Napa Valley is world-renowned for its wine, but it is also a destination for foodies. The valley is thick with award-winning restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisine. Of course, some cuisines are better represented than others, so if you're craving French or contemporary American cuisine, you'll have many choices; if your stomach is dead-set of sushi, the pickings will be a little more slim. Still, rest assured that the options are many and varied, and available in all cities in the valley, so whether lunch or dinnertime finds you in the city of Napa, Calistoga, St Helena, or Yountville, you'll have many options from which to choose.
The most famous of the Napa restaurants is The French Laundry (pictured), an exceptional three-Michelin star restaurant (one of several Yountville restaurants with Michelin stars), and arguably the best Napa Valley restaurant. The French Laundry specializes in contemporary American cuisine with French influences, and offers two nine-course prix fixe (fixed price) menus that serve a series of small courses, never serving an ingredient more than once during the meal. Reservations are very difficult to obtain; you'll have to call two months to the calendar date before the desired reservation to stand a chance.
There are several Napa restaurants serving excellent French food. Bouchon, another of the Yountville restaurants, serves French bistro fare: steak frites, crispy pork belly, oysters, ratatouille, croque madame, and profiteroles. Another of the great Yountville restaurants is the charming and romantic Bistro Jeanty, awarded one Michelin star, which serves seasonal menus of fine French bistro fare. Think tomato soup in puff pastry, cassoulets, coq au vin, and crepe suzette for dessert. Another great French restaurant in Napa Valley is La Toque, in the city of Napa.
If you're looking for a restaurant in Napa Valley that serves a great steak dinner, you'll have many choices. One of the excellent steak restaurants in the area is Press, in St Helena. This relaxed and welcoming steakhouse serves USDA Prime Angus beef, American Kobe Wagyu beef; and 100% Japanese Kobe Kuroge Wagyu, all prepared on a custom cherry-and-almond wood-burning grill and rotisserie. Another great steakhouse is the elegant Flat Iron Grill. This Calistoga restaurant features classic American offerings. A third bet for steak is the classic, upscale Royal Oak at the Silverado Resort., perfect after a day at the resort's golf course or spa.
If the thought of dining al fresco to enjoy the fine Napa weather appeals to you, there are a few different options. Many Napa restaurants have outdoor seating, but many Napa Valley wineries also offer picnic facilities. After enjoying a tasting or wine tour, buy a bottle of wine and relax at the picnic benches. Some wineries sell food, and some allow you to bring your own, so it's worth checking in advance if there's a specific place you'd like to dine.
Whether your Napa trip takes you to Napa, Calistoga, Yountville, or St. Helena, and whether you're in the mood for French cuisine, steakhouse fare, or picnic favorites, you are sure to find a restaurant in Napa Valley or other dining option to suit your tastes. If you'd like your whole day to revolve around food, consider adding a trip to the Culinary Institute of America or a ride on the wine train to your itinerary and then follow it up with dinner at one of the excellent local options.