A Foodie Tour of Healdsburg, CA
This Sonoma, California destination is a health-conscious wine and organic food lover’s ideal vacation spot.
The food in Healdsburg is world-class, and most restaurants pride themselves on shopping from local, organic farms, or growing their own produce. To boot, pretty much all of the restaurants in town have a lot of creative vegetarian and vegan options.
Dinner at Spoonbar, in the H2 Hotel, rivaled the best meals I’ve had in New York City and Paris. Seriously. We told the waitress that we didn’t want to eat anything that came from an animal. We got no complaints. What their fabulous woman chef, Casey Van Voorhis, cooked for us, shocked us. You’d never guess that the recipes had been modified, they were so delicious.
Our waitress, who was excellent, suggested we pair the seasonal dishes she served us with a fantastic biodynamic wine from a local winery called Medlock Ames. She explained that the winery is carbon-neutral, and gave us the curious backstory behind how their tasting room used to be a super-seedy biker bar. It ended up being one of the best meals I can remember having — ever. The sophisticated dishes were Michelin-star quality. Really. And I’m picky!
If you’re looking for a restaurant with a more home-cooked feel, try Italian restaurant Campo Fina. The Italian owner, Ari Rosen, cooks from the heart. The menu at Campo Fina was inspired by his childhood in Tuscany. Many of the recipes are his family and friend’s ‘secret’ recipes — and each dish has its own sentimental story attached to it. As per usual in Healdsburg, all the produce is from farms within a five mile radius of the restaurant, and biodynamic wine options abound. They even bake their own bread. In the back garden is a bocci ball court, stone oven, ample seating, and string lights. It’s allllmost as charming as its owner. 😉
In the mood for Mexican? Or how about a mezcal, tequila or reserve anejo tasting? Mateo’s Cocina Latina has a fantastic grilled tempeh dish that the chef’s bestie (the drummer from the band The Killers) convinced him to make. The dish is called “Alive & Healing Sonoma County Tempeh” caramelized with seasonal vegetables, pumpkin seed and bell pepper sauce. Follow it up with one of about a hundred versions of mexican liquors they have on hand. It’s a can’t-miss and, of course, made with all local, seasonal and organic ingredients. In fact, chef Mateo gave us a tour of his organic garden in the back of the restaurant. He’s thought of everything — he even planted bushes to keep the bees happy!
Up next: my favorite Healdsburg shops…
Wonderful! Great article. We are headed there late October your insight is very appreciated!
Wow! never knew CA is like this. I always thought CA is just a state where Hipsters grow and breed. Never knew it’s this beautiful.
Hey! I just love your photos!! The view is great!! Can I have a copy to print? Thank you so much.
Wonderful article. Your descriptions were in-depth and down-to-earth, unlike most articles about our town. It’s true, there are too many restaurants, shops, and wineries for one article. Every word you wrote is true and you didn’t exaggerate at all. Thank you for sharing your feelings.
Wow! great article & pictures. this travel article is very impressive. i would love to visit this place.
Great article, Hilary! As always very well done. May I ask what kind of camera you use to take these photos? they look very professional. I’m starting a blog, and I want my photos to look as good as yours. 🙂
We used a Sony RX100.. it’s an older model, but I like it because it will shoot RAW (so you can adjust the light levels in post) and has a hot shoe for a mic or extra light, etc.
Such an ecofriendly, vegan friendly, healthy beautiful little town! It’s making it’s way to my bucket list as I’m writing this comment. ;)If you know more places like this, please share! I’m very interested. 🙂
Such a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I’m so impressed with the hotel that was built out of recycled materials. I’m a sucker for eco-friendly 😀 -as all humans should be!!-
such a well detailed tour. loving the photos, and the video makes it all even better. the only thing is… i wish you would rate the places you visit like out of 5 or 10, so we could get a better idea.
This is not Yelp.. She’s not writing a review.. She’s sharing her travel experiences with us.. And if you noticed, she’s only mentioning the pleasant ones. I haven’t seen a negative article on a place she visited. Which I’m sure she must have had some negative experiences at some places, but she never mentions them because it’s out of the context. She does travel guides, not do not travel guides, so rating would be pointless.
well hello to you too… i was just making a suggestion, i wasn’t criticising or anything. no need to overreact like that.
What a beautiful town! Just like the kind of towns we see in movies and wish it was real. 🙂 And leave it to Hilary Rowland to discover it for us! ????? Always a unique, stunning place that leaves us in awe… And Healdsburg is a wonderful example of that! thanks a bunch. ❤️