Small Towns: Sutter Creek

Here’s one from our series on small towns in the foothills, with some highlights from our visits.

The quintessential little foothills town, pretty and clean, Sutter Creek welcomes visitors for walking, wine tasting and antiques shopping. A number of inns make turning it into a weekend a good possibility. The whitewashed Sutter Creek Auditorium has a collection of well-spaced tables and chairs out front; visitors can sit there with a coffee or some takeout. Next door, the Creekside United Methodist Church maintains a Little Free Library (looks like an old phone booth) well-stocked with novels and children’s books. Help yourself!

library phone booth in Sutter Creek

Say Cheese—A picnic supply stop, Sutter Creek Cheese Shoppe is both a cheese counter and tasting room for Miller Wine Works. Grab some cheese, grab some wine, a jar of olives, box of crackers, a few nuts. In non-COVID times, the cheese tasting experience is impressive.


Still Providing—Sutter Creek Provisions continues its weekend hours with Chef Tim (Blankenship)’s ever-changing pantry menu—watch for chicken chili, his own take on okonomiyaki (traditionally a Japanese pancake, but in this case a waffle; a recent one was made with smoked onion and cabbage and topped with hot sauce, white barbecue sauce, allium ash and scallions) and wontons, among other inventive fare. The bottle shop is open as well.

Main Street, Sutter Creek
Main Street, Sutter Creek

Eat Up—A great spot for a muffin, house-made pie or a big burger (beef or portobello) on a toasted bun or locally made ciabatta roll, Buffalo Chips also has ice cream, house-made marshmallows and darn good coffee.


Fun Store—Makers on Main is full of amusing California-made merchandise including bottle openers shaped like owls or yogis, potholders with sassy sayings, one-of-a-kind jewelry and home décor, spices, candles and other gift items.

Garden Beauty—A sweet indoor-outdoor garden and home shop, The Antique Gardener carries plenty of plants as well as a plethora of gardening supplies, books, baskets, home and yard décor, pots and soaps, all beautifully displayed.

The Antique Gardener in Sutter Creek
The Antique Gardener

Taste of the Town—Sutter Creek is home to numerous tasting rooms that pour Amador wines. Tucked in between the shops and restaurants, in alpha order: Baiocchi, Bella Grace, 1850, Feist, Le Mulet Rouge, Miller, Scott Harvey, Sera Fina 2, Sierra Ridge, Simply Bubbles, Uphill and Yorba. Many maintain primary operations out on the back roads, but in Sutter Creek, it’s all within walking distance. Right now, most tasting is by reservation only, so check websites and call ahead to make an appointment.