OC to Sonoma drive

Stops in order of our itinerary with # of nights we’re sleeping in these cities. I wrote down a few places based on some early research. Please critique. Forgot to mention we will have 5 & 7 year old with us. So high end places are out of the question.

Santa Barbara (1) - Corazon Cocina, McConnells, Olio Pizzeria
San Jose (2) - my brother in law lives on Campbell/SJ border. We’ve had good Indian, middle eastern and Asian around here and Fremont. Would be open to anything.
Santa Rosa (1) - Bird & the Bottle. We are definitely stopping at Russian River Brewery.
Sonoma downtown only please (1) - The Girl & the Fig, Tasca Tasca, Sunflower Cafe
SF (2) - Zuni Cafe, Delfina, La Ciccia, State Bird, Dragon Beaux, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, Arsicault
Paso Robles (1) - Artisan, The Hatch

Which of those SF places have you been to before, if any?

When I’m passing through San Jose, I usually eat at Anjappar Chettinad.

Sonoma: we LOVE LaSalette, Portuguese-CA, right off the square on the east side. In nice weather you can sit outside. We never miss it when we’re in the area. And plenty for kiddos :slight_smile:


None except Delfina but my wife and kids loved the pasta, octopus and french fries. I’ve wanted to go to Zuni Cafe for the chicken and State Bird but never been able to secure a reservation. I have a calendar reminder for 7am 30 days to opentable both places. The other places on my list I researched on the SF board. My kids love dim sum and we’re at the park one day so we’ll drop by for weekday dim sum at Dragon Beaux when its less crowded. We are staying in Bernal Heights - La Ciccia and Mitchells Ice Cream are both practically walking distance from our Air BNB.

I saw a few good reports from you and somebody else in a thread about this place. The menu and pics made it seem a little upscale but if you say its good for kiddos we’ll go here. I was lukewarm about the other places I listed. I also think we’ll make the drive to Fremont Diner. Seems like you recommend this place for breakfast as well. Thanks.

We’ve only been for lunch and have seen plenty of families. And, yes, love Fremont Diner. Of course, totally different.

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Zuni and La Ciccia are both great SF clasics. I haven’t found Zuni hard to get into for a long time.

Delfina is closing for remodeling for a week in January.

We’ll be in SF late March so hopefully Delfina is back open by then. Great I hope we get into Zuni. It’s been on my list for a while.

Anything in SF not on my list that I should check out? So many places to go so little time.

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If you have only two dinners, you can’t do better than Zuni and La Ciccia.

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We had a great lunch with friends at The Girl and the Fig in June. Great menu with options for every diner…and it was nice to have some cocktails and beer to offset the wine.

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Bird and the Bottle was great. As was Spinster Sisters, thanks to the recommendation from @robert

In Sonoma, directly across from The Girl and The Fig is El Dorado Kitchen. Since it’s a (small) hotel, they serve breakfast. We had lunch there once some years ago and loved it. I remember that it was a ‘stacked’ tray (or something) with various charcuterie and cheeses. We’ve been back a few times just for a cocktail and loved that also…but not with kids of course.


Thanks for the recommendation. We had a great meal at The Girl and The Fig.
Bottle of wine
3 cheese and meat plate
Brussels sprout with lardon and pear salad
Steak frites with shoestring fries
Halibut with mashed potatoes, spinach and brown butter caper sauce
Everything was very tasty and well seasoned. A very enjoyable meal. More reasonably priced than I expected in the area. Packed on Easter Sunday so reservations are recommended.
$175 with tax and tip.

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In Sonoma make sure you go to Sweet Scoops. You can smell the sugar cones from a block away. Ice cream is great. Loved the mocchacino, cherry choco chip and butter brickle. Great little shop.

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I just commented on FB about the first time I had radishes with salt and butter was a G&F. Mmm.

Just got back. Here are the places I’d recommend and thoughts

Girl & the Fig - cute little spot. Had nice steak frites and halibut. Their white label wine is good.
Walt Wines - best wines we had out of 4 tasting rooms. They don’t distribute. The specialty was Pinot Noir. Most bottles were $75 but of very high quality. I especially liked the single vineyard and the one from Willamette Valley.

San Francisco
Delfina continues to be one of our favorite restaurants. Great vibe, reasonable wine list and the food is great. French fries, squid appetizer, 2 orders of spaghetti and the chicken with mushroom/mashed potatoes. We ate at Zuni Cafe and Delfina back to back nights. The chicken at Delfina is up there with Zuni. My 7 year old liked the Delfina chicken better because it didn’t take an hour. He’s not wrong.

Paso Robles
Hatch was cool. Their hot sauce is crazy. We wanted to buy a bottle but forgot. Had great dishes of chiccarones, mushrooms and a few others I forget.