Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville make up what is known as Tri Valley. It’s an excellent getaway for food and wine lovers without breaking the bank. Located in the East Bay, it’s a 45 minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge, and an equal distance from Silicon Valley. We loved the charming small town atmosphere of the area and even found some new favorite restaurants. It’s always fun discovering new places so close to home! Below is an introduction to some places we visited while there for a weekend.
Sabio on Main is a Spanish Tapas restaurant in downtown Pleasanton. Upon entering, you are greeted with a friendly smile and a warm beautiful dining area. Sabio works with many local farmers, ranchers, and providers to bring you the freshest and best ingredients for their dishes. We tried their new Chef’s Tasting Menu and could not stop saying “delicious!” throughout our meal. Each dish was the perfect size to satisfy your taste but not overly stuff you. Our favorite bite was the Jumbo Gulf Shrimp “a la Plancha”with Tomato Gazpacho- so good! Besides the excellent food, we have to mention that the service was just as wonderful. Plates were cleared quickly, waters filled, and everything done with an ease and a smile. We can’t wait to go back!
Denica’s Real Food Kitchen is bustling on a weekend morning. They serve one of the best brunches in the area with two Tri Valley locations (Dublin & Livermore) and two more East Bay locations (Walnut Creek & Castro Valley). Their cinnamon buns are colossal and breakfast portions are definitely on the larger side as well. You can’t go wrong with an omelette, or the Bella’s Belgian Waffle. Don’t skip the chips and salsa bar in the back, we couldn’t stop munching! They also sell a variety of other bakeries. It’s a given fact that nobody leaves Denica’s hungry.
Farmer’s Almanac is a new restaurant located in downtown Danville. Their focus is on Farm to Table and fresh ingredients. We went for a visit on a rainy afternoon and enjoyed a lovely meal next to a window where we could gaze out to the falling rain. The cozy setting was perfect for us to enjoy our meal and spend some quality time with friends. Their menu items constantly change and we liked the succinct list of options. Our favorite was their Roasted Mixed Mushroom & Goat Cheese Tartlet. Plenty of flavors and perfect meal starter.
Beer Baron is the hip new bar in downtown Pleasanton. The place is always lively and filled with people having a good time. We loved the ceiling made up of old wine barrels, a wall display full of whiskey (they have a “Whiskey Bible” to choose drinks from), and some delicious bar bites to make sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you go for a visit, make sure to order their house made Chili Lime Cashews!
Meadowlark Dairy is a Pleasanton staple. This drive thru dairy opened in 1969 and has been a town favorite ever since. From your car you can buy all things dairy: milk, cheese, butter, eggs, and even other household staples like cereal and ramen. What draws in the crowd though is their soft serve. It’s made fresh with no preservatives and will satisfy any sweet tooth. In the summertime the line can get pretty long, but it’s well worth it. Don’t worry, they accept walk ins as well!
The Mix Creamery is a dessert lover’s dream come true. Pick from one of their house made flavors with fun and unique names such as Circus Freak, Butter Beer, and Caramel Green Apple. Next, choose between eating it between two slices of doughnut or their newest invention, the waffle taco. Finally, sprinkle it with unlimited toppings. Make sure to bring a friend along since the portions are huge or come with your dessert stomach empty!
Wente Vineyards is one of the oldest Wineries in the area and is a Certified Sustainable Winery. Founded 130 years ago, Wente Vineyards is the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. After generations of wine making, you can be sure they know what they’re doing! Wente has something for everyone and their tasting room is open every day of the week with many unique wine classes. We took the Wine Aroma Discovery class which taught us how to identify certain smells in different wines so that we can enjoy the complexity of each bottle to the fullest. They also offer other informative classes such as the “Black Glass Blind Tasting” and “Winemaker’s Blending Experience”.
Concannon Winery is a great place to take the whole family to spend an afternoon. With picnic tables on their lawn, there’s plenty of space for kids to run around and play while the adults sit back and enjoy a glass of wine. If you get hungry, head to the Underdog Restaurant that’s on site for some small bites and cocktail selection. Try reserving a table on their outdoor patio- do plan ahead since it fills up every weekend!
Danville Brewing Co. is one of Tri Valley’s newest craft brew houses. It’s located conveniently in downtown Danville and has a restaurant too. All of their beers are brewed on site and are available to drink in house, or take home in a growler. Have you ever had a coconut stout? Check it out!
Westea is the place for dog lovers, specifically Westie lovers! This Westie themed tea shop specializes in freshly brewed teas that use real fruit. You’ll love their colorful drink concoctions and yummy snacks. Wednesday-Sunday the store mascots are in the shop to greet you.
The Wine Ships Free is a program that reimburses shipping and handling costs from Livermore Valley wineries for guests staying in local partner hotels.
To take advantage of this program guests must provide proof of a hotel stay and the receipt for the wine sale and shipping to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to be reimbursed directly. Wine purchase must be made within the same week of the partner hotel stay, and receipts must be submitted within a month of sale. Anything from one bottle to three cases of wine are eligible – limit up to three separate shipments, or wineries, per person. Standard shipping within the contiguous 48 states only where legally permitted. On average, one bottle will ship for approximately $12 and about $60 for one case.
The initial participating wineries include Concannon Vineyard, Wente Vineyards, Nottingham Cellars, Vasco Urbano Wine Company, 1846 Wines, Las Positas Vineyards, 3 Steves Winery, Murrieta’s Well, The Steven Kent Winery, Big White House Winery and John Evan Cellars, McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Cuda Ridge Wines and Wood Family Vineyards.
Black Hawk Museum is home to an amazing collection of vintage luxury and sports cars that will leave you in awe. If you’d like to delve even deeper, they offer many car lectures and events as well for all of you automotive geeks. The upstairs of the museum houses the Spirit of the Old West exhibit which was impressive as well. From life-size oxen, covered wagons, and tipis, to a gigantic miniatures scene, you’ll want to set aside some time to spend in here. The Old West exhibit is great for children as well, so make this a fun family outing.
The Centennial Light Blub is the world’s longest running lightbulb and it’s located in Livermore’s Fire Station. It’s been working for over 1115 years and has burned over one million hours! For a live cam of the bulb and more fun and quirky facts visit their webpage. Guests are invited to view the bulb as long as someone is at the station and they aren’t being called for a fire or emergency.