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18 Destination Restaurants in Napa Valley

From fine dining stars to country fried chicken, these restaurants make wine country a world destination

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This essential list of Napa Valley restaurants showcases the depth and breadth of dining destinations in wine country. It goes far beyond Michelin Guide icons like the French Laundry and covers downtown eateries with epic local wine lists, as well as the meatiest delis for picnic-worthy sandwiches ahead of a long day of sipping cabernet. There’s no shortage of great restaurants up and down the valley; we’ve also got guides to some of wine country’s most affordable dining options and a map of nearly two dozen wineries with great food of their own. Here are 18 Napa Valley restaurants worth seeking out on your next trip to wine country.

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House of Better

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Introduced as a part of a massive revamp of Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs in Calistoga, House of Better aims to give wine country a dose of health-minded dining that goes beyond the usual salads and smoothies. Chef Trevor Logan of San Francisco’s now-closed Green Chile Kitchen offers a menu that bridges the gap between spa food and comfort food with dishes like grilled fish tacos, a roasted green chile and maitake flatbread, and rustic green chile stew. It’s a fast-casual dining experience with cocktails, wine, beer, and “herbal elixirs.” Just don’t forget to nab a slice of Logan’s popular fruit pies. 

House of Better

The Model Bakery

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Model Bakery has the best English muffins in the world — and some of the world’s best breakfast sandwiches made with said muffins. They’re so delicious that Oprah has admitted to having them flown to her house. The pastry case is stacked with buttery croissants, moist banana bread, cookies, savory bread puddings, and more. Model Bakery has grown from its original digs to two additional locations in Napa (by Oxbow) and Yountville, but several specialty items like avocado toast on sourdough bread with a hard-boiled egg and crispy bacon are only available at the flagship bakery in St. Helena. Breakfast goodies sell out fast, but you can place an order online ahead of time and get some extra muffins to take home. 

A version of eggs Benedict covered with fresh herbs, featuring Model Bakery’s English muffins The Model Bakery

Giugni’s Deli

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Salami still hangs from the rafters at this circa 1970 Italian grocery store, where for decades, locals and tourists alike have lined up at the counter for a meaty sandwich dressed with “Giugni Juice,” the deli’s special vinaigrette, which you can also purchase by the bottle. A Giugni’s sandwich and chips is the perfect sustenance for a hike up Mount Saint Helena. For now, Giugni’s is still doing pick-up online, so order online before you go. 

Giugni’ Deli

Gott's Roadside

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This classic burger shack was known for 60 years as Taylor’s Refresher, but the name was changed in 1999 when it was sold to Joel and Duncan Gott. Luckily, aside from a recent paint refresh, that’s pretty much all that’s changed. The restaurant still draws lines for its old-fashioned burgers (though they’ve got ahi, turkey, veggie, and Impossible burgers, too), fish tacos, protein-loaded salads, milkshakes, and soft serve. For something boozier, there’s a list of beers on tap, and, lest ye forget that you’re in Napa, more wines by the glass and half bottle than most other roadside dives. Gott’s is notorious for long lunchtime lines, but place your order online ahead of time and avoid the wait.

Gott’s Roadside

The Charter Oak

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This casual restaurant from Meadowood chef Christopher Kostow has quickly become a staple in St. Helena, popular for its simple, seasonal, and family-style menu of Napa Valley’s bounty, much of it cooked in the huge hearth that’s the centerpiece of the main dining area. The cheeseburger is a top contender for the best burger in Napa Valley, the crudité is both good for you and delicious, and, as for the housemade bread with cultured butter, you’ll be sorry if you don’t go for the whole loaf. The cocktails are simple yet memorable, and they even have large-format cocktails, served in a delightful Art Deco punch bowl. 

The Charter Oak

Press Restaurant

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Press has been a Napa Valley fine dining staple for more than 15 years, best known for its meticulously sourced cuts of aged beef that pair well with big Napa cabs and black truffle hash browns. Miraculously, chef Philip Tessier (a Le Bernardin, Per Se, and French Laundry alum) has raised the bar even higher. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on the ricotta gnudi or sweet and sour pig ears for apps. Press also has one of the best and most comprehensive Napa Valley-exclusive wine lists around with more than 1,800 selections.

Press Restaurant

La Luna Market & Taqueria

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Though one of Napa’s main attractions is its upscale restaurant scene, fine dining fatigue is real. Thankfully, the valley is also dotted with taco trucks and small bodegas with back counters that serve good food in a casual setting. La Luna has tacos, quesadillas, and more, but it’s famous for its fully loaded burritos, especially the version stuffed with its delightfully crisp carnitas. If you can get there before 11 a.m., the massive breakfast burrito will lay solid groundwork for even the most ambitious day of wine tasting.

Oakville Grocery Co.

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This venerable sandwich shop and deli sits conveniently along Highway 29 and has soothed the soul of many a hungry traveler. The restored historic grocery — which has been in operation since 1881 and claims to be the oldest in the state — makes great sandwiches (the muffuletta is locally famous) and wood-fired pizzas. While you’re there, shop for high-end coffee, desserts, wine, olive oil, and other pantry provisions.

Mustards Grill

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Going on almost 40 years, this Napa Valley landmark from chef Cindy Pawlcyn is a go-to lunch spot for local winemakers and is beloved for its comfort food classics that pair great with Napa’s best wines. You can’t go wrong with Mustards Mighty Meatloaf, the Crazy Good Chicken Wings, Famous Mongolian Pork Chop, or Chalkboard Pasta, which changes each day but never disappoints.

Mustards Grill

Ad Hoc & Addendum

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Ad Hoc’s four-course, family-style dinner menu changes daily, though snagging a table on fried chicken night is the ultimate goal. Add the Maine lobster mac ’n’ cheese; it’s worth the extra cost. Pro tip: Splurge for the large bucket; legend has it this chicken tastes even better the next day.

Ad Hoc + Addendum

Bistro Don Giovanni

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Ask a Napa local where to go when you’re craving Italian, and there’s a very good chance they’ll point you in the direction of Bistro Don Giovanni. Legendary dishes include fried olives, ravioli half and half (equal parts red sauce and white sauce), and the seared Scottish salmon filet. Save room for the Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding for dessert.

Bistro Don Giovanni

Tacos el Muchacho Alegre

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Napa’s destination restaurants aren’t just of the fine dining variety, just ask Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando, who’s intimately familiar with wine country’s best taco trucks. You’ll find El Muchacho Alegre tucked alongside the Universal Auto repair shop and the move is to order the torta ahogada, a Jaliscian specialty. The meat-filled sandwich is almost like a fiery French dip, served with a gazpacho-like salsa and drenched in a savory tomato and chile sauce.

A sauce-and-cheese-covered torta ahogada.

Oxbow Public Market

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The Ferry Building’s high-ceilinged little sister has a serious concentration of Bay Area restaurants (plus shops) under one roof. Slurp oysters at Hog Island Oysters, order the famous duck tacos at C Casa, or share some sushi rolls at Eiko’s. Don’t miss Oxbow’s newest tenants, Loveski, a Jewish-style deli from chef Christopher Kostow that’s dishing out sourdough bagels, sandwiches, latkes, and more, and Milestone Provisions, a butcher shop also offering roasted meats on sandwiches, salads, and platters.

Oxbow Public Market

Osha Thai Restaurant Napa

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San Francisco diners may know chef Lalita Souksamlane from her more than 20-year-old Geary Street staple, but these days she’s got a lot going on in Napa. Not only did she bring an upscale Thai dining option to Napa’s downtown, she also debuted Bann Napa, a boutique Thai inn. Osha Napa offers a full range of menu options from Thai street food starters like chicken satay and corn fritters to familiar soups and noodle dishes like tom yum and pad see ew. Reserve a table either in the elegant dining room, which is well-sized for larger parties too. 

Osha Thai

Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant

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A triple threat, Compline (pronounced like Compton) is a wine bar, restaurant, and wine shop in one. Started by two sommeliers — co-founder Matt Stamp is a master somm — Compline’s impressive collection of bottles goes far beyond Napa Valley and includes selections from all over the world, including some regions and grapes you’ve likely never heard of. The burger and duck fat fries are Compline’s reigning royalty, but the new fried chicken sandwich from Chef Jammir Gray has a shot at the throne. Those can be snagged at lunch while dinner brings other delights, like locally sourced duck breast and black cod.

Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant
Emma K. Morris photo

Contimo Provisions

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Breakfast here, offered Tuesday to Saturday, is all about biscuits with jam, pimento cheese, or bacon and molasses, or the weekly special Baller Biscuit. Lunch brings light takeaway options like beet poke or the heavy artillery like banh mi sandwiches stuffed with mortadella and miso turnips. As the name implies, there are also goods by the pound, like sliced meats and cheeses, bacon, pickled onions, coffee beans, and jars of hot sauce.

Contimo Provisions

Angèle Restaurant & Bar

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Serving escargots, sweetbreads, steak tartare, and ratatouille, this classic French gem at the end of downtown Napa’s Main Street has unparalleled river views and one of the best patios in town. Open for lunch and dinner, sip a cocktail like the Angèle Spritz (bubbles, vermouth, strawberries, mint, and vanilla) on a warm Napa day and watch stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers float by.

Angele/Facebook

Southside Café

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A Napa coffeehouse and cafe, Southside has achieved low-key cult status in wine country for its all-day breakfast, and has grown to three locations. A solid mix of light and hearty dishes with a focus on veggies, Southside is known for California cuisine with a Latin twist — try the ceviche tostadas or biscuits with chorizo sausage gravy — for founders Irma and Morgan Robinson both have roots tied to Mexico. The “Fried Chicken Friday” is a favorite among locals: Get a bucket of Fulton Valley buttermilk fried chicken to go with sides, biscuits, and a bottle of sparkling wine.

Emma K. Morris photo

House of Better

Introduced as a part of a massive revamp of Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs in Calistoga, House of Better aims to give wine country a dose of health-minded dining that goes beyond the usual salads and smoothies. Chef Trevor Logan of San Francisco’s now-closed Green Chile Kitchen offers a menu that bridges the gap between spa food and comfort food with dishes like grilled fish tacos, a roasted green chile and maitake flatbread, and rustic green chile stew. It’s a fast-casual dining experience with cocktails, wine, beer, and “herbal elixirs.” Just don’t forget to nab a slice of Logan’s popular fruit pies. 

House of Better

The Model Bakery

Model Bakery has the best English muffins in the world — and some of the world’s best breakfast sandwiches made with said muffins. They’re so delicious that Oprah has admitted to having them flown to her house. The pastry case is stacked with buttery croissants, moist banana bread, cookies, savory bread puddings, and more. Model Bakery has grown from its original digs to two additional locations in Napa (by Oxbow) and Yountville, but several specialty items like avocado toast on sourdough bread with a hard-boiled egg and crispy bacon are only available at the flagship bakery in St. Helena. Breakfast goodies sell out fast, but you can place an order online ahead of time and get some extra muffins to take home. 

A version of eggs Benedict covered with fresh herbs, featuring Model Bakery’s English muffins The Model Bakery

Giugni’s Deli

Salami still hangs from the rafters at this circa 1970 Italian grocery store, where for decades, locals and tourists alike have lined up at the counter for a meaty sandwich dressed with “Giugni Juice,” the deli’s special vinaigrette, which you can also purchase by the bottle. A Giugni’s sandwich and chips is the perfect sustenance for a hike up Mount Saint Helena. For now, Giugni’s is still doing pick-up online, so order online before you go. 

Giugni’ Deli

Gott's Roadside

This classic burger shack was known for 60 years as Taylor’s Refresher, but the name was changed in 1999 when it was sold to Joel and Duncan Gott. Luckily, aside from a recent paint refresh, that’s pretty much all that’s changed. The restaurant still draws lines for its old-fashioned burgers (though they’ve got ahi, turkey, veggie, and Impossible burgers, too), fish tacos, protein-loaded salads, milkshakes, and soft serve. For something boozier, there’s a list of beers on tap, and, lest ye forget that you’re in Napa, more wines by the glass and half bottle than most other roadside dives. Gott’s is notorious for long lunchtime lines, but place your order online ahead of time and avoid the wait.

Gott’s Roadside

The Charter Oak

This casual restaurant from Meadowood chef Christopher Kostow has quickly become a staple in St. Helena, popular for its simple, seasonal, and family-style menu of Napa Valley’s bounty, much of it cooked in the huge hearth that’s the centerpiece of the main dining area. The cheeseburger is a top contender for the best burger in Napa Valley, the crudité is both good for you and delicious, and, as for the housemade bread with cultured butter, you’ll be sorry if you don’t go for the whole loaf. The cocktails are simple yet memorable, and they even have large-format cocktails, served in a delightful Art Deco punch bowl. 

The Charter Oak

Press Restaurant

Press has been a Napa Valley fine dining staple for more than 15 years, best known for its meticulously sourced cuts of aged beef that pair well with big Napa cabs and black truffle hash browns. Miraculously, chef Philip Tessier (a Le Bernardin, Per Se, and French Laundry alum) has raised the bar even higher. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on the ricotta gnudi or sweet and sour pig ears for apps. Press also has one of the best and most comprehensive Napa Valley-exclusive wine lists around with more than 1,800 selections.

Press Restaurant

La Luna Market & Taqueria

Though one of Napa’s main attractions is its upscale restaurant scene, fine dining fatigue is real. Thankfully, the valley is also dotted with taco trucks and small bodegas with back counters that serve good food in a casual setting. La Luna has tacos, quesadillas, and more, but it’s famous for its fully loaded burritos, especially the version stuffed with its delightfully crisp carnitas. If you can get there before 11 a.m., the massive breakfast burrito will lay solid groundwork for even the most ambitious day of wine tasting.

Oakville Grocery Co.

This venerable sandwich shop and deli sits conveniently along Highway 29 and has soothed the soul of many a hungry traveler. The restored historic grocery — which has been in operation since 1881 and claims to be the oldest in the state — makes great sandwiches (the muffuletta is locally famous) and wood-fired pizzas. While you’re there, shop for high-end coffee, desserts, wine, olive oil, and other pantry provisions.

Mustards Grill

Going on almost 40 years, this Napa Valley landmark from chef Cindy Pawlcyn is a go-to lunch spot for local winemakers and is beloved for its comfort food classics that pair great with Napa’s best wines. You can’t go wrong with Mustards Mighty Meatloaf, the Crazy Good Chicken Wings, Famous Mongolian Pork Chop, or Chalkboard Pasta, which changes each day but never disappoints.

Mustards Grill

Ad Hoc & Addendum

Ad Hoc’s four-course, family-style dinner menu changes daily, though snagging a table on fried chicken night is the ultimate goal. Add the Maine lobster mac ’n’ cheese; it’s worth the extra cost. Pro tip: Splurge for the large bucket; legend has it this chicken tastes even better the next day.

Ad Hoc + Addendum

Bistro Don Giovanni

Ask a Napa local where to go when you’re craving Italian, and there’s a very good chance they’ll point you in the direction of Bistro Don Giovanni. Legendary dishes include fried olives, ravioli half and half (equal parts red sauce and white sauce), and the seared Scottish salmon filet. Save room for the Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding for dessert.

Bistro Don Giovanni

Tacos el Muchacho Alegre

Napa’s destination restaurants aren’t just of the fine dining variety, just ask Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando, who’s intimately familiar with wine country’s best taco trucks. You’ll find El Muchacho Alegre tucked alongside the Universal Auto repair shop and the move is to order the torta ahogada, a Jaliscian specialty. The meat-filled sandwich is almost like a fiery French dip, served with a gazpacho-like salsa and drenched in a savory tomato and chile sauce.

A sauce-and-cheese-covered torta ahogada.

Oxbow Public Market

The Ferry Building’s high-ceilinged little sister has a serious concentration of Bay Area restaurants (plus shops) under one roof. Slurp oysters at Hog Island Oysters, order the famous duck tacos at C Casa, or share some sushi rolls at Eiko’s. Don’t miss Oxbow’s newest tenants, Loveski, a Jewish-style deli from chef Christopher Kostow that’s dishing out sourdough bagels, sandwiches, latkes, and more, and Milestone Provisions, a butcher shop also offering roasted meats on sandwiches, salads, and platters.

Oxbow Public Market

Osha Thai Restaurant Napa

San Francisco diners may know chef Lalita Souksamlane from her more than 20-year-old Geary Street staple, but these days she’s got a lot going on in Napa. Not only did she bring an upscale Thai dining option to Napa’s downtown, she also debuted Bann Napa, a boutique Thai inn. Osha Napa offers a full range of menu options from Thai street food starters like chicken satay and corn fritters to familiar soups and noodle dishes like tom yum and pad see ew. Reserve a table either in the elegant dining room, which is well-sized for larger parties too. 

Osha Thai

Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant

A triple threat, Compline (pronounced like Compton) is a wine bar, restaurant, and wine shop in one. Started by two sommeliers — co-founder Matt Stamp is a master somm — Compline’s impressive collection of bottles goes far beyond Napa Valley and includes selections from all over the world, including some regions and grapes you’ve likely never heard of. The burger and duck fat fries are Compline’s reigning royalty, but the new fried chicken sandwich from Chef Jammir Gray has a shot at the throne. Those can be snagged at lunch while dinner brings other delights, like locally sourced duck breast and black cod.

Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant
Emma K. Morris photo

Related Maps

Contimo Provisions

Breakfast here, offered Tuesday to Saturday, is all about biscuits with jam, pimento cheese, or bacon and molasses, or the weekly special Baller Biscuit. Lunch brings light takeaway options like beet poke or the heavy artillery like banh mi sandwiches stuffed with mortadella and miso turnips. As the name implies, there are also goods by the pound, like sliced meats and cheeses, bacon, pickled onions, coffee beans, and jars of hot sauce.

Contimo Provisions

Angèle Restaurant & Bar

Serving escargots, sweetbreads, steak tartare, and ratatouille, this classic French gem at the end of downtown Napa’s Main Street has unparalleled river views and one of the best patios in town. Open for lunch and dinner, sip a cocktail like the Angèle Spritz (bubbles, vermouth, strawberries, mint, and vanilla) on a warm Napa day and watch stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers float by.

Angele/Facebook

Southside Café

A Napa coffeehouse and cafe, Southside has achieved low-key cult status in wine country for its all-day breakfast, and has grown to three locations. A solid mix of light and hearty dishes with a focus on veggies, Southside is known for California cuisine with a Latin twist — try the ceviche tostadas or biscuits with chorizo sausage gravy — for founders Irma and Morgan Robinson both have roots tied to Mexico. The “Fried Chicken Friday” is a favorite among locals: Get a bucket of Fulton Valley buttermilk fried chicken to go with sides, biscuits, and a bottle of sparkling wine.

Emma K. Morris photo

Related Maps