Margarita pizza with an egg at Vignette Pizzeria, Sebastopol, California
Margarita pizza with an egg at Vignette Pizzeria, Sebastopol, California

Find yourself in Sonoma County, California, on Thursday, December 1? If so, be sure to participate in Dining Out for Life! 

All you have to do is eat and drink out at one of 90 participating restaurants. It’s as easy as that – so tourists and locals alike, make a reservation today and support a great cause.

This annual event raises funds for Sonoma County non-profit Food for Thought. Their mission “is to nourish and serve our community by providing healthy food and compassion to people living with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses.”

Food for Thought provides weekly groceries, fresh food, nutritional supplements, and even fresh and frozen meals for over 675 Sonoma County residents with HIV/AIDS. Over 1/3 of the men, women, and children they serve receive home delivery due to their ill health or lack of transportation.

90 amazing Sonoma County restaurants will donate 25%-50% of their sales on December 1 to Food for Thought.

Here are my five favorite restaurants in Sonoma County to dine out for life December 1!

1. Saddles Steakhouse, Sonoma

Saddles Steakhouse, Sonoma, California

An old school steakhouse with a western theme, Saddles Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in the county and has an award-winning wine list.

My favorite is their famous prime rib served with a baked potato. They also offer seasonal dishes and seafood – oh, and don’t forget happy hour! Saddles will be donating 25% of all sales (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to Food for Thought.

2.Underwood Bar & Bistro, Graton

Clams at Underwood Bar & Bistro, Graton, California
Clams at Underwood Bar & Bistro, Graton, California (Photo: Andi Fisher, CC BY NC ND)

Underwood is an iconic local’s hangout in the small town of Graton in western Sonoma County (or what the locals call “West County”). Seasonal, sustainable food is served alongside spectacular handcrafted cocktails and a wine list featuring wines from around the world.

It’s a popular spot for winemakers to relax after a long day, and a great place to catch up with friends and family at the nickel bar.

3. Spoonbar, Healdsburg

Beet salad at Spoonbar, Healdsburg, California

With new kitchen leadership by co-Executive Chefs Casey Van Voorhis and Patrick Van Voorhis (they are married!), Spoonbar is reclaiming its position as an innovator in seasonal California cuisine.

Innovative plating techniques make each dish look like a work of art. They also have one of the most happenin’ happy hours in the area. While the wine list isn’t bad, the stars of the show are the cocktails – crafted with local ingredients, ask your serve for pairing suggestions.

4. Hana Japanese Restaurant, Rohnert Park

Sushi at Hana Japanese Restaurant, Rohnert Park, California

The best sushi restaurant in the county right now is Hana in Rohnert Park. Off the beaten path from most tourists, Hana is located in a strip mall next to a family pizza restaurant and a Doubletree Hotel, so if you drink too much sake, you’ll have a place to crash (at the hotel, not the pizza shop, that is).

Chef-owner Ken Tominaga prides himself on blending the traditional with the contemporary, in a stylish, yet casual environment that one would expect of in Wine Country but not in a strip mall. Hana has a huge seasonal menu that changes daily and plenty of dishes for the non-sushi eater. Sit at the bar explore the countless sake they have available to taste.

5. Vignette Pizzeria, Sebastopol

Wood-fired oven at Vignette Pizzeria, Sebastopol, California
Wood-fired oven at Vignette Pizzeria, Sebastopol, California (Photo: Vignette Pizzeria)

Vignette is a contemporary pizzeria located in the heart of the Barlow, a hub of good food, wine, drink and shopping in downtown Sebastopol.

Specializing in Neapolitan-style pizza, using organic and seasonal ingredients. They make fresh dough every day and when they run out, you’re S.O.L. Pizzas vary from the traditional to the avant garde, all using local ingredients, yet a devotion to Italy.

See the entire list of restaurants participating in this year’s Dining Out for Life here.

Do you participate in Dining Out for Life in your hometown? Where will you be Dining Out for Life this year? Share below! 

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