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visiting farms in SF Bay area

Hi, my boyfriend and I are coming out to the Bay Area (from NYC) for a wedding in Sonoma and is extending our trip by a few days. We were in Napa two summers ago and greatly enjoyed Bottega, Bouchon Bakery, Schramsberg and Kelham Vineyard. We're keeping our fingers crossed for a reservation at French Laundry, but was wondering if you folks could recommend some additional places to check out? We'd love to find a working farm w. a restaurant like Blue Hill at Stone Barn to visit. We're also thinking of visiting Big Sur, so any recommendations around there would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you much!

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The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

Bottega
6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. For information on farms in Sonoma County, check out the Farm Trails website:

    http://www.farmtrails.org/

    Otherwise, go to the upper righthand corner of this page and do searches for Sonoma and any town in the county your are thinking of visiting (Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, etc.). You will find dozens and dozens of helpful suggestions already here for you to review.

    1. I'm not aware of any restaurant that is doing "working farm" to the extent of raising its own animals. There are quite a few restaurants that either grow their own produce or have affiliations with farms that grow produce specifically for them. Since you're going to be in the Sonoma area, you might want to check out the Vineyards Inn in Kenwood and the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville.

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      Farmhouse Inn
      7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

      Vineyards Inn
      8445 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

      1. I can't think of any restaurants located on working farms. There are zoning restrictions that would make that difficult. The closest thing I can think of is the Apple Farm in Philo (Mendocino County, so would be discussed on the California board) has cooking classes.

        http://www.chow.com/restaurants/26687...

        Out Standing in the Field organizes dinners on farms. Reports here have been mixed, which makes sense since there are so many variables.

        http://outstandinginthefield.com/even...

        Vineyards Inn gets spectacular produce from its organic garden. I'm not sure if you can tour it.

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        Vineyards Inn
        8445 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Manresa has a farm, Love Apple Farm, but it is not located on the farm. Not Big Sur, but i that direction.

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          Manresa Restaurant
          320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

          1. re: wally

            Generally, the only way to visit Love Apple Farm (Santa Cruz County, so discussed on the California board) is to sign up for a class:

            http://www.growbetterveggies.com/grow...

        2. Harley Farms, pet the goats, eat the cheese, book a dinner.
          http://www.harleyfarms.com/dinners.ph...

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          Harley Farms
          205 North St, Pescadero, CA

          11 Replies
          1. re: wolfe

            Harley Farms on the way to Big Sur, if you take the scenic route down 1, but you have to book months in advance.

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            Harley Farms
            205 North St, Pescadero, CA

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Big Sur is a moot point if they are coming soon, due to the slides.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Only the dinners are booked months in advance. The regular farm tours usually have availability.

                1. re: Windy

                  Farm tours without a meal are abundant in Napa and Sonoma.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Right. There are lots of restaurants that have affiliated farms, and there are lots of farms you can tour that don't have restaurants. But a restaurant that's actually on a working farm (i.e. more than just a vegetable garden). Can't think of one.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I've got one for you - although not huge, Brixin Napa has farm right on the edge of the vineyards outside their restaurant. They often give mini tours of what is growing and being pulled for various dishes. It isn't a huge farm by any means, but modest and respectable they showcase it on their website: http://www.brix.com/garden/

                      1. re: CarrieWas218

                        I don't know, sounds more like a vegetable garden rather than a "Farm."
                        http://www.stonebarnscenter.org/

                        1. re: wolfe

                          I agree, but it is better than nothing if that is the experience they are looking for and is the best thing we have to offer!

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Harley Farms has about 200 baby goats right now, so you might enjoy that..plus the cheese is vary good and Half Moon Bay area has a few nice places to eat. Right near the farm is Duarte's which is more like an old school diner with fresh pie and artichoke soup. I'm not a fan of crab salad, but their crab melt is popular with people too (I don't like mayo....).

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                  Harley Farms
                  205 North St, Pescadero, CA

                  1. re: myst

                    I think the cheese is only OK. It doesn't stand up to the astonishingly great cheeses of Sonoma, and certainly not worth a 2 hour drive.

                    1. re: bbulkow

                      I would not suggest making it the point of your trip, but if you are in the area anyway its not a bad detour and the little market in town give you a couple other options for snacks too. Some people go just to see the goats, but I don't really like the smell :b. They reported 206 kids this year.

              2. Zazu restaurant and farm in Santa Rosa
                http://www.zazurestaurant.com/

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                Zazu Restaurant
                3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401