•MARE ISLAND BREWING CO -This is within walking distance and right on the waterfront. For that reason alone, we love it. They serve food (get the sweet potato fries!) but the reason to go is for the fresh beer and nice view. 289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo

•NAPOLI PIZZA -This place wins award after award. It’s dive-y with 20-year-old Formica tables, but the food is absolutely worth the wait. Try to go on a weekday or early on a weekend if you hate waiting. 124 Tennessee, Vallejo

•THE BUTTER CUP –This is our favorite breakfast place in town. It is generally a great American grill. Imagine a nice styled Denny’s restaurant but where everything is fresh and high quality. 3288 Sonoma BLVD, Vallejo.

•VAISHNU EXPRESS CAFÉ –This place is an excellent dive. Friends from India told us that this is a 100% Indian street food experience. If you are looking for fast, authentic, inexpensive, mostly vegan Indian food, this is the spot. 4380 Sonoma BLVD, Vallejo.

•MOSCHETTI CAFÉ – Wonderful French vibe café owned by a local roasting company of the same name. Excellent coffee, great pastries (get the lemon cake or macaroons!) and breakfast sandwiches/items. 925 Marin St, Vallejo

•MATSURI RESTAURANT-This is a good local sushi spot. It is casual dining and good food.

The vegetable gyoza are stellar! 480 Redwood St, Vallejo

•GOOD DAY CAFE- Downtown staple on historic Georgia St. A newly built outdoor seating area and solid breakfast and diner-y food makes for a pleasant meal time. 314 Georgia St, Vallejo

•MICHAEL WARRING- Intimate, fine dining with super limited seating and a set coursed menu that changes daily. Reservation only. 8300 Bennington Dr. Vallejo

•SAVAGE AND COOKE- By appointment only, this distillery does weekend Whiskey tastings and tours. It’s located in a beautiful yet totally funky 1800’s building. They also have a restaurant open Th-Sun serving fried chicken & southern sides as well as tasty cocktails. 1097 Nimitz Ave, Vallejo.

•NAPA SMITH BREWERY-This is a casual hang out with a very large selection. They do a flight where you can taste just about everything for one price. This place is fun with cool games to play and is popular with locals. There’s usually a food truck parked too! 101 Yolano Dr, Vallejo

•VINO GODFATHER WINERY- Located in a beautiful Colonial Revival Manion on the old Navy base. It’s not a Napa or Sonoma tasting, but if you are looking for a fun venue with easy going folks, mostly local, this is the spot. Vino Godfather hosts a great party with live music most weekends. Check the website for details. 500 Walnut Ave, Vallejo

•HOPULENT - A charming craft beer focused eatery located in an old Victorian house with a great garden patio! They focus primarily on featuring small local brewers. If you love mac and cheese, this place has over 7 different varieties. Only open Th-Sun. 138 Tennessee Street, Vallejo

•ANCHOR PANTRY- Gourmet grocery store run by a local former chef. Great selection of items to pick up (including cheeses and Acme bread) for a picnic on your way to wine country! Also great for souvenir gifts or take home nosheries. 617 Marin St, Vallejo

•ALIBI BOOKSHOP – THE small town bookstore! Great selection, cool kids corner, sweet eclectic owner. They often hold book readings or other author events. 624 Marin Street, Vallejo

•ONE HOUSE BAKERY- We can’t say enough good things about this place. It is an excellent bakery/ café that serves a great Breakfast & lunch. The food is French style. If you love butter, you will love this place… Try the pot pie! 918 1st St, Benicia.

•LUCCA BAR & GRILL- Stylish and fun venue with a newly built beer garden serving yummy food (duck sliders!) with something for everyone. Live music on the weekends but make reservations to make sure you get seating then :-) 439 1st St, Benicia

•LE PARIS CAFÉ – Out of this world gourmet pastries!!! It’s hard not to get one of everything. Located on the way to Napa, this is a stop you need to make. They also serve great breakfast sandwiches to fuel you for a day of wine tasting. 3921 Broadway, American Canyon

•BOON FLY CAFÉ – Best place to brunch on your way to wine tasting in Napa! Cool California dining and vibe in this farmhouse style building with porch swings to sit and chat while you wait. And if you go on a weekend, you WILL wait. They are popular but don’t take reservations. The apple cider donuts and corned beef hash are worth it though! 408 Sonoma Hwy, Napa

•LAGUNITAS BREWING CO - Full disclosure this is a 45 minute drive in Petaluma CA. However, if you’re serious about beer you are going to love this place. They have several live music areas and indoor and outdoor dining. The food is affordable, and the beers are great. It is a nice spot to hang out for lunch. Try “a little sumpin sumpin”.


Gloria Ferrer – Taste great sparkling wine and pinot noir overlooking a beautiful vineyard. They offer flights or single glass options. 23555 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA

Housley Napa Valley – Fun non pretentious wine bar/tasting room. I’m a big fan of their red blends and their petite sirah. 1038 Clinton St, Napa, CA

Auburn James – Classy tasting room and consistently solid wines. If you love Cab Franc like I do or want to try something new and delicious, go here. 1038 Clinton St, Napa, CA

St. Supery – My favorite place for classic Napa Valley sauvignon blanc. The tasting room is stunning and the wines are reasonably priced. 8440 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA

Balletto – Estate grown and bottled wonderful selection of both red and white wines. The zinfandel and the gewurztraminer are favorites. 5700 Occidental Rd, Santa Rosa, CA

Twomey – Great pinot noirs and sauvignon blancs. 3000 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA

Mumm – The best place to taste sparkling wines. Stunning tasting rooms/patios. 8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA