Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jul 23, 2009 05:27 PM

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)

- Breakfast?
-- 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
-- Leave

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!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. dont miss spruce in san fran

    1. 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!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ed1066

        thanks for the suggestions! what do you guys think about teatro zanzinni?
        what are the best neighborhoods to walk and explore? we want something romantic but fun

        1. re: ed1066

          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.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Definitely St. Helena Taylor's over Napa - St. Helena has grass, picnic tables, little kids flopping around.

            On the way up to Yountville, stop at Pica Pica in Oxbow for quick lunch.

        2. I had a really great breakfast this weekend at Boon Fly Cafe in Napa this weekend, I would really recommend it. Everything was great, but I was jealous of my friend who ordered the green eggs and ham. Don't miss the mini doughnuts.

          1. Excuse me, but how are you going to get around in Napa Valley ? Almost no taxis to speak of here.

            12 Replies
            1. 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?

              1. re: wolfe

                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...

                  1. re: wolfe

                    we are also exploring the option of using the Vine public transportation system in Napa county for parts of the trip.. it can easily take us between yountville and st helena or calistoga and down to napa

                    1. re: ebsherrod

                      Congratulations, you appear to be unusually well prepared. Enjoy.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Thanks! but I am still looking for some walking tour suggestions for San Francisco to fill our days with. Ones where we can explore the city, stop at cafes or other restaurants and taste deliciousness, and just enjoy ourselves. Any ideas for walking trips??

                        1. re: ebsherrod

                          Here are 2 grayelf posts that should give you some idea of the diversity and vitality of the Mission District.

                          1. re: ebsherrod

                            Here's a recent thread on walking trips.
                            Also, you should check out cityguides -- they have lots of interesting *free* walking trips.


                    2. re: ebsherrod

                      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.

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        Yeah, I would listen to maria lorraine here -- either rent a car, or hire a limo to drive you around. I really can't imagine getting around Wine Country without a car. Also, how are you planning on getting from SF to Napa?

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          thank you for your concern... i was very worried myself, butmy boyfriend is in charge of how we are getting around napa. he says he has it all figured out and not to worry about it. he has gotten rates from taxi services and says that everything is taken care of.

                          1. re: ebsherrod

                            I sincerely hope this is not over-confidence and wishful thinking on his part.

                  2. 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.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        And skip Bouchon. Disappointing. Suggest Redd and AdHoc as much better choices.