The Napa Valley Guide
As total winos, we’re always taking notes on the best spots in Napa (cue Escapes for Foodies and Winos). The region’s old greats, like The French Laundry, Opus One, and Auberge du Soleil, will always rank high in our hearts for continuing to set crazy-high standards for food, wine, and luxury. That said, we’ve also discovered some pretty awesome off-the-beaten path wineries and restaurants in Calistoga and Napa’s less-touristy neighbor, Sonoma Valley, that are worth checking out too.
Model BakeryOxbow Public Market, 644 1st St., Bldg. B, Napa | 707.259.1128
Okay, we know it's random, but Model makes the best English muffins (yes, they're that good). Oversized and layered with cornmeal, they're insanely light and often-copied. Model has been an institution in the area for almost 100 years, which means you can also trust them for great bread if you're putting together a picnic with other items from Oxbow. They also have a location in St. Helena.
The Big Dipper1336 Oak Ave., St. Helena | 707.963.2616
Kids go crazy for this old-school ice cream parlor, which looks like something out of the 1950's, in the best possible way. They have all the classics.
Woodhouse Chocolates1367 Main St., St. Helena | 707.963.8413
Downtown St. Helena is filled with adorable stops, and this local chocolatier, where all the goodies are hand-made by a husband-and-wife duo and their daughters, is one of our favorites. Their boxes are the perfect finishing touch for a picnic lunch.
Dean & Deluca607 S. St. Helena Hwy, St. Helena | 707.967.9980
The Rudd family has deep roots in the area (they're also the owners of Clos Pegase and Rudd Winery), so it's no surprise that the only Dean & Deluca on this coast is in St. Helena. The space is especially large, and you’ll find their typical selection of international foods as well as local treasures: Unsurprisingly, the wine shop is pretty out-of-this-world.
Foot Candy1239 Main St., St. Helena | 707.963.2040
Napa is not particularly known for its retail, but the long-standing Foot Candy is enough to justify the drive. It's sweet and jewel-box like, and lined with all the classics like Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, and Jimmy Choo.
St. Helena Olive Oil Company1357 Main St., St. Helena | 707.967.1003
While the focus in Napa is understandably on wine, the region is also fantastic for growing olive trees (and, of course, making olive oil). This spot is located in an old bank, and the vault has been converted to a tasting room where you can try oils from the surrounding region or greater California.
Oxbow Public Market644 First St., Napa
Oxbow Public Market is kind of like a gourmet farmer's market that's open 24-7, with vendors ranging from a vegetable grocer, to a wineshop, to an ice cream parlor. It's also home to some of our other favorites in the area, like Gott's and Hog Island Oyster.
Oakville Grocery124 Matheson St., Healdsburg | 707.433.3200
We love this beautiful little market and its gorgeous selection of prepared goods. It's a great stop if you want to bring home gifts to friends who aren't big drinkers, and the convenient location on the way into Healdsburg makes it an easy spot to pick up a sandwich (we like the Muffaletta or the fried chicken) on your way to a winery. There's also a location in Oakville along the St. Helena Highway.
Coffee Caboose6523 Washington St., Yountville | 707.738.1153
Good coffee is kind of a requirement when you're spending your evenings pounding wine. Fortunately, the baristas at Coffee Caboose really know their way around a French press.
Bouchon Bakery6528 Washington St., Yountville | 707.944.2253
If you're hoping to experience some of Thomas Keller's Napa magic but don't have time or the budget for a full meal in Yountville, take a quick stop at Bouchon Bakery, where the Keller team makes the baked goods (starring unbelievable baguettes) for all of his restaurants. It's a great option for a light breakfast if you’re wandering around Yountville, and no one should leave without a big box of their famous macarons. The line can get a little lengthy on the weekends, but it’s so worth it.
Shed25 North St., Healdsburg | 707.431.7433
Shed occupies what is possibly the most elegant pre-engineered metal garage we've ever seen: It's equipped with all kinds of innovations for efficiency and sustainability, like photovoltaic panels, elegant exposed wood, and wide garage doors that can be opened up for ventilation on hot days. They call their space a grange, which is a British term for a house with farming sheds attached, and the space certainly has an agricultural feel. It's a unique hybrid that's part market, part café, and part farm, with a community garden and fermentation bar to boot—it's also a community space where they host events and workshops about cooking and gardening (we're signing up for how to make preserves and saving seeds).
Steve’s Hardware1370 Main St., St. Helena | 707.963.3423
Steve's Hardware has everything—and we don't just mean nuts, bolts, and screwdrivers. In addition to all of the typical hardware store essentials, you’ll find a surprisingly complete selection of kitchen tools and Le Cruset in every color of the rainbow.
Dry Creek General Store3495 Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg | 707.433.4171
This local store, which has been open in Healdsburg since 1881, is the kind of place we'd like to be regulars at if we lived in Healdsburg. There's a quirky collection of oddities and antiques hanging from the ceiling, an attached farm, a solid deli, and you can still pick up bait and tackle for a fishing trip.
Ana’s Cantina1205 Main St., St. Helena | 707.963.4921
Sometimes the best way to get a taste of the local scene (especially in a tourist-centric place like St. Helena) is to seek out the busiest hometown dive. We think it's fun just to belly up to the bar and chat with the regulars, but Ana's also has a pool table, a jukebox, and performances by local bands to mix things up a bit.
Vintage Home1201 Main St., St. Helena | 707.963.7423
Laura Rombauer pretty much has Napa style nailed, and her store reflects it. Housed in a historic brick building, she specializes in items for tabletop decorating, like rainbow-hued Claude Dozorme steak knives, Simon Pearce serving bowls, and imported linens in wonderfully subdued colorways.
Martin Showroom1350 Main St., St. Helena | 707.967.8787
Erin Martin is one of the most respected interior designers in the area, thanks to her dark, industrial, cool-girl style. Her shop on Main Street in St. Helena showcases some of the bigger stuff like couches, along with art books, unique jewelry, and other knick-knacks.