When traveling to Downtown Napa you will quickly learn that there are countless places to drink and dine. Whether it’s a glass of wine and full meal you are after or a beer and small bites you can find it all within walking distance in Downtown Napa. After eating and drinking my way through the heart of Napa, this short list should help you narrow down the must visit places do dine and drink in the area.
Ride the Wine Train
Napa is an expansive area with so much to experience; if you want to take it all in you can do it while riding on The Wine Train. It embodies what everyone loves about the historical charm of train travel and takes you along 25 miles throughout the heart of Napa Valley. The best part is you can enjoy it all while dining and enjoying wines in the Wine Train’s restored rail cars. There are a variety of packages to choose from that allow everyone to enjoy according to their likes and budget. If you are wine lover, you may enjoy stopping off at wineries like we did.
Take in Oxbow Public Market
Oxbow Public Market is one of my favorite places in Downtown Napa offering a wide range of restaurants and shops in one central location. The intimate environment allows you to get to know the shop owners and chat with locals as you enjoy some of the best eats and drinks in Downtown Napa. You can enjoy every meal from breakfast to dinner at Oxbow Market and mingle with others.
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My personal recommendations are Anette’s Chocolates, Carpe Diem, C Casa, and Cate and Co. who makes gluten free dishes that left me wanting seconds.
Have Lunch at Atlas Social
There are many restaurants to enjoy lunch or dinner at in Downtown Napa but to experience a unique menu that tempts the palate in creative ways, I highly recommend Atlas Social. It is located on 1st Street so is centrally located and easily accessible from all of Downtown Napa.
The tempura vegetables are a favorite of mine; they defy the odds of tempura vegetables at Atlas Social with every vegetable perfectly cooked inside the light and crispy coating. The chefs catered to the over six food allergies or sensitivities within our group without blinking an eye – without compromising flavor or quality. The Polenta Porridge and Grilled Asparagus Steak deserve a taste when you visit and I have added the Red Wine Marinated Lamb Chops to my list for the next time I dine at Atlas Social.
Drink Wine Blindfolded
You can’t really do Napa right without being blindfolded while wine tasting, right? The Napa General Store is a charming store located near the Napa River Inn and is a go to destination for wine trinkets. It is also home to a wine tasting experience that is paired with your own lovely mask. I loved how relaxed the tasting was at the Napa General Store; it’s the perfect place to go with a group of friends or just enjoy with random people that want to taste as well.
Eat a World Famous English Muffin
If you are like me you may be wondering if an English muffin can really be that amazing. The answer is yes, but I have only experienced it at Model Bakery in Downtown Napa. Model Bakery is located near Oxbow Market and boasts some of the most spectacular breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Those should be enjoyed after your English Muffin though. Make sure you take advantage of Model’s homemade jellies they offer with your muffin; they compliment them perfectly and are unique to Model.
Have Dinner at Torq
The people you meet when traveling to destinations are a large part of the enjoyment for me. The owner of Torq has a story and he is bring his story and passion together in his restaurant. From the drinks to the service, food, and right at home vibe, Torq is a place to dine, celebrate friends, and make new ones in the process.
Bike to a Winery
Yes, biking and wine can be done together plus it’s a great way to see the area and take it in through your senses. We rented bikes with Getaway Adventures Wine Country Tours and rode together as a group from Downtown Napa to Judd’s Hill Winery; the ride was scenic and the perfect overall distance. We enjoyed a nice wine pairing class at Judd’s Hill and biked back; for me I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Napa this way on our last day of travel. With the breeze on my face and the peace of the vineyard, I felt at home in Napa.
Enjoy a Lighter Meal at Eight Noodle Shop
Wining and dining is always fun but it’s nice to enjoy lighter meals as well; Eight Noodle Shop is where modern gourmet meets Asian fare resulting in lighter menu options and a clean taste. Again, they easily accommodated my egg allergy and my Chicken and the Egg (minus the egg) dish was beyond incredible with a perfectly sweet and lightly seasoned flavor. Eight Noodle Shop is on Clay Street near the newly renovated Andaz Napa hotel.
Don’t forget to check out these key tips to help you plan your trip to Downtown Napa as well!