19 Popular Restaurant Chains That Started in Sonoma County

These local cafes, delis, restaurants and ice cream parlors opened additional locations after gaining a devoted following.

Sonoma County boasts some of the best cuisine around — thanks in part to our bountiful agriculture industries and world-renowned chefs. It’s no surprise, then, that several local eateries have received such resounding acclaim to warrant opening additional locations.

While national megachains like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Taco Bell may come to mind when thinking of fast food franchises, a business only needs at least two locations to be considered a chain. Plenty of establishments in the county fit the bill, many of which have become entrenched as local staples that we couldn’t imagine our cities without.

Check out our list of popular chain restaurants that started right here in Sonoma County. Did we miss one of your favorite local chains? Let us know in the comments! Next month, we’ll dive into regional and state chains that opened in Sonoma County and became instantly popular. 

Click through the above gallery for a peek at some of our favorite dishes at each restaurant.

Five or more locations

Mary’s Pizza Shack

New York City native Mary Fazio opened her first pizza shack in the county in 1959 with her Italian father’s original recipes and a goal to provide delicious, home-cooked meals to family and friends. Today, Mary’s Pizza Shack has 10 locations (pared down from 17) across Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties — all owned and operated by third and fourth generations of Fazio’s family. 

The long-established local pizza chain made Bite Club’s list of best pizza in the county for its family-friendly atmosphere — kids can even craft their own pies. Try out a variety of Mary’s offerings with friends and family (how Fazio would have wanted it) with the “Mary’s BIG Spaghetti and Pizza Meal Deal” for $64.95, which comes with a medium, two-topping pizza, a family-sized dish of spaghetti with two giant meatballs, a half loaf of garlic bread and a choice of two large salads or soups.  

Locations in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Windsor, Napa, Fairfield and Vacaville. maryspizzashack.com


What started off as a small burger shack on the corner of College and Fourth streets in Santa Rosa in the early 1950s ballooned into one of Sonoma County’s most enduring and treasured burger chains. Superburger now has six locations scattered around the county, churning out char-grilled beef to the masses — though it still crafts made-to-order hamburgers and old-fashioned milkshakes just as it has done for over half a century. 

The establishment’s namesake standard, the Cheese Superburger, beats a Big Mac any day — with eight ounces of fresh ground beef under a bed of crisp lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and pickles between toasted local bakery buns. And its St. Helena Ave. Burger, towering with onion rings and thick-cut smoked bacon and drizzled with original barbecue sauce, made it on our list of the best burgers in the county. Don’t forget the crispy shoestring fries and variety of hand-spun milkshakes.

Locations in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cotati and Petaluma. originalsuperburger.com

Best of Sonoma County: Burger, Superburger in Santa Rosa. The St. Helena Ave. Burger. (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
The St. Helena Ave. Burger from Superburger in Santa Rosa. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

El Roy’s

After forming a successful Marin County taco truck in the early aughts, siblings Yvette Vega and Roy and Fernando Cabrera moved their operation to Petaluma and established a new brick-and-mortar restaurant, opening in 2016. El Roy’s Mexican Grill became an instant hit, along with its now-five local taco trucks, which were voted the “best taco truck” in the county several years in a row by The Press Democrat readers. 

The trucks, including El Roy’s Express Mex, are cleverly located in high-trafficked areas, like the Petaluma Fairgrounds and on Roseland’s Sebastopol Road, beckoning passersby with its roasted al pastor and bright orange facade. Shrimp burritos and tacos dorados are fan favorites.

Locations in Petaluma and Santa Rosa. elroysxpressmex.com

Costeaux French Bakery

France natives Jean and Anne Costeaux bought a 1920s-era French American bakery in Healdsburg in 1973, changing its name to Costeaux French Bakery. Karl and Nancy Seppi purchased the bakery from them in 1981 with a vision to expand, and Jean taught them the art of bread baking. Ever since, Costeaux French Bakery has been featured in food and travel magazines around the world and won several Harvest Fair medals for its sourdough baguettes, French macaroons, princess cake, the famed cinnamon walnut bread and more.

Along with the original bakery and cafe on Healdsburg Avenue, Costeaux locations include a bakery inside Big John’s Market in Healdsburg, Costeaux On The Go at the Sonoma County Airport and its newest location in Petaluma in the Hotel Petaluma. The Seppis’ son, Will Seppi, launched Costeaux’s sister bakery Tía María, named after his aunt Mary who helped his parents start the Costeaux bakery, in 2019 in Roseland. The Mexican panaderia (bakery) menu includes conchas, bolillos, churros, sandwiches and its signature cuatro leches cake. 

Locations in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Petaluma. costeaux.com

At Costeaux French Bakery in Healdsburg. (Mariah Harkey / Sonoma County Tourism)
At Costeaux French Bakery in Healdsburg. (Mariah Harkey / Sonoma County Tourism)

Cafe des Croissant 

The first Cafe des Croissant opened on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa by Kenneth E. McGee in 1983, according to public legal notices in The Press Democrat at the time. A second location opened on Marlow Road in 1987, and a third on Lomitas Avenue in 1989. The cafe has since changed ownership and closed down its original Fourth Street location — though it added a handful of new locations, including a Sebastopol spot, a Rohnert Park drive-thru and two new Santa Rosa locales. However, just this year Nana’s Cafe opened up at the previous Cafe des Croissant spot at the Roxy Theater, making it five total locations for the French-style cafe. 

Cafe des Croissant has won local Harvest Fair awards for its flaky croissants and unique muffins, such as ginger or cappuccino. The almond and cinnamon walnut croissants are standouts. The cafe also offers bagels, salads, paninis and breakfast egg sandwiches.

Locations in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Sebastopol. cafedescroissants.com

Three to four locations

Fruta Ice Cream

Born and raised in Mexico, Salvador Cruz left the cabinetry business after 20 years and founded his ice cream business in 2010 on Stony Point Road in Santa Rosa to share his favorite childhood flavors with the community. After two years of success in Roseland, Cruz opened a second location in Petaluma. The third and fourth locations, both in Santa Rosa, followed in 2014 and 2018. 

As Fruta expanded, so did its quality cold dessert offerings, including paletas, bionicos, milkshakes, mangonadas, aguas frescas, acai bowls and more. There are also savory dishes, such as esquites and the spicy Takislocos — Takis chips with jicama, cucumber, cueritos (pickled pork rinds) and Japanese peanuts, all sprinkled with tajin and drizzled with chamoy, lime juice and Valentina hot sauce. Our “best ice creams in the county” roundup lists Fruta’s unique and traditional flavors, like mamey, membrillo, rose petal and chongo zamorano. Fan favorite flavors include coconut, guava, strawberry and arroz con leche.

Locations in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. frutaicecream.com

HopMonk Tavern

Dean Biersch, a founding partner in Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Palo Alto, branched out and opened his tavern/beer garden concept in Sebastopol in 2008. HopMonk Tavern — which has three locations in the area and also owns the 1920s-era Twin Oaks Roadhouse in Penngrove since 2016 — is known for its craft beer, modern pub grub and regular live music performances. 

If you’re stopping in for more than a German-style brew, might we recommend the Nashville hot fried chicken? Spicy, juicy fried chicken is dressed with bread and butter pickles, mayo and lettuce between toasted brioche buns, resulting in a mouthwatering union of textures and flavors. The nachos, sliders and samosas are also great dishes to share.

Locations in Sonoma, Sebastopol and Novato. hopmonk.com

Hopmonk Sonoma County. (Sonoma County Tourism)
At Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol. (Sonoma County Tourism)

Acme Burger

After several years cooking French cuisine in high-end restaurants, Culinary Institute of America-trained Todd Kniess moved to Sonoma County and opened Acme Burger in 2019 in Cotati. Using local ingredients, such as Sonoma Mountain Beef and Willie Bird turkey burgers, the quality of Acme Burger’s fare exceeds expectations of what one would predict from an affordable, casual eatery. In just a few years, the local chain opened up a second location in Santa Rosa in 2021 and a third location at a former gas station in Petaluma in 2022.

Another “Best Burger” lister, Acme’s Sonoma Beef Burger is a classic — sporting a fresh seared patty, house sauce, lettuce and tomato between Franco American Bakery sesame seed buns. Make it a combo with a side of shoestring fries and a classic milkshake.

Locations in Cotati, Santa Rosa and Petaluma. acmeburgerco.com

Amy’s Drive Thru

Petaluma-based organic food producer Amy’s Kitchen introduced an all-vegetarian fast food concept to the county when it opened Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park in 2015, reenvisioning what drive-thru fare could entail. The menu at Amy’s includes pizza, burritos, soups, salads, veggie burgers and other fast food staples, in addition to fan favorites like mac and cheese.

Amy’s veggie burger boasts the title of the “best non-meat burger” on our list of best burgers in the county. For vegans with a sweet tooth, the drive-thru also offers non-dairy shakes and cinnamon rolls. Amy’s currently has three locations, including inside the San Francisco Airport. 

Locations in Rohnert Park, Corte Madera and San Francisco. amysdrivethru.com

Cafe Mimosa

Restaurateur Mike Atallah and his son Yazen opened their first Cafe Mimosa in Rohnert Park in May 2019, just a month before Atallah closed down his popular Adel’s Restaurant on Santa Rosa’s College Avenue. By early 2020, Atallah opened a second Cafe Mimosa in the renovated Adel’s space, which he purchased in 1986. The modern, brunch-focused eatery quietly opened a third branch, on North McDowell Boulevard in Petaluma, in 2021.

The cafe’s bottomless weekend mimosas and tempting selection of eggs Benedicts and breakfast hashes lend to it being among the best brunch spots around. The fresh berry-topped French toast and chilaquiles in salsa verde also get rave reviews.

Locations in Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa. cafemimosaaa.com 

Smoked Salmon Benedict with champagne hollandaise, rosemary house potatoes on an English muffin with a mimosa sampler-from left, mango, blackberry and strawberry-from Cafe Mimosa in Rohnert Park. (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat).
Smoked Salmon Benedict with champagne hollandaise, rosemary house potatoes on an English muffin with a mimosa sampler-from left, mango, blackberry and strawberry-from Cafe Mimosa in Rohnert Park. (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat).
Cobb Salad with chicken, egg, avocado, smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese and organic mixed baby greens from Cafe Mimosa in Rohnert Park. (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat).
Cobb Salad with chicken, egg, avocado, smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese and organic mixed baby greens from Cafe Mimosa in Rohnert Park. (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat).

Acre Pizza

An offshoot of the old Acre Coffee (now Avid Coffee) — in connection with San Francisco-based Acre Gourmet — owner Steve DeCosse switched gears in February 2020 to open a pizza parlor. The first Acre Pizza opened in The Barlow in Sebastopol, and its New York and Detroit-style pies made with high-quality, local ingredients were a hit. Just a few months later in May, the Acre Coffee on Petaluma Boulevard reopened as an Acre Pizza. After almost a year of construction, a third location opened in Cotati in 2023

Acre’s deep-dish, Detroit-style pizza received a nod on our best pizza roundup for its crispy crust and melty cheese topped with house marinara. Other favorites include the NY Potato Pizza, with thinly sliced potatoes and leeks and three kinds of cheese, and the Detroit Ranch: pesto and ranch dressing layered over smoked chicken and Sonoma County Meat Co. bacon.

Locations in Petaluma, Cotati and Sebastopol. acrepizza.com

HenHouse Brewing Company

Shane Goepel, Scott Goyne and Collin McDonnell founded HenHouse Brewing in January 2012, first releasing its hand-crafted beers at the Petaluma Market and then on draft at several taprooms. HenHouse began partnering with Petaluma Hills Brewing Company on North McDowell Boulevard in 2014, and it wasn’t until 2016 that HenHouse opened its own brewery and tasting room on Bellevue Avenue in Santa Rosa.

By 2018, the HenHouse founders obtained a lease to operate a taproom at the shuttered (as of 2017) Petaluma Hills location, which they call the “Palace of Barrels.” Already garnering a cult-following at this point, HenHouse opened its third location in Fairfax in 2022, only for it to close late last year. Luckily for Marin County beer lovers, HenHouse’s “Record Room” taproom opened on Grant Avenue in Novato last year and has been receiving high praise.

HenHouse’s limited-release Big Chicken IPA is highly anticipated each year, while its original Oyster Stout, one of the brewery’s earliest and most eclectic ales (brewed with whole oysters), is available all year-round. To complement your frothy lagers, each taproom hosts a lineup of rotating food trucks, including Galvan’s Eatery, Red Horse Pizza and ​​Streetside Asian Grill. 

Locations in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Novato. henhousebrewing.com

Collin McDonnell,Co-Founder and CEO of Henhouse Brewing Co. in their Santa Rosa brewery and tasting room Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
Collin McDonnell, Co-Founder and CEO of Henhouse Brewing Co., in their Santa Rosa brewery and tasting room (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

Grateful Bagel 

Five people from different parts of the country came together in 1981 to open the Grateful Bagel on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa — Linda Altman, Joan Rashti, Robert Wilson, Michael Kessler and Laurie Winkler. Kessler and Winkler were from the East Coast, according to the first review of the bakery in The Press Democrat on April 17, 1981, and they missed the bagels they were accustomed to. In a year, the bakery was distributing its bagels to delis and grocery stores from San Francisco to Fort Bragg.

By the mid-’80s, the Grateful Bagel had opened a second shop in Sebastopol and a third in east Santa Rosa. A fourth location opened on Keller Street in Petaluma in 1994. Since then, the Petaluma bakery has closed and the Santa Rosa ones changed locations, to Fourth Street and Corporate Center Parkway, but the quaint location in Sebastopol, on 300 S. Main St., is still going strong.

One can’t go wrong with a bagel sandwich for a filling breakfast or lunch. Popular bagel sandos here include the Wild Boar with ham, egg and cheese, and the Loxy Lady with lox, capers, cream cheese, tomato and onions. The cheesy pizza bagels are delightful, whether you take it with a simple cream cheese schmear or stuff it with meat and veggies.

Locations in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. instagram.com/gratefulbagel

Two locations 

Omelette Express

Nan Taylor Mishkin, who died in 2010, started Omelette Express in Railroad Square in 1977, and it quickly became a Santa Rosa tradition. Her son Don Taylor has been owner and manager of the establishment since 1987. After 30 years of success in the Railroad Square district, Don and his wife Laura opened up a second location in Windsor. In 2018, they opened a restaurant in Santa Rosa’s “Sister City” Jeju City, on South Korea’s Jeju Island.  

The local breakfast and lunch staple has nearly two dozen omelets to choose from on its menu, or you can customize your own, always served with country potatoes and local, fresh baked bread. If omelets aren’t your thing, the menu also includes French toast, eggs Benedict, corned beef hash, burgers, salads and sandwiches.

Locations in Santa Rosa and Windsor. omeletteexpress.com

Plank Coffee

Marne Dupere and Mike Morisette opened their charming, modern-rustic Plank Coffee shop in 2012 in Cloverdale, offering specialty roasted coffee and organic fare from local farmers. Seven years later, the pair opened their second location in Healdsburg, a cozy, plant-laden spot on Dry Creek Road. 

For a quick pick-me-up, a house-roasted Americano and fresh baked pastry (the vegan orange cake pleases just about everyone) is a sure bet. If you have time to linger in the natural setting, enjoy a hearty vegetarian breakfast sandwich with a seasonal latte or organic tea.

Locations in Cloverdale and Healdsburg. plankcoffee.com

Plank's Coffee features their Pumpkin Spice latte in Healdsburg. The latte includes their roasted Pine Mountain espresso, organic pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. (Plank’s Coffee)
Coffee from Plank Coffee in Healdsburg. (Plank Coffee)

Crooked Goat Brewing 

In 2016, a group of six friends took their home beer-brewing hobby and turned it into a full-fledged brewery and taproom when they opened Crooked Goat Brewing in The Barlow. The Sebastopol brewpub soon became a dedicated hangout spot for people to enjoy a craft beer flight during a trivia night or while listening to live music on the weekends. Crooked Goat added a second taproom in 2022 in Petaluma, where the crew of co-founders originally started crafting their brews in a small space behind Pete’s Henny Penny.

The Bee Beard honey ale and Grapefruit Ibex IPA are just a few of the favorite beers on tap here. Food at the Sebastopol taproom includes fare from Acre Pizza, Osito Style Tacos and The Farmer’s Wife, plus housemade snacks like jerky and pretzels. At the Petaluma location, patrons can order meals from Acme Burger and Stefano’s Pizza.

Locations in Petaluma and Sebastopol. crookedgoatbrewing.com

Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar

Ozzy Jimenez, former Healdsburg mayor, and his partner Christian Sullberg began their endeavor into the dessert scene in 2011 with Moustache Baked Goods in Healdsburg, known for its delectable, scratch-baked cupcakes. Riding the momentum of their bakery’s success, the pair opened a pie and ice cream concept, Noble Folk, in 2014 on Matheson Street. Specializing in pie à la mode and eclectic ice cream flavors — like black sesame, Thai tea and lemon lavender — the shop became a favorite among locals, who excitedly welcomed a second location in 2018 in Santa Rosa

The unique, rich flavors of Noble Folk’s ice cream alone is reason enough for the shop to lead the pack in our list of best ice cream in the county. And yes, its pie is also on our list of best local pies — try the Dutch apple for a traditional treat, or the peanut butter mousse pie in an Oreo crust for something to please your inner child. Fun, gourmet cupcakes are also still a part of the mix.

Locations in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa. thenoblefolk.com

Two Dog Night Creamery 

After five years of running the Sub Zero Ice Cream franchise spot that she opened in The Barlow in 2013, Jacki Wilson pivoted to fashion her own ice cream shop in 2018, focusing on naturally flavored frozen concoctions. Located in the same Sebastopol hotspot, Wilson’s Two Dog Night Creamery was a hit among those who liked the liquid nitrogen-frozen desserts they came to know and love from Sub Zero, as well as the new flavors and organic, dairy-free offerings. A second location opened a short time later, by 2019, in Windsor’s Bell Village shopping center. 

The creamery gets a shoutout in our best ice cream roundup for its smooth, gelato-style ice cream and seasonal flavors using local ingredients, such as the Summer Yuzu or the vegan Key Lime. Favorite classic scoops include the Coffee Heath Bar, Banana Foster Crunch, Mint Oreo and the traditional banana split.

Locations in Sebastopol and Windsor. twodognightcreamery.com

“Strawberry Letter” ice cream cocktail at Nimble and Finn’s. It’s strawberry sorbet with vermouth, elderflower, and champagne, May 18, in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square (Chad Surmick / The Press Democrat)
“Strawberry Letter” ice cream cocktail at Nimble and Finn’s. It’s strawberry sorbet with vermouth, elderflower, and champagne, May 18, in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square (Chad Surmick / The Press Democrat)

Nimble and Finn’s

Sisters Leandra Beaver and Jazmin Hooijer first started hawking artisanal ice cream from a  pushcart freezer in 2012, soon supplying local weddings and events with creamy desserts and winning medals at the county’s Harvest Fair. After about three years, the sisters opened their first ice cream shop inside the historic Bank of Guerneville, bringing their tasty, organic innovations to the Guerneville Bank Club. Nimble and Finn’s opened a second location a few years later in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square district, meanwhile expanding its offerings to ice cream cakes and ice cream cocktails. 

Lively flavors like Whiskey Butterscotch and Lavender Honeycomb earned Nimble and Finn’s a spot on our local best ice cream lineup — not to mention the boozy, summertime Strawberry Letter, with Champagne, vermouth, strawberry sorbet and elderflower. The charming shop also offers pie, cookies, floats, ice cream sandwiches and even upscale grilled cheeses.

Locations in Guerneville and Santa Rosa. nimbleandfinns.com