You cannot leave a wine town in its prime for very long and expect it to remain as you remembered. Well, you can. But don’t be surprised at all the changes. Growth spurts abound during emerging growth years and just like a niece or nephew could look like a completely different person in a year, so could an unestablished wine town.
I lived here for 6 weeks exactly 12 months ago and returned to see many more establishments than expected in such a short period of time. Don’t think I’m back where I started because I ran out of new wine towns to cover. It is high season and I had to negotiate places to stay in the coming months. Healdsburg was just a favorite to call home for a spell.
I’ve only been back in Healdsburg for about 5 hours and already found some new favorite places to eat serving cuisine from far away:
- The Parish Cafe – finally New Orleans grub right in downtown Healdsburg has arrived. They specialize in beignets and po-boys, which I haven’t tried yet. But the jambalaya, fried okra, and hush puppies sure hit the spot. They also do breakfast options with a twist until 11:30 AM.
- Chalkboard – the name pretty much says it all; menu options changing so frequently inspired by local fresh ingredients they are more fitting for a chalkboard rather than a printed menu. Casual and contemporary dishes line the chalkboard with a bounty of options covering salads, pastas, seafood, and meats.
- Shed – is so many things in one space you really just have to experience it. A coffee bar to start your day, café with delicious lunch options in an inviting picnic setting, a fermentation bar with local wine and beer on tap for magic hour, a shop that puts Sur La Table to shame, and workshops that aim to “revive the tradition and conviviality of the old grange halls” with the spirit of community.
- Bravas – my favorite for its outside patio dining, creative cuisine and cocktails, and Giants game telecast. My words cannot help you enjoy this food but maybe your eyes can.