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Jun 17, 2009 10:34 PM

Any ideas for inexpensive eats near Calistoga?

I have a friend visiting and we're doing a little wine tasting (Schramsberg and Cade) and we're trying to find something relative quick and inexpensive around Calistoga (only have 90 minutes between tasting appointments and they're a bit of a drive). We're also eating big the rest of the weekend so thinking something smaller wouldn't be a bad thing.

I've heard Buster's BBQ is good (not that it would be small). Any other ideas or are there any good taco trucks in Calistoga? Appreciate the assist.

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  1. Cade is just up the hill from St. Helena, so I'd hit someplace like Martini House
    or Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. Schramsberg is between St. Helena and Calistoga, so
    if you were coming from Cade, St. Helena is your best spot.

    You could also get an ahi burger at Taylor's Refresher, or purchase a picnic lunch at Sunshine in St. Helena, and eat in Lyman Park on Main Street St. Helena.

    Cade is very new and sleek. Fantastic panorama of Lake Hennessey and Napa Valley.
    Great chard, but the reds seem lacking. Love their winemaker Nils Venge.

    Schramsberg is great all-around. One of the best spots to visit in the valley.

    2 Replies
    1. re: maria lorraine

      Good call Maria. I didn't realized Howell Mountain was so far south. Love Sunshine Foods and Taylor's is always a crowd pleaser. Since we're in Yountville, we tend to end up at the one in Napa more often, but love the setting of the original.

      1. re: teejaymoore

        If you're a local, you're probably aware that if you decide to drive to Calistoga for lunch, you'll be going a few miles past Schramsberg and will have to backtrack. Likewise if you go to Ruth Grill, you will be backtracking a good bit south.

        Transit time from Cade to Schramsberg -- door to door -- is 40 minutes, taking into consideration the drive down Howell Mountain and the slow drive up the hill to Schramsberg, and finding your way from the parking lot into the tasting room. Schramsberg is beautiful, in a different, more bucolic sense than Cade. If you have an extra 5 minutes, I'd arrive a touch early since looking around the estate before the tasting will provide some nice resonance to build upon. All that leaves you with roughly 45-50 minutes for lunch.

        You could always stop on your way upvalley to Cade, before your appointment, to get takeout from Sunshine Foods or to get burritos to go at Luna Market. Perhaps Cade will allow you to eat your lunch out on their patio that overlooks Lake Hennessey. That would be my first choice.

        Cheap spots in St. Helena include: Taylor's for their Ahi burger, Pizzeria Tra Vigne for piadini, Giugni's for sandwiches, Market (eat at the bar), and Sunshine Foods great deli takeout.

        Just a reminder to not have the spicy hot BBQ sauce at Busters or hot sauce/jalapenos with your Mexican food, or your wine palate will be DOA.
        You won't taste diddley.

        Have a great time,

    2. Off your route, but your post impels me to mention the Jimtown Cafe.

      1. Two ideas. Silverado Brew Pub would be right on your way. Though Martini House or Cindy's are great choices they usually take longer than the time you have between tastings. You mentioned Buster's, just ate there yesterday. Best BBQ tritip I have ever had. Eat it once a week if I am lucky. WARNING: the hot BBQ sauce is beyond hot, I have them mix the two sauces 50/50. Then you are golden if you like spicy but still want to be able to taste the Schramsberg on your tour.

        Buster's BBQ
        1207 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga, CA 94515

        Silverado Brewing Co
        3020 Saint Helena Hwy N # A St, Helena, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: NapaChowHound

          I heartily second NCH's rec. for Silverado Brewing. Eaten there like 4 times and it's always been delectable. Great beers there, if you're into that- and the beer sampler is fun; they put all the tiny little beer shots on a placemat that's marked w/ which beer is which. Although, after 4 or 5, who cares? adam
          P.S. The Rutherford Grill (part of a Chain resto.) has just about the best French Dip sandwich that I've ever had- They're on Hwy. 29.

          1. re: adamshoe

            Thanks Adam. I love Rutherford Grill's chicken sandwich. Who cares if it's a Houstons - it has one of the best patios in Napa Valley.

            1. re: teejaymoore

              Their tender ribs are a favorite of mine . . .

        2. This may be too late to be of any use to you, but when coming into Calistoga from St. Helena on Hwy 29 just before you get to the stop sign there is a little Mexican market on the left hand side of the road . In the rear of the market is a take out counter with the best Mexican food I have found anywhere in Napa or Sonoma counties. I first went there with a vineyard crew during harvest and could not believe how wonderful it was. It's not fancy but inexpensive and very authentic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Karl K

            Is that the Vallarta Market?

            Vallarta Market
            1009 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga, CA