Xylella fastidiosa is a pathogenic bacterium that causes diseases in many crop species, which leads to considerable economic loss. Phenolic compounds (a group of secondary metabolites) are widely distributed in plants and have shown to possess antimicrobial properties. The anti-Xylella activity of 12 phenolic compounds, representing phenolic acid, coumarin, stilbene and flavonoid, was evaluated using an in vitro agar dilution assay. Overall, these phenolic compounds were effective in inhibiting X. fastidiosa growth, as indicated by low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). In addition, phenolic compounds with different structural features exhibited different anti-Xylella capacities. Particularly, catechol, caffeic acid and resveratrol showed strong anti-Xylella activities. Differential response to phenolic compounds was observed among X. fastidiosa strains isolated from grape and almond. Elucidation of secondary metabolite-based host resistance to X. fastidiosa will have broad implication in combating X. fastidiosa-caused plant diseases. It will facilitate future production of plants with improved disease resistance properties through genetic engineering or traditional breeding approaches and will significantly improve crop yield.