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.Read More
18 Destination Restaurants in Napa Valley
From fine dining stars to country fried chicken, these restaurants make wine country a world destination
Napa Valley has its own constellation of Michelin-starred restaurants, and one of the newer one-star spots is Auro at the Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley. Helmed by chef Rogelio Garcia, the restaurant offers a highly seasonal tasting menu with produce grown and sourced from Triple S Ranch. Expect a hefty wine list as well, with a selection of 250 wines courtesy of sommelier Derek Stevenson.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
Ciccio opened in 2012, but after a temporary closure in 2022, the restaurant got a second wind thanks to new managing partners Christopher and Martina Kostow. The restaurant reopened in 2023 with a menu that still emphasizes Italian fare, just zhuzhed up by the Michelin-worthy chef. The pizzas are a classic pick or dip into mains like petrale sole. Also new to the restaurant are reservations, if you’d like to save yourself from a long wait.
Ashes & Diamonds Winery
Ok, to be fair, Ashes & Diamonds is a winery, not a restaurant. But the food at this Palm Springs-style tasting room might just be some of the most exciting in the region. Chefs Ethan Spizer and Madison Gabor put out rotating menus that never cease to dazzle, whether it’s tender brisket with buttery egg noodles or fluffy fermented potato bread served with a bowl of tangy labneh topped with smoked trout roe. To get in on the food action, you’ll have to schedule the Wine and Food Tasting ($165), which, of course, includes wine — but this is Napa after all, so you were probably planning to drink anyway.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Entrecot Restaurant Napa
If you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, this newer restaurant serving Argentinian fare and tapas might be the ticket. Try a ribeye from the grill side of the menu, served with chimichurri, or a malbec ossobuco, a slow-braised beef shank that comes with fried polenta.
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.
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.