Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

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Sonoma County, California is primarily an agricultural area - food is treated with the reverence and respect it deserves. From olive groves to dairy farms, vineyards to the bounty of the sea, Sonoma County is a place to savor.

The gorgeous landscape of Sonoma County, California. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

A foodie tour is a must if you’re traveling to Sonoma County’s Healdsburg, one of the hottest destinations in the US for oenophiles and gourmands. A food tour is the perfect way to get to know the town, the culture, and the history - especially if it’s your first time there, as it was for me. 

So, how did I end up in Healdsburg? Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, a friend introduced me via text to Tammy Gass. 

Tammy Gass of Savor Healdsburg Food Tours. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

As an eight-year resident, Tammy has seen Healdsburg go from a sleepy little town at the convergence of three wine appellations to one of the top wine and food destinations in the country. Through Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, she shares her knowledge of not only Healdsburg, but the bounty of Sonoma, with her guests.

Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

I took the Gourmet Healdsburg Tour. It’s a 3.5 hour tour that includes six stops: a market where you can buy prepared foods to go or pick up your daily cup of joe, an upscale Portuguese restaurant where tradition and passion blend in a very tasty way, a tasting room, a Spanish tapas restaurant, a Japanese style tea room, and a final stop for dessert. 

Come along with me on this delicious food tour that will have your mouth watering before you scroll to the end.

First stop: The Shed

The Shed is a market and café whose motto is: “good cooking, good farming, and good eating.” You can find local produce (most grown within 10 miles), fresh flowers, prepared foods, gift items, and in-house dining. 

Fresh local honey at Healdsburg Shed. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

Fresh flowers at The Shed. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

We dined alfresco and sampled a mezze plate: beet tzatiki, lentil hummus, quinoa, and house cured olives served with handmade crackers; a fennel, asparagus, and potato salad garnished with edible flowers; and a tangerine shrub. Shrubs are drinks made with seasonal overripe fruit, sugar, and vinegar. As you can see from the photos, everything we ate was appealing to the eye as well as the palate.

Mezze plate at The Shed. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

Do spend some time inside The Shed. Housed in a prefab building, once an appliance store, the Shed won a James Beard design award. I would have stayed there all morning taking photographs, the light was so pretty. The Shed is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
25 North Street

Second stop: Café Lucia, a family-owned and operated Portuguese restaurant with a pretty courtyard just across from the Healdsburg plaza.

Here’s what the Michelin guide says about Cafe Lucia:

“Tucked just outside of Healdsburg’s main plaza, Café Lucia maintains an emphasis on authentic Portuguese ingredients, like seafood, stewed meats, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. A serene, plant-lined, interior courtyard leads to an airy dining room with a dark red horseshoe bar and prints of the owners’ hometown, São Jorge, in the Azores. Settle into one of the espresso leather banquettes and be rewarded with cumin- and cinnamon-tinged dinner rolls, just like the chef’s mother used to make—perfect for savoring over generous flights of Portuguese or Sonoma wine.”

Cafe Lucia. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

The owners are a brother and sister team, children of immigrant parents who moved to Sonoma to farm. Café Lucia is a result of this sibling team fulfilling their parents’ dream of a wonderful life in America.

chourico-crusted day boat scallops, pan seared and served over a confit of Japanese sweet potato and leeks. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

We savored the chourico-crusted day boat scallops, pan seared and served over a confit of Japanese sweet potato and leeks. Heavenly. We also tried a puree of red and golden beets with a hint of creme freshe and mint – it was colorful and refreshing. Our tasting was paired with vinho verde, a typical light and crisp white Portuguese wine. 
235 Healdsburg Ave.

Third stop: Gustafson Vineyards tasting room.

Gustafson produces wines made from Rhone and Bordeaux varietals. All of the wines are produced from estate-grown grapes from the vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. The 2013 Reisling and Syrah Rosé, as well as the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, have all won San Francisco Chronicle awards. Tastings are $10.00 and if you purchase a bottle of wine, the cost is included. Yes, the tasting is free if you purchase a bottle or more of wine!

Gustafson Family Vineyards Tasting Room. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

Gustafson Tasting room is open daily in downtown Healdsburg. 
Tasting Room & Wine Bar 
34 North St. (across from The Shed)

Fourth stop: Bravas Tapas, recently named a Top 100 Bay Area Restaurant for the third year in a row. 

Bravas Tapas. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

At Bravas, we sampled the goat cheese tostada - a crostini topped with goat cheese fluff, golden onions, Pedro Jimenez reduction, white truffle honey, and micro greens. I know it sounds like it would be impossible to put all of that on a crostini but look, it’s perfect…and savory. 

Goat cheese tostada at Bravas Tapas. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

We also tried the ham and chicken croquettes and a traditional Spanish tapas, patatas bravas, as well as both a red and a white sangria. For a tasting menu, this was a lot of food and we all agreed we couldn’t eat another bite.

Red sangria at Bravas Tapas. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

Bravas has both indoor and outdoor seating with a lovely patio in the back so you’re completely off the street. This place was packed on a Saturday afternoon, so plan ahead.
420 Center St. 

Our fifth stop was The Taste of Tea, something unexpected and very welcome after all the food and wine. At The Taste of Tea, our tea docent took us through the ritual of refreshing ourselves with a fresh bamboo napkin soaked in Japanese green tea. She then served us three different types of tea:  green, black, and oolong, explaining the health benefits of each.

Taste of Tea. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

A taste of tea. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

I ended up buying two different teas and some of the bamboo napkins to take home. 
109 North Street

Our last stop was, of course, a dessert at Moustache Bakery for a delicious cupcake treat, which we took with us. I got an espresso cupcake and ate it the next morning for breakfast. Moustache is owned by the same people who own another local favorite, Noble Folk ice cream, and has been featured on The Food Network.

Cupcakes at Moustache Bakery. From Eating My Way Through A Savor Healdsburg Food Tour

Your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied.
381 Healdsburg Ave.
 

Eat, Drink, repeat, enjoy!

For more information, visit www.savorhealdsburg.com 

 

 

Penny Sadler is the Style/Travel Editor for Wandering Educators. For more information on traveling in style, please see www.pennysadler.com and http://adventuresofacarryon.com/

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Penny Sadler

 

 

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