Things to Do in Healdsburg
Some insider tips from North Bay Bohemian columnist Heather Irwin.
- Make a quick stop to the Flakey Cream Do-Nut shop (441 Center St., Healdsburg, Tel. 707.433.3895) for an oddly delicious pre-winetasting nosh.
- Not many people know this, but if we can keep this between us, I'll tell you: Sake'O (505 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, Tel. 707.433.2669) has the best sushi chef in the North Bay. Exaggeration? Not likely. Witness the magic. One bite of tuna belly and you're hooked, quite possibly, for life.
- El Farolito (128 Plaza St., Healdsburg, Tel. 707.433.2807) kicks out the area's best fish tacos. Served up mucho fresco in this local hole in the wall, the tacos are piled with cabbage, ranchero sauce, tomatoes and grilled whitefish. Plus it's a killer deal at $3.50 for a small order and $6.50 for large.
- Healdsburg can sometimes feel a bit snooty, especially when you're reeling from a tasting-room bum rush. Keep it real with the locals at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill (245 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, Tel. 707.433.3333). They feature the best salad ever: rock shrimp ($10.50), with avocado, mango and crunchy rock shrimp on romaine.
- En route from Healdsburg, you'll inevitably zoom past the old red pickup truck that marks the Jimtown Store (6706 State Hwy. 128, Healdsburg, Tel. 707.433.1212). Back up and turn around--the time warp experience of this retro country store is worth a quick stop. The sandwich boards feature the usual turkey and ham, but skip the white bread and try a prosciutto, blue-cheese and fig-olive spread sandwich on a baguette ($7) or a steaming bowl of chili ($4.50). There's plenty to entertain you while you wait: old-fashioned candy, antiques and a stellar collection of quirky toys. We especially love the Rat Race--a tiny box with little plastic rats running in circles. Make sure to eat outside, under the vines.
- Stop off for a quick sandwich at the Dry Creek General Store (3495 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, Tel. 707.433.4171). Sunday is prosciutto di parma day, featuring a hearty roll, stuffed with salty ham, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and tomatoes ($7.50).--Heather Irwin
Healdsburg Jazz Festival
Jazz emanates among the sun-dappled grapevines at this eagerly anticipated indoor/outdoor jazz institution. Featured musicians include the James Newton Quartet, the Abbey Lincoln Quartet, Joe Lovano and friends, and the Healdsburg High School Jazz Band. In June at various downtown Healdsburg locations. Tickets are available online at www.healdsburgjazzfestival.com or by calling 707.433.4633. --Sara Bir
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