Farm-to-table restaurants, ciders from our heritage Gravenstein apples, organic farms, and small family run vineyards are just some of the culinary pleasures Sebastopol has to offer.
Check out the year long Sebastopol Farmers’ Market, every Sunday 10:00 – 1:30 in the downtown Plaza. Artisan cheeses, locally baked breads, herbs, sprouts, handspun wool, teas, produce and flowers all make a bountiful appearance each week. Children play in the fountain. Musicians play in the Gazebo. Enjoy dancing to the music, or take your turn with a hula hoop! Visiting from out of town? You can buy lunch at the Farmers’ Market. There are a wide range of options including organic breakfast and lunch fare, homemade tamales, sushi burritos, Indian curries and from-scratch paella.
Western Sonoma County is home to many small family farms. Check out Sonoma County Farm Trails to find maps to farms you can visit, U-Pick farms, events at local farms, and farms that offer overnight lodging.
The Gravenstein Apple
Indeed, our agricultural heritage runs deep in Sebastopol. Our heirloom apple, the Gravenstein, is known for its crisp, slightly sweet, slightly tart flavor. In the early 1900’s there were over 11,000 acres of Gravenstein orchards. The Gravenstein is our town emblem. (Notice the apple sculptures around town!) We celebrate the springtime with the Apple Blossom Festival: a delightful home-town parade down Main Street on Saturday morning and live music, dancing, food and crafts over the rest of the weekend. And then at harvest time in mid-August, no one wants to miss the Gravenstein Apple Fair, dubbed the “sweetest Little Fair in Sonoma County.” Bring the kids to the oak studded fields of Ragle Ranch park to see the draft horses, watch the little two-stroke antique engines at work, or enter the pie-eating contest. Dance to live music, sing along with the Love Choir, and enjoy local food, arts and crafts. Something for everyone at this delightful village hoe-down.
Wine, Beer and Spirits
Sebastopol is also part of the Wine Country. For those in search of food & spirits, there are wine-tasting rooms in the historic downtown, and at the Barlow, our make-sell center where you can meet the people who make the wine, beer and spirits, often right there on the premises. You can also visit some of the many award-winning small family vineyards that dot the hillsides and valleys around Sebastopol. Check out the Russian River Valley Winegrowers interactive map to locate vineyards by wine variety, those with tours or picnic facilities, those that are organic and those that are kid- and pet-friendly.
Sebastopol lies at the foot of the fertile Gold Ridge, where famed botanist, Luther Burbank established his Experiment Farm because, as he said, “I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot of all this earth as far as Nature is concerned.”
With so much agricultural abundance, Sebastopol is full of farm-to-table restaurants. Area chefs pride themselves on their use of local ingredients, ranging from cheesecakes crafted with locally made chevre, to seasonal entrees cooked with produce picked just that morning. And if you have special dietary needs (e.g., vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free), many of our restaurants highlight those options specially on the menu.
And in Sebastopol, we know that good food is good medicine. One of our premier non-profits is the Ceres Project where local teens are taught organic gardening and commercial culinary skills as they prepare foods that are delivered free to area residents coping with a serious illness. The mission of the Ceres Project is to energize communities by linking what we eat and how we care for each other with the health of people and the planet. What’s not to love?!?!