Santa Rosa foodies’ favorite spots
Santa Rosa is teeming with great restaurants and bars. Perhaps no patrons know the scene better than those in the food and beverage industry. We recently caught up with some local foodie luminaries to get the inside scoop on where they like to go when they’re not on the clock at their own spots. Here are their favorite spots downtown and beyond.
Gwen Gunheim, co-owner of Miracle Plum, with Sallie Miller
“We’ve got to shout out Noble Folk. We both live within walking distance, so this ice cream and pie shop being situated right in walking distance from home is both a major blessing and a curse. You can’t go wrong with ordering a scoop (or two) and a slab of one of their freshly baked pies for dinner on a Friday night.
“Mac’s deli is a tried and true institution in downtown Santa Rosa. … Sallie’s dad used to eat breakfast there multiple mornings a week for years and years.”
“Spinster Sisters (which we consider downtown is) our favorite place to drink. They have the best wine list in Santa Rosa and their By the Glass Takeovers are a great way to try fun wines and meet the winemakers or importers! Also, it’s right between home and work so we’re regulars. We recommend pairing your glass of wine with their kale salad with a side of fries. And Burger Night is something we look forward to.
Just a ways from downtown, “Our favorite go-to spot for a quick bite is El Roy’s Taco Truck in Roseland. You can’t go wrong with your ordering at this roadside stand. It really depends on how we’re feeling but their veggie sopes was a standby of mine for a while. Sallie really leans into their simple bean (always refried), rice, and cheese burrito with a side of their housemade curtado and extra helpings of their red salsa. Don’t be shy, just ask for the larger size of salsa. And whatever you order, DON’T MISS THE CURTADO.”
Outside Santa Rosa, “My favorite spot that incorporates both eating and drinking is Ramen Gaijin (in Sebastopol). If you don’t want to wait for a table just sit at the bar and order the Donburi and a Houjicha Highball or a Japanese Whisky on the rocks. Or the Basan Buck. They now take reservations so getting one of those tables on the killer ramen side just got easier. If you do go for the ramen, I recommend the Tan Tan Ramen with a side of extra spice. Any of the aforementioned drinks will pair just fine.”
Matt Spector, Executive chef and co-owner, Zoftig
“Here in town, I’m a fan of City Garden Doughnuts & Coffee. They have great donuts and scones, and they always make creative seasonal treats. … Beyond Santa Rosa, I love the Geyserville Gun Club. It has the best drinks, best bar food, a great atmosphere, and always good music on the weekends. I like to say it also has the most soul this side of the Mississippi. ”
Alan McCandless, Co-owner of City Garden Doughnuts & Coffee
“We do love Noble Folk and go there for ice cream. … It’s excellent. I always order the Swiss chocolate with slivered almonds.