The Fremont Diner
Even though chef-owner Chad Harris's tiny Fremont Diner off the junction of Highway 121/12 in Sonoma opened in 2009, it nails the look of a roadside diner from the 1940s. The roof is corrugated tin, and a badly rusted pickup truck is permanently parked outside. The menu is classic Southern comfort food with a bit of Cal-Mex thrown in, cooked with the best Napa and Sonoma ingredients. Open only for breakfast and lunch (though there is a good selection of local craft beers), Fremont turns out black pepper brisket hash, fried chicken and waffles and an excellent rendition of the 19th-century Hangtown Fry with eggs, bacon, potatoes and oysters scrambled together.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.