Being that Petaluma is just next door to California wine country, you would be remiss to seek out the local cuisine and overlook the accompanying beverage.
Two local wineries that will introduce you to the best of the Golden State are Sonoma Valley Portworks on Second Street and Keller Estate Winery on Lakeville Highway. The first is known for its port wine and the company’s tasting room is in the old Foundry Wharf building, just south of downtown Petaluma. The second is a coastal vineyard that specializes in handcrafted pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris and syrah.
To take in the local wine in a communal atmosphere, plan your trip around the Petaluma Wine, Jazz and Blues Festival in August, part of Petaluma’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. More than 80 wineries will be pouring tastes, to a background of live blues and jazz.
If all that wine makes you sleepy, grab a cup of joe at Petaluma Coffee and Tea Company. The shop, open for 19 years, sells high-quality Arabic coffee beans, tea and related accessories.
Another staple of the Petaluma palate is the local farmers’ market, held Saturdays in late May through October from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Walnut Park. One local producer is Moses Wolfe, who is well known in the area for being designated the first free-range, organic egg producer in the state. Wolfe is popular at San Francisco restaurants and farmers’ markets.
Popular restaurants in Petaluma include the Petaluma Market, a favorite spot for hot lunches, fresh sushi and upscale deli meats; Bella Luma, an Italian joint known for its focaccia bread, paninis and gelato; and Le Bistro Café, a French-Mediterranean restaurant.