I got on to this because normally I wouldn't be ordering chicken teriaki in a Japanese restaurant. I think I also had the bento box once but it was less memorable. Never had sushi there.

          1. Thai House on 4th st. (across from Cantina) is great, as well as Traverso's (a great Italian market). Checker's is also always great. For a little more pricey meal Cafe Lolo (5th st) is fantastic, and has a dessert called the chocolate kiss? something like that. it's amazing.

            1. I seem to remember that Cafe Lolo closed and was replaced by a restaurant opened by the owner of Bistro Allure. I will check it out, hopefully this week.

              1. I've had some good dishes at Thai House. One quite memorable one was made with large grilled prawns stuffed with seasoned pork. Cafe Lolo has been closed for a while now, that's where Orsi's is today.

                1. Thai House is one of my favorites. They did change chefs about a year or so ago, so the menu is different, but some dishes are better than ever. The Green Curry is not as good as before but the Tom Ghai Kai is great! (Chicken Coconut Soup-just picked some up tonight- more rich and sweet than before- but still good!) And you can now get Kaffir leaf Vodka!

                  Another downtown favorite for dinner or lunch is "Taste" a restaurant on the Courtyard square near Wolf's Coffee. Great pasta dishes and entrees or sandwiches, etc for lunch. Usually packed at night with locals and families- a good thing!

                  Max's is also good for breakfast or lunch. Russian River Brewing has great thin crust pizza (and a daily slice special with a salad) and Third Street Brewing has supposedly just developed a new menu.

                  There used to be an outpost of my favorite Mexican restaurant, Pepe's, at College and 4th street, but the sign has changed names, so I don't know if it serves the same people and great food... NY Pizza is also a good stop. Don't bother with the new Croissant Shop- greasy!

                  Pearson's at the Safeway on 4th is also a good lunch stop- just moments away from downtown... Baja Fresh at the mall is a good last resort if you can deal with parking...There is also a new Subway on Mendo...

                  Lots of Options... Good luck!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: two_tzu

                    I think the restaurant you refer to as "Taste" is actually called Flavor, and is on Courthouse Square. I agree that they have a great, reasonably priced menu and are very family friendly. I LOVE their gnocci in particular . . .