With summer in full swing, outdoor dining in Petaluma is a treat for cooped-up couples, families and solo diners looking for a little respite. We’ve put together some of our favorite restaurants, either for the great food, the welcoming patios or both. Bon appetit, Petaluma!
April Pantry: Super-tasty new spot with a semi-secluded patio for your Billionaire’s BLT or Aloha Plate. 1000 Clegg St., Petaluma, aprilpantry.com.
Ayawaska: One of the prettiest patios in Petaluma is nestled next to the river. Pair up a tart Pisco sour with some Peruvian-style ceviche and you’re set. 101 2nd St #190, Petaluma, ayawaskasf.com.
The Block: Food truck park with well-spaced outdoor seating. On Sundays, check out Kona Ice, which has recently started serving Sonoma County with tasty Hawaiian shave ice! 20 Grey St., Petaluma, theblockpetaluma.com.
Brewsters Beer Garden: There’s no question that the sprawling outdoor patio at this barbecue and burger beer garden is top of list for families and those needing some cocktail/beer refreshment (and really, who doesn’t these days?). Reservations strongly suggested. 229 Water St. North, Petaluma, brewstersbeergarden.com.
Butcher Crown Roadhouse: One of our top picks, this modern barbecue spot is killing it with its smoked ribs and piri piri chicken for curbside pickup, plus burgers and my fave papas fritas and Mexican corn. There are a limited number of patio seats outside should you want the kitchen to plate to your mouth experience. 1905 Bodega Ave., Petaluma, butchercrown.com.
Della Fattoria: Way more than just bread and delightfully decadent desserts. Limited sidewalk seating plus a new mercantile to pick up cheeses, charcuterie and other goodies. 143 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, dellafattoria.com.
Dempsey’s Restaurant & Brewery: Located along the Petaluma River, Dempsey’s holds the title of oldest craft brewery in Sonoma County, offering a rotating selection of beer on 14 taps. Their outdoor garden patio is also dog-friendly. 50 E Washington St, Petaluma, 707- 765-9694, dempseys.com.
Lagunitas: A Petaluma institution, Lagunitas Brewery has outdoor seating open for craft beers and dining. Reservations not required — check in with the host when you arrive. 1280 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma, 707-769-4495, lagunitas.com/taproom/petaluma
McNear’s: With over 40 dishes and a full-service bar, McNear’s has been a Petaluma favorite for over 30 years and is located in the heart of historic downtown. Their outdoor patio, which is open for dining, features local musicians on Sunday nights. 23 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952, 707-765-2121, mcnears.com.
Pearl: Our favorite brunchy-lunchy, Middle East-inspired spot in Petaluma has adorable red patio furniture out front and has expanded to take over some of their neighbor’s space for outside diners. Don’t miss the bocadillo, Israeli picnic or Jerusalem bagel plate. Take-away meal kits available for later. 500 First St., Petaluma, pearlpetaluma.com.
Pub Republic: This popular, family-friendly spot has a broad menu for just about everyone and recently reopened for patio dining. 3120A Lakeville Hwy,. Petaluma, pubrepublic.com.
Risibisi: Critically-acclaimed Italian favorites include plenty of fresh pasta, along with steak, chicken and salmon. Don’t miss the risotto! 154 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, risibisirestaurant.com.
Sax’s Joint: This ‘50s style diner features a garden patio and outdoor seating. Sax’s offers patrons a variety of classic Americana-inspired dishes, including ‘The Elvis’ — your choice of pancakes, french toast, or waffles, topped with peanut butter and bananas. 317 Petaluma Blvd S, Petaluma, 707-559-3021, saxsjoint.com.
Water Street Bistro: Water Street Bistro puts a Parisian spin on casual cafe dining. Limited patio seating available. 100 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, 707- 763-9563, restaurantji.com/ca/petaluma/water-street-bistro-
Wild Goat Bistro: Located at the Great Petaluma Mill, Wild Goat Bistro offers a rotating menu of seasonal small dishes, sandwiches, and salads. Limited outdoor seating available. 6 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, 707- 658-1156, wildgoatbistro.com