Beach bites in beautiful Bodega Bay

Not your typical beach access venue

Blue Water Bistro is a well earned title as the view from the restaurant is a magnificent panorama of the beach below.

Courtney Paige, Web Editor and Assistant A&E Editor


The Blue Water Bistro is a lovely little eatery perched above Sonoma County’s coastline cliffs with a romantic, panoramic view of Bodega Bay. This venue offers a completely different Doran Beach access experience. Sonoma County beaches are often cold and foggy, so hitting the beach in the Bay Area on a sunny day doesn’t always guarantee warmth – unless you’ve discovered Blue Water Bistro. Frequently frigid at the bay’s beaches, this quaint venue gives a warm snug hug with its classic Bodega cedar architecture. Locals living in the Bodega Harbor neighborhood know this secluded bistro. Residents benefit from amenities like basketball courts, tennis courts, a workout facility and heated pool. The public has access to bench seating overlooking the cliffs, the golf course and bay below. Most importantly for beach lovers is the public beach access via the bistro. Simply park in the lot at the restaurant and walk towards the gate next to the pool. You’ll walk the cedar-planked decking down the steep stairs and onto what feels like your own private beach away from the masses. Dogs are allowed with a leash. Breakfast at the bistro is available Saturdays and Sundays only, 8:30-11 a.m. Lunch is dished up seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shrimp Louie salad is the quintessential companion for a warm picture-window seaside view. Lettuce count the ways this chilled iceberg salad tantalizes the taste buds with a caper-filled remoulade dressing crafted from scratch. The seaside restaurant’s paramount asset is its ardent bar appropriately called “The Fireside Lounge.” Tranquil live music is a rarity in Sonoma County, yet the bar offers jazz and acoustic beats all year round, every Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. with free admission and Martini specials. Dinner is limited to Thursday through Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Reservations are advised if you’re counting on that coveted seaside table. Availability is easily found in advance at Or, take a chance at “The Fireside Lounge.” Who knows, maybe luck will locate a spot next to the toasty stone fireplace. Even though the restaurant’s menu is a basic bistro melange, each dish boasts an artisan creation made from fresh, seasonal local ingredients with all menu items surprisingly fair priced.