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Healdsburg hotel and restaurant recs

Planning a first visit to the Healdsburg/Russian River Valley area and would love any tips on centrally located hotels or can't-miss wineries and restaurants. Thanks!

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    1. re: Scott M

      Absolutely echo the recommendations for Cyrus, especially if it's a special occasion. We celebrated our anniversary there earlier this month and it was fantastic, albeit expensive. We did the chef's tasting menu. See attached.

    2. We loved a recent breakfast at Bovolo which is right on the square. It was world's better than the Downtown Bakery & Creamery place that was mobbed with people.


      FYI - It would be helpful to know what types of food you're interested in. What price ranges you're looking for, how upmarket & down&dirty you're willing to go and what wines you like. You're much more likely to get useful recommendations.

      2 Replies
      1. re: larochelle

        Thanks for the tips so far. Hotel Healdsburg is a little out of our budget - we're saving our pennies for wine and food! Any other recs for a more affordable yet still centrally located place?

        Bovolo sounds exactly up our alley, food-wise, and we prefer red wine in general. Can each area: Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, Healdsburg proper, etc., be tasted in a day?

        1. re: larochelle

          Those breakfast menu items sound goooood!

        2. Stay at the Hotel Healdsburg and eat at Cyrus. Avoid the Dry Creek Kitchen.

          1. For a superb and economical meal, Mirepoix in Windsor. They have the same menu for lunch as for dinner. If you've never eaten sweetbreads, now is the time.

            1. Lodging recommendations are out of the scope of what we do on Chowhound, but please do keep the suggestions for Healdsburg eateries coming! Thanks.

              1. Try Honor Mansion, Madrona Manor and the Geyserville Inn. All are in good locations.
                Oakville Grocery or Willi's for lunch, unless you want to taste in the Russian River Valley in which case I suggest visiting Korbel because they have a nice gourmet deli. Favorite Healdsburg Wineries:
                La Crema
                DO NOT MISS Stonestreet on Hwy 128 and also White Oak
                On Dry Creek Road make sure you stop at Mauritson (actually I think you need reservations) and also Ferrari Carano

                1. Hotel a little out of downtown, but in middle of wine country where you really want to be. Nice hotel surrounded by vineyards & cheaper than hotels in downtown healdsburg. www.geyservilleinn.com

                  get wine map at first one or just follow signs. they have russian river wine maps all over & very helpful & free. winerys: in this order: joseph swan, gary farrell, davis bynum, rochioli (just before hop kiln easy to miss), acorn, passalaqua, trentadue.

                  eat a madrona manor. save cash on hotel & spend on food! madrona is the best restaurant in the region. get a glass of wine & wander gardens before dinner.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chelleg

                    No, Madrona is not the best resto in the region by far. They have made some improvements in the last year or so after being relatively comatose for many years but they have a long, long way to go to outflank Cyrus and several others. Madrona Manor may still be quite lovely to wander through and have a glass of wine.

                    1. re: chelleg

                      Most hotels in the area should have those Russian River Wine Road Maps and they usually also have Wine Road Passes for free tasting at any of the wineries. If the hotel doesnt have them then the Chamber of Commerce does. Have fun!

                    2. If you are there on a Saturday definitely check out the farmers market and get breakfast from the mexican stand - amazing! My favorite breakfast on a non-market day is a cappuccino from Flying Goat Coffee (just off the square and has a lively buzz about it) and a apple cinnamon pastry from Downtown Bakery (it is busy but get it to go and sit on a bench in the square). Enjoy Healdsburg it's a cute little town!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Hungryfina

                        Farmers market is a good call Mateo Granados recommended by Melanie Wong thanks Melanie! We just stopped in last Sat. and had the Rock cod fish tacos, expensive but well worth the price. Fresh tortillas with chuncks of fish and covered with pumpkin seed sauce very much the same as what i had in Merida. Also, the tamales are steamed in banana leaves, I liked the vegetable one and pulled pork one the best, chicken had the less flavor. Also, Melanie recommended Taqueria Guadalajara on Healdsberg Ave on the south end of town across form MacDonalds in the small strip mall for some good inexpensive mexican food, I had the chile verde burrito which was better than many I have had in San Francisco... less rice, more about stewed meat in sauce with very good beans.

                        I love Willis Seafood & Raw Bar in town, great spot for lunch.

                        I am interested in knowing if Bistro Ralph's is any good? I love the interior of this place.

                        1. re: Hungryfina

                          Adding Places

                          Downtown Bakery & Creamery
                          308 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                          Flying Goat Coffee
                          419 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                          Healdsburg Farmers' Market
                          North and Vine Streets, Healdsburg 95448

                          1. Taqueria El Sombrero for a lighter lunch type. Or. El Farolito which even has that classic reputed hangover cure, menudo con pata, tripe soup with beef feet. Both in Central Healdsburg. Also for a good deal on centrally located lodging --Best Western Dry Creek -it's walking distance to everything is Healdsburg.

                            1. We generally try to make a trip every fall from the cold north of Canada.
                              a) Hotel recommendations: not qualified to answer: They all are way too expensive to justify the cost, we generally pick a chain hotel in Santa Rosa. Who cares - I am just sleeping there!
                              b) Winery recommendations: Generally we prefer the "small town" feel of Russian River over Sonoma Valley & Napa Valley. So some very unknowns are:
                              - Porter Creek - love the pinot's
                              - Unti Vineyards - make sure you speak to George
                              - August Briggs - hold out for a barrel tasting with joe's dad
                              - Vincent Arroyo - now mostly sells futures - too bad
                              - Duxoup - a little high end but they have a Sangiovese & Syrah
                              - Eric Ross - i think we got this from a "communal" sales store
                              - Foppiano - great petite syrah
                              - Joseph swan - great pinot
                              - Papietro Perry - again a communal sales?
                              If you can spring a day, it is worth the drive to head north to Mendicino
                              c) Restaurants:
                              Zazu - on Guerneville road just north west of Santa Rosa
                              Syrah Bistro in Santa rosa
                              Restaurant Charcuterie in healdsburg
                              Ravenous Cafe & Lounge in Healdsburg
                              Mixx in santa rosa (last choice?)
                              La Gare in Santa rosa ( last last choice?)
                              Hanks Creekside restaurant in santa rosa (for breakfast only!)
                              Ca'Bianca in santa rosa
                              Bovolo for lunch sandwich only

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: dancingTimmy

                                Nice recs!

                                Some winery notes:
                                - Unti Vineyards - another vote for this great, great stop, such nice people and nice wine to boot
                                - Papietro Perry - they have their own tasting room across from the Family Wineries tasting room on Dry Creek Road, highly reco'd
                                - Nalle - a good one to add, my SIL is always bringing their wines over and they're always very drinkable, but they're only open Noon-5 PM on Sat or by appt (as we learned the hard way last Saturday at 11 AM)
                                - David Caffaro - a very independant wine maker making eclectic, good QPR wines. This is a relaxed and friendly place to taste. You won't like everything but I bet you'll walk out with a bottle or two and a good story

                                1. re: bernalgirl

                                  Wineries we like are Sausal and Mazzocco--both are small and intimate. Stryker is very beautiful and Fieldstone is built into the side of a hill--hobbit-like and they make a nice port. A B&B might be your best bet--even the Best Western lists at $180/nt. Check Tripadvisor.

                                  Fair warning: if you can afford it, get somebody to drive you around to the wineries. We visited seven, sampled many wines, and were glad we were not behind the wheel. (We actually got sandwiches from the fancy gourmet take-out place downtown and ate in the car.)