The best restaurants in Napa Valley include some of the most top-rated restaurants in all of California, if not the whole country. The best cuisine deserves great wine pairings and where better to do it than in Wine Country? The lush region is not only known for its rolling, vineyard and olive grove-covered valleys but also its exceptional dining establishments.

    Restaurants in Napa Valley allow you to sample the best flavours of the region prepared by award-winning chefs. Most of these top picks on where to eat around Napa are dining destinations in their own right – sole reasons for visiting Napa in the first place and often showing up on foodies’ bucket lists. 

    1

    The French Laundry

    Enjoy classic French cuisine in a stone farmhouse

    • Food
    • Luxury

    The French Laundry is one of the top names in Napa Valley’s dining scene, having nabbed prestigious awards with its classic French cuisine served in charming settings. The farmhouse dates back to 1900 when it was built as a saloon, then turned into a French steam laundry 20 years later – that’s what inspired its quirky and intriguing name.

    The winning flavours of this Michelin-starred restaurant are created by chef/owner Thomas Keller who rotates the specially designed menu daily – no first experience would be the same as your next. Usually, it would be an 8- or 9-course menu through his ‘chef’s tasting’ specials, all meticulously prepared. You need to plan and book online – usually for the next few months.

    Location: 6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 5 pm to 8.45 pm, Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 12.30 pm and from 5 pm to 8.45 pm

    Phone: +1 707-944-2380

    Map

    photo by Peter Bond (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    The Restaurant at Meadowood

    A 3 Michelin-starred restaurant with views of golf greens

    • Food
    • Luxury

    The Restaurant at Meadowood is among Napa Valley's must-visits for 5-star dining. The 3 Michelin-starred restaurant is quite relaxed, with country-styled interiors indoors as well as out on a patio where you can enjoy Chef Christopher Kostow’s contemporary dishes with The Meadowood Golf Club’s rolling greens in view.

    There are 2 ways to dine, either through a classic tasting menu or ‘counter tasting menu’. The latter lets you watch Kostow and his team whip up your multiple-course meal from a coveted table. All dishes are made with local ingredients freshly harvested from its 3.5-acre onsite farm. Meadowood is also popular with wine enthusiasts, thanks to its vast cellar that stocks top-quality regional selections. 


    Location: Meadowood Napa Valley, 900 Meadowood Ln, St Helena, CA 94574, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 707-967-1205

    Map
    3

    Auberge du Soleil

    Dine with a view inspired by Southern France

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Luxury

    Auberge du Soleil is one to tick off your Napa Valley dining list for 5-star French cuisine with breathtaking views of the wine country. It was established as the valley’s first fine-dining restaurant back in 1981 and has garnered awards and a loyal following ever since.

    Part of a luxury resort of the same name, the Michelin-starred restaurant and bistro are surrounded by 33 acres of lush olive groves, with hills covered in leafy oaks and a green valley that forms the vista of its outdoor terrace. The Mediterranean-inspired menu by Chef Robert Curry is paired with an extensive wine selection from its 15,000-bottle cellar.

    Location: Auberge du Soleil, 180 Rutherford Hill Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 11 pm

    Map
    4

    Bouchon Bistro

    An award-winning dining experience inside a quaint red-brick building

    • Food
    • Luxury

    Bouchon is a great place for traditional French bistro fare and fresh shucks from a raw bar. Located in Yountville, the bistro is one of Chef Thomas Keller’s 3 Michelin-starred spots – it’s just a 5-minute walk from his landmark restaurant, The French Laundry.

    Starters include a salmon tartare served with hard-boiled eggs, red onions, capers and crème fraîche, and toasted croutons. A hearty pan-seared flat iron steak with caramelized shallots and maître d’hôtel butter is a top pick for the mains. A vanilla-bean custard crème brûlée serves as the fine ending to your meal at Bouchon. The raw bar for oysters, shrimps or caviar with brioche, paired with regional wine is worth the trip alone.

    Location: 6534 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 4 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 707-944-8037

    Map
    5

    Kenzo Napa

    For elegant and authentic Japanese dining in Napa

    • Food
    • Luxury

    Kenzo Napa is where you can enjoy authentic Japanese flavours in Napa Valley through kaiseki (traditional multi-course experiences). If you’re a foodie and avid gamer who’s played Street Fighter and Resident Evil, you might know that the restaurant is owned by the founding exec of Capcom, Kenzo Tsujimoto. He founded Kenzo Estate Winery back in the early 1990s with legendary American winemaker Robert Mondavi, collaborating with many Napa Valley winemakers to create his very own vintage. 

    The restaurant's kaiseki experience usually includes uzaku (vinegared Shizuoka freshwater eel with cucumbers), hassun (seasonal platter), Mediterranean bluefin tuna sashimi, Kanagawa cutlassfish tempura, Satsuma Wagyu tenderloin kuwayaki (grill), along with the chef’s special sushi selections.

    Location: 1339 Pearl St, Napa, CA 94559, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from midday to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 707-294-2049

    Map
    6

    La Toque

    Downtown Napa’s fine-dining spot

    • Food
    • Luxury

    La Toque at The Westin Verasa Napa is a top downtown choice for fine modern cuisine and innovative wine pairings. Chef/owner Ken Frank always considers wine when creating his dishes and his menu is ever-changing, highlighting fresh seasonal ingredients for an experience that eventually earned La Toque a Michelin star.

    Tables are set up in elegant settings with leather sofas, as well as views of the kitchen as a visual touch to your dinner. There are 4 and 5-course meals to choose from, along with a chef’s tasting menu for a 6-course journey with 4 savoury dishes, such as the irresistible wild king salmon cooked sous vide in duck fat, followed with 2 desserts.

    Location: The Westin Verasa Napa, 1314 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday and Sunday from 5.30 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Map
    7

    Harvest Table

    Dine al fresco while overlooking vineyards in St. Helena

    • Food
    • Families
    • Luxury

    Harvest Table is where you can experience one of the best rustic and alfresco dining experiences in Napa Valley. The restaurant has tables laid out in the intimate residential-like outdoor terraces of the Harvest Inn with calming views to adjacent vineyards. The menus are served family-style, great for when you’re looking for a shared experience.

    Chef Charlie Palmer presents his menus at Harvest Table using locally sourced ingredients for breakfast through dinner. A typical 3-course dinner menu starts with a fruit salad or mushroom toast, continued with a pork loin wrapped in bacon with pork jus, and concluded nicely with a fig tartlet with honey and goat cheese ice cream. There’s also an indoor space with a swanky bar for somewhere more intimate.

    Location: Harvest Inn, 1 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 8 am to 10 am and from 5.30 pm to 8 pm, Friday–Saturday from 8 am to 10 am and from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm and from 5.30 pm to 8 pm

    Map
    8

    Sam's Social Club

    Farm-fresh cuisine under heritage oak and olive trees

    • Food

    Sam's Social Club lies at the foot of Mt. Lincoln in Calistoga, serving rustic American fare in natural settings. An integral part of the Indian Springs Calistoga Resort, the restaurant boasts a colonial look with striking indoors, lofty ceilings with beam-like accents and bright Spanish murals at the back.

    The laidback atmosphere goes well with Chef Sergio Morales’ creations of farm-to-table dishes. Start with the grilled octopus served with crispy potatoes, romesco, Picholine olives and arugula, followed by either a roasted prime rib, juicy Piri-Piri chicken or Alaskan halibut. Opt outside for an al fresco dining experience, complete with a fire pit and a geyser-fed water feature.

    Location: Indian Springs Calistoga, 1712 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA

    Open: Friday–Saturday from 8 am to 9.30 pm, Sunday–Thursday from 8 am to 9 pm

    Map
    9

    Solbar at Calistoga

    For casual yet elegant dining on the Silverado Trail

    • Food
    • Luxury

    Solbar at Calistoga is one of the local-favourite social dining spots in Napa Valley where you can enjoy farm-to-table dinners or wind down with friends over craft cocktails. Part of the Solage Auberge Resort, it offers seating indoors and out on a sunny, open terrace under leafy mulberry trees.

    Chef Massimo Falsini’s seasonal creations include summer specials that start with a Maine lobster cocktail, followed by grilled octopus served with summer pole string beans, Romesco sauce, herbs and tomatoes. A butterscotch pudding or strawberry trifle rounds your dinner nicely, alongside a glass from its modest selection of top Napa wines. If you love cocktails, try Solbar's Sex in the Valley, a concoction of Charbay green tea vodka, thyme, mint, cucumber, and homemade lemonade.

    Location: Solage Auberge Resorts Collection, 755 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm

    Map
    10

    Bistro Jeanty

    One of Yountville’s longstanding neighbourhood bistros

    • Food

    Bistro Jeanty is a friendly neighbourhood spot serving classic home-style French cuisine in Yountville. Run by Philippe Jeanty and his family, this cosy bistro is where you can make new friends over seasonal dishes during lunch and dinner.

    For starters, selections include home-smoked salmon carpaccio and pike dumplings with lobster sauce. Mains range from beef stew with mashed potatoes to a pancetta-wrapped rabbit loin with pappardelle pasta and truffle oil. For drinks, a must-try is La Vie En Rose, a refreshing cocktail made with Belvedere grapefruit vodka, St-Germain, grapefruit and lemon juice, served up with a float of sparkling wine. Secure a corner table at the front window or a table at the back of the patio for a more intimate setting.

    Location: 6510 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 707-944-0103

    Map

    photo by Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0) modified

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveler

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