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Dining at the Albion River Inn is worth the view alone, as the restaurant overlooks the Pacific coastline.
Dining at the Albion River Inn is worth the view alone, as the restaurant overlooks the Pacific coastline.
Anderson Valley & Mendocino
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Finding a place to eat in Mendocino is easy. Café Beaujolais, set in a 19th-century farmhouse, remains an excellent choice, and just down the street is the MacCallum House, a Victorian inn that dates to 1882 and offers what may be the best dining experience in the area. Just south of Mendocino, along Highway 1 and closer to the wineries of Anderson Valley, is the Albion River Inn. The restaurant's menu emphasizes local seafood, and its 400-selection wine list offers an extensive array from around the world—a rarity in this area. And Boonville Hotel's restaurant, Table 128, is funky yet chic, a great place to take in the casual California vibe and cuisine.

Please note that owners, chefs, menu items, prices and other details can often change. We recommend that you call ahead before you go.

For more restaurants worldwide that hold Wine Spectator awards for their wine lists, see our Restaurant Search.

Albion River Inn
3790 Highway 1 North
Albion, CA 95410
Telephone: (707) 937-1919
Website: www.albionriverinn.com/restaurant.php

Open: Dinner, daily, 5:30-9
Cost: Entrées, $14.50 to $$32.50
Corkage: $15

This dining room is all about the view. With its exposed wood ceiling and brick fireplace, the 80-seat space is pleasant enough, but that rocky Pacific coastline out the window lends it a million-dollar decor. Chef Stephen Smith's menu emphasizes seafood, particularly local salmon and Dungeness crab when in season, and everything is well-prepared, if a bit conventional. The wine list is the best, and largest, on the coast, with moderate prices and an impressive offering from California, plus a few older vintages from top-flight names like Beaucastel and Pichon-Longueville-Lalande.

Café Beaujolais
961 Ukiah St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
Telephone: (707) 937-5614
Website: www.cafebeaujolais.com

Open: Dinner, daily, 5:30-9
Cost: Entrées, $23 to $29
Corkage: $20

In the 1980s, this restaurant first put Mendocino on the lips of food lovers around the country. Margaret Fox sold the café to Steven Jenks in 2000, but it remains a worthy destination. The Victorian farmhouse, which dates to 1893, hasn’t changed much under the new owner, although the old, eclectic decor of the dining room has been replaced by warmer colors and high-tech lighting. The menu continues to emphasize local producers and organic ingredients, and there’s no shortage of intensity and international influences. The Award of Excellence-winning wine list offers about 100 selections and downplays Mendocino for a more expansive view of the world.

MacCallum House Restaurant
45020 Albion St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
Telephone: (707) 937-0289
Website: www.maccallumhouse.com

Open: Breakfast, Mon-Fri, 8:15-10, Sat-Sun, 8:15-11; Dinner, daily, 6-9
Cost: Entrées, $27 to $42
Corkage: $20

Everything considered—atmosphere, food, wine—MacCallum House gets the nod as the area’s best restaurant. The Victorian inn provides a rich setting, with redwood trim and wainscoting and fieldstone fireplaces. Executive chef Alan Kantor focuses on gourmet regional cuisine, creating a menu full of dishes that offer subtle layers of flavor. There are 110 wines on the wisely selected list. It offers a few older vintages and prices are moderate.

Table 128
14050 Highway 128
Boonville, CA 95415
Telephone: (707) 895-2210
Website: www.boonvillehotel.com/eat.php

Open: Dinner, Thu-Mon, 6:30-8. Please call for winter hours
Cost: Prix fixe, $40 to $50
Corkage: $20

Small is good at this restaurant in the Boonville Hotel. There are only a few dozen seats spread throughout three rooms, which are brightly colored spaces with modern art and wicker furnishings. The menu of upscale comfort food changes daily, with new innovations from chef-owner John Schmitt regularly. The restaurant offers organic meats and locally grown produce, including vegetables from the hotel's garden. The wine list’s 50-odd selections are mostly local, and there is a shortlist of $30-and-under bottlings.

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