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Sonoma County Lunch Breaks for Holiday Shoppers


Sonoma County Lunch Breaks
for Holiday Shoppers

Let’s Do Lunch!

By Aleta Parseghian

If you’re like most of us, you will be spending a lot of time in December shopping. The tedium of trudging from store to store is exhausting to say the least. Burning all those calories is bound to work up an appetite. So while you’re out and about, save some time to stop by some of these great locally owned restaurants to relax and refuel.

Tian Yuen
, 421 S Cloverdale Blvd
Daily: Lunch 11- 3, Dinner 3-9
Dine In, To Go & Catering 

House Special at Tien Yuen, Cloverdale, CAYes, I do expect you to do some holiday shopping in Cloverdale. They have some really great stores! And while you’re there, you absolutely MUST visit Tian Yuen, a Vietnamese noodle restaurant that also offers fresh sushi, Chinese, and Thai dishes. I fell in love with their Green Curry years ago when I lived in Cloverdale. I have since also fallen in love with their sushi, which you can watch them make, and my husband was very impressed with their Mongolian Beef. Even the water at Tian Yuen is delicious! The service is impeccably friendly and attentive, the food is served qickly and is loaded with fresh vegetables. They can accommodate any dietary restrictions and promise not to make your dish too spicy if you’d like. I can’t recommend this place enough, so add it to your bucket list of must-try restaurants in Sonoma County.

Chinois Asian Bistro, 186 Windsor River Rd
Lunch M – F 1:30 – 2
Dinner M – Sat 5 – 9
Happy Hour Menu 5 – 5:30

Chinois Asian Bistro, 186 Windsor River Rd, Windsor, CAThis restaurant is consistently good whether I’ve come here for lunch or dinner. Debbie Shu and Chang Liow bring Southeast Asia to Windsor, and if you wonder at the French name, think about empire-building that brings war to countries but also blends cultures. Their soups and salads are my kind of food, everything fresh and brightly colored in full flavor.  If you enjoy seared Ahi Tuna, try this salad for lunch and chances are you won’t need anything else. On a cold day their Hot & Sour Szechuan Baby Scallop Soup will warm you two ways - spicy and  warm. While you are there for lunch take a look at the dinner menu because you will want to return. And take note that this same partnership owns Umé Japanese Bistro on the east side of 101 on Old redwood Hwy. Same supreme quality, excellent service and clean, healthy food.

Sunflower Café, 421 1st St W
Daily 7 - 4, Happy Hour 3 - 4

Sunflower Cafe 421 1st West, Sonoma, CAYou can’t beat the convenience of this place for being smack dab in the middle of the shopping area. Park once, walk to every store – get hungry or thirsty, stop in to Sunflower. There are small tables out front for sidewalk dining or tables in the garden out back. If it’s cold, there are cozy tables inside near the counter where life swirls around food and beverage orders. The food is always fresh, tasty, not expensive, and excellent for an on-the-go lunch when you want to fill up and head back out. They also make all the best coffee drinks so it’s an excellent place to stop in for a boost mid-shopping. Everything about Sonoma Plaza is quality, friendly and accessible. That’s part of why this café is so perfectly situated. They also feature the works of local artists in rotating shows, so it’s a 2 for 1. If you like fowl, try their signature smoked duck breast sandwich with melted gruyere and organic greens. You may want to share this one. 

Native Kitchen & Kombucha bar, 110 Petaluma Blvd
Daily 10-10
Dine In, To Go & Catering
Vegan, Gluten free options

Native Kitchen & Kombucha bar, 110 Petaluma Blvd, Petaluma, CADowntown Petaluma is always a fun place to visit. It is abundant with beautiful storefronts and classy restaurants. New to the neighborhood is Native, healthfood at its finest. Their menu is full of gluten free, vegan, organic food, all of which is grown in Sonoma County. They also offer an extensive kombucha bar and apothecary. Everything tastes better with good ambiance, which Native definitely has. The dining room is beautifully decorated, with an airy open bar, a couch by the window, and a more intimate seating area in the back. It’s a friendly atmosphere with very accommodating staff and food that will make you feel indulgent without the guilt.

Fandee’s, 7824 Covert Ln
Sun - Thu 6a-9p,
Fri & Sat 6a - 10p

Fandee’s, 7824 Covert Ln, SebastopolIf you live in West County, you are sure to have dined at least once at the Farm House restaurant (by Pacific Market). Its vintage “country cottage” style either made you cringe or nostalgic. Its giant breakfasts always left you bursting at the seams.  But the Farm House is now a thing of the past, and in its place is Fandee’s. It may not look like much from the outside, but inside it has received a much-needed makeover. The dining room is beautiful, from the photography on the walls to the granite bar, even the bathrooms are classy! The menu has had an upgrade as well, still holding true to authentic diner food, but adding just enough variety to make you eager to try everything. I’ve already been there twice and was pleasantly surprised each time. I fell in love with the chicken marsala, and can’t wait to go for dinner to try their shrimp scampi with BASIL mashed potatoes (oh yum!!). On the appetizer menu is a Mediterranean dish called Kebba, which I had never tried before. It’s dough filled with perfectly spiced meat and pine nuts, served with an outstanding house made Tzatziki sauce. I applaud the new owner on his attention to detail, it seems that he left nothing out when it came to upgrading this restaurant. It’s definitely worth a try.

Twist Eatery, 6536 Front St
Tue - Sat 11-4

Twist Eatery, 6536 Front St, Forestville, CAMy hometown! I may be biased, but we have some pretty amazing restaurants here. My absolute favorite place for lunch is Twist Eatery. The food is out of this world delicious! They are a lunch-only restaurant, open 11-4 most days. Husband and wife duo Jeff and Toni devote the rest of their time to the catering side of their business, hence the limited hours. Every single item on the menu is perfect, boasting fresh, local, organic ingredients. Jeff offers a different special every day, and he really knows how to get creative. I love everything about this place, the outdoor dining, the friendly service, and especially the food. If you go, you must grab a chocolate chip cookie to-go, they’re heavenly.


Where are YOUR favorite places to eat lunch while out shopping? Send suggestions and reviews to - THANK  YOU!

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