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Looking for a good, casual lunch spot in Sonoma. Maybe a burger?

teejaymoore Sep 2, 2009 07:58 AM

Venturing over to Sonoma (the town) one day this weekend and interested in lunch recommendations. Looking for something casual....possibly a place with a good burger. Appreciate any thoughts as tend to stick to Napa on the weekends. Thanks

  1. s
    Sharuf Sep 3, 2009 03:42 AM

    I'm partial to the Black Bear Diner in downtown Sonoma, a classic family restaurant with a large list of burgers, among other diner standards.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Sharuf
      rabaja Sep 3, 2009 09:15 AM

      They had a fire a looong way back and are still re-modeling. It seems like they are working on it everyday, but it's taking a while.

    2. m
      Mick Ruthven Sep 2, 2009 03:23 PM

      I definitely second Olive & Vine in Glen Ellen. In downtown Sonoma, I've really liked Sunflower Caffe the several times I've had lunch there (although haven't been there in the last year). I was always been surprised by the high quality of the food at this very casual place, sort of a cross between a deli and cafe, and it has a very nice patio with umbrellas in the back.

      A few recent pics of Olive & Vine:

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

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

      1. rworange Sep 2, 2009 02:49 PM

        Which day? Saturday or Sunday

        If Saturday, then Fremont Diner hands down. They are closed on Sunday.

        I love Angelo's but the sandwiches are really nothing special. Their thing is more house made sausages and beef jerkey ... no sausage sandwiches, btw. Also, you would need to find a place to eat the sandwiches unless a ratty picnic table facing the dirt parking area is your thing.

        I was talked out of the burgers at Sonoma Cheese Factory by locals on another forum. Emmy's is a chain.

        I haven't had them but there were good reports about Mondo's burgers. They are not open for lunch on Sunday.

        No burgers but I like El Dorado Kitchen. Maybe not casual enough, but from the restaurants you mention in Napa, you might enjoy Estate which has weekend brunch. There are a few REALLY casual places but I'm thinking you are not into dive dining.

        I recently have become enchanted with Glen Ellen. Someone just reported on the fig cafe and said almost every table has burgers. Another quality casual place (order at the counter) is Olive & Vine. Next door to it is a fabulous ... fab-u-lous ... cheese store, Raymond & Company Cheesemongers. If that isn't the best cheese store in the Bay Area I don't know what is. Not a big selection, but a choice selection and the guy is soooo knowledgable. I mean I not only learned about the farm and how many goats were on it but that they were a special breed of goat with clipped ears ... or something like that.

        875 West Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

        6 Replies
        1. re: rworange
          bbulkow Sep 2, 2009 04:07 PM

          That was me. Looks like the fig cafe is not open for lunch weekdays, and is open for brunch 10-3 sat and sun. Burger is served for lunch. I highly recommend the joint in general; it's the kind of place that should do a good (but somewhat upscale if that's OK) burger.

          1. re: rworange
            teejaymoore Sep 2, 2009 05:13 PM

            Saturday is the plan - checking out a few shops in Sonoma for a change so Fremont Diner it is. Only issue appears to be deciding between the various great choices right down to the fried pie versus ice cream sandwiches.

            1. re: teejaymoore
              rworange Sep 2, 2009 06:27 PM

              1 fruit popsicles
              2. fried pies
              3. ice cream sandwiches

              Give the puppies, Angus and Ruby a pat on the head for me.

              You might stop by Hardin Gardins on the way into town for some really great produce. If they have something like collective worker melons, snap them up. Best melon I've had this summer.

              1. re: rworange
                rabaja Sep 3, 2009 09:19 AM

                I second Fremont Diner. Such a great space, great people and so far, all great food.
                We love the burger, the garden sandwiches, the tomato salads and the pickel plate is a must! For $1 you get three or four different pickled vegetables, house made. Usually this time of year it's thick dill slices, and delicious tumeric zucchini ribbons, pickled red onions and really wonderful pickled sultanas raisins with chilies. Such a good value for a buck!

                1. re: rabaja
                  rworange Sep 3, 2009 09:49 AM

                  Thanks for the tip about that pickle plate. I just assumed it was the great bread and butter pickles I had with a sandwich a while ago. Will have to get that next time.

                  Fremont Diner
                  2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

              2. re: teejaymoore
                Columba Sep 3, 2009 08:58 AM

                Downtown Sonoma also good for cookware -

                Be sure to check out the Bram Store on First Street West on the plaza.


                And The Sign of the Bear Kitchenware is just up the street at #435.

                And Robin's Nest at 116 E. Napa has an smaller, but ever-changing variety of kitchenware.

                493 1st St West, Sonoma, CA

            2. j
              jdmercer Sep 2, 2009 02:18 PM

              Had lunch at The Red Grape just off the square in mid-August. Enjoyed it ... although I had pizza ... sat at the bar and the owner couldn't help us enough. I would go back.

              1. s
                sonomajom Sep 2, 2009 12:14 PM

                check out the report son Fremont Diner on the board it's about 10mins drive from Sonoma and might even be on your way dependng on where you're coming from.
                I'm not a big burger person so can't give lot of input on that
                Otherwise Girl & fig has decent lunch menu and outside dining
                Emmys Spaghetti Shack has also just opened - not sure what its like as havent tried it yet

                1. SteveTimko Sep 2, 2009 08:34 AM

                  Angelo's Wine Country Deli just outside Sonoma has a great deli counter.

                  23400 Arnold Drive
                  Sonoma, CA 95476

                  1. a
                    arlenemae Sep 2, 2009 08:17 AM

                    I like their burgers at the Sonoma Cheese Factory. It's attached to their cheese store so you can get cheeseburgers with different kinds of cheese (habanero jack, blue, etc.)

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