Mardi Gras Meals, Treats and Celebrations in Sonoma County

From New Orleans classics like shrimp and grits to Swedish sweet rolls with almond paste and whipped cream, here's how to celebrate Mardi Gras in Sonoma County.

We may not live in the Big Easy, but even so, we can enjoy a bit of the colorful celebration of Mardi Gras in Sonoma County on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the form of live entertainment, rich feasts and traditional treats from local restaurants.

Check out these upcoming Mardi Gras events and meals around the county and transport yourself to the French Quarter.

Cajun and Creole cuisine

Several restaurants in Sonoma County offer traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine on Fat Tuesday and throughout the year.

The Parish Cafe in Healdsburg, a classic New Orleans restaurant, has teamed up with neighboring Elephant in The Room for a Mardi Gras celebration from 2 p.m. Feb. 13, with live music from Brian Boudoin and the Swampdawgs, Spike’s Awesome Hotcakes and The King Street Giants. There will be a crawfish boil in addition to regular menu favorites such as po’boys, muffuletta, gumbo, jambalaya and beignets (until 8 p.m.). Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children (2-12), available at Eventbrite. 60 Mill St., Healdsburg, 707-431-8474,

Beignets at Parish Cafe in Healdsburg. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)
Beignets at Parish Cafe in Healdsburg. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

Central Market in Petaluma serves an entire menu dedicated to southern Louisiana fare for one night each year prepared by chef/owner and New Orleans native Tony Najiola. Najiola has been hosting an annual Mardi Gras celebration for most of his 20 years in business. 42 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma, 707-778-9900,

Easy Rider in Petaluma serves up south-meets-west flavors. Go for the shrimp and grits with Andouille sausage or Southern Fried Chicken Dinner with collards, mac and bacon truffle gravy. 190 Kentucky St., Petaluma, 707-774-6233,

Sweet T’s Restaurant + Bar in Windsor serves catfish, shrimp and grits, Cajun shrimp gumbo and other southern comfort food. 9098 Brooks Road S., Windsor, 707-687-5185,

Rocker Oysterfeller’s in Valley Ford serves beignets, po-boys, shrimp boils and New Orleans BBQ shrimp and grits. 14415 Highway 1, Valley Ford, 707-876-1983,

Simmer Claw Bar in Rohnert Park serves Vietnamese-Cajun fusion, including flavorful seafood boils. 595 Rohnert Park Expressway, Rohnert Park, 707-806-2080,

Bag O’ Crab in Santa Rosa serves all the crawfish, crab, shrimp, clams and lobster you could possibly eat. Dial up the spice however you like it, adding Cajun or Louisiana flavor to your simmering bag of goodness. 1901 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-843-7267,

Saucy Mama’s Jook Joint in Guerneville serves crawfish and muffuletta sandwiches in a funky roadhouse setting. Excellent Southern-style classics and live music on the weekends. 16632 CA-116, Guerneville, 707-604-7184.

Bayou on the Bay (various locations) serves curry jambalaya, crawfish meat pies, muffuletta sandwiches, beignets and other Cajun treats made by Louisiana chef Bradley Wildridge. Find them at Sebastopol Farmers Market and at pop-ups at breweries around Sonoma County and the North Bay. Locations are announced on Facebook and Instagram.

The Cajun Connect (various locatons) serves po’ boys, gumbo, shrimp n grits, beignets and more from a roving food truck. It will be parked at Cooperage Brewery in Santa Rosa on Feb. 13 (981 Airway Court). Chef Cannon Gaudet was previously head chef at The Parish Cafe in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa. Pop-up locations are announced on Instagram.

Gumbo and muffuletta sandwich at Bayou on the Bay. Heather Irwin, Press
Gumbo and muffuletta sandwich from Bayou on the Bay. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)
Semla, a traditional Fat Tuesday bun in Sweden, is available at Stockhome restaurant in Petaluma throughout February. (Stockhome)
Semla, a traditional Fat Tuesday bun in Sweden, is available at Stockhome restaurant in Petaluma throughout February. (Stockhome)

Sweet treats

Stockhome in Petaluma serves semla, a Swedish cardamom-spiced bun filled with almond paste and topped with a lavish swirl of whipped cream that’s traditionally enjoyed on Fat Tuesday in Sweden. Stockhome is offering the sweet treat throughout February. Semla sells out fast, so order ahead for pickup at the restaurant. 220 Western Ave., Petaluma, 707-981-8511,

For King Cakes, orders can be placed from Castenada’s Marketplace in Windsor (call 707-838-8820 to place an order), Sarmentine French Bakery in Santa Rosa (traditional frangipane or a king brioche with orange blossom flower; call 707-623-9595 to place an order), and The Cajun Connect food truck (it will serve Mardi Gras treats and king cake slices at Cooperage Brewery in Santa Rosa on Feb. 13; call 707-583-6862 to place an order for a king cake, and find more locations on Instagram). Le Feu Follet Baking will be serving up king cakes at a Mardi Gras pop-up at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa (more locations on Instagram).

Start the celebrations early

Mardi Gras Party Under the Oaks: The Forestville Chamber of Commerce will host a Mardi Gras party under the oaks in Forestville Downtown Park on Saturday, Feb. 10. Forestville’s own Bourbon Street Brass Band will perform authentic New Orleans funk and jazz music. Local Cajun-inspired eateries Saucy Mama’s and Bayou on the Bay will be serving up comforting Creole cuisine and soul food. There will also be beer, wine and Hurricanes. Saturday, Feb. 10, 1-4 p.m., at 6990 Front St., Forestville.

Mardi Gras Kickoff Party: Rio Nido Roadhouse will host a masquerade party with Sonoma County rock, reggae, rhythm and blues and New Orleans-style funk band The Pulsators on Saturday, Feb. 10. There will be Louisiana gumbo, beignets, New Orleans cocktails and more available. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m.  Tickets are $10. 14540 Canyon 2 Road, Rio Nido. More information at 707-869-0821,

Sebtown Strutters: Mardi Gras celebration with a Dixieland jazz performance from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Sebastopol Community Market, 6762 Sebastopol Ave. Free. More information at

Feb. 13 events

Mardi Gras Mambofest: The Big Easy in Petaluma is hosting the 33rd annual Mardi Gras Mambofest with Rhythmtown-Jive. The raucous party begins out in the street, and features a merry hodgepodge of bands playing New Orleans-style jazz and R&B. The event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. Get your ticket at 128 American Alley, Petaluma, 707-776-7163,

Mardi Gras at Sally Tomatoes: Sally Tomatoes will host a Mardi Gras night with a buffet with Cajun-style dishes, such as dirty rice, big chicken mamou, cornbread and pecan sugar cookies. The event will be held 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Make reservations by calling 707-665-9472. 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park, ,

Did we miss a Mardi Gras event? Send us an email.

Sofia Englund, Heather Irwin, Dianne Reber Hart and Maci Martell contributed to this article.