HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Help please ... lunch in Sonoma or Napa

  • e

Coming in from Sacramento airport (much cheaper to fly there) and we will be driving to Dry Creek Valley. Last time we stopped in Sonoma at Girl and the Fig for lunch and it was lovely. Is there somewhere else we should try in Sonoma, or in Napa? Too hungry to wait for Healdsburg and besides, we'll be there for three days. I tried "sonoma lunch" search on this board but with wild results. Any help is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You might like Kenwood rest in Kenwood. Better check any place to see if they are open...many are closed Sun, Mon or Tues.

    1. Depending on your route, there are lots of choices. If you are going "around the horn" (Highway 80 to Hwy 12) you could stop at the Boon Fly cafe on the Carneros highway. Lots of other restaurants on Sonoma plaza beyond the Girl and the Fig, but it is one of my favorites. If you continue up hwy 12 through Kenwood, in addition to the Kenwood Rest (upscale) there is Cafe Citti (casual).

      Personally, I would take hwy 128 (past Berryessa) from the Sacto airport. It is windy but scenic, and much more direct to Healdsburg. It drops down mid Napa Valley, so lots of options from the Rutherford Grill to Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena.

      1. If you do go through the town of Sonoma, here are my favorite lunch places.

        - Sunflower Caffe on the square in Sonoma. It's a deli-type lunch place with a very nice patio in the back. The food has always been much better than I expect from a deli-type place.

        - Olive & Vine just north of Glen Ellen in the small complex called Jack London Village. It's a catering company and this is their kitchen and cafe. Very good food including excellent soups. It's a bit difficult to "get" what the choices are; best to engage them in a conversation about their food and ask questions.

        - Cafe Citti in Kenwood. It's a casual order-at-the-counter but very nice Italian trattoria with fireplace and excellent chef-made food at very reasonable prices. You'll find several recommendations for it here.

        >Coming in from Sacramento airport (much cheaper to fly there)<
        Cheaper to fly to Sacramento than to SFO? From where?

        Sunflower Caffe
        421 1st St W, Sonoma, CA 95476

        Olive & Vine
        14301 Arnold Dr Ste 3, Glen Ellen, CA 95442

        Cafe Citti
        9047 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mick Ruthven

          I had lunch today at the Kitchenette in the El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma. It's a deli-looking place that serves food made in the hotel's main kitchen. The ruben (their spelling) sandwich was outstanding. Here's a thread about the place including my visit today.


        2. What day of the week? Ubuntu in Napa is good but only open for lunch on Weekdays. If you stop by the new Oxbow Market in Napa it is sort of an upscale

          Sometimes it is easier to search places to find out what is there. Replace Napa with Sonoma in this search. Many of the records have hours on them. I like El Dorado Kitchen which is across the street from the girl and the fig. Estate is very pretty but I don't know if they started lunch yet. A lot of these records have linked reports and reports

          1. I second the El Dorado Kitchen suggestion (although Girl and the Fig is my favorite place in Sonoma). You can get lunch at the Carneros Inn "Market" and take it over to the canopied outdoor seating area to relax and eat. The waiters might offer to bring you wine, too. Pizzeria Azzurro and Uva are casual places for lunch in Napa (Uva closed on Mondays).

            1. We just got back from Healdsburg where we spent a few days. Ate at several restaurants that were recommended by many locals including:
              Ravenous, in Healdsburg, quaint backyard, but presentation of food, pretty unappealing and service a little too casual for the prices.
              Manzanita, also in Healdsburg, sat at bar, not an interesting menu, undercooked pizza, starters and entrees served at the same time. Not recommended.
              Dry Creek General Store, picked up sandwiches and cold salads for a picnic at nearby winery. Good, would definitely go back.
              Mosaic Cafe, Forestville, lunch outside in the funky and cute backyard. Mostly sandwiches and salads on the lunch menu. Dinner is more formal. Great service. A bit of a hippy vibe, but nice people and enjoyable environment. Would definitely go back if we're in the area.

              1. Don't know what the timeline for your visit is, so I don't know if this is timely. Here are a range of places, cost wise. Kelly's No Bad Days Cafe, on Pearl st., Napa. Great food, sometimes the hours are a little unpredictable. The Napa General Store, 500 Main St. Nice place, eat there often on the patio because they welcome dogs. Angele, right next to the General Store, very enjoyable. For inexpensive good mexican food, I like Las Palmas, 1730 Yajome st. Great food and beer served in iced mugs. Oh so tasty.

                2 Replies
                1. re: junco31

                  What do you order at The Napa General Store? I haven't read anything very enthusiastic about them, so it would be nice to know what to order.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Cafe Citti is great for a casual, low-key lunch with some spectacular pizza and pasta as well as great roasted chicken.

                2. Elements in Napa is a great place for Lunch, an amazing menu and great wines by the glass, flight or bottle! Second the El Dorado Hotel too!

                  1. If stopping in Napa then try the Cheese Merchant at the Oxbow Public Market. They also have Hog Island Oysters, Taylor's Refresher and a few other places to get a nice quick lunch. The Mac&Cheese at the Cheese Merchant is to die for!
                    If stopping in Sonoma try the Meritage or if you want to wait and stop in Kenwood then I highly recommend either Cafe Citti or Doce Lunas. Both are great little casual lunch spots with wonderful food.

                    The Oxbow Cheese Merchant
                    610 First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                    Cafe Citti
                    9047 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

                    Doce Lunas
                    8910 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA

                    Meritage Restaurant
                    165 West Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476