Best Sonoma County Restaurants Under $40, According to Michelin Guide 2023

These restaurants made the Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand list, recognized for their good value meals.

Sonoma County’s Bib Gourmands have been announced for 2023, following the July 18 release of the annual California Michelin Guide. Once again, there are no new additions to Sonoma County’s lineup of eight restaurants considered to be restaurants with “good food at a moderate price.”

Receiving the awards for 2023 were Healdsburg’s Chalkboard; El Molino Central, Valley Bar & Bottle and FolkTable in Sonoma; Khom Loi and Ramen Gaijin in Sebastopol, Stockhome in Petaluma and Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen.

These North Bay restaurants also were Bib Gourmand award winners: Napa County’s La Calenda in Yountville; Marin County’s Playa, Pig in a Pickle, Sushi Ran and Village Sake; and Solano County’s Michael Warring in Vallejo.

While most people are familiar with the Michelin stars, the Bib Gourmand award is lesser known. The Michelin guide, launched by French tire company Michelin in 1900, began awarding stars to fine dining establishments in 1926. In 1955, it introduced a second designation for restaurants deemed a good value by Michelin inspectors. It became known as Bib Gourmand in 1997 and was indicated in the guidebook with an image of the tire company’s mascot “Bibendum,” also known as the Michelin Man.

Today, the Michelin Guide comprises a series of guidebooks and announces awards annually across countries, regions and cities — there’s a Michelin Guide for France, but also one for Paris; in the United States, awards are announced in cities like New York or Washington, D.C. and statewide, in the case of California. Restaurants now need to serve two courses, a glass of wine or dessert for around $40 or less to be considered for the Bib Gourmand category.

While the stars remain the restaurant world’s most coveted awards, being selected a Bib Gourmand by Michelin inspectors is also an honor and can put a restaurant on the map of foodie destinations. This year, the California Michelin Guide lists 143 Bib Gourmand restaurants in the state. A great meal under $40 isn’t easily found in California.

Click through the above gallery for some excellent deals courtesy of Michelin.