Guy Fieri's Favorite Sonoma Restaurants

Bacon-in-the-Burger with malt vinegar chicaronnes (Chris Hardy)

by Maci Martell

Guy Fieri may be a household name around the country, but he’ll always be Santa Rosa’s native son. Home to his first restaurants and the beneficiaries of his philanthropy, Fieri still lives and works in Sonoma County and loves giving extra props to his fellow restaurateurs.

That’s why we’re calling out all of the local restaurants he’s featured on his hit Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” For most, national recognition means a huge bump in business and notoriety even long after the show airs (here’s one local example). You’ll know you’ve arrived at one of them by Fieri’s flashy signature somewhere in the restaurant — a little Easter egg worth finding.

How many of these restaurants have you been to?

Hank’s Creekside Restaurant

2800 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA
95405

Guy Fieri shares blueberry pancakes with Hank Vance, the owner of Hank's Creekside Restaurant, on May 2 during taping of his new show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.''
Guy Fieri shares blueberry pancakes with Hank Vance, the owner of Hank's Creekside Restaurant, on May 2 during taping of his new show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.'' (John Burgess)

The traditional breakfast and brunch spot Hank’s Creekside Restaurant in Santa Rosa was featured in the “House Specials” episode. Fieri tried the blueberry pancakes with corn beef hash: “It’s basic, it’s simple, but it’s money,” he said.

Willie Bird’s Restaurant

1150 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA
95404

Willie Benedetti opened Willie Bird's Restaurant in Santa Rosa in 1980, but the old-fashioned interior remains from the days the building housed a hofbrau house.
Willie Benedetti opened Willie Bird's Restaurant in Santa Rosa in 1980, but the old-fashioned interior remains from the days the building housed a hofbrau house. (John Burgess)

Known for serving up turkey in a wide variety of ways, Willie Bird’s in Santa Rosa was featured on Fieri’s “Talkin’ Turkey” episode. He tried the turkey stroganoff served in a creamy sauce with sautéed mushrooms. “I’m impressed,” Fieri said. “You're going to see me back just for this one.”

La Texanita Restaurant

1667 Sebastopol Rd
Santa Rosa, CA
95407

Lengua (tongue) and cabeza (head) tacos at La Texanita in Santa Rosa on 4/16.
Lengua (tongue) and cabeza (head) tacos at La Texanita in Santa Rosa on 4/16. (Heather Irwin)

Craving an authentic taste for his “Global Grub” episode, Fieri went to La Texanita Restaurant in Santa Rosa. “So simple, but so good,” he said of the carne asada tacos. “I'm telling you something, there's just nothing that can beat that handmade tortilla.”

Taqueria Molcajetes

1195 W College Ave
Santa Rosa, CA
95401

Guadalupe Dominguez, left, and her daughter Myra Mendoza split a super burrito for dinner at Taqueria Molcajetes, in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (Alvin Jornada)

Fieri highlighted numerous dishes at Santa Rosa’s Taqueria Molcajetes for his “Regional Recipes” episode, including their taquitos, burritos and chile verde. He called this Mexican restaurant off W. College Avenue a “gem.”

Zoftig Eatery

57 Montgomery Dr
Santa Rosa, CA
95404

Fancy Fast Food  Zoftig  Korean Burrito Marin sun Farms ground beef marinated with soy, brown sugar, garlic and ginger, Korean BBq sauce, avocado, mint cilantro, pickled daikon and carrot, organic brown rice, kimchi
Fancy Fast Food Zoftig Korean Burrito Marin sun Farms ground beef marinated with soy, brown sugar, garlic and ginger, Korean BBq sauce, avocado, mint cilantro, pickled daikon and carrot, organic brown rice, kimchi (Chris Hardy)

Featured on the “From Big Burgers to Little Italy” episode, Zoftig Eatery is a contemporary restaurant serving up healthy fare. Fieri tried the Korean burrito, packed with marinated Marin Sun Farms beef, kimchi, brown rice and veggies. “I’m going to drown in my own drool,” he said before chomping down on the burrito.

Simply Vietnam Express

3381 Cleveland Ave
Santa Rosa, CA
95403

Bo Kho, Spicy Vietnamese Beef Stew, by chef Be Nguyen of Simply Vietnam.
Bo Kho, Spicy Vietnamese Beef Stew, by chef Be Nguyen of Simply Vietnam. (John Burgess)

Serving up the unique flavors of Vietnam, Santa Rosa’s Simply Vietnam Express was featured in the “Meaty Mashup” episode where Fieri praised its combination pho. “Oh my goodness,” he said. “It’s light, refreshing, but the depth of flavors is outstanding. It’s everything I wanted it to be."

Jimtown Store

6706 CA-128
Healdsburg, CA
95448

Cherry soffrito pork belly with chicory and crispy shallots by chef Anthony Gallegos at Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, California on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
Cherry soffrito pork belly with chicory and crispy shallots by chef Anthony Gallegos at Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, California on Thursday, February 23, 2017. (Alvin Jornada)

In the “Porktastic” episode of “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives,” Fieri featured Healdsburg’s Jimtown Store, a quaint café in a rustic country store tucked away in the vineyards of Alexander Valley. “Big, deep flavor in the brisket,” Fieri said of the smoked brisket sandwich he tried there. “Sauce is no joke, you get that little back kick of the bourbon.”

Zazu Kitchen + Farm

6770 McKinley St #150
Sebastopol, CA
95472

Bacon-in-the-Burger with malt vinegar chicaronnes
Bacon-in-the-Burger with malt vinegar chicaronnes (Chris Hardy)

A farm-to-table establishment offering seasonal dishes, Zazu Kitchen + Farm was featured on the “From Sandwiches to Stroganoff” episode. According to the Food Network website, Fieri loved their Bacon-in-the-Batter Waffle along with the restaurant’s quality, freshness and portion sizes.

Schellville Grill

22900 Broadway
Sonoma, CA
95476

Schellville Grill on Broadway at Highway 121.
Schellville Grill on Broadway at Highway 121. (Robbi Pengelly)

Sonoma’s Schellville Grill serves a fusion of wine country fare and Austin-style barbecue, which is why it was featured on the “Grilled, Smoked and Sauced” episode. Fieri tried their buckaroo sandwich with Mexican Achoté chicken on a brioche roll and their tri-tip sandwich smothered in a special barbecue sauce. “The right amount of smoke,” he said of the flavor. “You have a really good ability to blend things really well, without having anything take over another.”

Sunflower Caffe

421 1st St W
Sonoma, CA
95476

Archie Raines, left,  and Celeste Raines, both of Nashville, check out the menu at Sunflower Caffe in Sonoma, July 21, 2012.
Archie Raines, left, and Celeste Raines, both of Nashville, check out the menu at Sunflower Caffe in Sonoma, July 21, 2012. The two had eaten at the restaurant three times in two days. (Crista Jeremiason)

Cochon Volant BBQ Smokehouse

18350 Sonoma Hwy
Sonoma, CA
95476

Cochon Volant BBQ Smoke House in Sonoma.
Cochon Volant BBQ Smoke House in Sonoma. (John Burgess)

Another Sonoma County restaurant to be featured on the “Meaty Mashup” episode, Cochon Volant BBQ Smokehouse is proud of their slow-smoked barbecue meats – and Fieri’s endorsement. They even created a dish in his name: the WTF (What the Fieri) Burger, topped with barbecued pork shoulder and beef brisket. "Wow that's good,” Fieri said of their fried chicken. “I can't put it in my mouth fast enough. This is not your grandma's fried chicken, this is a chef's fried chicken."

Cafe Citti

9049 Sonoma Hwy
Kenwood, CA
95452

A fire burns in the dining room of Cafe Citti in Kenwood, on Monday, December 21, 2015.
A fire burns in the dining room of Cafe Citti in Kenwood, on Monday, December 21, 2015. (Beth Schlanker)

"When traveling through one of the best wine areas in California, you'll find this awesome diner that is the perfect rest or pit stop for your journey." Guy dove into pizza with prosciutto and mascarpone, Ravioli a la Citti and fried polenta with porcini mushrooms.

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This article originally appeared on Sonoma Magazine.