Where to Eat in Napa: From Fast Casual to Fine Dining
Napa Valley is one of the most food-focused rural areas in the United States, if not the world. At last count, there were more than 150 dining venues, from American Canyon in the south to Calistoga in the north. Everything from fast-casual to world-renowned "bucket list" fine dining is available. Below is just a brief guide to your variety of options.
In 2019, the Napa Valley was awarded an astonishing 16 Michelin Stars. The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood earned three stars each, while Auberge du Soleil, Bouchon, Harbor House, La Toque, and Kenzo each hold one star. Arrive hungry and prepare to be impressed. Find more on the Valley's Michelin stars here.
Classic Napa Valley
There are places that never go out of style nor lose their luster. These are spots where you can often just drop in and hang out for a while (although you should check for reservations on weekend nights). Angèle is a classic bistro serving rustic French fare, located in an old boathouse overlooking the river. They serve fantastic creative cocktails, too! Press gives a contemporary spin to a chophouse, offering wood-grilled meats in farmhouse-chic digs with a fireplace and patio.
Whether you're just grabbing some sustenance between tastings or you have kids in tow, sometimes you don't want a full sit-down meal. Heritage Eats is a fantastic counter-style local's favorite that uses fresh ingredients in a customizable menu of global flavors and formats like wraps, bowls, sandwiches, and salads. If you have a yen for sushi, Eikos at Oxbow has a small but comfortable counter with stools. The Bruschetteria is a fantastic food truck that's regularly parked at the Clif Family Winery in St. Helena, offering assorted bruschetta and other items. In downtown Napa, izakaya-style Miminashi has opened a window to serve its popular house-made, soft-serve ice cream with sauces like black sesame, whiskey bourbon, miso caramel and hot fudge. Finally, with locations in St. Helena and Napa, Gott's Roadside is a perennial favorite for high-end burgers, fries, shakes and salads.
The valley's restaurant scene is constantly changing. Driven by the Culinary Institute of America's renowned cooking program and gardens, the Restaurant at CIA Copia serves simple, seasonal dishes, which you can often see being prepared in the open kitchen. CIA Greystone also offers countless experiences for food and wine connoisseurs, including hands-on cooking and beverage classes. Acacia House at Las Alcobas offers a "modern twist on classic fares" under the supervision of famed chef Chris Cosentino.
And just because you've eaten well doesn't mean the night should be over. For after-dinner nightlife, check out the Blue Note Napa, which presents a range of jazz and other musical styles, as well as comedy performances (there's also a full menu, in case you haven't already eaten). The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater is a full-sized performance hall showcasing all kinds of theater, music, dance, and other cultural events. The Uptown Theater is a beautifully-renovated vintage movie palace now outfitted with excellent acoustics for music and comedy events.
Explore all these suggestions more in-depth, along with other restaurants here.