This list (Napa, Yountville, and St Helena) is constantly updated and refreshed! These are truly my faves and it's quite thorough. You can't go wrong with any of these!  If you are wondering about one that is not on here, feel free to shoot me a quick email - I will give you an honest answer! xoxo, Napanista


Angele: French Bistro, excellent service, intimate ambiance, and always high quality of food. With its white tablcloths but bistro atmosphere, it strikes the perfect mix of casual but nice enough to impress.  Good for a date, a group of friends, or even a boozy business dinner.   The cocktails are excellent.  Get the fried deviled eggs, the roast chicken salad, or their burger.  This is a locals favorite for lunches, so don't go there if you want to stay incognito!  They have a lovely round table in the corner that is perfect for a group of 6.  You can also get the back room for a private table (good for 10). The patio is lovely on warm days.

Wine train: If you select the high end one, it’s very exclusive and pricey, but the normal one is a blast (also not cheap). I like the option to get off for wine tasting at either Raymond or Grgich.  You start your meal off in one car, and after the wine excursion, you have dessert in a different car (ours was the salon). The food quality is fine, but you are paying for the experience.  Its a wonderful way to spend two hours with people you really enjoy - and if you don't enjoy them that much, you can always "go for a walk" to visit the other cars! 

Press (St Helena) -  a traditional American steak house with a Napa aesthetic.  They have a bacon sampler appetizer that is phenomenal, but you have to ask for it, as it is not on the menu (only on the bar menu). I love the sirloin burger with mushrooms.  Dinner, white tablecloth steak house. Pricey! We would go more often if it weren't so far for us (that Uber ride from Napa can be expensive!)

Cole’s- classic American Steak house in Napa.  They have been in Napa for years as one of the most solid fine dining establishments.  Nothing creative about the pretty much stays with the standards, but they do an amazing job.  It's in a beutiful old stone building. Great ambiance and always full.

Oxbow Market- for the best coffee at Ritual.  It’s a huge, gourmet food court, with something for eveyone .  This is Napa’s town square, and you will see plenty of tourists but also locals, holding business meetings, PTA meetings, or just catching up over a cappucino. Highlights: Oyster Co, Oxbow Cheese  Merchants, Ci Casa (gourmet tacos), Livefire (artisan pizza), Five Dot Ranch (burgers and choose your own steak), Model bakery (on the outside of Oxbow) - famous English Muffins and the best breakfast sandwiches.

Kitchen Door -Located at Oxbow. Great Sunday brunch spot. An eclectic menu. Love especially the Asian inspired fare, like Korean short rib with fried rice. The chicken wings are the best I’ve ever had, we order as appetizers.

Zuzu’s (Napa)- adorable and small in Napa, great Spanish style Tapas. Very popular local favorite

Gott’s Roadside (at Oxbow or St Helena) for a good gourmet burger joint. Excellent quality burgers, fries, shakes and beyond (even some good selections if you want to stay healthy-ish.) They also serve wine!

Morimoto (Napa)- big space -cool and hip vibe and excellent Japanese contemporary food (like Nobu). Amazing quality sushi. Good cocktails 

Oenotri (Napa)- best Italian style gourmet pizzas, homemade charcuterie, homemade pastas and incredible roast brussels sprouts.

Bounty Hunter (Napa)- upscale casual, best wine list in the world possibly, beer can chicken and ribs, a locals fave! (Casual)

Miminashi- Our favorite Napa restaurant. Excellent cocktails and authentic Japanese Izakaya style food

Napa Valley Bistro- small, intimate, excellent food (and the flatbread mushroom appetizer is awesome) but boring and uninspired interior design.

Southside (Napa and Yountville) -best breakfast in Napa and the BEST avocado toast I have ever had. Order the Chilaquiles, house made granola, and if you are really hungry, the biscuits and gravy!

Don Giovanni (Napa)- perfect Italian with professional service. Ravioli  in lemon cream sauce - totally an insider tip. Locals' favorite. Lunch or dinner.


Bouchon (Yountville)- a classic Thomas Keller! Great for Sunday brunch - love the bread basket. Hard to get a reservation.

Ad Hoc (Yountville)- American farm To table comfort food by Keller served family style - menu changes daily.

Restoration Hardware (Yountville) - its so pretty there with all the crystal chandeliers…the food is delicious but overpriced (especially wines by the glass).

Southside (Napa and Yountville) -best breakfast in Napa and the BEST avocado toast I have ever had. Order the Chilaquiles, house made granola, and if you are really hungry, the biscuits and gravy!

Bistro Jeanty (Yountville)- French bistro food- very authentic, a locals favorite (easier to get a reservation than Bouchon and many think its a better menu)

Rutherford Grill (Rutherford)- don't take reservations so have a margarita outside while you wait. Great casual food, ribs, corn bread, deviled eggs

Mustard’s Grill- a classic- beautiful for lunch and then shopping!

St Helena

****Farmstead (St. Helena)*****-my favorite!! farm to table food in a hip, Napa farm setting. We love the cheese biscuits and the chocolate pudding pie 

Boonfly Cafe (Carneros)- another amazing breakfast or  brunch 

Meadowood (St Helena)- for a really amazing 3 star Michelin chef meal

Goose and Gander (St Helena)-lunch or dinner. esp for cocktails before or after dinner but food is amazing too- gastro pub and they have been getting a lot of accolades. In the summer you can dine in the garden and if its cold, indoor dining feels like an English manor hunting lodge. Live music Sunday afternoons 1pm-4