For Napa locals - where do you eat?
For all the locals who live in the Napa region - where do you go for a good dinner without the high prices?
I'm visiting next month with the primary objective to taste and buy wine. So need affordable recommendations for dinner, ie places the locals flock to for well cooked meals. I've checked the Chowhound threads and there are plenty of suggestions for Bouchon, Martini House, Ubuntu etc. Yes, these places sound amazing but I'm not looking to eat at restaurants where the entrees alone cost $30-40! (gulp!) Any places where entrees are more along the $15-25 price range? Or is that impossible now in Napa? I (and my wallet) thank you!
Martini House can be affordable depending on what you eat. The tasting menus can be expensive, but you can go a la carte and spend less. I recommend going to their cellar and getting the best burger in town (only $16 with onion rings), it's a huge burger and is easily filling, but don't miss their charcuterie plate which is all house made.
I'm just a starving culinary student, so for less expensive meals I go to the Mexican Markets like La Luna or Azteca. Taylors is a rip off. Tra Vigne pizzeria isn't too expensive. If your staying in Napa, then there are lots of taco trucks. Unfortuneately Napa County isn't the best place for budget meals.
Pasta Prego on Jefferson and Claremont Way is a hidden gem. Black Bear Cafe on Soscol has been open about a month is is always full...it is a chain. Red Rooster on 29 and Trower. TAco trucks. Martini house does a take out dinner every night until 6 that is very reasonable.
Pica Pica in Oxbow Market
Pizza Azzurro on Main and Clinton in Napa
La Playita - three words: tacos al pastor - on Old Sonoma Road at Jefferson in Napa
La Taquiza near Vallerga's on Redwood road (okay for a fish taco fix)
La Luna market in Rutherford
Lucy Gore's take out meals on Thur and Fri nights are fantastic - pick up is on Industrial Way in Napa: http://www.lucyfoodnapa.com/
I used to say Uva on Clinton in Napa, but it has changed hands and I haven't been since - anyone have an update?
Bounty Hunter on First and Main in Napa
Zinsvalley on Browns Valley Road in Napa - soon to move downtown http://www.zinsvalley.com/
Ad Hoc - I think $49 for four courses of simple, delicious food is a deal
Bistro Don Giovanni
I haven't tried the pupusa truck on Soscol nr. Silverado Trail yet, but have heard great things
re: Junie D
My friends and I just went to Uva last week and it's still good. We've gone there at least once a month for the last few years and have never had a bad meal. Plus, they waive corkage for each bottle you buy so we usually buy a bottle of white (because it's cheaper than red) and bring a good bottle of red. Service has always been very good as well.
Another place we like is The Pearl. I love their tacos and pork chop.
re: Junie D
It's good to hear that Zinsvalley is moving. I never figured out how they were able to stay in business that long with that location. I'll vote for Tres Hermanos over Playita for tacos al pastor. Actually Frida's is pretty good for carnitas if you can get over that initial tire smell from the tire shop next door.
I'd like to toss Cook in St. Helena in there for a good meal at the original poster's price range. Limited menu, not much in terms of seating (and thus usually crowded) but what they do cook they cook pretty well and the dishes range from $18 to $25.
re: Junie D
Good list, Junie D.
Second Azzurro Pizzeria, early meals at Martini House, the taco trucks, Bounty Hunter, La Luna burritos, BarbersQ for pulled pork sandwich and fried chicken but nothing else. Not a fan of Oxbow for dining, but Model Bakery and Fatted Calf work for buying picnic stuff.
Speaking of which, picnics are a great way to dine inexpensively. Buy stuff at Vallergas and Whole Foods deli section (actually rather amazing) in Napa; and at Dean & DeLuca and Sunshine Market (my favorite) in St. Helena.
BarbersQ's fried chicken ($16?) on Sundays is worth the drive. I was not impressed by their BBQ.
As a local who tries to keep things in the $10-20 range including beverage and tip . . ., Villa Corona for great mexican food - a locals favorite tucked behind Umqua bank in the Trader Joe's shopping center on Trancas. Great for any meal, but especially their machaca for breakfast and their camarones dishes later in the day. Both Thai places in Napa serve reasonably priced meals which are fairly good. Sushi at Fujiya in the factory stores center has been there long before the factory stores were built and is good - the owner Eiko is always on site to oversee the meal. Try the Sanchez roll . . .
Great middle eastern food downtown at Small World - love their falafel plate salad. There are plenty of places to eat for low $. Enjoy!