As someone who's had the pleasure of living in Petaluma for quite some time now, I can confidently say that this picturesque town is a hidden culinary gem.
With its rich history, charming downtown area, and thriving agricultural scene, Petaluma offers a delightful variety of dining experiences that cater to every food lover's palate.
In this article, I will share some of my personal favorite restaurants that you absolutely must try when visiting our beautiful town.
Magdelena's Savories & Sweets
Discovering Magdelena's Savories & Sweets has been one of the best finds in my city.
This vegan restaurant never fails to amaze me with its mouthwatering dishes and friendly atmosphere.
Not only are their vegan chicken nuggets a hit with the kids, but their selection of savory dishes like crab cakes and mushroom al pastor tacos always leaves me craving for more.
My all-time favorite, though, has to be their three-mushroom pizza - it's the perfect combination of toasty, savory, and sweet, with delicious cheesy goodness that makes it hard to believe it's vegan!
But Magdelena's isn't just about the food. They also have a lovely selection of board games that my family and friends enjoy playing while indulging in their scrumptious cinnamon rolls or sipping on their refreshing strawberry hibiscus drink.
La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge
One of my go-to spots in Petaluma for a relaxing night out has to be La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge.
Whether I'm planning a date night or just catching up with friends, this wine bar offers a fantastic experience in the heart of Petaluma Square.
Speaking of meals, the food here is simply amazing.
I can't recommend the bacon pear pizza enough – it's one of their best-selling dishes and for good reason!
Apart from its extensive wine selection, La Dolce Vita also caters to beer drinkers with several bottled options available.
However, the highlight for me has to be their scrumptious pizzas.
The ambiance at La Dolce Vita is truly delightful, with the option of cozy indoor seating or an outdoor area that lets you soak in the bustling plaza vibe.
And if you're looking for a great deal, their happy hour features incredible prices that are hard to pass up.
Ray's Delicatessen & Tavern Sandwiches
Oh, I remember my first time at Ray's Delicatessen & Tavern.
My partner had gone there just a week prior and couldn't stop raving about the incredible sandwiches.
It has since become our go-to spot for delicious sandwiches.
The sandwiches here are truly mouthwatering.
While they may not be the largest, you always have the option to order a side to complement your meal.
Plus, Ray's is a fantastic spot to grab a beer and unwind.
One of their sandwiches, the Keokuk, has become a personal favorite of mine.
Made with thinly sliced fresh turkey, perfectly cooked bacon, and a fabulous pesto sauce, it's simply divine.
Ray's uses a special recipe for its rolls, which are absolutely delicious and elevate the sandwich to a whole new level.
Located on an out-of-the-way street with a humble exterior, you might be tempted to drive past Ray's but trust me, you'll be glad you stopped.
It's the kind of sandwich that makes you mutter to yourself about how good it is between bites.
I can't help but rave about Sake 107, a sushi restaurant I recently discovered in my neighborhood.
I had the most amazing sushi experience at this place.
It's not every day that you find a restaurant that exudes such warm Japanese hospitality.
While I enjoyed nearly everything on the menu, I have to say that the Hokkaido Uni and other sushi really stood out with their exquisite taste.
El Roy's Mexican Grill
I recently stopped by El Roy's Mexican Grill for a quick bite.
The friendly and fast service made me feel right at home, and the quality of the food was great, considering the low prices.
I really appreciated the counter service with a big menu that included photos of various items, making it easy for me to choose my meal.
One thing that stood out to me was their tacos.
You get two in a regular order, but they give you so much filling and two extra soft tortillas that you can easily make four tacos from one order.
The tortilla chips were also a pleasant surprise – they were excellent, and I loved that they gave you an empty basket to fill as much as you like from their chips and salsa station.
I've also had the pleasure of trying their taco truck down the street and loved the sopes there.
So, I decided to give the restaurant's sopes a try, and I was not disappointed.
The consistency and quality were just as good as the truck.
Water Street Bistro
Water Street Bistro remains one of my favorite spots in town.
The French-inspired California cuisine is truly amazing, with an ever-changing list of lunch specials that keep me coming back for more.
The pastries served here in the mornings are simply divine, and the monthly wine-paired 4-course dinner is a must-try for food lovers.
Remember to make dinner reservations, as it can get quite busy.
I can't help but compare other establishments to Water Street Bistro, even the famous Alice Waters restaurant just doesn't measure up for me.
The 1/2 sandwich and cup of soup combo, served with bread and a side salad, never disappoints.
And their pastries? Oh, they're simply the best!
But what truly sets Water Street Bistro apart for me is its commitment to sustainability.
Soban Korean Cuisine
I absolutely love going to Soban Korean Cuisine whenever I'm craving authentic Korean food.
The atmosphere is cozy, and you can tell it's a hit with all kinds of people, from families to college students.
Their Korean ribs always hit the spot, and the spiced pork soup is just perfect for those chilly Petaluma nights.
I remember the first time I tried their kimchi pancake, and while it was a bit salty, everything else on their menu is simply delicious.
The fried chicken appetizer, beef bulgogi, and spicy chicken dishes are some of my go-to options when I dine here.
Plus, they provide a generous amount of side dishes like kimchi, bean sprouts, and rice.
The restaurant is on the smaller side, so it's best to plan ahead if you're dining with a group.
My go-to spot for a hearty breakfast in town is Sax's Joint.
With its old-school diner vibe and retro black, white, and pink decor, it feels like stepping back in time to the 1950s.
Their menu offers all the classic breakfast and lunch options you'd expect - benedicts, waffles, scrambles, and so much more.
I particularly enjoy their chicken fried steak, which comes with a tasty breading and a delicious gravy.
As a fan of Eggs Benedict, I appreciate the thick slice of Canadian bacon they serve with it.
And let's not forget about their fluffy, buttery biscuits - simply delightful.
Sax's Joint is known for its generous portions, so you'll definitely leave feeling satisfied.
Pearl is a Middle Eastern restaurant I've been meaning to check out for a while now.
To my delight, it became the perfect spot for a rainy day lunch.
The menu was seasonal, fresh, and of high quality, just as I had heard from friends.
I ordered the lamb burger while my partner tried the bocadillo sandwich.
We also shared a bowl of broccoli and red lentil soup, which was absolutely divine.
To top it all off, we indulged in a delicious hot Turkish coffee to warm us up.
One interesting aspect of Pearl is that the service is baked into their prices, meaning no tips are allowed.
This was a refreshing change from the usual dining experience.
I absolutely adore spending my afternoons at Aqus Café, whether I'm in need of a quick bite or just a place to relax and unwind.
The low-key atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to catch up with friends or enjoy some alone time with a good book.
Their sandwiches, soups, and breakfast fare never disappoint.
I cannot recommend their duck breast panini enough!
Not only is the food and coffee amazing, but Aqus Café is also a hub for the community here in Petaluma.
They always have a range of live music events and other happenings that truly make it feel like a neighborhood goldmine.
The classified board and the newsletter are fantastic resources for keeping up to date with what's going on in town.
One of my favorite features of Aqus Café is the sunny outdoor terrace, which is perfect for enjoying a warm Petaluma day with a cold beer or a cup of their delicious coffee.
Old Chicago Pizza Restaurant
One of my favorite places to grab a pizza in town is Old Chicago Pizza Restaurant.
When I first tried their deep-dish pizza, I was blown away by the deliciously cheesy, mouthwatering goodness.
I usually order the small one with three toppings, and it's more than enough for my partner and me.
What makes the experience even better is the garlic bread that comes with the pizza – it's always super fresh and adds an extra layer of flavor to the meal.
Dining there is pretty affordable, too, typically costing around $27 for two people before tips.
Aside from the fantastic food, the ambiance at Old Chicago is something special.
The restaurant is located in a historic building, which gives it a unique, old-world charm.
It feels like stepping into a scene from a classic movie.
Chunky's Taqueria & Grill
Chunky's Taqueria & Grill is a Mexican restaurant that always leaves me satisfied with its excellent burritos.
I often find myself driving past other good options just to get my hands on one of their mouth-watering creations.
The food at Chunky's is simply amazing. They have such a large variety of authentic Mexican dishes that never disappoint.
Everything is always fresh and tasty, and I especially love that each meal comes with free chips and salsa.
They truly know how to make their customers feel special.
What's great about Chunky's is that you can either dine in or call in/walk in and take your food to go.
The restaurant is spacious enough for small group get-togethers but also perfect for a solo meal.
One of my personal favorites is their super tacos with black beans and mild chicken.
I've also tried their regular nachos, which are absolutely delicious.
To top it off, they have a salsa bar with unlimited chips to satisfy your cravings.
Canton Chinese Restaurant
One day, I decided to give Canton Chinese Restaurant a try for lunch.
Upon entering, I noticed the atmosphere was quite generic, but that didn't deter me from giving their food a chance.
I opted for a lunch combo, which allowed me to choose from a variety of soups, appetizers, rice, and proteins.
The chef at Canton has a more refined Chinese cooking style than other places in town, and it showed in my meal.
The wonton soup, for example, looked simple but tasted incredibly flavorful.
The sweet and sour pork was also nicely done, with small pieces of tender pork in a delicate batter.
I had the pleasure of dining at Central Market last weekend, and it did not disappoint!
This Californian restaurant is known for its farm-to-fork approach and the Mediterranean touch in its dishes.
The loft-like bistro setting provided a casual yet intimate atmosphere, which I believe is perfect for a date night or catching up with friends.
The food at Central Market was nothing short of incredible.
Every dish we ordered was bursting with flavor and beautifully plated.
The duck was moist and tender, while the cabbage rolls were a delightful surprise.
The beet salad and beef skewers were also a fantastic start to our meal.
Last weekend, I decided to treat myself to a meal at Seared, a steak house located in Petaluma.
I had heard great things about this contemporary grill and lounge and was eager to experience it for myself.
I made an online reservation for an early dinner on Saturday and requested outdoor seating.
Upon arrival, I was happy to find that the outdoor seating area was set up with a tent, providing a comfortable and cozy environment.
I ordered a few small plates to start – each dish was beautifully presented and delicious.
My main course was the Wild So. Cal Halibut, which did not disappoint.
It was cooked to perfection, and the flavors were well-balanced.
Real Döner Turkish Food
I recently decided to try out Real Döner Turkish Food since I've been hearing great things about it from my friends.
Though the interior might be a bit outdated, it doesn't take away from the delicious food and amazing service.
I ended up trying their hummus, which had a creamy consistency and a delightfully spiced oil and parsley topping.
The highlight of the meal, however, was the best Döner I've had since my last visit to Germany.
The meat was tender and flavorful, and the sauces and side salads were absolutely fantastic.
I also shared a platter of incredible salads, dips, and lamb with my friend, which I highly recommend.
I'm glad to have found this gem in my town and can't wait to return for more delicious Turkish specialties.
And the best part is that Real Döner's prices are really affordable, making it a great option for a casual meal or for takeout.
One evening, I decided to treat myself to a nice Italian dinner and headed over to Cucina Paradiso in Petaluma.
It's just a short walk from the parking structure, and I was lucky enough to get a seat outside, where I could enjoy the breeze and the view of the river.
The appetizers were absolutely delicious, and I couldn't help but savor every bite.
My main course was also fantastic, proving once again why Cucina Paradiso is one of my favorite local Italian restaurants.
As a frequent visitor of Sugo Trattoria, I can attest to the quality and deliciousness of their Italian dishes.
The atmosphere is relaxed and contemporary, making it a great place for both casual and elegant dining.
I've tried their panini selection, and I must say, they never disappoint.
The pasta dishes are generously portioned and always cooked to perfection.
My personal favorite is their seafood pasta, which is loaded with fresh seafood and tossed in a divine sauce.
When I dined there last time, I decided to try their burger, which was absolutely impressive - perfectly cooked and juicy.
The service at Sugo Trattoria is consistently attentive and friendly.
North Bay Cafe
One of my go-to spots for breakfast when I'm craving a hearty meal is North Bay Cafe.
Their variety of American and Mexican dishes never disappoints, and the portions are generous enough to keep me full until lunchtime.
Just last week, I treated myself to their Chorizo Benedict, which was not only delicious but also the best chorizo I've ever tasted.
The eggs were perfectly poached, and the hollandaise sauce was divine.
I couldn't help but notice the gluten-free options available, making it a great choice for anyone with dietary restrictions.
Wishbone is a rustic-chic bistro that offers creative cocktails and locavore eats.
I remember my pre-Valentine's Day dinner there as if it were yesterday.
To top it off, I received two tulips at the end of the evening.
The food at Wishbone is exceptional, with their onion rings being the best I've ever tasted.
Plus, every time I visit, I'm excited to see new, fun dishes on the menu.
The place tends to get crowded during brunch hours on weekends, but the garden patio in the back is a lovely spot to wait and enjoy a drink.
Tea Room Cafe
As someone who is quite particular about my cappuccino, I've found Tea Room Cafe's brew has the perfect temperature and balanced taste, making it a delightful start to my day.
I'm also a fan of their breakfast options, especially the salmon toast, which never disappoints.
The ambiance at the cafe is cozy and welcoming, with exhibits featuring local artists that add a unique touch to the place.
Although the cafe only offers patio seating, I find it quite enjoyable to sit outside and people-watch while sipping my coffee.
Petaluma truly is a food lover's paradise. From cozy cafes to elegant fine dining, this charming town has it all.
So, next time you're in town, be sure to venture out and try some of these amazing eateries.
Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.