My wife and I are going to be on our honeymoon out in Napa for five days and though we are doing the "fine dining" restaurants, we are looking for some relatively inexpensive yet good places to eat. Were very flexible on cuisines.
Can anyone recommend grocery/specialty stores to shop for snacks etc.
Thanks so much!!
if you search, there are volumes and volumes of info on the valley here - but your post is a bit different than the "what cant i miss" posts, so ill throw my 2cents in as somone who lives here and makes the cheap/fun/good places my mainstays.
for snacks, etc, the Vallergas markets in Napa are the best. they have everything oakville grocery has and 20x more, minus the hoards of tourists. Sunshine market in St Helena, same.
Buttercream bakery downtown napa is truly old school diner/bakery. Also, Sweetiepies downtown in the Hatt building rocks for breakfasts sorts of things..huge pastries, not too sweet. There is of course, trader joes in napa (but the soon to open huge whole foods isnt here yet)., The napa olive oil manufactury up the road from Tra Vigne is really a treat...dont miss it (not the one on hwy 29!), very old school italian market, deli etc...its in an old white shed.
not sure where youll be in the valley, but some of my favorites casual restaurants proper are:
in napa proper:
genreal store - downtown in the hatt building. great wine country meets pan asian. cheap.
angelie - same building - very french...lots of locals
pilar - downtown too...may friends favorite - sort of euro/hispanic/wine country
nv - downtown, great bar in particular. not eaten there, but its the "swankyest" most urban thing in napa
zinsvalley - very locals only, mellow, nice good food
fume bistro - again, really locals only, very good "global" cuisine...super warm environment
Taylors refresher, already mentioned, is pretty good...fun place.
Rutherford Grill is houstons in drag, but a lot better
Gordons in Yountville - great sandwhiches, salads, breakfast, inexpensive, sort of gourmet casual country store.
Martini House - go for a drink in the bar downstairs...but dont eat upstairs.
Market - really good, casual american in st. helena...same guys who own cyrus in healdsburg
i could go on...but. enjoy your trip!
I dont go out too much in the evenings, but a few places come to mind...not sure what sort of bar (dive or nice). The bar at NV downtown is nice...especially early. Also downtown Joes is a brewpup...the bar at BountyHunter downtown is nice too...mostly wine oriented. The etoile lounge at Chandon is open till late, and they have been advertising a "hip" sort of campaign on the radio a lot here. not been so cant comment. There are also a myriad of dive bars all over..and some great places up in Calistoga - but thats a haul from your hotel. Be warned, wiht the exception of restaurants, its sleeeepy here after the sun goes down! One more place i would highly highly recommend chowing - breakfast through dinner - is the Boonfly Cafe at the Carneros Inn...its down off 121 - about 7-8 min from your hotel...Chef Kimball Jones went over there a while ago - he was at Wente Vineyards, and has written a few great cookbooks - food is great, very hip, cool urban meets barn vibe, and crowd. Breakfast is also really cheap! You might want to hit some of the hotel bars that are unusual for later night things - Id suggest the bar at Auberge definately if you want a fancy luxe evening.
Market and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St Helena both offer good, casual food at reasonable prices. You should also check out the Rutherford Gardens Farm Stand on Saturday for groceries/snacks. I highly recommend a visit to Round Pond.
My reports from last month:
Round Pond & Rutherford Gardens: