Two Bistros and a Barn…Venues for Great Food in Solano & Yolo

The “Cococktail”, pictured above, is chock-full of shrimp, fresh coconut slices, diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and pepper, served in a freshly carved out coconut with corn tortillas. Photo: Joyce Headley.

Yolo Traders Bistro

WINTERS – Distinctively innovative, Yolo Traders Bistro is unmistakably a cut above the rest with their delicious Asian-fusion, Latin-inspired creations.

They’re clearly on a mission to bring an exceptional experience to each guest with their imaginative dishes using local, fresh ingredients from sustainable sources (whenever possible), and will offer variations on each menu item based on dietary requirements of their patrons. Gluten-free products, as well as vegetarian versions of most items, are available.

We were warmly greeted by our server, who seated us and then patiently walked us through the menu, which features an array of tempting seafood dishes, unique flatbreads, sweet and savory crepes, and more. I highly recommend trying their delicious and refreshing, sweetened hibiscus tea. Wines from local vintners are also offered.

For us, the Warm Shrimp Cocktail, Tostadas Sampler and Cococktail (chock-full of shrimp, fresh coconut slices, diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and pepper, served in a freshly carved out coconut with corn tortillas) were amazing starters. The shrimp were huge, plump and perfectly seasoned and the accompanying house-made cocktail sauce was perfect. The three uniquely different tostadas were very flavorful. One featured scallops, one ahi tuna poke and the last, shrimp. After our first bites, we wanted to try everything on the menu.

We ordered the Flan Crepe, which certainly surprised us. A generous portion of flan tucked inside a warm, thin crepe and topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream was the perfect way to end our meal. 

Closed Sunday and Monday and between lunch and dinner, they’re located at 30 Main Street in Winters. For reservations, give them a call at (530) 794-6262. Their website will soon be available at

The Poke Stack at Vacaville’s Rice Barn Thai Eatery and Wine Bar. Photo via: Yelp/Marie F.

Rice Barn Thai Eatery and Wine Bar

VACAVILLE – Rice Barn Thai Eatery and Wine Bar features classic North-Eastern Thai cuisine, popular Thai street food and time-honored family recipes with a modern twist, along with wine pairing from different regions, beer and cocktails.

Check in on Yelp and receive a complimentary Mango Nata (refreshing carbonated beverage). If you’re really hungry, try the Crying Tiger Ribeye—a large premium charcoal-grilled ribeye served with asparagus, lemongrass, and green onion with bang bang sauce. It was excellent. Another great choice is the Hang Lay Pork Ribs (fall-off-the-bone tender), served in a tasty garlic-ginger-shallot sauce. To complement your entrée, order jasmine, garlic-ginger or brown rice.

Open daily in Vacaville at 132 Browns Valley Parkway (near Nugget Market). Call (707) 999-5895 or visit them at

Bella Vita’s Pear and Cheese Fiocchi with Shrimp. Photo via: Yelp/Mary S.

Bella Vita Family Bistro

FAIRFIELD – The expression “diamond in the rough” really suits this little gem, tucked away in a small, unpretentious strip mall on North Texas Street in Fairfield. Don’t let the exterior fool you, though, because inside there’s a kitchen where magic happens.

Bella Vita is a popular lunch or dinner destination, featuring delicious homemade Italian comfort dishes. Some popular menu items include Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Piccata, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Lasagna with Garlic Bread and Fettuccine, Angel Hair or Gnocchi with marinara, white cream or pesto cream sauce.

They also have a wine menu to complement your entrée selections. Prices are reasonable and portion sizes are generous.

Bella Vita offers take-out and also caters for those family gatherings. Located at 1926 N. Texas St. in Fairfield. Reservations are recommended. Call (707) 427-3663.

Joyce Headley writes ‘Tastes of Your Town’, a monthly feature in the print edition of Your Town Monthly. This article was originally published in the December 2017 Solano County Editions.