Can’t-Miss Napa Restaurants

Jan Attard  |  October 11, 2022

From its beautiful scenery to 400-plus wineries to unique events and entertainment, there’s just nothing like Napa. If you’ve visited the Napa Valley several times and want to go back for more, you may want to consider buying a primary or vacation home in the area. Though you’ve likely already experienced some of Napa’s premier restaurants if this is not your first visit, a trip to look at homes for sale in Napa should always include dining out at iconic fine dining establishments as well as smaller, local favorites so you can get a better idea of the dining scene. When planning your Napa itinerary, make sure you include these can’t miss spots.

1. Press

Want to sip on delicious wine while enjoying dry-aged steaks or locally-caught seafood? Then put Press on your list. With the largest collection of wines from Napa Valley anywhere in the world, Press is a can’t-miss for the connoisseur of local reds and whites. Once you’ve settled on your meal (menu standouts include ricotta gnudi, lobster en brioche, and a 35-day New York Strip), talk to the on-hand sommeliers to find the perfect glass or bottle to complement your food. You can also do a tasting menu and add on the optional wine pairing for an unforgettable meal that would make a perfect celebration dinner if you’ve just made a successful offer on one of the homes for sale in Napa.

2. Solbar

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Located in the Solage Resort in Calistoga, Solbar is the epitome of the casual sophistication the Napa area is known for. You can choose to dine or sip on a drink on the sunny outdoor terrace or opt for the light-filled dining room. No matter which you choose, you’ll enjoy choosing from lunch options like spicy gulf shrimp lettuce wraps, seared yellowfin tuna burgers, and gyros of duck confit. Dinner may start with a roasted octopus or beef tartare starter followed by sake-marinated black cod, forty-eight-hour beef short rib, or pork schnitzel capped with some butterscotch pudding or a caramelized apple tart. Solbar also features breakfast if you want to start your day of looking at Napa real estate off on the right foot. Banana nut oatmeal, lemon ricotta pancakes, or a Maine lobster omelet will put you in the right mood to start your home search. Of course, Solbar also offers a full menu of wines, cocktails, and craft beers for you to enjoy with your meal.

3. Goose & Gander

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Want to take a break and chill out after a long day of looking at Napa real estate? Forego the fine dining and head to casual gastropub Goose & Gander for some classic American dishes, signature cocktails, craft beers, and, of course, wine. You can dine at the basement bar, in the lush garden, or in the dining room that is reminiscent of pubs of old. As for the fare, expect to start your meal with a sticky pig ear, wood-roasted cauliflower, or watermelon gazpacho followed by a burger, pan-seared halibut, or filet mignon served with duck fat fries. Enhance your meal with Coastal Pimm’s Cup or Walter’s Manhattan, a glass of Russian River Brewing’s double IPA Pliny the Elder, or a glass of local wine.

4. Brasswood

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Those who want to grab some breakfast or take a break from looking at homes for sale in Napa with a light lunch should head to Brasswood Bar + Bakery while those who are done for the day and want to unwind with dinner can experience Brasswood Bar + Kitchen. Located in St. Helena, this local favorite uses locally sourced, fresh ingredients to create daytime dishes like classic margherita pizzas, breakfast burritos, and poke bowls while dinner options include pan-seared scallops, pork and beef meatball on polenta, and duck Bolognese. Brasswood also offers a selection of local beers, house cocktails, and a curated wine selection. You can also purchase bottles of wine from one of their three vineyards.

5. La Toque

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Earning a Michelin star every year since they started awarding them in Wine Country, La Toque has also been recognized by Wine Spectator for their high level of customer service and their wine list. Experience the dining experience Napa is known for with the chef’s tasting menu (also offered as vegetarian) with optional wine pairing, or order from a la carte menu and choose from options like pappardelle with slow-cooked beef and pork ragu, pan-roasted gulf snapper with fennel marmalade, and thick-cut veal chop with summer squash and oyster mushrooms. If it’s a large selection of wine you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. La Toque’s wine selection is unmatched, consisting of not only wines but selections from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and more areas.

6. The French Laundry

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You simply can’t visit the Napa Valley without dining at arguably the most well-known restaurant in the area: Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry. This is the ultimate fine dining experience that will leave a lasting memory. From its two chef’s tasting menus (one vegetarian) to its rustic location in a two-story stone cottage to its 3-star Michelin rating, The French Laundry is the place to go for a romantic dinner or to celebrate a special occasion. After you buy one of the homes for sale in Napa, you may find this is the restaurant you’ll keep returning to when you want to impress guests or just enjoy some of the best cuisine in the world.

If you’re planning to be in the Napa area to begin your home search, you need to put one (or all) of these restaurants on your must-try list. Haven’t yet found a local realtor to help you with your home search? Reach out to trusted Napa real estate expert Jan Attard for guidance.

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