Pubs aren’t usually known for their world-class cuisine, but we’ve found 16 Sonoma County pubs (along with bars and beer gardens) that go way beyond microwaved chicken fingers and chili. Serving everything from fish and chips to Brie and pear crostini, there’s plenty of great food that will also lay a solid base for a night of revelry.
Belly Left Coast Kitchen: An excellent selection of beer, plus solid pub fare like surf and turf tacos, pork belly pizza, chorizo Brussels sprouts, lobster mac and cheese, and smoked pork nachos. 523 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, bellyleftcoastkitchen.com.
Toad in the Hole: Authentic English pub fare like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and savory meat pies. You can still get a burger, but wouldn’t you rather have a sausage roll with your pint? 116 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, thetoadpub.com.
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails: It’s not exactly a pub — more of a mixology lab — but they’ve got some seriously good bar bites from their Healdsburg kitchen. Korean fried chicken sliders, togarishi fries, crostini with mushroom conserva and sherry-fernet syrup. Tres chic. While you’re there, don’t miss the Rangpur More, made with aromatic Sipsong gin, lime shrub, pink peppercorns, and saffron bitters. 111 Plaza St., Healdsburg, drinkatdukes.com.
Ricardo’s Bar & Grill: A favorite neighborhood watering hole with a full bar and a wide range of pub fare, from beer-battered onions and nachos to Brie and pear crostini and grilled ribeye steak. Rueben egg rolls with Thousand Island dipping sauce are irresistible. 2700 Yulupa, Santa Rosa, ricardosbarandgrill.com.
The Publican: If you’re not up for the Peanut Butter Burger (a cheeseburger with bacon and chipotle peanut butter), the Porkzilla Burger (with apple coleslaw, carnitas, miso Dijon) or spicy chicken and waffles. Solid brunch includes banana foster creme brûlée French toast and omelets. 9057 Windsor Road, Windsor, thepublicanwindsor.com.
Bear Republic: Two locations for great burgers and brews, but we’re especially fond of the lakeside tables in Rohnert Park. Cheesy poutine and the signature Black and Blue Burger slathered with blue cheese and bacon remoulade. 5000 Roberts Lake Road, Rohnert Park or 345 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, bearrepublic.com.
Stout Brothers: A revamped look and new menu at this historic Santa Rosa Irish drinkery. Bangers and mash, fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie and a Jameson stout burger with plenty of spirits. 527 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, stoutbrospub.com.
Hopmonk: Modern pub dining with a focus on great beer and beer-friendly dishes. Internationally-inspired bites like fish tacos, tavern samosas, currywurst, a chicken Philly sandwich on naan bread, burgers and pulled pork. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol and 691 Broadway, Sonoma, hopmonk.com.
Russian River Brewing: The Santa Rosa pub menu is standard fare, but the new Windsor location has an expanded menu with honey-glazed chicken wings, Pliny fries with white cheddar fondue, roasted beets with faro and heartier two-handers like their pork schnitzel sando or tri-tip steak frites. Wine and cider available if you are among the rare birds who don’t love Russian River beers. 700 Mitchell Ln., Windsor, russianriverbrewing.com.
Ausiello’s: This downtown, east-coast style pub is a lively spot to catch a Giants or Warriors game after work with friends. Ausiello’s features rotating taps of local craft brews, tv screens as far the bro can see, excellent burgers and a salad bar.
Twin Oaks Roadhouse: An old-school honky-tonk juke joint, with a modern twist. Hopmonk owners rehabbed the bar, so if there are some menu overlaps, it’s intentional. 5745 Old Redwood Hwy., Penngrove, twinoaksroadhouse.com.
Pub Republic: Lots of modern pub grub on this menu, which includes lunch, dinner and brunch. Brussels sprout tacos, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, truffle parmesan fries and house-cured salmon crostini. 3120 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma, pubrepublicusa.com.
Palooza: The food is always solid, and the burger is one of our faves. If you’re not wanting heavy pub grub, they’ve got tasty salads and wraps. 8910 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, paloozafresh.com.
Steele & Hops: A brewery with plenty of taps, cocktails and family-friendly pub food. Bar bites like beet-pickled deviled eggs, porky pig pulled pork sandwich, hefty burgers and brick-oven pizzas. 1901 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, steeleandhops.com.
McNear’s Saloon: It doesn’t get much pub-ier than this historic Petaluma watering hole. Find a quiet spot and nibble on nachos or try the Korean Pork Tacos, made with braised pork shoulder. The old school patty melt is tops. 21 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, mcnears.com.
Brewster’s: One of the rare drinkeries where the food is as good as the booze. A 250-set indoor/outdoor space (technically a beer garden) has great smoked brisket, St. Louis style ribs, my favorite fried chicken sandwich (with goat cheddar), and seasonal salads. 229 Water St., Petaluma, brewstersbeergarden.com.