1205 Main St., St. Helena
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.
Cook St. Helena
1310 Main St., St. Helena
Snag a spot at the long, low, white marble bar at this local favorite where you can look right into the open kitchen. The rustic California-style menu offers up dishes like a whole fish and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that don't need to be served with anything but olive oil. We can get behind that.
Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen
1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena
Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen (named for Chef Cindy Pawlcyn who, with a James Beard award under her belt, is a big name on Napa's food scene) is housed in a cool little 1920's building that used to be a bordello. The menu is a nice mix, with items that feel elevated, but not too fancy to keep it from being a neighborhood joint. Pawlcyn makes great use of the restaurant's wood-fired oven with duck meatballs and braised pork shoulder, or try classics like the avocado and papaya salad or the lobster cobbler.
738 Main St., St. Helena
With a large, open dining room and casual vibe, Farmstead is our pick for big groups or for when you're traveling with kiddos—the fried chicken Tuesdays are a family favorite.
La Condesa (Closed)
1320 Main St., St. Helena
When you can't stomach another glass of red wine, stop by La Condesa for expertly mixed margaritas and California-style Mexican. The fresh seafood (we love the ceviche and fish tacos) makes the menu a standout, and it's right downtown in St. Helena, meaning it's an easy dinner spot where you can mingle with other tourists and locals alike. Hang out in their bar on the weekends for live music from local bands.
576 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena
This contemporary-feeling steakhouse is right off the St. Helena Highway, but it's way more than a roadside joint. The interior is really sleek, meaning it feels a little more New York than Napa, and your fellow diners will be dressed accordingly. It's the kind of place where you'll want to indulge in the really high quality meat—we go straight for a bone-in ribeye.
The Restaurant at Meadowood
900 Meadowood Ln., St. Helena
Meadowood is one of the most luxurious spots in the region, so it's only fitting that its restaurant is decadent and opulent enough to live up to the hotel. Christopher Kostow's program, which is a traditional nine-course tasting menu, has been Michelin-starred for several years in a row. And while it might seem trite to discuss décor in a place where the food is the focus, the subtle, elegant design of this spot is a perfect fit for the cuisine.
1345 Railroad Ave., St. Helena
Restaurant Terra has garnered countless Michelin stars since 2007, but we're partial to its more casual little sister, Bar Terra, the exposed brick walls and leather banquettes here make for a comfortable, intimate setting. It's a small but creative menu with a subtle Asian influence, offering signature ramen and broiled, sake-marinated black cod. They also have a great selection of small plates for sharing.
1429 Main St., St. Helena
This neighborhood spot has the best brunch (try the summer squash omelet or the lemon ricotta pancakes), and décor that looks like it's straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie. Watch the time—it's tempting to stay here all morning and blow through your afternoon of wine tasting appointments.
3524 Silverado Trail N, St. Helena
While there's no land to see on this visit (Hunnicutt is exclusively a winery, not a vineyard), the team possesses a real artistry when it comes to wine-making, putting it near the top of our list. In addition to the classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, we love the Zinfandel and Chardonnay—and if sitting on their sunny porch for your tasting isn't hands-on enough, sign up for a tour and tasting in their newly-finished caves.
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