Sometimes after a long day of work and school, there's no energy left to slave away on a home-cooked meal. For those days when you want to treat the family, check out one of these North Bay hot spots for some delicious family dining. With everything from diner food to Italian, the entire family can find something tasty to nosh on.
Good Day Cafe
314 Georgia St.
Vallejo, CA 94590
The mom-and-pop-owned Good Day Café has been a local favorite for years. After the restaurant burned down in a 2007 fire, owner Cindy Balanesi threw a benefit dinner where locals raised over $15,000 to help her re-open. This family friendly spot, located in downtown Vallejo, aids parents in nourishing their picky offspring. In addition to offering a kids' menu, any child who finishes their entire meal is entitled to choose a prize from a special toy bin. For Saturday patrons, make sure to check out the Vallejo farmers' market located just outside the door of Good Day Café.
Worth Our Weight
1021 Hahman Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Worth Our Weight is a culinary apprentice program specifically catered toward disadvantaged youth. It offers 16-24 year olds the opportunity to learn valuable culinary and food-service skills, completely free of tuition. On weekends, the café is run by cooks and waitstaff from the program. If supporting a program like this isn't enough of an incentive, Worth Our Weight has an open-payment policy. There are no prices on the menu and patrons are asked to make a donation with regard to what they think is fair market value for their meals.
Related: Bay Area's Best Kid-Friendly Cafes
LoCoco's Cucina Rustica
117 4th St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
If you're looking for something a little more upscale for date night but can't secure a sitter, check out LoCoco's in Santa Rosa. LoCoco's offers large portions of down-home Italian food as well as a solid wine list. For a shorter wait time, make sure to call ahead to make reservations. The atmosphere at LoCoco's is loud and intimate. Space is tight and while there is plenty of room for infants and children, leave the stroller at home.
Small Shed Flatbreads
17 Madrona St.
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Head on over to Small Shed Flatbreads in the early evening for lively family dining after a day of exploring nearby Muir Woods. A popular spot for locals with kids, Small Shed serves up a myriad of salads, pizzas and sides to tempt even the most veggie-phobic of children while still managing to please avid foodies in search of upscale ingredients. Proud of its local, organic, nitrate and hormone-free food, this restaurant also caters to those looking for gluten-free dining options, has a solid wine and beer list and offers a special kids' Pizzadilla.
Related: Best Bay Area Family-Friendly Dining
31 Sunnyside Ave.
Mill Valley, CA 94941
This kid-friendly, downtown Mill Valley gem is a great option for families. It dishes up traditional diner fare as well as more sophisticated options such as ahi tuna burgers and roasted beet salad. With paper and crayons for the little ones, a great kids menu (including Mickey Mouse pancakes) and a decent wine list for the adults, Toast will leave the entire family sated and happy. Metered street parking is available outside. However, these spots are closely monitored, so make sure to feed your meter.
Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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