This is my list from last year, so not as current as it might be. Follow up with a search on Chowhound and at the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat website. Either Jeff Cox or Michele Anna Jordan have reviewed all of these, and their reviews have specific recommendations of dishes.
Cucina Paradiso — good Italian trattoria
Water Street Bistro — chef Stefanie Rastetter used with the Daniel Patternson at Babette’s. She’s talented. Breakfast and lunch only, I think.
5 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma , CA 94952, Telephone: 707-782-9298
Sooze Wine Bar Café
6 Petaluma Blvd. N. , Petaluma, 707-762-3743
Good cioppino, linguine with clams, Italian...
919 Lakeville St., Petaluma, 707-765-5900
Little Thai — 109 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, 789-9777 (Plaza North Shopping Center).
Central Market (emphasis on slow food, with New Orleans style)
Bricks (thin-crust pizza)
The New Yorker Pizza Restaurant
3 Petaluma Blvd North, just north of B Street, near The Mystic, (707) 762-7595
I second Lolita's! Just ate there weekend before last and had two chicken mole enchiladas, and my husband had the same. We kept talking about how even the rice and beans were just especially good. The chips and salsa were addictive. I even consider this a destination place for the best Mexican taqueria fare. The market is fascinating too. I'm making plans to meet my foodie friends from Berkeley there so we can eat and shop.
re: Robin Langton
Namaste Cafe is undergoing an owner change....two families instead of the group of four. The cooks are the same except for the original head cook.
Food is spicier.... waitstaff is larger and friendlier...
New name will be Everest Kitchen
BTW folks in Petaluma might object to Rohnert Park, Penngrove and Cotati being considered a part of Petaluma (and visa versa). Each of the four communities are distinct and different...
re: Robin Langton
I live in Petaluma.... even the East and West siders see themselves differently:)
5 minutes is different-- Penngrove teenie tiny and very country, Cotati - funky and small more like a college town- full of taverns, neat coffee houses and small resturants (very anti chain), Rohnert Park-- more chains and a few small restuarants-- but more than you realize.
Petaluma-- town of "keep Petaluma eggscentric:)"
Reminds me of the constrasting flavors of neighborhoods in Chicago- my hometown...
Della Fattoria Downtown - Closed Monday
141 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma, CA 94952 -Phone: 707-763-0161
Tuesday thru Saturday 7am to 7pm, Sunday 9am to 3pm
Karinas Mexican Bakery
827 Petaluma Blvd.
Mon-Fri, open to 5pm
Sat-Sun, open to 6pm
9 Islands Bakery Cafe
1 Padre Pkwy
Rohnert Park 94928
Full Circle Baking Company and Italian Delicatessen
Kathy Giusto, Owner
P.O. Box 914
10151 Main St., Suite 120
Penngrove, CA 94954
Ginger Bread Haus
8274 Old Redwood Hwy.