Downtown Santa Rosa is a lively spot. Courthouse Square is surrounded by thriving businesses and neighborhoods. New urban lodging and numerous eateries have popped up in the last two years. A large Farmer’s Market fills blocks on Wednesday nights. Within a short walk, there are museums, gardens, theaters, breweries, wineries, restaurants, shopping, and all kinds of entertainment. And of course, all of the amazing restaurants in downtown Santa Rosa!
Santa Rosa is coming back from the devastation of the California wildfire. The citizens of this tenacious community have prospered in the last two years as they’ve been rebuilding and reimagining what was left in ashes. While many communities have seen their restaurants close, Santa Rosa has opened 21 new eateries in the last two years.
Take a drive to downtown Santa Rosa and try one of these 10. Some are brand new, and one of them has been there since 1952. Better yet, spend a night or two on a downtown food crawl.
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The 10 Best Restaurants In Downtown Santa Rosa, California
527 4th St // +17075369201
Warike Restobar serves Peruvian cuisine. The partners have opened a cevicheria and restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa. Using locally sourced seafood, Peruvian-style beef, Warike serves ceviche, empanadas and other traditional cuisine.
Don’t miss the Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink. The cocktail menu is extensive, featuring Pisco cocktails. In addition, they have one of downtown’s best happy hours from 3—6 PM, Monday—Thursday.
816 Sebastopol Rd // +17075260881
La Fondita brings genuine and inexpensive Mexican cuisine to downtown Santa Rosa. La Fonda has an extensive menu with all your traditional favorites. Open for B,L,& D, you’ll find classic favorites like Huevos Rancheros, red or green chilaquiles, ceviche, fajitas, sopes, and combo plates and more. In addition, they serve Mexican and domestic beer and that craveable, Mexican Coke. Don’t skip the Flan; it’s like silk.
515 4th St // +1 707-843-5132
Sushi Rosa focuses on traditional Japanese cuisine. They use the freshest California fish daily combined with local veg and meat to create sushi, sashimi, miso, rolls, salads, side dishes, poke, potstickers, shumai, tempura, and more. Sushi Rosa is highly rated for food quality and excellent service. Health and safety also get high marks. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Mondays.
3rd Street Aleworks
610 3rd St // +17075233060
3rd Street Aleworks is a downtown brewery. Recently remodeled inside and adding an outside dining patio, 3rd Street is a popular downtown eatery. In 1995 they began making beer. They’ve won national and international awards for their stouts, PAs, and other craft beers. The menu is “pub food forward,” featuring burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The family-friendly local has a kid’s menu and one for your fur-buddy. The patio is heated and perfect in all weather conditions.
Mi Ranchito Downtown
620 5th St // +17076239258
Mi Ranchito Downtown is renowned for traditional Mexican food and lively margaritas. The large menu has all the traditional favorites. Their selection of enchiladas is diverse, but the Mole and Suizas are remarkable. Fajitas and tortas receive high reviews, especially when paired with a tangy margarita. Open 7-days a week for lunch and dinner.
Grossman’s Noshery & Bar
308 Wilson St // +17075957707
Grossman’s Noshery & Bar is an outstanding New York-style deli, bakery and bar! The only way to get more authentic deli food is fly to New York City. Grossman’s owners, Mark and Terri Stark are James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalists. One bite of anything on the menu, and you’ll know why. Open 7-days a week for B, L, & D, the menu offers standard American breakfast, bagels and breakfast sandwiches. They serve salads, sandwiches (you must try the Ruben), boards, entrees, and desserts. A full-service bar offers cocktails, wine, and beer.
Land and Water Coffee
1821 Piner Rd STE 5 // +17075831240
Land and Water Coffee is a coffee roasting company in downtown Santa Rosa. First, they search the world market looking for ethically grown coffee beans. Then, they roast the beans locally, developing the flavor of each type of bean. You can buy roasted beans in the store or order online and pick them up at the store across from Courthouse Square. While at the store, enjoy a hot cup of one of their brews.
Ting Hau Restaurant
717 4th St // +17075455204
Ting Hau Restaurant is a small quiet Chinese restaurant on 4th Street downtown. The interior is traditionally decorated, meticulously clean, and very welcoming. Ting Hau serves some of my favorite Chinese dishes – pot stickers being my most wanted. The Wor Won-Ton Soup is a proper meal, especially if paired with spring rolls. In addition, Ting Hau offers “family dinners” where you select from different options for an entrée and share soup and rice family-style. Vegetarian options are plentiful. Beer and wine are available.
Mac’s Deli and Cafe
630 4th St // +17075453785
Mac’s Deli and Cafe is a kosher-style deli that has served breakfast and lunch in the same location since 1952. The food and service are a downtown staple. Mac’s menu has 47 sandwiches ranging from Avocado to smoked liverwurst. Try one of the 13 burgers or 14 salads. Breakfast is served until 3:30 PM. There are 18 omelets, and 3-cheese is my go-to favorite. Don’t pass on one of the four benedicts, including a veggie version. Beer and mimosas are served all day. Open Monday—Saturday for breakfast and lunch.
4th Street Delicatessen
300 Mendocino Ave // +17075739832
4th Street Delicatessen is a takeout delicatessen with beautiful food. Their sandwiches, salads and breakfast foods are wholesome and made with locally sourced ingredients. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. The deli has excellent beer, wine, juices, coffee, and tea. Sandwiches and salads are extraordinary but don’t skip dessert. Everything from pastries to ice cream will top off your meal. 4th Street has carryout, online ordering and delivery.
Pro Tip: Grab your food and beverage at 4th Street and walk across the Street to Courtyard Square. Find a bench and enjoy lunch under the redwoods.
Click here to learn more about the best things to do in Santa Rosa.
Which of these restaurants in downtown Santa Rosa will you try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Mary Charlebois is a freelance journalist, photographer, videographer, and editor. Her home base is the wild, remote, and fragile Mendocino Coast of Northern California. Her travels include domestic and international destinations. No matter where Mary wanders, she digs in, getting to know people, history, food, and art. She is always drawn to the ‘path-less-taken.’