Best Sonoma County Restaurants Under $40, According to Michelin Guide 2022

12 / 2022 | by: Sonoma Magazine

Sonoma County’s Bib Gourmands have been announced for 2022. While there aren’t any newcomers, it’s a high honor given to eight of the county’s restaurants considered by the California Michelin Guide to be restaurants with “good food at a moderate price.”


Folktable, Sonoma: Top Chef finalist and restaurateur Casey Thompson opened Folktable at Cornerstone Sonoma in 2020. Michelin Inspectors say: “It’s impossible to miss Cornerstone Sonoma as it’s nearly the only building along this otherwise quiet stretch. But housed within this charming outdoor marketplace is a kitchen brimming with ideas. To wit—beef tartare is ground to order and served on hash browns; while broccoli is grilled, then showered with puffed rice, Thai basil, and maple tahini. Thick, steakhouse-style onion rings arrive with a brilliantly crisp coating of potato flakes. This kitchen certainly does not limit itself to a single cuisine. Take, for example, the chicken fat-butter rice with Dungeness crab, which would fit right in at any Asian restaurant. Like its surrounds, the space is neutral yet breezy as can be, with an A-frame roof that reaches for the sky and sleek concrete floors.”  23584 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, 707-356-3567, (Courtesy of Folktable)


While most people are familiar with the Michelin stars, the Bib Gourmand award is lesser known. The Michelin guide, launched by French tire company Michelin in 1900, began awarding stars to fine dining establishments in 1926. In 1955, it introduced a second designation for restaurants deemed a good value by Michelin inspectors. It became known as Bib Gourmand in 1997 and was indicated in the guidebook with an image of the tire company’s mascot “Bibendum,” also known as the Michelin Man.


Today, the Michelin Guide comprises a series of guidebooks and announces awards annually across countries, regions and cities — there’s a Michelin Guide for France, but also one for Paris; in the United States, awards are announced in cities like New York or Washington, D.C. and statewide, in the case of California. Restaurants now need to serve two courses, a glass of wine or dessert for around $40 or less to be considered for the Bib Gourmand category.


While the stars remain the restaurant world’s most coveted awards, being selected a Bib Gourmand by Michelin inspectors is also an honor and can put a restaurant on the map of foodie destinations. This year, the California Michelin Guide lists 141 Bib Gourmand restaurants in the state. A great meal under $40 isn’t easily found in California — click through the above gallery for some excellent deals courtesy of Michelin.

table full of delicious food and people eating main dish is a tray of bacon with dill pickles and some baby carrots radish and onion