Trippy user Avery from Berkeley sums it well when she said:
With great wine comes great food, so you’re not going to be at a loss for food experiences in the Napa area! There are so many great, well-known restaurants that aren’t overrated.
Situated only a 90-minute drive north of San Francisco, is Napa, the largest town of Napa Valley. Napa Valley is home to more than 400 wineries; most are along State Route 29. It’s a destination with scenic rolling hills dotted with vineyards, charming hotels, and of course, outstanding food and wine.
But where do you go for the best food and wine in Napa?
That was the question Justine asked:
My boyfriend and I are traveling for a long weekend to Napa and staying at The Carneros Inn in the middle of November. We are looking for winery and restaurant recommendations and would love to hear your thoughts!
We’d love to experience the best of the best (views, wine, overall experience) to get an authentic experience of wine country.
Here are the 10 best places recommended by Trippy users:
1. The Restaurant at Meadowood
Brew from Manhattan Beach said:
Last time we were in Napa we went to the Meadowood for croquet, followed by dinner at the restaurant. This is a great inn and resort with a few croquet fields. After a day of wine tasting (or, as an alternative), you can put on whites, play some croquet, eat wine and cheese, then have dinner in The Restaurant At Meadowood, which is out of this world.
Meadowood has all the croquet equipment, plus a croquet pro who can give you lessons. You definitely have to set it up in advance. It’s not a show-up and rent kind of thing. Reservations would be necessary. Also, Bon Appetit recently named the restaurant at Meadowood #2 on its list of America’s Most Important Restaurants, so you’ll want to have a reservation if you’re going to eat there.
The Restaurant at Meadowood is in St Helena. This excellent restaurant draws inspiration from the surroundings and is committed to using local resources.
2. The French Laundry
Jacey and Scott from Colorado recommended The French Laundry in Yountville. They wrote:
Our favorite experience was at The French Laundry. It was challenging to get reservations, so if you are interested, the best thing you can probably do at this point is to get on a waiting list for a cancelation. Keep in mind that this is about a four-hour dining experience, however.
Chef Thomas Keller started French Laundry in the early 1990s and made it one of the top restaurants in Napa Valley serving French cuisine. Located in a rustic two-story 1,600 square foot stone cottage, the French Laundry is a must-go restaurant for food and wine when visiting the Napa Valley.
The menu changes daily and guests from all over the world go for the nine-course meal with wine pairing suggestions.
3. Bottega Napa Valley
For Italian fare, go to Bottega. Trippy user Carina recommends Bottega. She wrote:
Though I don’t specifically have any recommendations as far as hotels go (I live close to Napa, so I never need to spend the night), I can say that an area right in the vicinity that’s charming is Yountville. I know that the Napa Valley Lodge is there and looks lovely! Yountville is literally minutes from the main wineries of Napa that I would assume you’ll spend a lot of your time in! Yountville is also home to, in my opinion, the best of the best restaurants in all of the wine country- you could walk to some of my faves like Bouchon and Bottega. I hope that this helps, and have a great time!
Bottega offers the best of Italy in California. Located in the historic Vintage Estates, it is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley. You have a choice to either dine at the patio with stone fireplaces or inside fitted with Murano glass chandeliers and Venetian plasters.
4. Gott’s Roadside
For a taste of Californian cuisine go to one of Gott’s brothers’ restaurants. The Gott brothers started their restaurant in Saint Helena in 1999 and quickly expanded to Oxbow Public Market in Napa and other parts of California including San Diego.
The restaurant offers California-inspired dishes and Napa Valley wines and beers selected by Joel Gott, one of the owners.
It’s recommended by Trippy users Kevin from Waterford, Amanda from Roswell New Mexico and Debbie from San Francisco.
Debbie from San Francisco loved Redd. Located in Yountville, Redd’s owner Northern California chef Richard Reddington offers cuisine with Asian, European and Mexican influences.
The restaurant is casual with a contemporary dining room, a cozy bar and an outdoor courtyard shaded by olive trees. The wine is thoughtfully chosen to pair well with the cuisine. All guests have the a la carte and tasting menu options. We suggest getting the tasting menu with wine pairings.
Ever wanted to have an authentic Napoletana pizza with wine in the wine country?
Go to Oenotri in Napa, a southern Italian restaurant. This restaurant has an open kitchen concept where all diners get to see the happenings inside a restaurant kitchen. There’s a wood-burning pizza oven in Oenotri too. And there’s a full bar serving innovative cocktails, beers, and wine.
7. Darioush Winery
Those who prefer wine and cheese instead of a full meal should try Darioush Winery, the most exotic winery in Napa. Join the 11 am or 2 pm wine and artisan cheese experience at Darioush Winery.
Carina from San Francisco loved it, and she said:
Darioush Winery. This is probably the most exotic-looking winery I’ve been to. It has an ancient Persian theme and is located on 22,000 square foot estate. From the moment that I pulled up to the fountains and towering columns in front, I knew I was in for quite the wine tasting experience. The interior is very lush and has a lot of rich textures- I honestly enjoyed looking around as much as I enjoyed the wine! This one is not to be missed. All the staff is VERY hospitable.
8. Rutherford Grill
A Trippy user, Kevin from Waterford wrote:
Rutherford Grill. Perfect Lunch Spot to build a base for wine tasting.
Here’s why according to Rutherford Grill:
Rutherford Grill is situated at the crossroads of Highway 29 and Rutherford Road, occupying a site amongst Napa’s oldest historical wineries like Beaulieu, Inglenook, and others. The Grill is where many valley winemakers rub shoulders with visitors at our island bar next to a dramatic display kitchen.
With a relaxed atmosphere and unfussy but delicious American comfort food, Rutherford Grill is the place to be for food and wine.
9. B Cellars
B Cellars has an on-site chef that helps with the pairing of wine and food. It’s the only winery with a full-service demonstration kitchen. Chef Derick Kuntz offers small plates to pair with five wines from light white to the reds.
The lovingly hand-crafted dishes are made from scratch with ingredients grown in the premise including honey from the local bee apiary.
10. Morimoto Napa
Jessica from Napa said:
I lived in Napa for a year – you must go to Morimoto for dinner.
Those who love creative Japanese food with sake or cocktails would enjoy Morimoto Napa. You have a choice of dining at the lounge and bar, sushi bar or private dining section.
Photo credit: Pixabay