Best Food & Wine Spots in Napa and Sonoma Valley

Ginger Martin  |  June 6, 2022


One of the best parts of living in Napa or Sonoma Valley is the endless selection of food and wine. With hundreds of wineries and restaurants to choose from, you could spend years wining and dining through California wine country and never have the same experience twice. What’s more, wine is so integral to the lifestyle in Napa that you’ll find many of the luxury homes on the Napa Valley real estate market have productive vineyards on the property.

Northern California is famous for being one of the world’s best wine-producing regions. Napa Valley is home to 375 wineries alone, and Sonoma County boasts another 425 wineries. A rich culinary scene has grown around this wine-centric locale and is one of many reasons people who move to Napa and Sonoma have an exquisite quality of life. From Michelin-star fine dining restaurants to local hidden gems, here are some of the best food and wine spots in Napa and Sonoma Valley.

Napa Valley

The French Laundry


6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
 
Chef Thomas Keller’s iconic three Michelin-starred restaurant, The French Laundry, is a Napa Valley favorite for fine French cuisine. With exquisite ambiance and impeccable food, this is a dining splurge you should experience at least once in your life. The menu, which consists of nine fixed courses, changes daily to give customers the highest caliber of fine dining.


Ad Hoc


6476 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
 
Ad Hoc is another Thomas Keller establishment that tops the list of best food spots in Napa Valley. Here you can enjoy the best of both worlds: Michelin star Thomas Keller food in a casual, approachable setting. The buttermilk fried chicken is legendary — and it’s available for takeout by the bucket. Ad Hoc serves a fixed-menu dinner four nights a week and brunch on Sunday.


Gott's Roadside


933 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574
 
In business for more than 60 years, this classic burger stand has long been a local favorite. But don’t mistake it as just another run-of-the-mill burger joint. Gott’s Roadside has a full menu of imaginative burgers (like the Kimchi Burger or the Green Chile Cheeseburger), salads, fries, and more. Popular items include specialty burgers, ahi poke crispy tacos, and milkshakes made with organic ice cream. An extensive beer and wine list is also available.
 
Photo courtesy of Farmstead Restaurant


Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch


738 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574
 
At Long Meadow Ranch, Farmstead Restaurant showcases food and wine from their own backyard. Their farm-to-table menu highlights local, seasonal products, including meats from the Long Meadow herd and farm-fresh produce, eggs, and honey. In addition to Farmstead Restaurant, the Cafe is the perfect place to stop for a morning coffee, freshly squeezed juice, or homemade pastry. The Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch also has a general store where you can enjoy a wine tasting and take home some of their signature sauces and olive oils. 


Model Bakery


1357 Main Street, St. Helena, California, 94574
 
Since 1908, The Model Bakery in St. Helena has been a beloved producer of artisan bread and decadent pastries. Their now world-famous ultra-fluffy English muffins form the base for a range of breakfast and lunch sandwiches. This seemingly humble bakery is a serious culinary destination and has been named among the top 3 “extraordinary restaurants in Napa Valley.”


Cakebread Cellars


8300 St. Helena Hwy. Rutherford, CA 94573
 
Cakebread Cellars is one of Napa Valley’s best-known winemakers. It's a family-owned winery that produces world-class chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and so much more. Choose from several tour and tasting packages, and when you’re finished, take a stroll through the on-site culinary garden. 


Chateau Montelena


1429 Tubbs Lane , Calistoga, CA 94515
 
Chateau Montelena Winery is highly ranked as one of Napa Valley’s most beautiful settings for a wine tasting. Visit a stone castle carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden, a lake, and vineyards reaching out to the base of Mount St. Helena. 


Silver Oak Cellars


915 Oakville Cross Rd Oakville CA 94562
 
Silver Oak Cellars offers a variety of tour and tasting options by appointment only, meaning you’re guaranteed to have an exceptional wine touring experience. Included is a magnificent four-course wine and food pairing experience.

Other Napa Valley favorites include: Stag’s Leap Winery, Domaine Carneros, Duckhorn Vineyards, Andretti Winery, Darioush Winery, and V. Sattui Winery

Sonoma Valley

Wit and Wisdom


1325 Broadway Sonoma, CA 95476
 
Wit and Wisdom opened in 2020 under the direction of Michelin-rated Chef Michael Mina. You can enjoy everything from Liberty Farms duck wings and wood-fired pizza to shellfish, seafood, and lobster pot pie in a modern, sophisticated setting. Or, if you’re looking for something extra special, take a look at the Tasting Menu for a real treat.


The Girl and the Fig


110 W Spain St Sonoma, CA 95476
 
The Girl and the Fig is a Sonoma staple of more than 30 years and a destination that locals love. The restaurant serves classic French cuisine with a California twist in a relaxed, unfussy atmosphere. Some menu favorites include the duck confit, croque-monsieur, and the steak frites, all of which can be enjoyed in their romantic dining room or the relaxing outdoor patio.


Sausage Emporium


31 East Napa Street Sonoma, CA 95476
 
The Sausage Emporium is a truly unique, off-the-beaten-path dining experience. Their sausage-forward menu includes classic Scotch eggs, a gourmet sausage flight, and a variety of sausage sandwiches derived from different global cuisines. German Bratwurst, Vietnamese Bahn-Mi, and Chicago Kielbasa, just to name a few.


Blue Ridge Kitchen


6770 McKinley St Ste 150 Sebastopol, CA 95472
 
Blue Ridge Kitchen is known for its decidedly Californian take on Southern cuisine. Signature dishes include fried chicken with Kentucky hot butter and apple honey; shrimp and grits with cauliflower florets and smoked bacon; and the wood-grilled Mahi-mahi. When you visit the Blue Ridge Kitchen, you’ll always have something fun and new to try.


El Molino Central


11 Central Ave Sonoma, CA 95476
 
This casual local favorite specializes in high-quality, authentic Mexican food. What makes El Molino Central stand out, however, is their homemade tortillas made from house-ground corn. Menu highlights include Dungeness crab tostadas, Oaxacan mole, fish tacos, tacos al pastor, and Chile Relleno en Nogada.


Layla


29 E MacArthur St Sonoma, CA 95476
 
Layla is a part of the historic MacArthur Place hotel in Sonoma, one of the top hotels in Northern California. Its sophisticated, comfortable Mediterranean-style restaurant features local, organic, seasonal ingredients and a variety of healthy and indulgent menu items. The indoor dining space is as lush and airy as the beautiful outdoor dining garden, making it the perfect setting for late lunch or a romantic dinner. Layla also serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
 


Buena Vista Winery


18000 Old Winery Road Sonoma CA, 95476
 
Founded in 1857, Buena Vista Winery is California’s oldest winery and is now a California Historical Landmark. Enjoy the old-world feel this winery gives while taking advantage of a bar tasting, a seated reserve tasting, or a private tasting in the property’s historic wine caves. You can also explore the magical grounds with a guided tour or enjoy the opulent Bubble Lounge champagne flight with a group of friends.


St. Francis Winery and Vineyards


100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95409
 
For more than 50 years, the family-owned St. Francis Winery & Vineyards has produced award-winning wines in Sonoma Valley. As a Certified Sustainable winery, they are committed to preserving the natural beauty and resources of the surrounding natural environment while making their unbeatable wines. Nestled in the beautiful Mayacamas Mountains, the stunning property includes a bell tower containing a 1,000-pound bronze-cast bell that chimes every hour. Touring and tasting options include an impressive five-course seasonal pairing menu that showcases ingredients grown in the winery’s on-site garden. For another unique and fun experience, take the pedal-powered trolley tour through the vineyards while you sample St. Francis wines.


Jordan Vineyard and Winery


1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448
 
An ivy-covered estate modeled after a French chateau, Jordan Vineyard and Winery offers much more than just wine. Visitors can peruse the Cellar Room and Library, tour the entire sprawling estate, or sit down and take in the marvelous vineyard views. Three-quarters of the stunning 1,200-acre property is preserved as a pollinator habitat or untouched wild green space. Forming a deep connection to the land is a vital part of the Jordan philosophy, and the winery’s top-notch food pairings and culinary events emphasize foraging and sustainability.

Other excellent Sonoma wineries and tasting rooms include: Fort Ross Vineyard and Tasting Room, Kenwood Vineyards, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, and Chateau St. Jean.

Make the move to Napa or Sonoma Valley

There are simply too many world-class food and wine options in Napa and Sonoma to name them all, and this very reason is why people choose to invest in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley real estate. If you are ready to find your very own piece of wine country paradise, Ginger Martin Co. is an experienced group of Napa Valley luxury real estate agents who can help you make that dream a reality.




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