Need help with trip to Napa and San Francisco
hello hounds! I am sorry in advance for the long post.
We are traveling to Napa and San Francisco for 1 week at the beginning of August and are desperately seeking suggestions- we love food, price is not an issue, we are just looking for good food. we will not have a car- we are planning on using taxis in Napa and public transit in San Francisco.
We are staying in Yountville Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night and in San Francisco on Thursday and Friday night, we will leave for the airport around 11:00.
These are our tentative plans ( I am very open to suggestions and changes!)
Monday: arrive in Napa at 1:45, check in to hotel
--Lunch @ Mustards or Oxbow Public Market
--9:00 dinner @ Bouchon
--Breakfast @ Bouchon Bakery
-- Frank Family Vineyards visit
-- possibly 1 other vineyard visit
--Taylor's Refresher in St. Helena for lunch after/between vineyard visits
--8:30 dinner @ Meadowood (tasting menu, patio seating)
-- vineyard visits?
--Lunch TBD depending on Location
--9:00 dinner @ Redd in Yountville
--Breakfast on the go
--Lunch in SF in the Mission - hunting for good tacos and burritos
- From what I have read on here, these are the ones we should try and hit: Taqueria Guadalajara, El Delfin, La Taqueria, Taqueria San Jose, Taqueria Cancun, Farolito Taqueria
--Drinks and Apps at Fifth Floor Lounge
-- Dinner at Coi
--10:30 reservation @ Bourbon & Branch
-- Cable car to Fisherman's Wharf.
-- possible foccaccia breakfast at Liguria Bakery? Truffles and coffee at XOX?
-- Lunch at Yank Sing
-- Explore Haight/ Ashbury... Relax in Golden Gate Park
--9:00 @ Gary Danko
--Breakfast/munching all day at the Ferry Building
I am very open to suggestions- price is not an issue, we are looking for just GOOD food. I would love suggestions about places to stop while exploring different neighborhoods, ideas of things to do during the day. Anything outside would be great!
Thanks in advance!
I would agree that you might want to go with a limo, at least for Tuesday.
Personally, I'd do Ad Hoc rather than Bouchon, even on a Monday (which will most likely be either fried chicken or barbecue). For your mystery breakfast, you might want to look at Bardessono. For your Weds. lunch, put together a fantastic picnic from Dean & DeLuca, Sunshine Market, Oakville Grocery (or any of the other bjillion options - picnicking is huge in wine country), and schedule a picnic at one of the wineries you'll be visiting.
Your SF itinerary looks pretty good. I might swap Michael Mina's Clock Bar in for the Fifth Floor bar. On Friday, I might swap out lunch at Yank Sing and wander through some neighborhoods to get from North Beach to the park, depending on how active you are. It's a nice walk from North Beach down to Ghiradelli Square, over the hill in Aquatic Park, and then along Crissy Field/Chestnut Street to the 43 Masonic bus, which would take you over to Haight. There some good chow along the way and it gives you a nice overview of some of the neighborhoods, if you're up for a walk.
re: Robert Lauriston
I've been lately and have found the patio especially charming with the flowers and window boxes, and I love the bistro interior with its Francophilia. I've had good meals there: the mussels with grilled bread, tomato soup, smoked trout salad, steak frites, cassoulet, tartare, etc. I don't understand the Southern California reference at all -- sorry.
Skip Oxbow. It (specifically Fatted Calf) is a great place to pick up stuff for a picnic if you're driving through Napa but not worth the cab fare.
You'd do best to skip the city of Napa entirely and spend your time in the Napa Valley wine country, which is to say, Yountville and points north.
The food at Fifth Floor's an unknown quantity given that the chef just left, but it's a very nice and quiet bar.
re: maria lorraine
I wondered about that. I googled Yountville taxis. I had my doubts about whether those I found in City of Napa would be enthused about a 8 miles run to Yountville for Mustards 2 miles north or even a round trip Oxbow and empty 8 miles back, let alone the vineyard visits.
Any wineries beside Domaine Chandon within walking distance? Has the OP inquired about transportation at their lodging?
we have not inquired ab transportation from the lodging.
several of the wineries have expressed that they would be willing to come and pick us up, and we have also called several cab companies.
they have all told us just to call the day before or that morning and give them a list of what times we need to be picked up and where...
I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I do not know how it is possible to visit Napa Valley without a car. Please explore both the cost of the cabs and the bus situation to make an informed decision.
Cabs are extremely expensive and most wineries are not accessible by bus. The bus stops periodically along Highway 29 near some wineries, but there is some distance between bus stops.
Just my opinion, but if you're planning to do Taylor's Refresher, there's one right next to Oxbow that is better than the one in St. Helena, because you can sit outside and you're not right on a main road with cars whizzing (or crawling) past, depending on the time of day. Also inside Oxbow is a great Venezuelan place called Pica Pica.
I'm not a wine snob, but a couple wineries I would suggest:
Prager Port Works
BTW, if you didn't already know, it can be really hot in Napa in August, especially up-valley (Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga). Bring a hat and sun protection.
Most importantly - Enjoy your trip!
Ed, I disagree with you about Taylor's in Napa vs. St. Helena. It's a take on an old-fashioned drive-in, and that is lost in the Napa location. It's kind this kind of Americana kitsch in St. Helena, not so in the city of Napa. Also, did you eat right out front (in St. Helena) rather than
strolling and dining in the large green area out back?
Not that Taylor's is absolutely high on my list in any case, but I think you've missed the charms of the St. Helena location.