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  • Writer's pictureTara Wilson

Where to Eat & Drink in Downtown Napa

Looking for a getaway filled with world-renowned wine tasting rooms, celebrity chef restaurants, freshly baked bread & pastries, and delicious craft cocktails? And better yet, what if I told you that they were all within walking distance?


Everywhere we ate and drank in Downtown Napa was so beautifully and uniquely decorated and had so much personality! I can't wait to share with you where we went, as well as some worthy recommendations!


Navigating this Post:

Breakfast


After reading a ton of reviews, we had to make a stop at Model Bakery to see what made their english muffins so special. After all, they're so good that Oprah listed them on her Favorites list and even has them flown in when she's craving them!


Our consensus: totally worth it. Unlike english muffins you'd get at the store, these taste freshly fried to order: warm, crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside.


We went here for breakfast one day and loved it so much, we stopped by the next day and grabbed breakfast to go for the drive home! The first day, we each ordered "The Original" (scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon & organic sharp cheddar on an english muffin) and split a toasted english muffin (I ate mine with strawberry jam & cream cheese, my boyfriend had his slice with butter & blackberry jam). So. Dang. Good. Tasted like a jelly donut!



The next morning, we decided to each get our own english muffin and split a breakfast sandwich instead, since the ones we got before were pretty hearty. This time, we decided to split their Chipotle Sourdough (scrambled eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, pepper jack cheese, & chipotle mayo on toasted sourdough). I wish I could eat one of these every morning! For convenience, we pre-ordered through their website so it was ready to pick up on our drive out of town.


Helpful info: they close at 4pm, and are located in the building next to the Oxbow Market (right next to Gott's Roadside).


Other spots to check out for breakfast:


 

Coffee


This coffee shop was just a short, convenient walk from the hotel we were staying in (Napa River Inn), and the coffee I got there was delicious! Honestly, it took me forever to finally decide on what I wanted, since everything on their menu sounded incredible & unique.


While I was trying to decide, I noticed how the two baristas greeted many of the guests by name - I could tell this spot was a local favorite. The inside was warm, cozy & charming, and maybe it was the rain outside, but this spot reminded me of some of my favorite coffee shops back in Portland, OR.


I finally decided on the Snickerdoodle latte with oat milk, which tasted like Christmas cookies in a cup! Can't wait to go back and try more of their menu!


Other spots to check out for coffee:


 

Lunch



Bounty Hunter is awesome because not only are you able to enjoy delicious barbecue, but you can also enjoy delicious (and affordable) wine flights as well! This was our first stop once we drove into Napa and checked into our hotel, and it was a great way to kickoff our trip.


I was really eager to try their Beer Can Chicken, but since a whole chicken was a bit more than we needed for lunch, we decided to share the Smoked Beef Brisket sandwich and the Reuben. We liked how they brought out three different BBQ sauces to try with the brisket!


After we ate lunch, I ordered the Great White wine flight ($19; included a sauvignon blanc, grenache blanc and chardonnay) and my boyfriend ordered the Smokin BBQ wine flight ($16; included a rose, chianti and red blend), and there wasn't a single wine we didn't enjoy!


I particularly loved the grenache blanc I tried, and was surprised to hear that if you wanted to buy a bottle of a wine you tasted in a flight, you could get 15% off! To check out their menus, click here!



The Oxbow Public Market was for sure my favorite place to explore! There were so many different vendors and food under one roof - I could easily spend an entire day wandering through and checking out each spot.

With food ranging from Mexican, sushi, pizza, burgers, oysters, charcuterie, cupcakes, chocolates, and more - this is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon and grab lunch. You can even do some wine tasting!


For a list of the vendors & restaurants at Oxbow Public Market, click here!


 

Cocktails


Igloos at the Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar

Ok, these igloos were so much fun! Sky & Vine is located on the rooftop of the Archer Hotel, and during the holiday season they set up igloos for guests to enjoy their food & cocktails in. The igloos aren't waterproof, so they don't do well in the rain (it rained pretty hard once we got to Napa), but lucky for us, they weren't taking the igloos down until Friday, January 6th, and the rain cleared for our next day in Napa.



There were several igloos open by the time we went, so we were able to get sat right away. I had hoped it would get dark enough for them to turn the twinkling lights on before we had to leave, but the igloo experience was still so charming - complete with Christmas pillows and a tree!



We ordered the Sweet Chai of Mine (ketel one vodka, allspice dram, chai, orgeat, espresso, whipped cream) and Hocus-Pocus (tito’s vodka, blackberry-sesame syrup) cocktails, enjoyed the Roasted Crab & Artichoke Dip (so dang good!!), and finished with a glass of wine (when in Napa, am I right?).


Even without the igloos, we would definitely go back! There were so many other food & drinks on their menu that we wanted to try! The cocktails and food were delicious, the view was pretty great, and there's even an intimate whiskey bar tucked away on the roof top, too.


Helpful info:

-Sky & Vine doesn't take reservations, and is first come/first serve. When the igloos are up, there is a 2-hr limit. The Whiskey Bar, however, is by reservation only.


-Click here to see Sky & Vine's menu. They're open til 10pm.



The ArBaretum


For premium craft cocktails in a cool, garden-esque lounge, check out the ArBaretum! This place is a fun vibe, for sure! I absolutely loved how they decorated this place!

My boyfriend kept it simple with a classic old fashioned, but I (once again) had a hard time trying to choose from their Signature Winter Cocktails menu - everything sounded so tasty! Since it was pretty cold outside, I went with a warm cozy cocktail called "Four for You Glen Coco," and it was the perfect holiday concoction for winter: Rum, Mexican Oat Milk Hot Chocolate, Creme de Menthe, Maletti Cioccolato, Marshmallow, and Black Walnut Bitters. Delicious!!


Bonus points that it was right next to a cigar shop, so after our cocktails we hopped on over so I could treat my boyfriend to a "thank you" cigar for my surprise Napa birthday trip!


Other spots to check out for cocktails:


 

Wine


Along with trying wine flights at Bounty Hunter, we also ordered a wine flight to share and a glass of wine from Brendel Wines! What attracted me to Brendel Wines is the fact that they only produce wines from 100% organic grapes from vineyards that are biodynamically-farmed, which means they don't add any unnecessary ingredients to their wines. I tend to have a bad reaction (hives/skin rash, headaches) when drinking lower quality wines or wines with a lot of added sulfites, so this was a huge plus for me!


We shared "The Essentials" tasting flight, which was $30 for a taste of four wines (sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and a Cuvée rouge).



We knew this tasting room could get pricy, but we had heard only great things about their wine and it happened to be right next to Brendel, so we decided to stop by and check it out! Being on a budget, we opted out of getting a wine flight and instead asked the gentleman helping us what his favorite glasses of red and white were, and ordered one of each.


I went with the glass of white (Alpha Omega Chardonnay, 2020), and...well, all I can say, is that was the best glass of white wine I had ever had. That's no exaggeration! The chard had strong notes of toasted vanilla, and I am by no means a wine snob but wow! If the bottle wasn't $70, I probably would've gotten several, haha. Honestly, I'm so happy that I had a full glass of that chardonnay instead of paying $50 for a taste of four wines (the flights were $50, $75 and $100). My boyfriend enjoyed his pinot noir (Tolosa Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir), but I fell in love with my chardonnay. Very very happy that we decided to stop in!

Wondering if the money for dinner should go to this wine instead

Other tasting rooms to check out:

For wine & chocolate pairings, check out Chateau Buena Vista, Walt Wines, and Vintage Sweet Shoppe!


For a wine & gourmet potato chip pairing, check out Shadowbox Cellars!


To see if the Priority Wine Pass is worth it for your trip to Downtown Napa, check out this post!


 

Dinner


The White Lily Cocktail

We always love stopping in to Morimoto's for a cocktail and bite to eat when we're in Orlando, so we got really excited to see that there was also a Morimoto location just steps away from our hotel!


This ended up being perfect for us, because after all of the snacks we were eating throughout the day, neither of us had much of an appetite for a big dinner. So when dinner-time came around, stopping in to Morimoto's for a couple sushi rolls to go was an ideal option for us. We ordered cocktails at the bar while we waited for our food, and then went back to the hotel to enjoy our sushi in bed. I gotta say, putting on a movie and eating sushi in a plush bath robe was definitely the kind of relaxing vibes I wanted on a vacation!



Celadon was highly recommended to us for dinner, and though we were too full to order food by the time we stopped by, I'm really happy we decided to check it out! There's a fun archway covered in greenery and lights at the entrance, and once you're inside, there's a big stone fireplace that makes for a nice setting for a romantic dinner.


After having walked all day, we decided to rest our feet and enjoy a glass of sangria at the bar (delicious). On our next trip to Napa, we definitely want to come back and try the food - they say they serve "global comfort food," and their menu is an accurate depiction of that. To check out their menu, click here!


Other restaurants to check out for dinner:

For a quick video recap of our time in Downtown Napa, click here!


Have you been to Downtown Napa? Let me know in the comments where your favorite places for food & drinks are!







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