The beautiful rolling green hills of wine country are dotted with some of the most famous wineries in the world and nothing goes better with great wines than fantastic food. True to form Northern California Wine Country offers some of the countries most recognized restaurants. Amazing cuisines abound so where to begin on your ultimate road trip through Wine Country? From Napa to Healdsburg, here’s how to make the most of your stay.
The Charter Oak in St. Helena
1050 Charter Oak Avenue
St. Helena, CA 94574
The Charter Oak is located in the heart of Napa Valley and is owned and run by chef Christopher Kostow, who is famous for his Michelin three-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood.
The Charter Oak is designed to offer a memorable experience each time by offering a festive, family-style dining experience with simple, seasonal, and purely good food –soft sourdough bread served with homemade cultured butter, vegetables from the Charter Oak’s own farms with fermented soy dip, fragrant grilled meats, aromatic stracciatella with Swiss chard and anchovy vinaigrette, and local wines, and truly inspired cocktails.
The look is cozy-sophisticated, with wood floors, rugs, and exposed brick wall with woven twines of ivy from the outside, adding to the local charm.
The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford
180 Rutherford Hill Road,
Rutherford, CA 94573
The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil offers an unforgettable breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menu with an amazing wine list as one might expect. The Auberge Resort is set high above the vineyards in Rutherford, with the terrace at The Restaurant allowing you to enjoy an exquisite al fresco meal while giving you an unfettered and breathtaking view of the Napa sunset in the evening.
Wine pairings are the center of any Napa Valley dining experience, and the Auberge du Soleil restaurant will not disappoint in this department with 15,000 bottlings in the cellar, so the choice is yours. Yes, the Michelin-star restaurant is famous for its unmatchable wine program but the stunning views are what complete the magnificent experience.
25 North St,
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Little Saint is an ambitious and charming plant-based dining experience that offers a scrumptious menu that can whet the appetite of even the staunchest of carnivores. The restaurant’s menu features farm-grown vegetables and in a sun-drenched space, thanks to the huge glass structures that face North Street. The space is run by husband-and-wife duo Kyle and Katina Connaughton, best-known for SingleThread, their three-starred Michelin restaurant.
One unique point of the restaurant is that the dishes change regularly depending on the kind of produce brought in that day from the Little Saint and SingleThread farms, which are known for cultivating a biodiverse ecosystem and have a no-till practice to create rich, natural, and healthy soil.
Beyond the restaurant, guests can also explore the lovely coffee bar, a wine shop, snack bars, and a produce and food store that sell items for a picnic lunch.
Osake Japanese Restaurant
2446 Patio Ct,
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Osake is a renowned California-inspired Asian cuisine restaurant in Santa Rosa that has been offering the tastiest seafood with the most fragrant wines in the wine country.
The restaurant offers food with classic Japanese preparation and attention to detail and combines it with the freshness, creativity, and variety one would expect in California. Its menu consists of delicately made sashimi, nigiri, bento boxes, and wood-fire grilled specialties, as well as the most delicious high-quality fish and the freshest ingredients.
Not only is the restaurant known for serving delicious sushi and rolls, but it also offers cooked entrees, appetizers, and small plates. And you have a choice of sake pairings with every dish.
The Girl & The Fig
110 W Spain St,
Sonoma, CA 95476
The Girl & The Fig has been a Sonoma Plaza staple restaurant for over 25 years. A French-style bistro, The Girl & The Fig showcases a lovely antique bar with French aperitifs, classic and unique cocktails, a seasonal menu, charcuterie and cheese platters, a Rhone-Alone wine list, an outdoor patio seating and a parklet seating.
The restaurants’ inspiring and elegant interpretations of simple, seasonal foods like steak tartare, steamed mussels, wild flounder meuniere, croque monsieur are sure to delight. With a healthy balance of elegance and offbeat personality, Girl & the Fig’s unparalleled cuisine and attentive staff combine for a refreshingly unique and wholly pleasurable dining experience that will linger long after the meal itself.
You can also visit the retail shop at the restaurant for an exclusive, limited-production of goods.
Cafe La Haye
140 E Napa St,
Sonoma, CA 95476
Despite being a Michelin-star restaurant, the Cafe La Haye is an accessible and surprisingly affordable place for anyone who is taking a trip to Sonoma. The restaurant has an elegant but unpretentious vibe and has a cozy and intimate 34-seat setting.
The place is located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, adjacent to the historic plaza, and has beautiful historical-style architecture with exposed beams and a stone facade but a decidedly modern seasonal menu. The restaurant offers a farm-to-table menu, including its most famous grilled marinated filet mignon with balsamic Worcestershire sauce, olive tapenade and Point Reyes blue cheese. If you want to take in all the action, it is a great idea to reserve the open kitchen-fronted seating. We highly recommend saving some space for dessert as you do not want to miss decadent goodness like the warm freshly baked almond cake.
When you are visiting wine country CWT recommends planning your schedule around the amazing food and breathtaking views that Napa and Sonoma offer. Our list of the top restaurants in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley is a great way to get you started and guarantee a unique and unforgettable culinary experience.
For more information on top places to visit in wine country, call us at (707) 253-1300 or visit https://californiawinetours.com/.