Chockablock with elite wineries and globally recognised restaurants by both new and legendary talent, Northern California’s “Disneyland for adults” has become a hot spot known to satisfy anyone (over 21 years of age) who has an appetite for quality food and beverage. Napa has its very own unique culture—one that pays homage to foods that are grown, gathered and soon after served delightfully on a plate, and even the ingredients for cocktails are ethically sourced. Illustrious estates and remarkable wineries lined up one after another along a two-lane road make for stellar scenery, making it the perfect environment to wake up, wine, eat, wine and repeat.
Cleo von Siebenthal is a girl with no single home—she’s lived in 10 places around the world, subsequently developing a wildly curious palate. When she’s not eating, she’s building an eCommerce business at Tastemade in sunny Santa Monica. Find her on Instagram @cleovonsieats
What started in 2006 as a temporary six-month pop-up by Thomas Keller has since become a crowd favourite brunch destination in Napa’s Yountville county, as the instant popularity made it impossible to shut the restaurant down. The format is simple: the prix-fixe restaurant boasts four sizeable, delicious courses during the week, and three for Sunday brunch, all served family-style. Their famous buttermilk fried chicken isn’t always on the menu, so be sure to call ahead of time to confirm and plan accordingly. The ambience is friendly and casual, and prices are reasonable, especially if you’re not ready to commit to spending big bucks on the tasting menu at the world-famous The French Laundry; Ad Hoc is your perfect gateway into the wonderful world of Thomas Keller.
Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington Street, Yountville, California 94599, USA; +1 (707) 944-2487; www.thomaskeller.com/adhoc
The Fremont Diner
In an area known for tasting menus by chefs who turn food into high art, The Fremont Diner stands out as a reminder of how just as enjoyable a pared down meal can be. Located on Highway 12 between Napa and Sonoma, the homey diner evokes quirky nostalgia from the moment you walk through its swinging doors, with its rusty pickup truck parked outside, rusty memorabilia, vintage road signs, and mismatched tables and chairs. The diner has earned itself a cult-like following since it opened its doors in 2009 and, on any given weekend, a wait for a table can easily exceed an hour, especially during prime brunch hours. The kitchen takes full advantage of the seasonal produce from surrounding farms, and the Southern comfort-focused menu features star dishes such as flakey buttermilk biscuits with gravy, a fiery Nashville-style chicken sandwich, and house-smoked black pepper brisket hash.
The Fremont Diner, 2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma, California 95476, USA; +1 (707) 938-7370; www.thefremontdiner.com
Scribe Winery, 2100 Denmark Street, Sonoma, California 95476, USA; +1 (707) 939-1858; www.scribewinery.com
Opus One, 7900 St. Helena Highway, Oakville, California 94562, USA; +1 (707) 944-9442; www.opusonewinery.com
The Charter Oak
The Charter Oak, 1050 Charter Oak Avenue, St. Helena, California 94574, USA; +1 (707) 302-6996; www.thecharteroak.com
Acacia House, 1073, 1915 Main Street, St Helena, California 94574, USA; +1 (707) 963-9004; www.lasalcobasnapavalley.com