America has its fair share of blockbuster restaurants and Michelin stars but, like everywhere else, the best way to dine out (for those of us with average bank accounts) is to eat like a local. While the hotspot du jour might be appealing, the neighborhood restaurant is where you really get a sense of the local culture and cuisine. The food may not be buzzworthy, but you can count on getting a decent meal.
To help hungry travelers and food enthusiasts navigate to the best neighborhood restaurants in the country, Bon Appétit magazine asked some of the most interesting people they know—chefs, novelists, activists, comedians, NBA players, and more—to let them in on their “most-trusted haunts;” places that “make no claim to be the newest or the trendiest.” Among the top picks is Napa’s Butter Cream Bakery. Although we were a little surprised not to find any Sonoma County restaurants on this list, we were also relieved that our favorite hidden gems were not revealed to the masses.
Click through the gallery above to see some of the best Sonoma County bakeries, and let us know in the comments about your favorite neighborhood restaurants (criteria: where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came…).