There are so many excellent restaurants around Napa, Sonoma, and the surrounding towns, and choosing one to enjoy a meal at is no easy task. With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide that covers the best restaurants and bars from Yountville to Calistoga, Sonoma to Healdsburg, and all the places in between. This list should get you well on your way to planning an ideal socially-distanced afternoon eating and drinking.
If you’re looking for even more spots to eat and drink outside, check out our North Bay reopening guide.
Open for outdoor dining and takeout. Reservations are available.
Celadon is a downtown Napa staple that’s maintained its status by serving stellar food year after year - they’ve been around for decades. Hit Celadon for a meal after a day of exploring the area. The menu changes frequently and always includes some Asian or Middle Eastern influence. Get the Moroccan lamb chop if it’s available.
Open for takeout, delivery, and patio dining Wednesday to Sunday, from 4-8pm - reservations are available.
Oentori is a Southern Italian restaurant that serves simple and excellent pastas, thin crust pizzas, and salads sourced from their own garden. We love it for brunch, but the comfortable spot is never a bad idea for dinner either.
Open for outdoor dining and takeout.
If you’re looking to break out of the usual Napa dinner cycle (i.e. eat something other than farm-to-table food), this beautiful izakaya is the move. They’re open for dinner in their outdoor patio Thursday to Sunday, 5:30-8:30pm. They also have a soft-serve window that’s open from 4-9:30pm.
The Oxbow Public Market is open for takeout, with some restaurants also open for outdoor dining. Their website has a running list).
Oxbow Public Market is home to many excellent vendors, our favorite being Hog Island Oyster Co. Grab a seat outside and get to slurping, and while you’re there, also check out Fatted Calf for some picnic charcuterie or sandwiches. If you’re an early riser, C Casa does fantastic breakfast tacos, and Ritual Coffee is also worth a stop.
Open for takeout and delivery, and outdoor dining.
There are two locations of Gott’s in the area: a roadside one in St. Helena, and one in Napa right next to Oxbow. All the burgers are delicious, and they do pretty great salads and ahi poke tacos.
The bar and patio are temporarily closed, but pick-up is available. Order here.
This sleek downtown Napa wine and beer bar is a nice change from glass-swirling tasting spots in town. And right now, they’re doing a small menu for takeout that changes often. The menu includes cheese and salumi boards, paninis, and our favorite grilled cheese.
Open for outdoor dining and takeout. Reservations are available.
Mustard’s Grill is a bit up the road from the actual town of Yountville, but it’s an absolute must-visit. Come here for lunch on their outdoor patio, and eat the legendary Mongolian pork chop - an enormous chop with sweet and sour cabbage, mashed potatoes, and homemade mustard sauce.
Open for takeout and outdoor dining in the garden.
People used to book a reservation at Ad Hoc and pray to the fried chicken gods that the famous Keller version would be on the menu the day they visited. But now you can get it without depending on luck or divine intervention. Just show up to this shack behind Ad Hoc from Wednesday to Friday, 3-7pm, or Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm and eat your chicken at a picnic table in peace.
The dining room is temporarily closed. But orders can be placed through Addendum.
Probably our overall favorite restaurant in the entire Napa Valley, because it’s Thomas Keller food without Thomas Keller restaurant pretense. Sure, you could eat down the street at The French Laundry, and you probably should someday (if you can get that reservation - good luck). But Ad Hoc is the kind of place you could go to multiple times a week. The menu is approachable and excellent, and we’ve never been disappointed.
Open for outdoor dining in their newly reconfigured courtyard. Reservations are required.
Is the Thomas Keller spot worth it? Absolutely, at least one time in your life. For the first time ever, The French Laundry is now serving their tasting menu out on their courtyard, with prices ranging from $350 to $450. Those looking to dine more intimately can reserve the Boardroom, a private outdoor dining space located next to The French Laundry’s wine cellar.
Open for outdoor dining and takeout. Reservations for parties of 2 to 6 are available here.
Here’s how to do Bouchon, the Thomas Keller empire’s version of a French bistro: arrive for lunch and order a dozen oysters, a bottle of Viognier, and the croque madame. Repeat annually or daily, depending on how your triglyceride counts are looking. Bouchon now has a takeout menu for lunch or dinner that you can order from here.
Ciccio is open for takeout only.
Ciccio is a little Italian restaurant right on the edge of town, in a building confusingly labeled “Market,” and the most important thing is they’re making burgers, sandwiches, salads, and solid wood-fired pizza to-go. Order for takeout here.
Open for takeout and outdoor dining. Reservations aren’t required, but recommended.
On the St. Helena highway slightly north of downtown Yountville is Brix, a garden fantasyland where Bambi and his friends would live if they were also into wine. The menu is full of crowd-pleasers like pastas and burgers, and it’s all very well executed. Brix is currently accepting reservations for their outdoor seating area for groups of up to six.
Open for outdoor dining and takeout Thursday to Monday, 11:30am to 9pm.
This cute little bistro is a great spot for a casual dinner, especially if you’re looking for something French. Order the tomato soup, which comes with a puff pastry top, along with a bottle of Robert Sinskey Pinot Noir.
Kelly’s Filling Station is currently open from 7am to 7pm daily.
When you’re driving around wine country, the in-car snack situation is extremely important. This fancy bodega is the place to pick things up to keep you going for the day. They also have an ice cream counter (power up with an affogato), and hot dogs if you need something more substantial. And yes, you can get gas here.
Open for outdoor dining, and takeout and delivery from Calistoga to Napa. Reservations are available.
There are a few restaurants we would like to move all our possessions into and establish as a permanent residence. Farmstead is one of those places. Get a seat at their outdoor seating area for insanely good local meats and vegetables. They also have a chocolate chip cookie more people should know about. We don’t go to Napa without a meal here.
Open for outdoor dining on their expanded courtyard, and curbside pick-up. Reservations are available online.
Press is one of the best restaurants in Napa, and it’s a serious place - the meats and produce in this steak-focused restaurant are all sourced locally, and the wine cellar is about as deep as they get in this town. But it’s not just about meat and cabernet. Press is essentially a farm-to-table restaurant that also happens to have a cowboy ribeye on the menu, and that’s why we love it.
Open for outdoor dining, and takeout and curbside pick-up from Monday to Friday, 12-8pm. Reservations are available.
A small Italian place located in the heart of St. Helena, Cook is exactly the kind of Napa restaurant you should keep in your back pocket. You should make a reservation and come here for a bowl of homemade pasta. All of them are tremendous, and pasta is also a great complement to wine, in the sense that you can drink more when your belly is full of it.
Open for outdoor dining, reservations are required.
This is one of the three most expensive, over-the-top meals you can have in Napa and Sonoma (the other two being The French Laundry and Single Thread). The price tag for the roughly three-hour tasting menu is $360 (they also have a four-course bar menu with lighter courses, too). And even for the price, the impressive and beautiful, California-inspired food is worth the trip.
Open for outdoor dining and takeout for lunch and dinner.
People think of The Charter Oak as the casual restaurant from the chef behind The Restaurant at Meadowood. And while it’s definitely not the multi-course tasting extravaganza that you get at Meadowood, it’s actually not very casual at all. The food is much simpler (charred avocado, beef rib, a burger for dine-in or takeout), and entirely delicious. They have a menu that includes cocktails, farm boxes, and housemade butter available to-go.
The restaurant is temporarily closed due to the pandemic.
All-day brunch five days a week is always appreciated, and when you’re in wine country, it’s even better. Archetype, in downtown St. Helena, does a great menu of American classics and cocktails. At brunch you need to order the donut holes, and at dinner the duck is our favorite dish.
Open for outdoor dining Wednesday to Sunday, including weekend brunch. Reservations are available.
Goose & Gander is one of the livelier spots to grab dinner in St. Helena. The cocktails and patio are the main attractions (reservations are available here, but the upscale American food is better than it needs to be considering the very attractive surroundings.
Open for takeout from 10am to 3pm daily. Call 707-963-3421 to place an order.
This sandwich shop is about as local as it gets around here. We like to put our order in the sandwich-makers’ hands, but it’s worth noting the pastrami is excellent. Whatever you do, get some extra Giugni Juice with your order - it’s a dressing/sauce/should-be-illegal drug that’s best poured all over your sandwich.
Open for takeout and curbside pick-up from 6:30am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, and until 4pm on weekends. Outdoor seating is available.
There is no English muffin so perfect as the English muffin from Model Bakery. We say so, the muffin man says so, Oprah says so. And we all know how much Oprah loves bread. This little local spot on Main Street uses their unreal English muffins as a base for amazing breakfast sandwiches, but they’re also great on their own. Besides sandwiches, there are excellent pastries and some salads and lunch sandwiches you can enjoy on one of their handful of tables outside, or for takeout.
Open for outdoor seating, 7am to 5pm daily.
Oakville is a tiny town between Yountville and St. Helena that you’ll likely drive through at least once during a Napa day. The best place to eat here is the Oakville Grocery, which is a side-of-the-road market/cafe with picnic tables out back and a serious to-go operation. There’s also one in Healdsburg, but the roadside stop tends to be more convenient. Our favorites are the vegetable wrap and the turkey pesto sandwich, and if you’re there on the earlier side, they do breakfast sandwiches, too.
The Restaurant at Auberge de Soleil is closed, but The Bistro is open from 11:30am to 11pm. (Don’t worry, you’ll still get the same amazing views). Reservations are recommended.
No trip to the valley is complete without a lunch stop up the hill at Auberge du Soleil, which has one of the most insane views in all of Napa. Reserve a table on the balcony, order some light lunch dishes, and take a break from wine. Their Bloody Marys are what you want.
Open for takeout and outdoor dining Monday to Friday, noon to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 9pm. Reservations are available. Girl and the Fig also has outdoor seating at their summer pop-up in the Sonoma Plaza, first come, first serve.
The Girl & The Fig opened in 1997, and as far as we can tell they haven’t updated their design since. But this place hasn’t been open for 20 years because of its cutting-edge aesthetic - it’s been open for 20 years because the classic French food is reliably great. The prices are also pretty reasonable, so if you’re looking for a comfortable spot to eat without breaking the bank, get a reservation here.
Open for outdoor seating and takeout.
The food at El Molino Central isn’t just some of the best Mexican in Sonoma - it’s some of the best in the whole Bay Area. The setup is simple: arrive at the ridiculously good-looking store, order at the counter (you can also place an order for “car hop service”, and grab a seat on the patio. El Molino is known for their tamales, but we’re partial to the enchiladas. As for the salsa - if you can stop yourself from filling up on chips and this sweet, not-at-all-watery stuff before the rest of the food arrives, you are stronger than we are.
Open for for outdoor dining and takeout. Reservations are available.
In an area that needs more good restaurants, Evangeline is a step in the right direction, especially for brunch. It’s a casual French-Creole place with an excellent patio - another one to put on your list for a nice day.
Open for takeout and outdoor dining on their sidewalk patio from 7:30am to 2pm daily.
Welcome to Napa’s version of Denny’s. When you’ve had enough of fancy overdone brunches where they pressure you into ordering a bottle of wine, Sarafornia is here for you. Come here for coffee, eggs, and pancakes on their sidewalk patio (takeout is also available), and don’t miss the breakfast burrito.
Open for takeout and outdoor seating. Reservations are encouraged.
Campo Fina is more than just an Italian restaurant. It’s an Italian restaurant with excellent wood-fired pizzas and a bocce court in the backyard (right now, the court is being used for outdoor seating). Hit it for an afternoon of wine drinking and eating - they’re open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 9pm.
Open for curbside pick-up and outdoor dining. Reservations are available.
Chalkboard is located in a very fancy hotel that will make you feel like you’re an extra in a movie about Marie Antoinette, but you’re more likely to be eating pork belly biscuits here than frogs’ legs. Get a lot of small plates to share on their outdoor patio, or try tasting all their housemade pastas in a single meal.
Outdoor dining is available. Reservations are required. The rooftop garden will be open as a casual summer wine bar from Wednesday to Sunday until the end of September.
Another contender for most expensive restaurant in California wine country: Single Thread. In this new era, a 10-course meal here will set you back $375, and while we haven’t made it for a visit yet, we’ve heard it’s one of the best restaurant experiences you can have. The Japanese-influenced food is largely sourced from the restaurant’s farm.
Open for outdoor dining in their garden and patio. Reservations are required.
Barndiva is a popular spot for weddings, since it’s essentially a very fancy barn. And in the old days, we were partial to dropping in and grabbing seats at the bar, a few glasses of wine, and an order of goat cheese croquettes. But these days Barn Diva is also just a great place to have an excellent meal. Reservations to sit out on their garden patio are required. Make them here.
Open for outdoor dining on the patio or in-room for hotel guests. Dinner reservations are available.
The Farmhouse Inn is a small bed and breakfast in Forestville, and eating here is a date night power move. If you’re looking for a true “Napa” fine dining experience and want something less stuffy and more intimate than The French Laundry or Meadowood, this is the place for you.
Open for curbside pick-up and outdoor dining. Reservations are recommended.
Glen Ellen is one of the smaller towns in Sonoma County, but it’s well worth a visit for this little restaurant alone. This place is very casual and often filled with locals who are here for everything that comes out of the wood-fired oven: simple pizzas, charred vegetables, and often whole fish. There are also a couple of pastas if you need a break from things cooked with fire.
Open for outdoor dining. Lunch seating is first come, first serve. Reservations are available for dinner.
Geyserville is a town just north of Healdsburg, and it’s extremely charming. While you’re there, hit this also-charming Italian restaurant for a meat and cheese plate and a glass or two of Brunello. And yes, it’s OK to drink wine that doesn’t come from California. Just this once.
Open for outdoor seating on their new sidewalk patio Friday to Sunday from 8am to 2pm.
Della Fattoria is a great spot for an easy breakfast or lunch if you’re in the area. You can order pastries, cookies, bread, and one of their very good breakfast sandwiches in person, or online for pick-up. They also have new street seating out front.