downtown dining scene

Food, Wine, and Beer = Downtown Santa Rosa

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Sonoma County is well-known for its world-class restaurant scene, and downtown Santa Rosa is no exception. With the variety of cuisine represented, the biggest decision of the day will likely be which restaurant to choose. From the Santa Rosa Plaza stretching east to Super Burger on Fourth Street — downtown Santa Rosa suddenly has interesting new places open and planned to open. From Eater.com comes an interesting article: 11 Hot New Dining Destinations in Downtown Santa Rosa

With so many top restaurants in Sonoma County, it’s a tough question to answer: where is your favorite place to eat? The answer depends on what type of food you’re in the mood for; do you feel like kicking back or keeping your elbows off the table, and how much you want to spend? In downtown Santa Rosa there are endless terrific choices, ranging from classic California to Latin American, Asian, and beyond.

Complementing the downtown culinary scene, is the opportunity to taste boutique wine in an urban setting at Santa Rosa Wineyard Square (Blend artisan vintages with an urban-village setting and you've got the Wineyard). This artsy, landscaped strip mall in downtown Santa Rosa may be surrounded by concrete, but its boutique winery tasting rooms offer a delightful variety from urban chic to old-world charm. And for pet lovers, they're all dog-friendly. While at Wineyard Square be sure to check out the D’Argenzio Tasting Room. The D’Argenzio Winery produces about 3,000 cases a year, including limited productions of Italian varietals like Sagarantino, Agliancio, Tocal Friulano, Montepulciano, Barbera, Moscato, and Sangiovese, plus many Sonoma County staples like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

This boutique Italian family winery combines modern technologies with Old World methods — gently pressing the grapes, aging the wine an average of 22 months, and using only the finest French, American, and Italian oak barrels. The grapes are all sourced from selected Sonoma County vineyards.

The tasting room also offers antipasti platters and other goodies, and there is a bocce ball court on the back patio. Thursday evenings is a great time to visit, when this quiet little corner lights up with live music, food, wine, and crowds for "wine down" parties.

After visiting the square's tasting rooms, look around a bit. Santa Rosa Wineyard Square is the brain child of D'Argenzio Winery founder Ray D'Argenzio, who envisioned providing the culinary conversant of the community with all their wine and food needs in one central area – which means there's lot to see and savor.

If you’re a beer lover and find yourself in Wineyard Square, wander next door to the Fogbelt Brewery Taproom. Fogbelt is a craft brewery and gastro-pub. It celebrates the North Coast, sourcing local ingredients and naming each beer after a prominent coastal redwood tree only found in the 'fog belt'. Fogbelt Brewing Company is a great example of why last year Santa Rosa beat out top beer-producing locations such as Portland, San Diego, Minneapolis, and even Denver, to claim the title of “Microbrew Capital of the U.S.” ‘How did this happen?’ you may ask. Well, using data from RateBeer as well as some census and population info, a website called Pudding calculated that Santa Rosa has the best brew scene in the entire country. Now, as the craft beer epicenter in the United States, Santa Rosa has come to be known as the place “Where Wine Country Meets Beer City.” BayArea.com offers this round up of Santa Rosa area craft breweries.

Food. Wine. Beer. Santa Rosa is the happening hub for all there is to see, do, eat, drink, hike, bike and explore in Sonoma County.