Drive toward Sonoma’s coastline to the fishing village of Bodega Bay to dine at Terrapin Creek Café, a humble-looking, 35-seat neighborhood restaurant that earned its first Michelin star last fall. Husband-and-wife owners Andrew Truong and Liya Lin, who previously did stints at San Francisco's Michael Mina and Ame, do incredibly refined takes on familiar dishes, like Dungeness crab cake with a celery root purée ($16) or a lamb sugo served over pappardelle with squash and kale ($23).
Cleanse your palate at Spoonbar with the New East Side, a refreshing mix of gin, lime juice, mint, yuzu, and cucumber-elderflower foam ($10.50). Named after its hypnotic screen-sculpture of 2,000 espresso spoons that fill with water and then spill, the restaurant is known for its unique ingredient pairings (think eggplant soup with English peas and arugala), though locals tend to stick with the off-menu burger ($15) topped with sweet onion marmalade and fresh horseradish.
Dig into modern Mexican fare at Yucatán-born chef Mateo Granados’s eponymous spot, Mateo’s Cocina Latina, a casual cantina with exposed brick walls and salvaged wood tables that opened in November 2011 in Healdsburg. Order the jicama and citrus salad, dressed with nothing more than lime juice and aji amarillo chile ($12) and follow it up with suckling-pig-stuffed tamales ($12), which come topped with tomato-habanero sauce and cinnamon-cured red onions.