Yes, there are tacos. Really, really good tacos, and lots to choose from. But if tacos are what comes to mind when you think of SR’s Roseland neighborhood, you don’t know what you’re missing, (yet). While tacos are, admittedly, a major perk, this hood has way more. The truth is, Roseland is a family- and community-driven hub of food, culture, activism, farming, art and entertainment.

Who knew, right? Well, lots of people. And now you are about to, as well. You’re welcome.
This part of town thrums with an enticingly independent spirit, having evolved over time into an engaged and politically active community. There’s a strong sense of pride and deeply-ingrained identifying characteristics that come from working hard, knowing that you’re doing things your own way, and doing them right. So, if I gush a bit, it’s only because Roseland embodies so much of what I personally love most about Santa Rosa.

Amanda Janik

Laura Schneider


The first thing you need to know is that Roseland has a soul all its own. And Sebastopol Road is the heart. A typical evening snapshot shows families out to eat at a local favorite, friends meeting up to chill or to hit the skate park, a proud display of beautifully decked-out low-riders cruising by, music pulsing out of the windows, and quite possibly some traditional Aztec dancers practicing in an empty parking lot at dusk. The library annex might just as easily be holding a Dia de Los Muertos ceremony as having reading circle time with the kids. Better yet: the whole street might be closed down for Cinco de Mayo, where residents show off their heritage and knowledge of both modern and folk music, dancing, fashion, food, and cultural show-offery. Maybe you luck out and witness the huge soft white spectacle of a full-on good-natured street-wide flour battle. Or maybe you stumble into a shop like Fatty’s Threads, a shop offering everything from curious oddities to household basics to seasoned advice. Somewhere along that journey, you’ll surely come to realize that Roseland not only has a soul – it has soul.

Eat Like You Live Here

Food in Roseland comes in pretty much every form. Find eats in dozens of food trucks, in many markets, in countless restaurants and on random no-frills pop-up grills in front of anywhere from Lola’s Market to a check cashing shop in a tiny strip mall. (If you’re lucky, you might find an impromptu little flea market there, too). Permission is granted to start with dessert: like whiskey vanilla bean or rose petal flavored ice cream, or maybe Tamarind or Arroz con Leche popsicles at Frozen Art, one of Roseland’s Michoacan Creameries (500 Sebastopol Rd). And yes, owner Jorge makes a point to feature a rotation of local artist’s work on the walls, too. Because of course he does.

This is where you mack down on some elotes, or funnel cake, or Tostilocos: yum, yum and yum. Don’t worry, though – or get too excited? – if it’s starting to sound like there’s only county fair cuisine to be had. Roseland has O Sushi, one of Santa Rosa’s favorite Sushi spots; Sazon, an excellent, highly-rated Peruvian restaurant; SoCo Meat Company, a traditional on-site butcher shop; The Whiskey Tip, a bourbon- and BBQ-soaked venue for playing games (a round of giant jenga, anyone?), a handful of secret tamale spots and countless “this place has the best (fill in the blank)” restaurants and corner stands and, okay, I’m rambling, but you get the idea.

Honestly, just walking around is satisfying, what with the mouthwatering smells emanating from the kitchens of generations of abuelas holding court over the special family recipe they’ve been stirring since the dawn of time. Does that sound dramatic? It just feels that way, okay? The food is that good.

A Feast For The Eyes

Art winds its way throughout this neighborhood like a painter rinsing out her brushes. Case in point, 33 Arts – a collection of artists’ studios housed in a former World War II naval barracks (3840 Finley Ave, Building 32). The reflection of Roseland’s cultural influence is shown through colorful murals covering wooden fences and entire building walls, ongoing group projects breathing new life into old landscapes, and a community-wide invitation to join in the beautification.
Because Roseland is Roseland, of course the art isn’t just visual here. It’s not unusual to pass by dancers in full dress dancing with great ceremony and pride, or to walk up to an installment of Parking Lot Poets – produced by Santa Rosa art group Raizes Collective – during which both experienced writers and inspired youth use language and history to express their identity, to acknowledge difficulties and victories, and to inspire change. Music? Yes, that too. And with the passionately active Roseland Community Club, even the kids’ arts and crafts are above-and-beyond here. For real, this place is no joke.
And, of course, no foray into the scene would be complete without catching Jake Ward Presents’ monthly North Bay Cabaret. Seriously, everyone needs to see this boundary-pushing, sex positive, gender-equalizing, pasty-filled show at least once in their lives; just gonna put that out there.

A Growing Sense of Community

Since a huge part of Roseland is about cooperation and community, it’s no wonder that just a few blocks away from the hubbub of Sebastopol Rd is Bayer Farm and Park on West Avenue, a community garden centered around indigenous foods and nutritional education, where neighbors share in the growing and cultivation of home-grown food and flowers. There are three ovens available for cooking and demonstrations, two of which were designed specifically for traditional Mexican and Chinese dishes; the third is an Eritrean Mogogo stove. That is some next-level dedication to cuisine, right there. Who has an Eritrean Mogogo stove in their already-rad park?! Roseland does.
Beyond the colorful flowers, climbing vines and garden plots bursting with fruits and vegetables is the Neighborhood Park, with a modern playground, basketball hoops, a skate park, picnic spots and tons of events – like the visiting Bookmobile, crafts organized by the Roseland Community Club, and Friday night potlucks. In summer, Santa Rosa’s famous avant-garde theater company, The Imaginists’, rolls their bicycle-powered bilingual ‘Art is Medicine’ show into Bayer Park to bring their slice of culture, politics and social engagement to their local fans.

So, Listen

If you’re heading to Roseland just for that bowl of pozole you’ve been craving, give yourself some extra time to soak in the multicultural pride and the rich heritage here. This is such an engaged and active neighborhood, working together for the good of the community, and each other. If you’re visiting, and want to see what makes Santa Rosa not just really cool, but really real, come to Roseland. You’re welcome.

Out There Outings - 3 Diciples Comedy Family Feud

Comedy Family Feud

Join us Wednesday, December 18th at 3 Disciples Brewing for a very funny Out There Outing. Barrel Proof Comedy presents Family Feud where YOU compete against some of Santa Rosa’s favorite comedians. Laugh the night away and win fun Out There SR merch.


Winterblast 19

Thank you to our sponsors:

Nov. 9 2019

You’re going to want to be there, from 5 to 9 PM near the corner of South A and Sebastopol Ave. in Santa Rosa’s South of A District for this year’s Winterblast. A free, kid-friendly street party hosted by SOFA Santa Rosa Arts District and Out There Santa Rosa, Winterblast has food trucks, a rollicking, rolling sofa parade, live music, costumes, open studios and all kinds of other craziness. It’s the 15th year of this beloved local festival, parking can be a little tricky. Consider coming on bike, by foot or via ride share. Check out the event page.


• SOFA Parade

• Open Art Studios

• Live Music

• Local Food

• Beer & Wine

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Out There Outings - Old Possum

Old Possum – SR Trivia Takeover
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – 6:30 PM

Calling all prehensile appreciators of Santa Rosa trivia. This Wednesday, the Santa Rosa Out There team takes over Trivia Night at Old Possum Brewing Co. The food, the beer and the trivia will be locally sourced, so gather your team, brush up on your SR knowledge and be there this Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

• Santa Rosa Trivia Questions

• Happy Hour Taproom Prices

• $5 House Made Chorizo Nachos

• Win SR Merch & Old Possum Beer