High, low, or in-between, Napa arguably does brunch better than other corners of Northern California. Maybe it is all the patios and gardens with laidback seating options, perfect for whiling away a few hours. Or perhaps it’s the (mostly) fog-free summer days. We’re guessing it’s the mix of modern and classic brunch fare that makes daytime eating up and down the valley so fun.Read More
11 Essential Napa Valley Brunches
The best places to fuel up — or recover — from a day of wine tasting up and down the valley
Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery
Perched next to the Napa River, Calistoga Inn’s broad patio is the place to be on a sunny weekend morning. The brunch menu is only five dishes — huevos rancheros, French toast, and the like — but a lengthy lunch menu is also available for those who don’t eat eggs or bread. The corned beef is braised in Calistoga Red Ale, as good a reason as any to get the Reuben. Pair it with a handcrafted kölsch, crafted at the onsite brewery.
Owner Jennifer Bennett, who also takes care of San Francisco’s Zazie, brought three Benedict variations — veggie, smoked salmon, and bacon and roasted tomato — to her Calistoga restaurant with the same hollandaise and Model Bakery’s famous English muffins (gluten-free also available). The patios are now shaded and heated, a great spot to savor the Almost Famous Breakfast Burrito with house-made vegan chorizo and plant-based Just Egg.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
Brunch remains a Sunday-only affair at this Saint Helena establishment, one best celebrated with the restaurant’s famed bloody Mary. Beverage Director Evan Biner hews to a farm-to-glass ethos, balancing tomato richness with citrus and herbaceous flavors, house-pickled veggies, hot sauce, and a chili rim. Sunday fare includes a seasonal hash made of eggs and garden-grown veggies, grass-fed steak, and puffy beignets served with bourbon-caramel dipping sauce.
Though the epic brunch buffet at Brix is no more, an a la carte affair can still be had on Sundays. Request a table outside to take in the view of the property’s two-acre garden, orchard, and vines as far as the eye can see — ideally with a Corpse Reviver #2 cocktail in hand. Then pivot to plates of smoked blue crabcakes, Brix chicken salad with herb cream, or a shareable plate of breakfast poutine. It really doesn’t get any more “Napa” than this.
The Restaurant at North Block
The Restaurant at North Block’s seafood focus is in place at brunch, which is served daily on the patio or in the cozy dining room inside the eponymously named hotel. Avocado toast is topped with Dungeness crab; a seafood platter arrives with oysters, clams, abalone, and prawns; and a poke bowl bridges the transition between breakfast and lunch. For traditionalists, Journeyman Meat Company’s coppa replaces sausage on a breakfast sandwich and house-made zeppoli can be ordered in trios.
Jax White Mule Diner
You may need a defibrillator after enjoying Jax White Mule Diner’s Country Benny, poached egg oozing delicately over sausage and a house-made biscuit. The airy beignets, served with sea-salted caramel sauce and “a special ingredient which is love,” according to managing partner Nicole Mason, are a lighter choice. A plate of tots topped with cheddar, bacon, and chipotle aioli was created for service at the inaugural Bottle Rock but proved so popular that it found a home on the regular menu.
Chef and co-founder Todd Humphries has a blast working with a rainbow of flavors that run through the menu at Kitchen Door. Pulled from a wood-burning Mugnaini oven, breakfast pizza skews Italian, its bubbly crust layered with Hobb’s smoked bacon and a three-cheese blend that melts just enough to cradle the eggs. Fragrant with star anise and coriander in its clear broth, breakfast pho go finds depth with charred onions, ginger, and garlic and a jalapeño float. The pancake is stuffed with ham and cheese, just in case you need some Frenchified Americana in your morning.
Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar
Set a timer for two hours: the clock is ticking on the Mix & Match Bottomless Mimosa, Bacon Bloody Mary, or Prawn Michelada at Sky & Vine’s Sunday brunch. The lounge-y seating with views over downtown Napa mean the time whips past while you nosh on chicken and waffles, lobster corn dogs, or a classic dish of buttermilk biscuits with chorizo gravy and a fried egg.
Be Bubbly Napa Valley
Sometimes brunch in Napa is about the drinks and that’s how it should be at a tasting bar dedicated to sparkling wines. Boujee Bubbly Brunch must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance and offers options such as a spinach frittata from nearby Monday Bakery, topped with Regis Ova caviar and creme fraiche “to make it boujee,” jokes owner Erin Riley. Fresh fruit, warm ham and cheese croissants, and every other menu item is available, too. A glass of NV Champagne Taittinger La Française, Brut, à Reims, or plenty of other bubbles by the glass or bottle make it festive.
Boon Fly Café
While FARM, the other restaurant at Carneros Resort & Spa undergoes a remodel and a menu revamp from two-time James Beard award-winning chef Chris Bianco, the property’s other restaurant remains open. Its donuts, served in a cute bucket — a must with hot coffee — are part of the daily brunch menu as is the chicken and waffle. We reserve the right to pair the lime-garnished bacon bloody Mary with a plate of green eggs and ham. There’s something Seussian about the subtle green and red pairing that gets us rhymin’ like, well, Theodor.
Chef Anthony Stagnaro, the new executive chef at Stanly Ranch, does not abide by “basic,” reimaging dishes into something entirely new. Bison tartare eggs are amped up with a puree of fermented Chinese black bean and tamarind, then served with red onion gelee and fresh shiso and sesame leaves. His reimagining of eggs Benedict looks at first like a waffle topped with a soft poached egg until smoked salmon, creme fraiche, trout roe, and a swath of hollandaise are added. The three-in-one dish “is like combining arguably the three best brunch/breakfast dishes ever made into one,” Stagnaro says.