When we’re longing for a gourmet getaway, Napa is one of the first great towns that comes to mind. Napa is our idea of the most accessible source of fine wine, dining, and related provisions in America.
Why do we say that? Other great towns, and cities, are similarly noted for their outstanding cuisine (Santa Fe, Key West, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York City, to name a few of the most notable). However, the ease of sampling outstanding local wine, restaurants, freshly grown produce, and gourmet grocery provisions, including all types and levels of food stylings, is nowhere as carefree as in Napa.
To wit, unlike most major foodie capitals named above, Napa has no parking meters and little need for paid or valet parking. Acclaimed restaurants and wineries are clustered in easy strolling and driving distance (or even on a train ride!). Restaurants are generally well priced and include everything from celebrity chefs (Morimoto, Ken Frank, etc.) to unknown masters doing outstanding work in kitchens all over town. Food stylings range from classic intercontinental fare to cutting-edge designer cuisine (even edible dirt—really!). The relatively new Oxbow Market is evolving impressively into a casual but very complete gourmet provision center.
As dedicated food and wine critics, we took tasting our way through everything that Napa has to offer very seriously. The result is our concise recommendations on all of the most delicious, sybaritic places to enjoy Napa’s remarkable bounty.