Cozy Sonoma Restaurants for Cold Winter Days

The places to go when all you want to do is cozy up by a crackling fireplace with a hot drink and a warm, comforting meal.

Winter in Sonoma County may be mild relatively speaking but there are days and — especially — nights when Jack Frost’s nipping and all you want to do is snuggle up by a crackling fireplace with a hot drink and a warm, comforting meal.

Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants here that serve up great food with a side of cozy winter vibes, offering respite from the chilly world outside. Some have fireplaces and those that don’t make up for it with a warm, welcoming environment, candle-light ambiance, comfy furnishings and comfort food that warm the spirit.

If you’d like to dine outdoors, many restaurants have heat lamps and blankets to keep you warm; some, like Wit & Wisdom in Sonoma, Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol and Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma, even have fire pits.

Here are a few of our favorite cozy restaurants and cafes for cold winter days in Sonoma County. (Click through the above gallery for photos of the restaurants.)


Stepping into Catelli’s restaurant in Geyserville is like being transported to a rustic villa in the Italian countryside. There are elegant touches, like the black and white marble adorning the back patio and bathrooms, but the cushioned chairs and finished wood features in the dining room lends the restaurant a casual, cozy atmosphere. A large cobblestone fireplace adds extra warmth to the indoor space, while heaters and covered cabanas on the patio keep alfresco diners toasty and dry. This is a nice place for a romantic dinner or a gathering of family and friends, with authentic Italian cuisine (order the lasagna), a long list of excellent local wines and the kind of hometown hospitality that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

21047 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, 707-857-3471,

Bird & The Bottle

This trendy restaurant on Fourth Street is more than just a cozy place to eat. Located in what looks like a residential house, the restaurant is divided into different rooms. The decor is sleek with plush taupe and leather dining chairs and light cream colored walls, but the atmosphere is home-like; reminiscent of a London gastropub. Vintage artwork, contemporary light fixtures and a tiled fireplace add to the sophisticated yet laidback vibe. The menu is an unlikely mix of Jewish comfort foods, Southern classics and Korean fare and the dishes, most of them shareable, are artfully executed. Order the Warm Pretzel Bread topped with everything bagel spice and a side of creamy whipped  labneh — the warm, pillowy bread with a flavorful, golden and crunchy crust pairs well with cold winter nights.

1055 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707-568-4000,

Bird and the Bottle in Santa Rosa. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)
Bird and the Bottle in Santa Rosa. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)
Wood grilled Gulf shrimp, grits and potatoes at Bird and the Bottle in Santa Rosa. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)
Wood grilled Gulf shrimp, grits and potatoes at Bird and The Bottle in Santa Rosa. (Heather Irwin/The Press Democrat)


If you find yourself reminiscing about childhood winter days spent drinking hot cocoa and playing boardgames with friends, then Brew is the place to recreate those moments. This welcoming cafe has hot cocoa made with TCHO chocolate, high quality teas by the pot and seasonal selections of Ritual Coffee Roasters fresh coffee that can be paired with pastries from Village Bakery — muffins, scones, chocolate chip cookies and more. For breakfast and lunch, there’s avocado toast, burritos, wraps, sandwiches, macro bowls and other wholesome dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. Come for the Ginger Cardamom Latte and belly-warming Baked Oatmeal; stay for the homey feel and riveting rounds of Yahtzee. And, because you’re now a grownup, you can also order a beer.

555 Healdsburg Ave. Santa Rosa, 707-303-7372,

Stark’s Steak & Seafood

Located in Santa Rosa’s Historic Railroad Square, Stark’s Steak & Seafood restaurant does cozy old-school style. Slide into a leather seat, order a dry martini and dine on high-quality beef and sustainable seafood in a dining room that makes you feel like you’re in an episode of Mad Men. A brick-ensconced fireplace adds to the ambiance. This is a popular spot for happy hour Monday to Friday (3-6 p.m.) with well-crafted classic cocktails and top-notch bites like tuna tartar taco, prime rib banh mi, potato skin fondue, BBQ oysters and truffle fries.

521 Adams St., Santa Rosa, 707-546-5100,


Romantic dim lighting, chicken roasting over an open fire and an invitingly warm atmosphere — owners Mark and Terri Stark hit the cozy mark again with this Montgomery Village gem. Enjoy a gourmet meal inside under dreamy bulbous lights, or dine outside on the spacious patio beneath toasty heat lamps — lap blankets and seat cushions provide extra warmth on particularly cold nights. The Mediterranean menu includes wholesome and comforting dishes like Smoked Salmon Rillettes with dill crème fraiche and Grilled Lamb Burger with feta cheese and cucumber tzatziki; it’s the kind of food that works well on a winter day whether you’re in southern Europe or in Wine Country.

714 Village Court, Santa Rosa, 707-568-4404,

Teacups on a shelf during a Mary Poppins Holiday Tea Party at The Tudor Rose English Tea Room in Santa Rosa, on Sunday, December 17, 2017. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)
Tea cups on a shelf during at The Tudor Rose English Tea Room in Santa Rosa. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)

Tudor Rose English Tea Room

This hidden gem in downtown Santa Rosa — an authentic tea room fit for a queen — transports you to the British Isles with vintage and antique decor, delicate tea sets and servers dressed to the nines in traditional English garb. You’ll feel like a royal — and very cozy and snug — as you sip on a spot of tea and nibble on crumpets in the Victorian couch near the fireplace. All high tea selections include an endless pot of tea, from the traditional (Earl Grey, English Breakfast) to the more extravagant (like the James Bon tea with chocolate chips and coconut flakes), and come with treats like tea sandwiches and scones and more substantial comfort dishes like chicken pot pie. You’ll be so immersed in all things British you might just walk away speaking the Queen’s English.

733 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707-535-2045,

El Dorado Kitchen

Situated in Sonoma’s boutique El Dorado Hotel on the downtown plaza, this restaurant serves up seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine in upscale yet relaxed surroundings. The main dining room is elegant and Wine Country-chic, but the private fireplace lounge is where you’ll want to go for group brunches and intimate gatherings. The refined decor, cozy atmosphere and accommodating service make this a great place for creative cocktails by the fire, such as the Jalapeño Business with chest-warming jalapeño tequila, orange liqueur and lime. Before or after your meal, take a stroll on the Sonoma plaza, which offers holiday cheer in December with festive lights and gift shopping.

405 First St. West, Sonoma, 996-3030,

Winter cocktails. Name TK El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen on the Sonoma Square. (JOHN BURGESS
A winter cocktail at El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen on the Sonoma Square. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
Sonoma's downtown plaza, Tuesday Dec. 20, 2016. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2016
Sonoma’s downtown plaza in December. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat)

The Girl & The Fig

This classic Sonoma restaurant has the feeling of a French country townhouse and serves bistro fare with a California twist in a quaint and homey dining room. There are vintage touches throughout: An antique bar greets customers by the entrance; retro light fixtures and colorful artwork decorate the walls. Sink down into a cushioned seat indoors and order Chef Jeremy Zimmerman’s three-course plats du jour (the menu changes every Thursday) with a wine flight (the menu focuses on Rhone-style wines); or dine outdoors under cozy string lights on the secluded patio.

110 W. Spain St., Sonoma, 707-938-3634,

Old Chicago Pizza

The aroma of pizza and garlic bread wafts from the kitchen, through corridors and greets customers in the stairwell leading up to Old Chicago, located on the second floor in one of downtown Petaluma’s historic brick buildings. But this pizza spot doesn’t just rely on delicious, cheesy deep dish pies in their quest to keep customers satisfied, they take things up a notch with nice decor, romantic lighting and a cozy atmosphere. Candles and chandeliers illuminate the dining area, old black-and-white photos adorn the brick walls and the pizza ovens keep the restaurant pleasantly warm.

41 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, 707-763-3897,

Petaluma Coffee & Tea Co

The industrial look of this coffee and tea house adds to its simple, rustic charm. A large, red coffee grinding machine takes center stage and consistently churns fresh beans, filling the room with an invigorating coffee aroma. The walls are lined with shelves stacked with loose leaf tea packages and burlap sacks with coffee beans; one wall is designated for comfy couches where you can sit down, sip and relax, read a good book, or listen to the resident piano man playing jaunty tunes. Whether you need a Macchiato pick-me-up, a well-spiced Chai Latte or beans and leaves by the pound, Petaluma Coffee & Tea has you covered with a cozy experience.

212 2nd St., Petaluma, 707-763-2727,

256 North

Refined yet casual, spacious but also intimate, lively while comfortable — famed restaurateur Jan Rosen’s 256 North does cozy dining in style. There’s a grand piano by the entrance and modern lights illuminate the space. The lounge area couch, bar stools and dining chairs are upholstered in cushiony leather, and brick alcoves offer tucked away spaces for groups or couples. Up to coziness factor by ordering a slice of Rosen’s famous cheesecake, like Frank Sinatra liked to do.

256 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, 707-766-0799,

The 256 North burger, Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms, Sierra Nevada white cheddar, grilled Vidalia onions, lettuce, tomatoes on a brioche bun at 256 North in Petaluma, California, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)
The 256 North burger, Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms, Sierra Nevada white cheddar, grilled Vidalia onions, lettuce, tomatoes on a brioche bun at 256 North in Petaluma. (Alvin Jornada/The Press Democrat)
A slice of Jan Rosen's famous cheesecake, which is served at her downtown Petaluma restaurant, 256 North and also exported to 12 U.S. states. (Crissy Pascual/Petaluma Argus-Courier)
A slice of Jan Rosen’s famous cheesecake which is served at her downtown Petaluma restaurant, 256 North and also exported to 12 US states. (Crissy Pascual/Argus-Courier)

Retrograde Coffee Roasters

Serving breakfast and lunch all day, with all the coffee you can consume, of course, this community-minded cafe is equal parts fun and relaxed. From its small batch coffee roasting and locally sourced ingredients to the abstract artwork on the walls and numerous plants dotted around the sunlit cafe, Retrograde provides a friendly, calm environment to lounge or work in (hint: free Wi-Fi). Sip on a house-made Turmeric Latte and nosh on a flavorful breakfast sandwich made to your liking at this wholesome shop in downtown Sebastopol.

130 S. Main St., Suite 103, Sebastopol, 707-827-8065,

Farmhouse Inn Restaurant

At the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, guests can stay in cottage rooms equipped with all the Wine Country charm you could fit into a weekend. The inn’s Michelin-starred, white-tablecloth restaurant is housed in a restored farmhouse. It is upscale but cozy and serves Cal-French cuisine in a sophisticated dining room that also manages to feel unpretentious. A marble-ensconced fireplace and an extensive wine list will make you feel warm both on the outside and inside. Order the decadent chocolate soufflé for dessert and you’ll be set for the night.

7871 River Road, Forestville, 707-887-3300,

The restaurant at the Farmhouse Inn. (Photo by Charlie Gezell)
The restaurant at the Farmhouse Inn. (Charlie Gesell/Sonoma Magazine)

The Farmhand

The Farmhand’s deli and market is a great place for picking up provisions for a hike or a cabin retreat in the woods. It is stocked with locally sourced goods and has a welcoming, laidback atmosphere. Stay for a while, relax and enjoy a piping hot latte, buttermilk waffles or a gourmet panini; there are seats on a cushioned couch by the modern fireplace, at wooden tables in the enclosed rustic veranda or outside on the deck overlooking the Russian River.

15025 River Road, Guerneville, 707-604-7795,

Northwood Restaurant

Another cozy spot by the Russian River, Northwood Restaurant serves comfort food in an unpretentious, rustic environment with views of the surrounding golf course dotted with redwood trees. A round, brick fireplace sits in the center of the sizable dining room, keeping patrons warm and snug, and the skylights in the tall, vaulted ceiling provide plenty of natural light. This is a locals’ favorite for hearty American home-cooked meals and drinks around the fire.

19400 Hwy 116, Monte Rio, 707-865-2454,

Drakes Sonoma Coast

Order a clam chowder and snuggle up by the large stone fireplace or belly up to the 300-year-old elm tree wooden bar at this coastal gem at the Bodega Bay Lodge. Or dine outside and take in bay views by the fire pits at Drakes Fireside Lounge. For the ultimate cozy coastal getaway, check in at the lodge and order a Dungeness Crab Benedict (when available) for breakfast and enjoy it on your balcony or patio and then soak in the hot tub, also with bay views.

103 Coast Hwy 1, Bodega Bay, 707-917-0567,