20 Things Worth the Wait in Sonoma County

Sonoma County is full of hidden gems and local spots, but some of the best spots come with long lines. A prime example is the hours-long lines for Pliny the Younger. Here are 20 things in Sonoma County that are worth the wait.

The Lagunitas Beer Circus: It might take an hour to get in, even with a ticket, but once you're inside the gates, a brew-filled party ensues. The Beer Circus is held mid-August at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)
The Lagunitas Beer Circus: It might take an hour to get in, even with a ticket, but once you’re inside the gates, a brew-filled party ensues. The Beer Circus is held mid-August at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

 

A cheeseburger from Superburger. With two locations, one in Cotati and one in Santa Rosa, Superburger serves up awesome, greasy cheeseburgers. On any given night, customers fill up the dining room waiting for "fancy burgers" and homemade shakes. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)
A cheeseburger from Superburger. With two locations, one in Cotati and one in Santa Rosa, Superburger serves up awesome, greasy cheeseburgers. On any given night, customers fill up the dining room waiting for “fancy burgers” and homemade shakes. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

 

The starting line for Levi's GranFondo with 3,500 participants. This annual cycling event, both a race or a casual ride, features 11 different paths cyclists can take around Sonoma County. This year, the ride will be held on Oct. 1. See more info at levisgranfondo.com (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)
The starting line for Levi’s GranFondo with 3,500 participants. This annual cycling event, both a race or a casual ride, features 11 different paths cyclists can take around Sonoma County. This year, the ride will be held on Oct. 1. See more info at levisgranfondo.com (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

 

Whale watching at Bodega Head. For this one, the waiting comes at the mercy of the whales. However, once you see just one pod travel through, the waiting is worthwhile. The peak months for whale watching are January through May. See more info at bodegabay.com (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)
Whale watching at Bodega Head. For this one, the waiting comes at the mercy of the whales. However, once you see just one pod travel through, the waiting is worthwhile. The peak months for whale watching are January through May. See more info at bodegabay.com (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

 

Program autographs from well-known performers at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. See upcoming programs at gmc.sonoma.edu (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)
Program autographs from well-known performers at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. See upcoming programs at gmc.sonoma.edu (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

 

Teeing off at the Bennett Valley Golf Club in Santa Rosa. Low prices can attract a crowd of golfers, so what would be a 4-hour-game turns into a 5-hour-game. But on a gorgeous afternoon, it's worth waiting for. See more info at bvgolf.org (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)
Teeing off at the Bennett Valley Golf Club in Santa Rosa. Low prices can attract a crowd of golfers, so what would be a 4-hour-game turns into a 5-hour-game. But on a gorgeous afternoon, it’s worth waiting for. See more info at bvgolf.org (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

 

Screamin' Mimi's in Sebastopol is a locals favorite. On a warm summer day, you can expect to see a line almost out the door for these frozen treats. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
Screamin’ Mimi’s in Sebastopol is a locals favorite. On a warm summer day, you can expect to see a line almost out the door for these frozen treats. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

 

The starting line at the Human Race. Hundreds of runners and walkers participate in the Human Race in Santa Rosa every year and the lines are usually long. The race this year is on May 7. See more info at humanracenow.org (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
The starting line at the Human Race. Hundreds of runners and walkers participate in the Human Race in Santa Rosa every year and the lines are usually long. The race this year is on May 7. See more info at humanracenow.org (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

 

Flying Goat Coffee in Santa Rosa has delicious coffee and long lines because so much care goes into each cup: each latte gets its own pitcher of steamed milk. This cup isn't for the grab-and-go types, it's for coffee lovers looking for a relaxed morning. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
Flying Goat Coffee in Santa Rosa has delicious coffee and long lines because so much care goes into each cup: each latte gets its own pitcher of steamed milk. This cup isn’t for the grab-and-go types, it’s for coffee lovers looking for a relaxed morning. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

 

The Fremont Diner in Sonoma is famous for its chicken and waffles. The wait for a plate can be up to an hour on busy weekends, but these chicken and waffles transport your taste buds straight to the South. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
The Fremont Diner in Sonoma is famous for its chicken and waffles. The wait for a plate can be up to an hour on busy weekends, but these chicken and waffles transport your taste buds straight to the South. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

 

Beer lovers from around the world stand in line for hours on end for their chance to taste the limited release Pliny the Younger at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)
Beer lovers from around the world stand in line for hours on end for their chance to taste the limited release Pliny the Younger at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

 

Even with a reservation, it can take while to be seated at the Girl and the Fig in Sonoma. But once the dishes make it to the table, the delicious flavors make up for the wait time. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)
Even with a reservation, it can take while to be seated at the Girl and the Fig in Sonoma. But once the dishes make it to the table, the delicious flavors make up for the wait time. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

 

WildFlour Bread in Freestone serves up a different selection every day, but if you can get one of their fresh baked scones, the drive out to Freestone is well worth it. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)
WildFlour Bread in Freestone serves up a different selection every day, but if you can get one of their fresh baked scones, the drive out to Freestone is well worth it. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

 

El Roy's Mexican Grill, which has been voted the best food truck in Sonoma County, often has a line spanning the parking lot they're in. But it's no wonder people wait for El Roy's, the tacos are the real deal. The truck can be found on  Edith St. in Petaluma or Sebastopol Road in Roseland.(Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)
El Roy’s Mexican Grill, which has been voted the best food truck in Sonoma County, often has a line spanning the parking lot they’re in. But it’s no wonder people wait for El Roy’s, the tacos are the real deal. The truck can be found on Edith St. in Petaluma or Sebastopol Road in Roseland.(Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

 

Breakfast at the Naked Pig restaurant in Santa Rosa. This small restaurant on Santa Rosa Ave. fills up quick, but the farm to table food is incredible. (Chris Hardy / The Press Democrat)
Breakfast at the Naked Pig restaurant in Santa Rosa. This small restaurant on Santa Rosa Ave. fills up quick, but the farm to table food is incredible. (Chris Hardy / The Press Democrat)

 

Headline acts at Country Summer are guaranteed long lines. Each year, this event is held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa and attracts country music lovers from all over. This year, the even is from June 3 to June 5. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
Headline acts at Country Summer are guaranteed long lines. Each year, this event is held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa and attracts country music lovers from all over. This year, the even is from June 3 to June 5. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

 

Lucchesi's Deli in Petaluma is a local favorite. This mom-and-pop deli serves up some of the most delicious sandwiches around. Around lunch, the small space is packed with people from all over Petaluma – from business men to high schoolers. (Courtesy / Lucchesi's Deli)
Lucchesi’s Deli in Petaluma is a local favorite. This mom-and-pop deli serves up some of the most delicious sandwiches around. Around lunch, the small space is packed with people from all over Petaluma – from business men to high schoolers. (Courtesy / Lucchesi’s Deli)

 

Once a year, funnel cakes at the Sonoma County Fair are available. The lines for these deep fried treats can sometimes be longer than the ride lines, but just one bite is powdered-sugar heaven. The 2016 fair will be from July 22 to Aug. 7. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)
Once a year, funnel cakes at the Sonoma County Fair are available. The lines for these deep fried treats can sometimes be longer than the ride lines, but just one bite is powdered-sugar heaven. The 2016 fair will be from July 22 to Aug. 7. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

 

Amy's Drive-Thru in Rohnert Park often has lines, both inside and in the drive-thru, which can be tedious to sit through on an empty stomach. But this one-of-a-kind fast food joint has the best veggie burger in town.  The busiest times are around noon and 5 p.m. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2015
Amy’s Drive-Thru in Rohnert Park often has lines, both inside and in the drive-thru, which can be tedious to sit through on an empty stomach. But this one-of-a-kind fast food joint has the best veggie burger in town. The busiest times are around noon and 5 p.m. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2015

 

Phin Bar serves up a selection of Vietnamese-style steeped coffee drinks and Thai Tea at their pop-up stands in local farmers markets, but waiting in between markets for a Vietnamese coffee fix can be tough. See more info at phinbar.com (Photo: Erik Castro/for Sonoma Magazine)
Phin Bar serves up a selection of Vietnamese-style steeped coffee drinks and Thai Tea at their pop-up stands in local farmers markets, but waiting in between markets for a Vietnamese coffee fix can be tough. See more info at phinbar.com (Photo: Erik Castro/for Sonoma Magazine)

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