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Tacos, margaritas and cumbia: Perfect summer date ideas in Sonoma County

Mayra Lopez
Written by Mayra Lopez

The weather is hot, and it’s finally time to shed our winter coats. For those who are single in Sonoma County or for those who want to shake things up with their love, warm weather also means fun first dates. Whether you met a cutie at the last baile you went to, at a Latino business mixer or on Tinder, check out the list below for a perfect first date in Sonoma County — tacos, margaritas and cumbia included.

Una mezcla de tacos en la lonchera de Delicias Elenita’s, que incluye carne asada, cabeza y chorizo. Ricardo Ibarra / La Prensa Sonoma

What better way to start a first date than with tacos?

Cutting through the heart of Roseland, Sebastopol Road is a great place to head to for a first date. The road is lined with some of Santa Rosa’s most popular taquerias and taco trucks, all with a casual and fun vibe. Delicias Elenita Taco Truck is a well-known local favorite that features a covered outdoor patio perfect for sharing some tacos al pastor and elotes. Delicias Elenita Taco Truck is located on the corner of Sebastopol Road and West Avenue in Santa Rosa.

To try something a little different, head across the street to El Roy’s Taco Truck, where you can find typical tacos, as well as a few unusual varieties, like Mexi-Dogs (bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with grilled onions) and tacos dorados. Grab some tacos, take a seat on their picnic table and learn more about your crush’s current Netflix binge. El Roy’s Taco Truck is located at 760 Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa.

Are you hoping for more of a casual restaurant vibe? La Texanita is a good date spot. The colorful cozy eatery is centrally located on Sebastopol Road and features an expansive menu and great atmosphere. Order a round of Pacificos and share a molcajete mix with your new friend. La Texanita Restaurant is located 1667 Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa. 

If you are thinking of something more formal and unique, Agave in Healdsburg is worth checking out. The intimate eatery offers a traditional Oaxacan menu, a full bar specializing in mezcal and tequila and an outdoor patio with a great ambiance to get to know someone. After dinner,  head to the Healdsburg Plaza with your date for a night walk. Agave Healdsburg is located at 1063 Vine St. in Healdsburg. 

Mezcal cocktail at El Gallo Negro, in Windsor. La Prensa Sonoma

Why not continue the conversation over margaritas?

So you swiped right and made a match? Congrats, go you! Now, what to do? Meet your date at Cascabel. The Santa Rosa restaurant offers a full bar and outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying the warm summer nights over good conversation. Try their Make-Your-Own Margarita bar and woo your crush with your killer  drink. Cascabel is located at 909 Village Court in Santa Rosa.

Looking to try more exotic cocktails? El Gallo Negro in Windsor is quickly becoming a favorite for their unforgettable cocktails. Try their namesake “El Gallo Negro”, a Jack Daniels and mezcal drink garnished with fresh pineapple, and now topped with their own Don Ruco rimming salts. With a sleek bar and relaxed atmosphere, it’s a great spot to swap childhood stories with your plus one. El Gallo Negro is located at 8465 Old Redwood Hwy in Windsor.

If you and your date are both into nature, El Barrio in Guerneville is a good spot to try together. Located in the heart of charming Guerneville, the newer establishment serves a variety of Latino-inspired cocktails like El Barrio ($11),  a mezcal-based drink that is served with a chili-lime salted rim. Grab a cocktail, some sunscreen and walk down to Johnson’s beach to enjoy the Russian River, some sunshine and good company. El Barrio is located at 16230 Main St in Guerneville.

Baile del Amor at the Sonoma Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat

Get to know each others moves over cumbia.

Salsa dancing can seem intimidating, especially on the first date. But if you and your new date are the adventurous types, why not try some salsa dancing lessons together? After lessons, stay for open dance and practice those new moves with your partner. Salsa nights are hosted every Sunday at the Flamingo Hotel. Beginning lessons start at 7 p.m. and no experience is necessary. Open dancing begins at 9 p.m. The Flamingo Hotel is located at 2777 4th St. in Santa Rosa. Bachata is on Thursdays, live music is second Saturday of each month and Sunday nights. 

They say that dancing is the best way to see if you are in tune with someone. Casa Del Mar is known for hosting some of the best bailes and cumbia parties around. The large venue also boasts a full bar with creative margaritas and cocktails, like the Hennchata — a Hennessy infused horchata drink. Casa Del Mar is located at 3660 Stony Point Road in Santa Rosa. 

Remy’s Bar and Grill is quickly becoming the spot that young Latinos love to head to on the weekends. The bar boasts a full bar and frequently hosts popular local DJs and live bandas, making it a great spot for you to show off some of your best dance moves for your new companion. Remy’s Bar and Grill is located at 130 Stony Point Road in Santa Rosa.

[Versión en español]

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Reach La Prensa Sonoma’s Editor Ricardo Ibarra at 707-526-8501 or email ricardo.ibarra@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ricardibarra.

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