The blissful valley of Napa, California filled with bold wines and even bolder food. Otherwise known as “wine country,” Napa is renowned for its fine wines, but what about its food scene? Food and wine pairings are a very popular way to taste wine, making it inevitable for Napa to turn into a hub for new and trendy restaurants appealing to the foodie and the wine connoisseur alike. If you are looking for information on winery tours, then check out my Napa Winery Tour with Platypus Tours or my Self-Guided Winery Tour of the Napa Valley.
After a long day of wine tastings or discovering all that Napa has to offer, an indulgent meal is necessary and the restaurant choices are endless. Below are the restaurants I visited while in Napa, California and my notes to help you decide which venue is best for you. If you’re looking for wine recommendations, check out my Napa Winery Tour with Platypus Tours, Napa Winery Tour with Platypus Tours 2, or my Self-Guided Napa Winery Tour.
Each restaurant has a different culinary expertise, price range, and atmosphere so find your favorites and go check them out!
What I ate: Cheeseburger, sweet potato fries, vanilla shake
Description: If you haven’t already heard of them, Gott’s is a staple in Napa. This famous burger joint has been around since 1999 serving up roadside classics with a California spin. Gott’s Roadside prides themselves on only using locally sourced ingredients at all 7 of their locations. I had their classic cheeseburger, which was without a doubt the best cheeseburger I have ever eaten. Their special sauce was just as the name presents itself, “special.”
What I ate: French Macarons (caramel, vanilla, gingerbread)
Description: World renowned chef, Thomas Keller, is the master mind behind the exquisite bakery, Bouchon Bakery. With only 3 locations in Yountville (Napa), New York City, and Las Vegas, this is a must-stop eatery. You may have also heard of his other prestigious restaurants such as The French Laundry and Ad Hoc, which are also in Napa. I have not had the chance to engage in a dining experience at either of these restaurants, but they are on my Food Tour bucket list. P.S. These were the largest and most delicious French macarons I have ever eaten.
Description: Best. Italian. Food. Ever. From start to finish, Bottegablew me away; artisan bread and savory parmesan dip (Salsa di Parmigiano) for the table, an extraordinary Italian Gin & Tonic with juniper berries, a glass of complimentary champagne for my birthday, and finally THE MEAL. The shaved brussel sprout salad was delectable with a zesty Meyer lemon dressing accompanied by salty Pecorino cheese. But let’s get to what everyone wants to hear about… the pasta! The egg stuffed ravioli blew me away from the browned truffle butter to the perfectly runny egg that poured out when I sliced it down the middle. And let’s not forget about the ricotta gnocchi. If you could imagine eating pillows that were sent down from Heaven, that is what Bottega’s ricotta gnocchi taste like. Ahh just go, NOW! Start running to California and don’t stop until you get to Bottega.
Description: Kitchen Door is located in the Oxbow Public Market in Downtown Napa, which was in walking distance of my hotel, Andaz Napa. This is a Todd Humphries Restaurant with an eclectic spin on comfort food, affordable prices, and a unique atmosphere with an open-kitchen layout. Let’s just say it was so good that I went twice. Their pho was very authentic Vietnamese style along with their wood fired chicken wings that had a Vietnamese flare. I had the mushroom pizza the second time I visited the Kitchen Door and was pleasantly surprised by the mushroom varieties topping the pizza. They are known for stocking their kitchen full of locally sourced mushrooms of all types so make sure to try them out!
Description: Ristorante Allegria is located inside an old bank building that gives the atmosphere a very classical ambiance. Draped curtains and high ceilings turn this historical land mark into a dark and cozy Italian restaurant. The food was impeccable from fresh homemade pasta to delectable hearty sauces. The saffron pappardelle with wild mushrooms and jumbo prawns was heavenly. They also have very large portions, which was perfect after a long day of wine tasting! If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can book a reservation in “The Vault,” which used to be used as the old bank’s money vault.
Description: I know this is not considered a “restaurant,” but Three Twins Ice Cream was so scrumptious that I had to mention them in the Food Tour. Located in Oxbow Public Market, this organic scoop shop is known for their lemon cookie ice cream, which I had to try. It was rich and creamy with crunchy pieces of lemon cookies and a mild tartness that was accompanied by the perfect amount of sweetness. I could’ve just had a big bowl of that for dinner!
Description: V. Sattui is a well-known winery and marketplace on sprawling lush grounds. I stopped at V. Sattui for lunch during my Self-Guided Napa Winery Tour. The food was delicious, the marketplace selection was beyond extensive, and the outdoor picnic table area was picturesque in the California sun. Check them out on the weekends when they have their wood-fired pizza oven out in the picnic area!