Boasting more than two dozen tasting rooms within walking distance, downtown Napa is well-known as a destination for wine enthusiasts. But even the best bottles in town have some serious competition these days when it comes to putting together a must-do while visiting list. If you enjoy eating, (Who doesn’t?) you’ll enjoy downtown Napa. There are delicious dishes for everyone and every budget.
Celadon is worthy of being organized and planning ahead. The garage door style wall at Grace’s Table rolls up making it a perfect spot to dine on downtown Napa’s frequent sunny days and a shot of the Soup of the Moment at Carpe Diem is often exactly what you want and need.
Oxbow Public Market is perfect when you just can’t seem to make up your mind what you’re in the mood for. With options like C Casa for Mexican cravings or a burger and fries from Gott’s Roadside, you’ll eat well at Oxbow with ease.
Gott’s Roadside Napa
Think roadside burger joint with food that is anything but. Along with burgers and thick milkshakes, Gott’s Roadside serves Ahi poke crispy tacos, fish and chips, kale salad and sweet potato fries. Wash it all down with beer, wine or even a bottle of Napa Valley bubbly. Trying to eat healthy? An assortment of salads, veggie burgers and turkey patties are available. Gluten-free buns are on the menu as well. And if you’re traveling with youngsters, the casual atmosphere and kids menu make eating out stress free. Along with the downtown Napa eatery, Gott’s has three additional San Francisco Bay Area locations. (707-224-6900)
The handmade white corn tortillas are just the beginning at C Casa. Ten types of tacos come with ingredients like buffalo, lamb, duck, prawns, and fish. Toppings are anything but typical with options including garlic aioli, goat cheese and citrus marinated sweet red onion. Along with rotisserie chicken and herb crusted duck, C Casa makes salads and small plates and their own delicious twist on nachos. Be sure to take a look at the chalk board specials before you order. Located in Oxbow Public Market, C Casa is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is served daily until 11:30am. All menu items are gluten-free. (707-226-7700)
Napa Palisades Saloon
With televisions everywhere, it has the feel of a sports bar, but you’ll eat well at Napa Palisades Saloon. You’ll drink well too, especially if you like beer. With more than 30 taps focusing on Northern California Microbrews, there’s something for every drinker here. (Napa Palisades Saloon even has non-alcoholic Lost Coast Root Beer on tap.) Some kind of game is always on, but the eatery attracts a social crowd, so expect a lot of conversation with whatever is playing on television. The kitchen serves comfort food with a pub twist, like Shrimp and Grits, Mac & Cheese and Chorizo Fries. (707-296-1552)
Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ
If you’re looking for barbecue, look no further than Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ. Famous for its beer can chicken, if you don’t order one, you’ll be sorry when you see it delivered to the table next to you. The menu also includes classic favorites like pulled pork, beef brisket and pork ribs. A trio of Bounty Hunter’s Smokin’ Q Sauces are delivered to the table, so you can sauce everything according to your own taste. The wine list takes time to digest, offering more than 400 bottles and 40 available by the glass. Wine flights are a nice way to try something new. Casual with a bar-like atmosphere. (707-226-3976)
Eat like you are in Southern Italy without leaving downtown Napa at Oenotri. Handcrafted food is what it’s all about at this popular dinner spot. With more than 20 different types of house made salumi, handmade fresh and dry pasta, and an assortment of breads made daily in-house, skipping lunch so you’re hungry come dinner time is something worth thinking about. Oenotri’s pizzas are baked in a wood-burning oven, imported from Italy. During peak season, 80% of the produce featured on the restaurant’s menu come from its own four acre garden and the Napa Chefs Co-Op Garden in downtown Napa. (7072521022)
Few restaurants can serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with the charm and deliciousness of downtown Napa’s Grace’s Table. Start your day with house made cinnamon rolls or old fashioned donuts. Lunch can be healthy with a roasted beet salad or not if you opt to the glazed pork belly or onion rings. Supper includes dishes like cassoulet and tamales. Whenever you go, expect a crowd, and be sure to order the iron skillet cornbread. It’s served whenever Grace’s Table is open. Loved by locals and often discovered by visitors, Grace’s Table is the place to be on sunny day when the front wall goes up like a garage door and lets fresh air stream in. (7072266200)
Ca’ Momi Osteria
Owned by the same team that runs Ca’Momi Enoteca, and Italian-style wine bar in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, the Osteria serves what it calls “heartcrafted” authentic, traditional Italian cuisine. Most of the dairy, meats and veggies used in the kitchen are locally sourced, coming from within a 50-mile radius. The restaurant has a strict organic policy. The menu offers a wide selection of regional Italian recipes, but pizza has a starring role at Ca’Momi Osteria. The open-style pizza kitchen means you can watch as pizza magic is made using an Acunto Napoli wood-burning oven imported from Italy. With just under 100 indoor seats, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is still warm and inviting, even when full. ((707) 224-6664)
Carpe Diem Wine Bar
Ever tried an ostrich burger? Carpe Diem’s the place to expand your gourmet horizons and give it a try. If you don’t think of yourself as an adventurous eater, no worries there’s plenty of other tasty dinner options like the ever-changing chef’s selection of tacos, artisanal cheese and charcuterie plates and daily soups. The atmosphere at Carpe Diem Wine Bar is fun and lively with an attentive staff. The wine list is expectedly impressive and even offers wine flights in case you’re in the mood for trying something new. If you’re wined out, the artisanal cocktail menu offers more than a dozen tasty choices. (707-224-0800)
Even in winter, the patio at Celadon is a warm and cozy spot to indulge. Complete with fireplace, aged brick walls, and a chic chandelier, the setting makes diving into delicious dishes even more fun. Open for lunch and dinner, Celadon serves tasty selections like five spice-rubbed duck breast and moroccan inspired braised lamb shank for dinner. Lunch includes favorites like the grilled mahi mahi sandwich and a masami beef ‘american style kobe’ chuck burger. Try and save room for the lemon meringue pie or the vanilla bean crème brûlée with caramelized bananas. It won’t be easy, but you can do it. (707-254-9690)
Oxbow Public Market
It isn’t fancy, but Oxbow Public Market sure is good. Even if you’re not hungry, it has a way of making your stomach growl when you wander through the popular food and shopping hall. From oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co to organic ice cream from Three Twins and artisan crafted chocolates at Anette’s, Oxbow Public Market offers a selection that can’t be beat anywhere in downtown Napa. Oxbow is open seven days a week. Some merchants start cooking as early as 7:30am and some keep the oven hot until as late as 9:30pm, so whether you’re in search or breakfast, lunch or dinner, Oxbow Public Market will be serving tasty dishes. (707.226.6529)
About Dana Rebmann
Dana Rebmann moved from San Francisco to Wine Country in search of sunshine. Amazing wine and food was a delightful bonus.
A former television producer for NBC News, Dana is a regular contributor to a number of publications including Viator, Luxury Retreats, Gogobot, Hotel Scoop, Shermans Travel and family luxury travel website Ciao Bambino. She is also the travel correspondent for KRON4 News in San Francisco.
When not buckled in on a plane, she’s trying to keep up with two teenage daughters. See where she is exploring this week at her website.
Read more about Dana Rebmann here.
Connect with Dana via: Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | StumbleUpon