Traveling on a budget can offer some of the most exciting and surprising experiences. When dining out in Wine Country—home to some of the finest produce in the country—eating out on a budget can be an extra special treat. We’ve put together some of our best finds that prove delicious food doesn’t have to have a high price tag!
BREAKFAST & BRUNCH
Breakfast and brunch are often two different experiences. Breakfast is typically for those on the go or for your classic early riser. Brunch is more languorous, allowing you relax and unwind at your own pace. Both options are available at these three locations, whether you’re taking it out or hanging out with a newspaper for an hour or so. And for those who appreciate a good love story, they are all operated by husband-and-wife teams—LOVE!
Les Pascals: Located in the heart of Glen Ellen, Les Pascals will make you feel as if you’d gotten off the plan and landed in Marseilles. With divine pastries, quiches and coffee drinks, you’ll savor each bite, while opting to buy one of their miraculous macaroons or baguette sandwiches for later. Camp out on their outdoor patio and enjoy a slice of the good life.
Sweet Pea Bake Shop: On West Napa Street, between Highway 12 and the Sonoma Plaza, Sweet Pea Bake Shop is a little paradise on your way between adventures. Their morning dishes range from freshly made pastries to healthy buddha bowls, with a sweet, laidback atmosphere that will make you feel like a local.
Baker & Cook: On Highway 12 in Boyes Hot Springs, Baker & Cook has become a local’s favorite for their amazing combination of sweet and savory dishes—many of which you can only find there, and those with dietary restrictions will rejoice at their gluten-free options. Browse their retail space for local and specialty products and bring some of the magic home with you.
The best lunches in Wine Country are typically picnics, and Sonoma’s picnic culture is not to be missed! Nestled between wine tastings, historical tours, or lovely hikes, picnic lunches in Sonoma are the essence of connecting us to food and place. Whether you opt to dine in our take your meal to go, you’ll relish the quality for the price at these three locations.
Mary’s Pizza Shack: With two locations, you’ll have two distinct spaces to choose from, including a fire place patio at their Plaza location and a shady terrace beneath a large tree at their Boyes’ location. If you’d rather do take-out, you can’t go wrong with their $5 pizza slices and hearty pasta portions. Get a little taste of Sonoma Valley’s Italian influence!
Broadway Market: You might just drive by the best little deli in town if we didn’t point it out. Get under the radar with this locals’ hangout, known for its hearty sub sandwiches and great selection of soft drinks and snacks. To beat the vineyard worker noon rush hour, call ahead to place your order for pick-up.
Sonoma Market: More than just a grocery store, Sonoma Market is savvy to lunchtime shoppers. With a full deli, burritos, and tons of pre-prepared foods, lunchtime couldn’t be easier. Check out their cheese plates, which make picnicking a breeze. Looking for some beer or rosé to enjoy? No problem. They have one of the best local wine selections in town.
HAPPY HOUR & LIGHT BITES
After a day of dining and wine tasting in Sonoma Valley, sometimes a drink and some light bites are all you need to cap off an amazing day. Relax and unwind in these three locations, where you can load up on the light bites or opt for something more substantial.
TascaTasca: In downtown Sonoma, this little escape has everything to love. Known for their Portuguese tapas and wine bar, TascaTasca is a treasure of unusual and delicious dishes, from their salt cod cakes to their smoked duck breast. Available for purchase in tasting plates of three, five or seven, you can choose according to your appetite and budget. Amazing!
TIPS Roadside: If tavern fare has a level of haute cuisine, TIPS Roadside is it! The chef elevates the most common dishes to new heights. Don’t miss out on their Wine Country Salad with Fried Chicken or their homemade tater tots. You can always start small and then stay for dinner. And don’t forget their signature cocktails—the cornerstone of any great happy hour.
Valley Bar + Bottle: Farm-to-table cuisine takes on its most delicious yet understated expression at Valley Bar + Bottle. Select one of their tins, cured meats, or even their homemade bread and butter. The simpler, the better! Take advantage of their fine wine selections, too, available for consumption inside, outside on their courtyard terrace, or to go.
Dinner in Wine Country can be a special experience, especially when accompanied with Sonoma Valley’s warm hospitality. Dining on a budget doesn’t sacrifice any of the frills. Hospitality is our reason for being!
HopMonk Tavern: This fun and vibrant biergarten is the essence of outdoor dining—rain or shine. Covered with a clear tent, you’ll dine among the trees without ever worrying about the weather. Try their delicious burgers, hearty salads, and house-brewed beers while listening to live music. A treat at any time of year!
Delhi Belly Indian Bistro: Food this good, with service so excellent, at prices this fair is as rare as a needle in a haystack. Savor the wonderful complexity of classic Indian dishes, as well as some that you may never have tried before. Come hungry, because you will be well fed by the time you leave! With beautiful décor and warm hospitality, you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to India.
The Red Grape: There’s so much to love about the Red Grape—the amazing, thin-crusted, New Haven-style pizzas; the fabulous wine list; the friendly service, and best of all, the fair prices. Share a pizza, salad, and a bottle of wine while relaxing to the sound of the fountain on the back patio. Delightful!