Planning a trip to Sonoma County? Start your adventure with downtown Petaluma. Feel like a local and explore the best spots for happy hour, wine tasting, and dinner.
It’s been about 8 months since I moved from Marin to Petaluma and I LOVE it. Small town vibes with kind, chill people, great restaurants, wine bars and nature. What else can I ask for?! The best part is that most of the businesses are family owned and you can really feel the LOVE in the air.
I still feel like a tourist here and try to find new hidden 💎💎💎 to check out. If you’re staying in Petaluma for a couple of days, read below about my top things to see in Petaluma. Now more than ever, it’s so important to support local businesses and families.
Where to eat:
Risibisi is the best Italian food you can find around. Not only do they offer a killer happy house daily 3:30PM, their dinner menu is amazing. My personal favorite is pasta carbonara but I honestly haven’t tried anything I didn’t like there.
Risibisi is the only restaurant in Sonoma County to be awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand twelve years straight as well as Zagat’s Best Restaurant in Petaluma.
Stockhome is Swedish/Mediterranean fusion that offers delicious comfort food like the classic Swedish meatballs, great salads and family meals. Owned by wife/husband team, you feel like you’re at home at Stockholm. This restaurant is also awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Wild Goat Bistro is a casual option for a lunch or dinner. Special attention is given to making nearly the entire menu gluten-free – even home made desserts. The carefully curated wine list includes wines from hand crafted, small production local vintners as well as wines of interest from around the world.
Street Social is a new addition to Petaluma food scene (opened in January 2020), and is the most amazing experience you can ask for! Located in Downtown Petaluma, Street Social is a small 8ish table restaurant run by a wife and husband team. They source local ingredients and support Petaluma farms. The menu is unique and Michelin Star ready. It changes daily if not weekly so it’s always an exciting moment to see what new dish you can try here!
The Shuckery is a more casual restaurant focused on seafood and local ingredients. They have a great selection of oysters, fish as well as other classics. Pop in for a happy hour 4-5PM or a romantic dinner, you won’t be disappointed. This restaurant is also awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Hanks Petaluma is a family owned Italian restaurant located right on Theater Square. Offers lunch, dinner, and happy hour, Hanks is a great hang out spot for a casual meal and Italian vino. They offer weekly specials like Wednesday Date night (pizza pie and a bottle of wine for $39, life music on Friday nights, and more).
Risibisi 3:30-5:30PM everyday
Hanks 3-5PM Wed-Sun
Both places offer a true happy hour with specials and drinks under $10. You can go wrong with yummy Italian snacks and small places to carry you over to dinner.
I promise, you will fall in love with family oriented Italian spots in Petaluma!
Where to Wine Taste:
All options above have great wine selections, but if you’re looking to buy a couple of rare, unique bottles check out the Vine and Barrel wine bar. Jason is an amazing person to talk to and he personally curates his wine collection. Vine and Barrel is a 600+ bottle shop with a comfy little wine bar.
Barber Cellars is another favorite to visit. Located next to the Shuckery at the Petaluma hotel. The wine is delicious and I always find something I haven’t tried before.
Black Knight Vineyards is a brand new tasting room and offers unique varietals by glass, bottle or tasting flight.
Where to stay:
You can’t go wrong with Hotel Petaluma located in Downtown Petaluma and is a home to The Shuckery and Barber Cellars. How convenient is that?! With access to amazing food and drinks right there, you’re also a short drive from all Sonoma wineries, hiking and beaches. The rooms are beautifully renovated AND they allow dogs for only $20 per dog (2 max). It’s the perfect place to stay to explore Petaluma.
Petaluma is a great way to start your Sonoma Country getaway. It has a great riverside dining scene, walkable streets with Victorian architecture, and downtown full of artisans and craftspeople.
For more Petaluma and Sonoma County Guides, click here! xox