F&W's guide to the not-to-miss places to eat, drink and sleep in Napa, including recipes from locally-based chefs (at right) and amazing new finds from Michael Chiarello and Jamey Whetsone.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 25, 2016

Napa Valley's Best

Places to Eat in Napa Valley

Ad Hoc

Thomas Keller goes casual in Napa Valley. adhocrestaurant.com

Alex Restaurant

© 2012 PhilipHarvey.com

« Alex

Chef Nick Ritchie worked for Michael Chiarello for five years before taking over the kitchen at the new Alex, creating traditional Ligurian dishes like creamy lasagnette with Genovese pesto and béchamel. 1140 Rutherford Rd., Rutherford; 707-967-5500.

Andie's Café

Jeff Smith, owner of Hourglass Vineyard, claims the best burger in the Valley is at "this funky shack off Highway 29—it's part of the local car wash." andiescafe.com


The French country food is straight-up simple and great, and the place is right on the Napa River, so you can sit outside. angelerestaurant.com

Napa Wine Travel Guide

Courtesy of Bouchon

« Bouchon

Thomas Keller's ode to bistro cooking offers sublime steak frites and lemon tart. It's a destination for Michael Mina of Michael Mina in San Francisco. "Everything there is my favorite dish," he says. bouchonbistro.com

Bouchon Bakery

Jamey's Pick Says Whetstone, "A chocolate éclair and coffee at Thomas Keller's bakery is tough to beat." bouchonbakery.com

Bounty Hunter

Jamey's Pick Whetstone likes the beer-can chicken and the beer at this wine bar and barbecue joint. bountyhunterwine.com


Modern French menu. chandon.com/etoile-restaurant

Fatted Calf

Courtesy of Fatted Calf

« Fatted Calf

Jamey's Pick Whetstone calls the chorizo and porchetta at this Oxbow charcuterie shop "crazy good." fattedcalf.com

The French Laundry

Still Napa's premier temple of gastronomy, The French Laundry is über-chef Thomas Keller's flagship. frenchlaundry.com

Gott's Roadside Tray Gourmet

Michael's Pick "I am addicted to the crispy ahi poke tacos," Chiarello says. gotts.com


A casual restaurant with a simple conceit (seasonal ingredients), Market has fast become a local favorite—not least for its great, affordable wine list. marketsthelena.com

Napastyle Paninoteca & Wine Bar

Michael's Pick "We pour wines like Matthiasson's terrific white blend, made with Ribolla Gialla," Chiarello says. napastyleottimocafe.com

Norman Rose Tavern

Jamey's Pick Whetstone's favorite burger here: the lamb patty with garlicky spinach and goat cheese. normanrosenapa.com


This hot spot, founded by Dean & DeLuca partner Lesie Rudd, a features giant fireplace in the dining room, plus massive, well-marbled Dry–Aged "Cowboy" Bone–In Rib Eye Steaks served with the restaurant's signature steak sauce. presssthelena.com


Jamey's Pick For a break from wine tasting, this sophisticated restaurant serves great cocktails like the Casanova. reddnapavalley.com

Sip Shoppe

Michael's Pick Created with designer Andy Spade, Swanson Vineyards' new tasting room offers pairings like chocolate truffles and 2006 Alexis Cabernet Sauvignon. sipshoppe.com

The Restaurant at Meadowood

After three months of renovations, like adding a Josper coal oven, the Meadowood kitchen is now worthy of F&W Best New Chef 2009 Christopher Kostow’s precise, elegant cooking. The best table: a five-seat chef’s counter right in the kitchen.


Nouveau-Med icon. terrarestaurant.com


Aaron London turns out brilliant dishes at Napa's only vegetarian restaurant. ubuntunapa.com

Ubuntu Annex

Jamey's Pick Jamey Whetstone pours his Whetstone wines at this tasting bar. It's inside a yoga-gear shop next to Ubuntu restaurant. ubuntunapa.com

Places to Stay in Napa Valley

Auberge du Soleil

The original wine country getaway. aubergedusoleil.com

Bardessono Hotel

Courtesy of Bardessono

« Bardessono Hotel

Michael's Pick "I like to eat here on the quiet patio," Chiarello says. "Everything's organic." bardessono.com

Meadowood Napa Valley

Posh lodgings on the way to Howell Mountain. From $475. meadowwood.com

Poetry Inn

A luxury bed-and-breakfast. Rooms have wood-burning fireplaces, outdoor showers and decks. From $500. poetryinn.com

Wine Country Inn

Opened in 1975, one of Napa's first bed & breakfasts. winecountryinn.com

Places to Visit in Napa Valley


After 11 years of renting winery space to make his acclaimed Aubert Pinots and Chardonnays, Mark Aubert purchased the old August Briggs winery, just south of Calistoga. Its tasting room, housed in a barn, offers tastes of hard-to-find vintages (333 Silverado Trail; 707-942-4333).

Caldwell Snyder Gallery

Courtesy of Caldwell Snyder Gallery

« Caldwell Snyder Gallery

Michael's Pick The Napa branch of this San Francisco–based gallery specializes in works by emerging artists from Europe and Latin America. caldwellsnyder.com

Erin Martin Design

Michael's Pick Napa's most sought-after interior designer, Erin Martin, sells eclectic pieces at her showroom. martinshowroom.com

Frank Family Vineyards

Frank Family makes some of the most in-demand wines among insiders. frankfamilyvineyards.com

Jarvis Winery

Jarvis, famous for both its classic Cabernet and Chardonnay, built its entire winery—including the press, barrel room, aging cellar and tasting room—in a huge, doughnut-shaped cave, complete with underground stream and waterfall. jarviswines.com

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

One of Napa's oldest postwar wineries, and known for its Rhône varietal wines and California's pioneering Bordeaux-style wine blend, Insignia. Views of bucolic Spring Valley are amazing, and the seated tastings are expertly run. jpvwines.com

Kuleto Estate

Food is important to restaurant owner and designer Pat Kuleto, so his winery is also a working farm that raises goats and cows and grows vegetables used in their seasonal wine pairing dinners. kuletoestate.com

Alex Restaurant

Courtesy of Kollar Chocolates

« Kollar Chocolates

After dinner in Yountville, stroll by the new modern chocolate shop by former Peter Michael Winery chef Chris Kollar and his wife, Naomi Pasztor. He creates beautiful truffles, in flavors like passion fruit and fennel pollen, and a surprisingly savory white chocolate poppy-seed-and-saffron bar. 6525 Washington St., Yountville; 707-738-6750.

Ladera Vineyards

Tours of the historic 1886 stone winery are led by owners Pat and Anne Stotesbery or other family members. If you arrange in advance, the Stotesberys will lead a tour of Howell Mountain's vineyards—Ladera's as well as those of neighboring wineries Dunn and O'Shaughnessy— followed by lunch and a tasting of Ladera wines. laderavineyards.com

Mark Herold

In downtown Napa, winemaker and consultant Mark Herold has opened a tasting bar with samples of all his wines, from labels like Kobalt and Celani, in addition to his own Mark Herold wines. Also from the custom-made zinc bar: small plates of cured fish from his favorite Spanish cannery (710 First St.; 707-256-3111).


Michael's Pick Next door to Bottega is Chiarello's newest NapaStyle outpost, which sells picnic goods, tableware and furniture. napastyle.com

Outpost Wines

Courtesy © Greg Gorman

« Outpost Wines

Michael's Pick Says Chiarello, "I'm a big fan of Outpost, maybe because we share a winemaker: Thomas Brown. outpostwines.com

Oxbow Market

Jamey's Pick "The kids can have a cupcake or ice cream, and my wife and I can drink a beer alfresco," Whetstone says. oxbowpublicmarket.com

Pride Mountain Vineyard

This vineyard bridges Napa and Sonoma counties at the top of Spring Mountain: A brick marker indicates the county line, and grapes crushed on either side must be labeled differently. Tours visit both sides and offer a taste of winemaker Sally Johnson's highly extracted, dense and chewy wines. pridewines.com


The tour explains how this organic and biodynamic winery works and ends with a sit-down tasting of three vintages of Quintessa wines with local cheese. quintessa.com

Schramsberg Vineyards

The grande dame of America's sparkling-wine estates. The tour ventures into mile-deep caves that were hand-dug in the 1870s. schramsberg.com

Spring Mountain Vineyard

Spring Mountain is best known for the Victorian mansion that served as the face of the 1980s soap opera Falcon Crest. The tour includes a visit to the caves, vineyards where a variety of grapes are grown for educational purposes, then ends with a tasting at the mansion or in the caves themselves. springmountainvineyard.com


With four family members working at Viader, visitors are likely to run into one of them on a tour. Call to set up a visit that includes cheese or attend winery events that feature food such as wine–friendly BBQ prepared by executive chef Mariela Viader. viader.com

Five Great Napa Valley Bottles

Vineyard 7 & 8 Estate
Photo courtesy of Vineyard 7 & 8.
  • 2009 Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2007 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot
  • « 2007 Vineyard 7 & 8 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2007 Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay
  • 2008 Chiarello Family Vineyards Giana Zinfandel

Dishes for a Napa Valley Vineyard Picnic

Roast Brined Chicken with Raisin and Pine Nut Agrodolce

Roasted Artichokes and Prosciutto

Calabrese Mustard Greens