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Sep 6, 2007 01:44 PM

Lunch Recommendations in Downtown Santa Rosa

I'll be in Santa Rosa every Wednesday afternoon for the next several weeks, and am looking for a lunch spot I can walk to. I'll be on 4th Street, near Santa Rosa Ave.

So far, just casually walking around hasn't turned up anything great, so your suggestions are welcome. TIA

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  1. Cafe Japan - Stick to the sushi - and the sea greens salad -- cooked food just ok

    Sizziling Tandoor - never been but friends really like it

    Annapurna - Nepali - best quality sub-cont. lunch I have had - allo gobi is killer (Thank EN)

    Flavor - one word: gnocchi

    Aroma Roasters - Coffee

    Russian River - Little White Lie Beer

    SRJC Culinary Cafe - Yet to try

    What have you tried?

    PS avoid La Veras

    6 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      I haven't really tried anything -- I've been stopping in Petaluma on my way back to Marin. If La Veras is the place that has pizza on display outside their restaurant, it looked bad enough that I decided to post a request here for lunch help. Thanks for the suggestions -- is everything you mention in walking distance? I'm not too familiar with downtown.

      1. re: TerriL

        If you click on the Place links to the righthand side for each of these places, it will take you to a google map and you can judge how close it is to your location.

          1. re: TerriL

            LOL! You're not the only one, that's why I mentioned. It's a feature that's still much underutilized.

            Any feedback to share on these places?

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Guess we have Ruby to thank for that great feature?

              So far I haven't been free until 1:30, and I'm so hungry by then that I'm not making good decisions. I'll try to plan ahead for next Wednesday.

        1. re: TerriL

          As Melanie said, use the google map to check things out, but pretty much everything on the list so far is within walking distance of 4th/Santa Rosa Ave. Some are on the outer edges of what some would call walking distance (such as a couple of places near Brookwood and 4th), but nothing that is further than a 15 minute saunter from the center of Old Courthouse Square (the grassy park-like area downtown inbetween 4th and 3rd streets and Mendocino Ave/Santa Rosa Ave). To get to Old Railroad Square, you can either go under the mall underpass on 3rd, and hang a right once you have passed under the freeway, or go thru the Santa Rosa Plaza Mall itself.

          Speaking of pizza, I noticed that a Mary's Pizza is going into a building that used to house a furniture/interior design store...across the street from the Macs Deli area, on 4th. Don't think it will be up and running in the next couple of weeks though.

      2. Here's thread from last year that might be helpful.

        You might also want to join the North Bay chowdown group and have some company as you explore downtown.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Arrigoini's deli on 4th St at D is tasty. Sandwichs, etc made to order, but also fresh homemade dishes too. In the winter get their tomato basil soup and quiche lorraine. Eat on the outdoor patio and people watch.

          For a more formal lunch walk thru the Mailer Galleria (near Corricks) to 5th st. and eat at Gary Chu's chinese food. I know it's still hot out, but they also have yummy soups and great lunch specials accompanied by attentive service.

          1. re: misscotati

            Any body else like Gary Chu? I think it is overpriced, watered down imitation of casual & safe Chinese cooking. I'd be interested in Melanie's perspective... coming from L.A, Gary Chu's is not a place I would spend another dime.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Hmmm overpriced? To be honest, I've never eaten dinner there, so can't comment on that- I've only been for lunches which is what the original poster asked about. But the lunch specials, whcih include miso soup and salad are $7.95 (for most) you get good portions, and it is tasty food. It's not authentic chinese (I agree it may be casual and safe), but it is good- especially for a business day lunch. And like I said, attentive service.

              1. re: misscotati

                I will give their lunch a chance... dinner seemed to be about $15 per family style entree... delivering PF Changs type food with much less flavor. Kind of the Pamposh version of Chinese cuisine.

                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  God FORBID PF Changs opens in Santa Rosa because I guarentee it will take a huge bite out of local Chinese food places that have been able to get by with mediocre food.

                  True it's a chain, but I could live off their lettuce wraps and crab wontons for...well, weeks lol..

                  Anyway my suggestion would be NY Pie...For a slice, it's the best in the city

              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                I've not been to Gary Chu's for many years. His family is from Shandong province in China, and i've heard fourth hand that one can special order Shandong style dishes that are prepared quite well. But I haven't tasted it or know anyone myself who has. If you're wondering what kind of food that might be, check out posts for specialties at King Sing, San Wang or San Tung in San Francisco, Great China in Berkeley, or Tong Soon Garden in Santa Clara, which serve up some Shandong (and Korean-Chinese) dishes among more Americanized selections. I'd love it if someone could get ahold of him and ask if he can make gan pong chicken, etc.

                Gary Chu's
                611 5th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

          2. Here's a previous discussion of deli/market/takeout places in Sonoma County that includes several great choices in downtown Santa Rosa.

            Places off the top of my head:

            Traverso's (corner of 3rd and D, I think..."behind" the transit mall) for amazing deli sammiches and other lunchy things (cheese, bread, snackies) that you can get and then sit outside on the grass and enjoy the great pre-fall/summerautumn weather.

            Hot Dog City (on 4th) for many tasty variations on the hot dog.

            Mac's or Arrigoni's (deli sammich/etc. goodness...more descriptions in the thread I posted earlier)

            I haven't tried this particular location yet, but on the corner of 4th and Brookwood is the new Cafe De Croissants/Grateful Bagel spot. I've enjoyed both the croissant and bagels from them in previous spots.

            Also on the corner (kinda) of 4th and Brookwood is NY Pizza...which I've heard good things about, but I'm not sure if they do pizza by the slice for lunch.

            If you are in the mood for Thai, there is a decent thai food place on 4th, next door (and up the stairs) to Sonoma Coffee Company, Thai House. They aren't the best that Sonoma county has to offer in the way of thai food, but I haven't had a bad dish there yet, and if you have a craving...(; There is also a newer thai place in the old railroad square area, Khoom Lanna. They apparently serve lunch from 11-2:30 pm. I've yet to try them.

            Oh, and a bit down the street from Khoom is LoCoco's (where Melanie, iirc, really enjoys the calamari fritti). Tasty italian food, decent lunch prices. Lunch Tuesday - Friday from 11-3.

            Centro Espresso cart inside Sawyers News (on 4th, a bit past Barnes&Noble) for some of the best espresso around. Their cappuchino's are nearly perfect, and if you are craving simply coffee, you can't beat their Americanos. Aroma's is okay, imo, but if I'm in that part of town I tend to choose Flying Goat Coffee (across the little "square", behind Chevy's).

            Ditto Kare's rec. of Cafe Japan (their lunchtime bento box specials, 3 variations, from $9 to $13, if I recall correctly, makes for a delicious, light and clean lunch treat), Sizzling Tandoor (haven't tried their lunchtime buffet but I really enjoy their food at dinner), Annapurna (great lunchtime buffet variety, and tasty stuff!), Flavor (haven't tried the gnocchi, but I love their asian chicken salad, probably because they use fish sauce in the dressing) and the SRJC Culinary Cafe.

            Oh, and if you can figure out when he is open for lunch, there is Cafe Saint Rose (off of Santa Rosa Ave, but near enough to downtown to walk). Does anyone else know if he is doing lunch yet?

            Okay, time for lists!

            Traverso's Gourmet Foods
            2097 Stagecoach Rd,, Santa Rosa, CA

            Lococo's Cucina Rustica
            117 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Hot Dog City
            631 4th St Ste 1, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Arrigoni's Delicatessen & Cafe
            701 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Flavor Bistro
            96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Cafe Japan
            98 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Annapurna Restaurant
            535 Ross St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Centro Espresso
            733 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Mac's Kosher Style Deli
            630 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            I Love NY Pie
            65 Brookwood Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            SRJC Culinary Arts Center
            458 B St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Thai House
            525 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Khoom Lanna
            107 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Flying Goat Coffee
            10 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            A'Roma Roasters & Coffee House
            95 5th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Sizzling Tandoor
            409 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            Russian River Brewing Co.
            725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Grateful Bagels Cafe des Croissants
            1015 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            Seed Restaurant
            463 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

            1 Reply
            1. re: chocolateninja

              FYI... I just heard a glowing review of Khoom Lanna.

            2. The original comment has been removed