Often overlooked thanks to its proximity to better known nearby wine and foodie locales, the quaint little town of Sebastopol actually firmly holds its own as an epicurean treasure trove and emerging enclave for disillusioned hipsters who've recently fled the city.
Sebastopol even has its own answer to San Francisco's Ferry Building: The Barlow is a one-stop for the gastronomically inclined. Here we give you our cheat sheet to the best meals, sweets, snacks and drinks this once-sleepy Wine Country town has to offer.
Meals: Sebastopol's Best Restaurants
There's no passing through Sebastapol without treating yourself to Zazu (The Barlow, 6770 McKinley, #150), where the farm-to-table menu offers indulgent eats centering around their famous bacon, which has a perfect fat to meat ratio and blend of smoky, salt and sweet flavors. On Fridays, order the specials—a days-in-the-making fried chicken—or opt for brunch all day with eggs benedict and maple-bacon donuts. // Hole in the Wall (972 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Ste. 100) serves Californian comfort food with the finesse of fine French cooking and the passion of New Orleans. Great for a tasty bite at any time of the day, they're known for their flaky biscuits (made with a French layering technique) and Dutch Baby, a German pancake loaded with sugar and apples. For lunch and dinner, you can also snag fresh gumbo, a solid mac and cheese, and a lamb burger. // Handmade noodles and local ingredients make Ramen Gaijin (6948 Sebastopol Ave.) an essential stop. // Revibe Cafe (7365 Healdsburg Ave.) turns out bold Jamaican flavors in tapas-style small plates. Standout dishes include the goat curry, steak patties (think giant empanada), and jerk chicken; the restaurant also makes its own ice cream in an array of exotic and classic flavors (don't miss the tamarind almond).
Sweets: Where to Treat Yourself in Sebastopol
(Courtesy of Screamin' Mimi's)
Screamin' Mimi's Ice Cream (6902 Sebastopol Ave.) is the quintessential dessert spot with a quirky-cute vibe—it's even been named one of the country's best scoop shops by Food & Wine. All flavors are small batch and housemade with quality local ingredients; signature flavors include Mimi's Mud, while seasonal scoops might include local strawberry or Meyer lemon. Order the fresh waffle cone and mix and match flavors for a rich and creamy, slow-melting treat. // Fresh apple pie from the orchard out back, paired with a lemon-mint tea, make the no-frills Mom's Apple Pie (4550 Gravenstein Hwy.) a can't-miss afternoon stop. Savor flaky crusts with succulent fillings such as strawberry-rhubarb, banana cream, apricot, coconut cream, chocolate cream, and wild blueberry. The pies are fresh, not overly sweetened, and all dairy free. // Picky sweet tooths can customize their scoops with choice of dairy bases (premium cream, low-fat, non-dairy, soy, rice and almond milk) and toppings at Sub Zero (The Barlow, 6760 McKinley St #110). // What could be better than incredible cookies with vegan and gluten-free options? The offering at Sebastopol Cookie Company (168A N. Main St.) includes such diet-friendly options in varieties including cocoa java, lemon lavender, cinnamon, and milk chocolate chip. Wash it down with a lavender-mint limonata spritzer.
Drinks + Snacks: Where to Refuel in Sebastopol
(Courtesy of Crooked Goat Brewing)
Booze: Crooked Goat Brewing (120 Morris St.) is known for its range of delicious beers. Can't decide? Order up a $2 tasting or three-for-$33 take-home growlers. Standout brews include the Bee Beard (honey wheat ale fermented with orange blossom honey), Double IPA, and Silver Lining (vanilla bean stout). Feeling peckish? BYO snack from from any of the restaurants in the surrounding Barlow. Also, they're dog-friendly! // Located in the center of town, HopMonk Tavern (230 Petaluma Ave.) is reminiscent of a German-American beer garden. Here, low-key evenings can be spent inside at the bar or listening to live music by the fireplace on the patio. There are usually 12-16 beers on the list, some locally brewed, as well as a fully stocked bar and tasty eats like tacos, samosas, and mac and cheese. // Get a great drink and learn about the vodka/gin/whiskey–making process at Spirit Works Distillery (The Barlow, 6790 McKinley St., Ste. 100), run by husband-wife team Timo and Ashby Marshall. Check out all the equipment and the barrel room, and do a tasting in the hip space with views into the fermenting room. // Love a good picnic? Pop into Sonoma Wine Shop & La Bodega Kitchen (2295 Gravenstein Hwy S.) where they'll pack you a bottle and a basket of items from the cheese shop to to enjoy in the park. Some eats to try include the wild mushroom ravioli, spring asparagus veloute, and duck two ways.
Coffee + More: Taylor Maid Organic Coffee (The Barlow, 6790 McKinley St., Ste. 170) is another Barlow staple and a must for java enthusiasts. Dedicated to sustainability and community as well as to their craft, Taylor Maid serves a wide variety of pour-overs—from single-origin to organic blends—and also sells beautiful home-brewing equipment. Hang out on the patio with your dog or sit upstairs to crank out some work while watching the magic happen in the roastery. // Fresh juices, tonics, teas, smoothies, and raw desserts make The Nectary (The Barlow, 6760 McKinley, Ste. 130) a great stop for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They have a wide selection of pre-bottled juices and cleanses in such flavors as lavender vanilla, watermelon, and lemon/ turmeric/lime. // Get a free hot maté on Mondays! The Guayaki Maté Cafe (6782 Sebastopol Ave., Ste. 100) serves yerba maté drinks as well as carbonated beverages and various hot and cold teas in a large space in The Barlow, kitted out plenty of pottery for purchase (plus wifi).
Snacks: If you're drinking in The Barlow, soak it up with a pizza from Vignette Pizzeria (6750 McKinley St.); a savory snack from Ultra Crepes (6760 McKinley St., #120); or bread and cheese from WM Cofield Cheesemakers (6780 McKinley St., #110) and Village Bakery (6760 McKinley St., #150).