It may be possible to subsist on wine alone during a wine tasting trip to Napa Valley, bouncing from one winery in Napa to the next, but you'd be missing out on an incredible culinary experience. It's not just the Michelin star restaurants that should have you excited at these Napa restaurants, though: Downtown Napa is rife with great burger joints, steakhouses and tapas spots, along with craft cocktail bars and beer bars that offer a momentary respite from all that wine. For a truly savory visit to Napa, check out our guide to the best Napa restaurants.
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Best Napa restaurants
La Taberna is your quintessential Spanish tavern where pinxtos are handwritten on a chalkboard; Rotating dishes include pulpo (octopus), saffron patatas (potatoes), clams romesco and iconic Jamon Iberico for around $10 each. In proper taberna form, drinks are a huge part of the draw here. Besides craft beer, there is plenty of sherry, sidra (cider), vermut (vermouth) and wines from Spain as well as California.
Napa’s casual-cool izakaya greets you with a striking wood entrance. Inside, Japanese binchotan grills serve up tasty yaktori, ramen is laddled from the kitchen, classic Japanese dishes like chawanmushi or okonomiyaki are prepared to order, and creative cocktails are slung from the bar.
Inside humble Val's Liquors you'll find a taste of Napa history: malfatti. The hand-rolled spinach-and-cheese dumplings smothered in sauce are legendary. Though the exact origin story is murky, there's no version better than the Cittoni family’s, served from a window in a liquor store (you can call to place orders). The takeout-only menu also features a few pastas and American-Italian dishes.
A game-changing Napa institution, Oxbow Market is made up of multiple restaurants, shops and eateries in one space. We recommend filling up to-go cans (a.k.a. crowlers) of beer at Fieldwork Brewing, slurping oysters at Hog Island and chowing down breakfast tacos at C Casa.
This restaurant slash wine bar slash bottle shop focuses on wine education with themed tastings, dinners and classes. It offers a huge selection of wine as well as tasty bites to pair with your vino like duck fat fries and chicharrones.
Steakhouse devotees will love a visit to Charlie Palmer Steak at the Archer Hotel. Start your evening upstairs with cocktails at the rooftop bar before enjoying a dinner menu heavy with fresh seafood dishes, quality salads and fun small plates like the pig ear pad Thai or short rib pastrami.
A true escape to Japan in the middle of downtown Napa, this pristine, Michelin-starred restaurant serves both Tokyo Edomae sushi and traditional Kyoto kaiseki (seasonal) tasting menus.
Chef Ken Frank and team have offered some of Napa's only Michelin-starred fine dining since La Toque opened in Rutherford in 1998. Now located inside the Westin Verasa Napa hotel, La Toque dinners begin with a wine list so extensive it requires an iPad. Then, choose from a variety of tasting menu options (Four or five course? Chef’s table? etc.). Finally, dig in at one of the leather-topped tables near the fireplace while chef Frank serves up luxury ingredients like truffles and wagyu beef.
In a lofty, exposed stone space, TORC's owner and chef Sean O’Toole showcases local farmers, ranchers and seafood in his seasonal menus with changing dishes like lamb ravioli, artichoke velouté with ricotta, pistachio and Meyer lemon, or local wild boar loin and belly over forbidden rice in a pho broth. Just looking for a drink? Settle in for happy hour (daily from 5–6:30pm), when wine and cocktails are only $6 and the amazing deviled eggs are only $5.
A Napa staple on the river, Angèle is housed in a turn-of-the-century ship chandlery. The cozy dining room and sunny, covered patio make for a relaxing setting to fill up on French onion soup, steak tartare or a Croque Monsieur sandwich with a glass of wine.