Not all California wine country dining revolves around Michelin stars and eye-popping prices. A few of our Sonoma County favorites keep the focus on hometown roots, local bounty, and approachability, proving that the county's laid-back vibe is stronger than ever.
In Sebastopol, restaurateur Lowell Sheldon and his partner Natalie Goble have transformed a former Foster's Freeze into Handline, where elevated fast-casual favorites highlight local recipes and ingredients with a twist of SoCal inspiration. The El Coronado fish tacos transport diners to the beach, with a generous serving of crispy rockfish in thick, hand-milled corn tortillas. The smothered pumpkin side, an earthy bowl of roasted seasonal squash covered in mole and topped with crunchy pepitas, stands out for its intense umami flavor. The stylish interior enhances the overall dining experience, which begins with ordering at the counter and ends, if one is lucky, with a soft-serve ice cream inspired by the restaurant’s former incarnation.