- Local Area
Below is a list of either the Innkeeper’s favorite Wine Country restaurants or spots that have nationally renowned chefs that will give you bragging rights when you get home. Most of these St. Helena restaurants require a special effort to reserve a dining spot. Our Front Desk/Concierge staff will be happy to help you make arrangements with any of these (except French Laundry) as appropriate. Napa Valley’s best restaurants are shown in the order the Innkeeper seems is appropriate, with an approximate driving distance from The Wine Country Inn in parenthesis.
Napa Valley’s best restaurants as suggested by The Wine Country Inn include many fun and delectable choices. Whether you are seeking the best BBQ this side of Texas, or a Michelin 1-, 2-, or 3-Star dining experience (or a combination of both throughout your trip), our Front Desk Staff can help you select restaurants that meet your price range and interests. Best of all, because we make so many reservations throughout the year, local St. Helena restaurants give our guests priority even during the busy “harvest” season of August, September and October.
Please note: If you would like to visit a particular restaurant during your stay, please let us know prior to your arrival.
According to everyone on our team, these are the 10 best restaurants in Napa Valley. Try them all while you’re here, and let us know if you agree!
Meadowood ~ Michelin 3-Star ~ An absolutely amazing dining experience for a very special occasion (like being on vacation). The ambiance, service, food and wine pairings are truly world-class. Worth getting dressed up for.
The French Laundry ~ Napa Valley’s first Michelin 3-Star restaurant. You will be the talk of the town if you can get a reservation here. Call exactly 60 days in advance and keep hitting redial until you get through. If they are already booked (likely) you can go through the same process the next day. Chef Thomas Keller is truly a legend. (20 minutes from the Inn. We can arrange for a limo)
Buster’s Southern Barbeque ~ Good ole fashioned barbecue. Perfect for a quick but really good lunch while in the Upper Valley wine tasting. This is a favorite spot for Innkeeper Jim, even though he can’t even handle the hottest BBQ sauce they have available. It makes your hair sweat. (10 minutes) Price $
Auberge du Soleil ~ Michelin 1-Star Restaurant with the best view in the Napa Valley from the dining deck and the bar is exceptional but definitely has a bit of attitude. You’ll want to dress for this one. Price $$$
Terra ~ Michelin 1-Star restaurant in downtown St. Helena that has a new and very interesting concept. They have a fine-dining side of the restaurant and then a “small-plate” bar side for more casual dining.
Gott’s Roadside ~ “Tray Gourmet”; old-time drive in with present-day food. (5 minutes)
Bottega ~ Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello is back in the kitchen after hosting his own TV shows and a number of other projects. (20 minutes)
Bouchon ~ Michelin 1-Star restaurant Chef Thomas Keller’s (20 minutes)
Morimoto Napa ~ New restaurant in downtown Napa of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto (30 minutes)
Pizzeria Tra Vigne ~ 967-9999 Casual spot run by Tra Vigne with Gourmet pizzas, pasta, fun salads and good house vino. Big screen TV for most major sporting events. Price $
Auberge du Soleil ~ 963-1211 Upscale dressy French restaurant with an exceptional view of the Napa Valley from both the bar and dining room. Great for lunch also. Located 5 miles South on Silverado Trail. Price $$$
As a Napa Valley bed and breakfast, our concierge staff takes your comfort seriously.
A California wine country vacation should include a huge chunk of relaxation, especially for guests at Wine Country Inn. Let us help you do just that! We would like to help you plan your St. Helena visit and Napa Valley vacation. Please call or e-mail us to let us help you book your dinner reservations. Unlike most big hotels, our Front Desk/Concierge staff does not accept tips.
Restaurants located in St. Helena are just five-minutes south of The Wine Country Inn. The town of Calistoga is seven miles north, while Yountville is located 9 miles south (a 15-20 minute drive). Please note that most restaurants open their books only one to two months in advance, and we definitely recommend making advance reservations. We would be more than happy to help set up your dining itineraries.
Here is a comprehensive list of the best restaurants in Napa Valley, listed alphabetically by locale.
Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen ~ 963-1200 Fun, casual neighborhood cuisine created by one of our most renowned restaurateurs, Cindy Pawlcyn. Mingle with locals out enjoying the Napa Valley lifestyle. Price $$
Cook ~ 963-7088 Great little Italian style café, casual. A favorite with the staff and our guests. Limited seating. Price $$
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch ~ 963-9181 Farm-to-table at its best! Great bar/cocktails too. Price $$
La Condesa ~ 967-8111 If the Innkeeper was not having so much fun running his Inn, he would have opened a restaurant like this. THE MOST creative Mexican cuisine imaginable. Fun and lively. Price $$
Market ~ 963-3799 Comfortable stonewalled dining room featuring a Raw Bar as well as very interesting “comfort food” with a gourmet twist. A favorite with locals. Price $$
Meadowood ~ 963-3646 or 800-458-8080. This elegant Michelin 3-Star dining room offers both prix fixe and a la carte options with a particular attention to wine pairing. The Innkeeper’s favorite for anniversaries or birthdays (his own). Price $$$$
Press ~ 967-0550 Dressy a la carte steak house specializing in prime dry-aged beef, wild fish and heritage pork. It looks completely unimpressive from the outside, but surprisingly nice inside. A bit south of St Helena. Price $$$
Rutherford Grill ~ 963-1792 Lively fun grill that only reserves some of its tables, so good for walk-ins. Excellent outdoor bar and large tasty portions. Where the Innkeeper goes for his red-meat fix. Price $$
Gott’s Roadside ~ 963-3487 The best walk-up burger joint ever, but not cheap. Price $
Terra ~ 963-8931 French with Japanese influence. One of those dressy places where you want to whisper throughout your meal. Housed in a 125 year-old stone building it is one of the Innkeeper’s favorite dining rooms. He would probably even wear a tie if he still owned one. So exclusive they have no sign. Price $$$
Tra Vigne ~ 963-4444 Where Michael Chiarello of Napa Style made his name. Though he has been gone for a number of years, this Napa Valley standard is still pumping out wonderful California/Italian cuisine. Trendy and fun! Price $$
Calistoga is known for it’s casual, drop-in restaurants. If you don’t want to make reservations for one or two of your nights, this is the place to head. The shops are open late and since most of the lodgings are within walking distance of downtown, the streets are lively and fun. There is usually even live music on the weekends.
All Seasons Bistro ~ 942-9111 Casual Country French. Price $
Buster’s Southern Barbeque ~ Good ole fashioned barbecue. Perfect for a quick but really good lunch while in the Upper Valley wine tasting. This is a favorite spot for Innkeeper Jim, even though he can’t even handle the hottest BBQ sauce they have available. It makes your hair sweat. Price $
Calistoga Inn ~ 942-4101 A brew-pub with nice seafood and a wide range of other offerings. Excellent outdoor dining. Casual. Price $$
Brannan’s Grill ~ 942-2233 American Grill, great seafood dishes. Beautiful dining room Casual. Price $$
Definitely a food town. With three restaurants from Thomas Keller and a bunch more with pedigrees a dog would love, there is no shortage of great food and wonderful atmosphere.
ad hoc ~ 944-2487 Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame opened this restaurant with a very unusual format. No thinking, no choices. The same 3-course dinner is served to everyone, so check before you go tp make sure you like what they are offering. Price $$
Bistro Jeanty ~ 944-0103 We are told this restaurant could just as easily sit in the French countryside with vineyards surrounding it. Since none of us have yet been to France we’ll have to just imagine. Casual. Price $$
Bottega ~ 945-1050 Chef Chiarello is an acclaimed chef, Emmy-winning host of Food Network’s Easy Entertaining, tastemaker behind NapaStyle, and proprietor of Chiarello Family Vineyards, as well as a longtime Napa Valley resident. Price $$
Bouchon ~ 944-8037 This bistro, also opened by French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, features a very nice raw bar and one of the best steaks in the Valley. It is lively, cramped and upbeat. The only restaurant in the Valley that will take reservations after 9:30. Price $$
Brix ~ 944-2749 Nice open feeling to the dining room and outdoor patio. Wonderful views of the nearby mountains. They like to pile their food into artful presentations. Price $$
French Laundry ~ 944-2380 Considered by some to be the best restaurant in the nation. Must call exactly two months in advance, starting at 10:00 and hitting redial until you finally get through. When they tell you they are already booked, you can try again the next day. $$$$$
Hurley’s ~ 944-2345 Wine Country Mediterranean. Specializes in wild meats. Great bar scene! Open late. $$
Mustards ~ 944-2424 Original California Grill. The restaurant that started an entire cuisine. Still pumping out great food. Casual, located just North of Yountville. Price $$
Redd Napa ~ 944-8686 Elegant and contemporary this sleek restaurant offers imaginative, fresh cuisine influenced by Europe, Asia and Mexico. Price $$