5 Must-Try Restaurants in Napa Valley

Lauren Lawson

5 Must-Try Restaurants in Napa Valley

With a seemingly endless array of dining experiences, it is difficult to decide which restaurants you should experience while visiting Napa Valley. All voted as the best in their category by Napa Valley Life Magazine’s 2022 Best of Napa Valley Reader’s Choice Awards, you know these restaurants are beloved by local owners of Napa, St. Helena, and Yountville luxury homes. Choose from this list of five must-try restaurants in Napa Valley and you will not be disappointed.

1. The French Laundry

Yountville’s The French Laundry boasts a three-star Michelin rating — Michelin’s highest rating — and has held this rating since 2007. Housed in a rustic two-story stone cottage, The French Laundry is so named because of the building’s use as a French laundry during the 1920s.

The French Laundry was established in 1994 by Chef Thomas Keller. Chef Keller is the only American chef to own two three-star Michelin restaurants. The French Laundry was voted Best Upscale Restaurant by Napa Valley Life Magazine’s 2022 Best of Napa Valley Reader’s Choice Awards. The French Laundry is loved by visitors and owners of Yountville luxury homes alike.

With an authentic French tasting menu that changes daily and a unique wine selection from around the world, the chefs and sommeliers will prepare you a meal worth remembering. Serving bottles from each major grape-growing region around the world, The French Laundry showcases famous wine producers, hard-to-get cult wines, and little-known gems.

Reservations are available for parties of one to 12 people. The entire restaurant is also available to reserve for private events. The outdoor private courtyard is available seasonally from May through September.

Make your reservations early or join the waitlist for larger reservations, because The French Laundry is an upscale restaurant experience you won’t want to miss.

2. Kenzo

Opened in 2016 by the owners of the world-famous winery Kenzo Estate, Kenzo Napa is a one-star Michelin restaurant located in a quiet corner of downtown Napa.

Kenzo’s seasonal menu offers authentic Japanese cuisine prepared with innovative techniques and inventive presentation. Each course is meant to be paired with an eclectic selection of wines and sake, including those from Kenzo Estate.

When you dine at Kenzo Napa, you’ll have several seating locations to choose from. The key space in the Kenzo dining room is the main counter, where you can watch the chefs show off their culinary expertise. If you prefer the experience of private dining, Kenzo also offers a private room with a focus on the same open preparation as the main counter. Open table seating allows for dining throughout the main dining room, and each table is placed so the diners can view the main counter chefs.

Because of the intimate atmosphere and length of the dining experience, Kenzo recommends that guests be at least 12 years old. Make your reservations to Kenzo Napa up to 30 days in advance. The earlier you reserve the better, as this highly sought-after location is an intimate dining experience not to be missed.

3. Gott’s Roadside

With locations in St. Helena, Napa, and throughout the Bay area, Gott’s Roadside is a must-visit for a classic diner experience with a modern twist. Gott’s Roadside was voted Best Family Restaurant and Best Burger by Napa Valley Life Magazine’s 2022 Best of Napa Valley Reader’s Choice Awards, proving that even local owners of Napa Valley luxury homes appreciate a modern take on the classic diner.

Founded in 1999, Gott’s Roadside features California-inspired dishes and seasonal specials using local ingredients sourced by Napa-area purveyors. Whether you’re craving a California burger topped with a fried egg, one of three types of hot dogs, or a fresh chicken kale caesar salad, there is something on the menu for every taste.

Gott’s Roadside is not only dedicated to locally sourced food. Their local commitment extends to their selection of wine and beers as well. With a drink menu hand-selected by Joel Gott, you can experience a taste of California-centric beverages with your meal.

Whether you want to dine in, order carry-out, or reserve seating for your event, Gott’s Roadside is a can’t-miss eatery the whole family will love.

4. Bistro Don Giovanni

The best way to experience dining in Napa Valley is with outdoor seating, and no restaurant has a better outdoor dining experience than Italian restaurant Bistro Don Giovanni. Known to locals as Don G’s, Bistro Don Giovanni won Best Italian Restaurant and Best Outdoor Dining in Napa Valley Life Magazine’s 2022 Best of Napa Valley Reader’s Choice Awards.

Beloved by local owners of Napa Valley luxury homes, Don G’s offers fresh interpretations of classic Italian dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Their dishes are made fresh — they start each day by baking fresh breads, making pastas from scratch, and forming their traditional Neapolitan pizzas. While guest favorites are always available, daily and seasonal specials ensure a new dining experience every time you visit.

While Bistro Don Giovanni has always had outdoor seating with a beautiful view of Napa Valley, the recent pandemic allowed for an expansion of their outdoor dining experience into the garden and fountain area, providing guests with an alfresco dining experience like no other in Napa Valley.

While Napa Valley is a popular destination for the summer months, local owners of Napa Valley luxury homes often choose to dine at Don Giovanni’s during the winter months, when they can experience the cozy warmth of fireside dining on the enclosed terrace.

5. The Charter Oak

When you want a unique dining experience in Napa Valley, there is no better choice than The Charter Oak in St. Helena. Voted the Most Intriguing Dining Venue by Napa Valley Life Magazine’s 2022 Best of Napa Valley Reader’s Choice Awards, The Charter Oak recently transformed its outdoor dining area into a yurt village. Boasting unique botanical themes from The Charter Oak’s nearby farm, the private yurts offer a cozy, heated dining experience.

The Charter Oak’s menu is served family-style so courses may be enjoyed by the entire party. The menu features seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients that are prepared in a simple way that showcases the local products of Napa Valley and beyond.

After sampling all of the delicious meals and experiencing the eclectic dining opportunities in Napa Valley, you will fall in love with the atmosphere. You may decide that now is the perfect time to invest in one of the gorgeous Napa Valley luxury homes.

When you’re ready to begin your journey to Napa Valley home ownership, contact Lauren Lawson, an experienced real estate agent who will provide you with a professional level of service every step of the way.

Work With Lauren

As a dedicated REALTOR® in the heart of Napa, St. Helena, and Yountville, I find immense joy in connecting clients with their dream homes. My commitment runs deep, and those who've worked with me in these picturesque regions will vouch for the passion and professionalism I bring to every transaction. In fact, about 80% of my business thrives on the trust and referrals of past clients. Ensuring I'm always available and just a call away is my way of guaranteeing an exceptional customer experience. Whether you're envisioning the perfect home nestled in the scenic beauty of Napa or Sonoma Valleys, dreaming of the idyllic charm of wine country living, or simply longing for the allure of its captivating landscapes, let's embark on this journey together! As your local lifestyle expert, allow me to introduce you to the vibrant collection of experiences awaiting you in our communities.

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