The Best Bar Bites and Cocktail Pairings in Sonoma County

Summer socializing under shady umbrellas requires three things: fruity cocktails, friends and tasty nibbles.

Summer socializing under shady umbrellas requires three things: fruity cocktails, friends, and tasty nibbles. After painstakingly pub-crawling and happy-hour stalking, we’ve assembled this idiosyncratic — and possibly cocktail-goggled — list of bar bites and cocktail pairings in the county.

Best salaryman experience: Okonomiyaki + Kyoto Sour

Fern Bar

Japanese okonomiyaki is the ultimate last-call bar snack. The lovechild of an omelet and a pancake, this ugly-duckling dish redeems itself with crispy, gooey savoriness and drizzles of sweet Kewpie mayo. Wash it down with Fern Bar’s green tea-infused gin cocktail. Oishii!

6780 Depot St., Suite 120, Sebastopol.

Cocktail and ok
Okonomiyaki and Kyoto Sour at Fern Bar in Sebastopol. (Fern Bar)
Top secret rendezvous: Trompo Street Tacos + The She Devil

Geyerville Gun Club

The rare combination of a chef-driven menu and top-notch bar program means you can’t go wrong at this far-flung outpost. Sidle up to a barstool and grab one of their daily street tacos (or Reuben fries, or Korean tacos, they’re all good), then dive into a sneaky minx of a margarita with smoky mezcal, citrus, and a sprinkling of ghost pepper.

21025 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville.

Top ’90s nostalgia: Banh Mi Sandwich + Raspberry Lemon Drop


Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches tick off all the boxes for bar-snack perfection, filled with barbecued pork, pickled veggies, and pâté stuffed into a French roll. Though we swore off lemon drops in 1998, it was impossible to resist a sticky-sweet cocktail (sugar rim and all) made with low-proof Soboloff vodka.

1202 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa.

A night owl perch in a sleepy town: Spicy Pimento Cheese + Li Hing Margarita

Starling Bar

After most of Sonoma has gone to bed, head to this cool-kids neighborhood bar. There’s something oddly satisfying about the East meets Midwest combo of a sweet-sour margarita dusted with li hing (made with dried, salted plums) and the pimento cheese with tortilla chips.

19380 Hwy. 12, Sonoma.

Smash burger and Bedstuy Old Fashioned at Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. (Courtesy)
Smashburger and Bedstuy Old Fashioned at Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. (Willi’s Wine Bar)
A virtual trip to Brooklyn: Smashburger + The Bedstuy

Willi’s Wine Bar

Wrapped in grease-spotted brown paper, Willi’s tiny-but-mighty burger is topped by a bagel-inspired “everything” bun and stuffed with special sauce, lettuce, onion, and cheese. Kick back a barrel-aged whiskey Old Fashioned, and you’re on the A train to Prospect Park.

1415 Town and Country Dr., Santa Rosa.

Best all-around: Crab Rangoon Dip + World’s Best Vodka Soda

Lo & Behold Bar + Kitchen

A deconstructed version of the Chinese restaurant favorite, this crabby dip comes with fried wontons for dipping. The entire menu is a bar-snackers dream, with upscale versions of chicken tenders, poutine, tacos, and noodles.Keep it simple with their signature vodka, tonic, and unicorn tears-infused soda.

214 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.