Best of Napa Valley Life
2021 Best Of Napa Valley Awards – Readers Choice
Published On: February 19, 2021

This year’s Best of Napa Valley’s Readers Choice Awards have special meaning. Despite the challenges and hardships of 2020, the number of people who came out to cast their votes in support of their favorite businesses was extraordinary, breaking all previous records.  Sadly, a handful of iconic wineries, resorts, and restaurants were severely impacted or even lost to the unexpected blows of this past year. However, they live on through the votes they received, some even scoring winning rankings in several categories. We look forward to watching with anticipation as they rebuild and reopen. And just like the people of the Napa Valley community, their resilience will bring them back stronger than before.  

Napa Valley remains one of the world’s most coveted destinations for its award-winning restaurants, wineries, resorts, and shopping.  Thanks to you, our readers, through the Readers Choice Best of Napa Valley voting, we are privileged to extend congratulations to this year’s winners. We encourage you to explore what they have to offer or perhaps be inspired to try something new.

BEST Winery Tasting Room

Sequoia Grove – Winner

707-944-2945 •
8338 St. Helena Hwy., Napa

Sequoia Grove is a family-owned winery founded in 1979 in a 110-year old barn beneath a grove of Sequoia trees in Rutherford, Napa Valley. They are known for their world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and other Napa Valley wines that emphasize elegance, finesse, structure, and balance. Their tasting experiences, indoors or out, include a sampling of their current vintages hosted by a team of hospitality folks who make everyone feel welcome.

Frank Family Winery • 2nd

707-942-0859 •
1091 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga

Schramsberg Vineyards • 3rd (tie)

707-942-4558 •
1400 Schramsberg Rd., Calistoga 

Domaine Carneros • 3rd (tie)

707-257-0101 •
1240 Duhig Rd., Napa


BEST Local Winemaker

Heidi Barrett – Winner

Heidi  Barrett  continues her three- year streak as Napa Valley’s favorite winemaker. It’s no surprise as this Berkeley native has  been  making  wine in Napa since the  early  1980s,  breaking the glass ceiling by reaching early acclaim as winemaker for Screaming Eagle, one of California’s notable cult wines. She now either makes wine or consults for numerous labels and is currently touting her  own,  La  Sirena and Barrett & Barrett,  a  brand  created in partnership  with  vintner  husband and Industry icon Bo Barrett.

Sarah Fowler • 2nd

707- 963-3600 •
8466 St Helena Hwy., Rutherford

Rudy Zuidema • 3rd

707-255-5661 •;
100 Rapp Lane, Napa 


BEST Wine Collective

Vintners Collective – Winner

707-255-7150 •
1245 Main St., Napa

Vintners Collective specializes in representing exclusive, hard to find wines handcrafted by small, boutique vintners, many of which do not have tasting rooms of their own. Located on Main Street in a renovated historic building, originally a saloon and brothel dating back to 1875, VC is a favorite place to stop, sip and check out some wines only found in Napa Valley. Their wine club is rated as one of Napa Valley’s most popular.

The Wine Thief 2nd

707-666-2650 •
708 1st St., Napa 

Brasswood Cellars • 3rd

707-968-5434 •
3111 St. Helena Hwy. N., St. Helena


BEST Wine Bar

Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant – Winner

707-257-5200 •
610 1st St., Napa

Owners Debbie Zachareas and Peter Granoff launched the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant in 2008. It has served as a staple shop in the Oxbow Public Market for food and wine lovers – both locals and tourists alike- for carefully curated fine cheeses, wine, and accouterment. Their wine club, which focuses on fantastic producers, terrific values, and a wide range of styles, has also been met with critical acclaim.

Bounty Hunter • 2nd

707-226-3976 • 975 1st St., Napa

Cadet Wine & Beer Bar • 3rd

707-224-4400 • 930 Franklin St., Napa


BEST Boutique Winery

Shadybrook Estate Winery – Winner

707-255-5661 • 100 Rapp Lane, Napa

Shadybrook Estate is tucked away in a picturesque location in Coombsville, overlooking rolling vineyards and neighboring Rapp Ranch Equestrian Center. Small- lot estate-grown wines representing the balance and power of the Coombsville terroir are offered on their spacious patio paired with a cheese and charcuterie plate or on a guided horseback tour. Frequented often by their devoted wine club members, all visitors are welcomed and treated like family in a relaxed, casual setting.

Luna Vineyards • 2nd

707-255-5862 2921 Silverado Trail, Napa

Viader Vineyards & Winery • 3rd (tie)

707-963-3816 •
1120 Deer Park Rd., Deer Park

St. Clair Brown Winery and Brewery • 3rd (tie)

707-255-5591 •
816 Vallejo St., Napa 


BEST Hidden Gem Winery

Best Hidden Gem Winery- Black Cat Vineyards

Black Cat Vineyard – Winner

707-321-0866 • 1352 4th Ave., Napa

Black Cat Proprietor and Winemaker Tracey Reichow produces small lots of hand- grown and handcrafted wines from a few of Napa Valley’s acclaimed AVA’s. Their Estate Vineyard in Coombsville is best known for its elegant Cabernet and Syrah, Rutherford for its Cab and Cab Franc, and Howell Mountain for Cab and Zinfandel. The winery was named after an intrepid and sociable feral black cat who became Tracey’s steadfast companion in the long days and nights she spent developing and planting the estate vineyard. Tastings are private, by appointment only.

Flora Springs • 2nd

707-963-5711 •
1978 West Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena

Schweiger Vineyards • 3rd

707-963-4882 •
4015 Spring Mountain Rd., St. Helena 


BEST Place for a Sandwich

Giugni W F & Son Grocery & Deli – Winner

707-963-3421 •
1227 Main St., St. Helena 

St. Helena has plenty of eateries, but one need not look further than Giugni W F & Son for an exceptional deli experience. Best known for their made-to-order sandwiches loaded up with a wide selection of choice meats and cheeses sliced fresh to order and served with the “the works,” many make the trip for “Giugini Juice,” an Italian style sauce made with red wine vinegar, canola oil, herbs, salt & pep- per which is drizzled on sandwiches and salads. It’s always crowded, so plan accordingly.

Genova Delicatessen • 2nd

707-253-8686 •
1550 Trancas St., Napa 

Oakville Grocery • 3rd

707-944-8802 •
7856 St. Helena Hwy., Oakville


BEST Pizza

Pizzeria Tra Vigne – Winner

707-967-9999 • 1016 Main St., St. Helena

For the past 25 years, Pizzeria Tra Vigne reigns one of St. Helena’s local treasures. Guests of all ages enjoy hanging out or grabbing some pasta, pizza, or a fresh daily special to go at this vibrant, family restaurant. Their pizzas have always been a crowd favorite, and during the pandemic, their pizza to go kits were among the area’s most popular. There’s plenty of seating outdoors on their beautiful patio, complete with Bocce Court, or inside at a table or booth with family and friends.

Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca • 2nd

707-255-5552 • 1260 Main St., Napa

Bistro Don Giovanni • 3rd (tie)

707-224-3300 • 4110 Howard Lane, Napa

Filippis Pizza Grotto • 3rd (tie)

707-254-9700 • 645 1st St., Napa


BEST Italian Restaurant

bistro don giovani

Bistro Don Giovanni – Winner

707-224-3300 • 4110 Howard Lane, Napa

Bistro Don Giovanni, known to locals as “Don G’s,”  has been      a destination restaurant in Napa Valley since its opening in 1993. The menu is best known for its fresh interpretations of traditional Italian dishes, including hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza, homemade pasta, and daily fish and meat specials that are sustainably farmed organically sourced. Whether dining outside in the garden, on the patio, or in the cozy restaurant or bar, Don G’s is always a memorable experience.

Bottega Napa Valley • 2nd

707-945-1050 • 6525 Washington St., Yountville

Ristorante Allegria • 3rd

707-254-8006 • 1026 1st. St., Napa


BEST Asian Food

morimoto napa

Morimoto Napa – Winner

707-252-1600 • 610 Main St., Napa

Iron Chef Morimoto’s signature restaurant on the Napa River is one of the most sought after dining experiences since its opening in 2010. Always a favorite for sushi, diners are captivated by the inventive high-end Japanese menu, which is presented in a spacious, zen-like setting- both indoors and out. The bar is popular with locals on weekends, and for sake lovers, the Momosan Lounge is devoted to sake and Japanese whiskey.

Eikos Modern Japanese Cuisine • 2nd

707-501-4444 • 1300 First St., Suite 385, Napa

Mango on Main • 3rd

707-253-8880 • 1142 Main St., Napa


BEST Mexican Food

Don Perico Mexican Restaurant – Winner

707-252-4707 • 1106 1st St., Napa

Napa’s most popular Mexican Restaurant, Don Perico, has been around for over  two decades. Known for its crowd-pleasing Mexican food, generous margaritas, and all-day happy hour, it has become a hot spot for locals for lunch and dinner. The generous patio welcomes diners  with a great selection of appetizers and traditional Mexican dishes such as burritos, tortilla soup, fajitas, and enchiladas. The beverage program includes artisan mescals and tequila and an extensive wine list. Both bars and the outdoor  patio are always a fiesta.

Villa Corona • 2nd

1138 Main St., St. Helena • 707-963-7812
3614 Bel Air Plaza, Napa • 707-257-8685

La Luna Market & Taqueria • 3rd

707-963-3211 • 1153 Rutherford Rd., Rutherford 


BEST Place to Eat Seafood

Hog Island Oyster Co. – Winner

707-251-8113 • 610 1st St., Napa

Belly up at Hog Island Oyster Bar and enjoy freshly shucked oysters, which  change   daily, or order a bushel to go. The Napa location at Oxbow Public Market serves its own Hog Island mollusks and savory seafood entrées, organic salads, and small plates that showcase local fishermen, farmers, and artisan food producers in the local region.

Morimoto Napa • 2nd

707-252-1600 • 610 Main St., Napa

Eikos Modern Japanese Cuisine • 3rd

707-501-4444 • 1300 First St., Suite 385, Napa


BEST Sushi

Eikos Modern Japanese Cuisine – Winner

707-501-4444 • 1300 First St., Suite 385, Napa

Eikos Sushi is Napa Valley’s favorite “go-to” for modern and authentic traditional Japanese cuisine and their seasonal, fresh, sustainable fish, delivered daily from local markets and purveyors. Their skilled sushi chefs don’t disappoint with the extensive and creative sushi menu, presented on plates with colorful and flavorful sushi combinations. Eikos rose to the top during the pandemic as one of the area’s busiest takeout and delivery restaurants for their sushi and handcrafted cocktails when dining was restricted inside. They have a second location in Oxbow Public Market with a more limited menu.

Morimoto Napa • 2nd

707-252-1600 •
610 Main St., Napa

Sushi Mambo • 3rd

707-942-4699 •
1631 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga


BEST Vegetarian Menu Options

Heritage Eats – Winner

707-226-3287 • 3824 Bel Aire Plaza, Napa

Heritage Eats owners, Ben and Ali Koenig, own and operate this unique, local, family-based  restaurant. They present an exciting menu rich with world culture and flavors from Southeast Asia, India, Egypt, and beyond into fresh and flavorful dishes using global spices and warm hospitality. From salad and rice  bowls, tacos, bao buns, tacos, and wraps,  diners  can mix and match flavors and food combinations to meet any craving. Heritage Eats also offers a local catering program and recently launched a food truck – The Best Food Truck in Napa.

R + D Kitchen • 2nd

707-945-0920 • 6795 Washington St., Yountville

Rutherford Grill • 3rd

707-963-1792 • 1180 Rutherford Rd., Rutherford


BEST Burger

Gotts Roadside – Winner

707-224-6900 • 644 1st St., Napa

Gotts Roadside is wine country’s go-to for its fresh, high-quality roadhouse menu, especially its juicy cheeseburgers. Options include their 100% Niman Ranch Angus beef burger and cheese choice on a toasted egg bun, lettuce, tomato, and a secret sauce made  with Sir Kensington’s ketchup. Locals love the California Burger, with a fried egg, bacon, and balsamic onions. Gotts was the first local restaurant to introduce the Impossible burger for their vegetarian clientele and has a sushi-grade ahi burger for seafood lovers.

Goose & Gander • 2nd

707-967-8779 1245 Spring St., St. Helena

The Charter Oak Restaurant • 3rd (tie)

707-302-6996 1050 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena

Squeeze Inn Hamburgers • 3rd (tie)

707-257-6880 3383 Solano Avenue, Napa


BEST Family Restaurant

gotts roadside

Gotts Roadside-Napa – Winner

707-224-6900 • 644 1st St., Napa

Gotts Roadside  started  on its road to popularity  with the launch  of Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena in 1999. Renamed Gotts Roadside, the popular hangout has since expanded to the Oxbow Public Market District in downtown Napa. The St. Helena spot is a gourmet drive-in, with guests eating at bright red picnic tables on the lawn, while the Oxbow location is built in an urban, retro diner-style. Gotts is always bustling with locals and visitors of all ages with a popular menu known for its American roadside classics, especially its inventive burgers and hand made shakes.

Pizzeria Tra Vigne • 2nd

707-967-9999 1016 Main St., St. Helena

Hop Creek Pub • 3rd

707-257-7708 3253 Browns Valley Rd., Napa


BEST Upscale Restaurant

french laundry

The French Laundry – Winner

707-944-2380 •
6640 Washington St., Yountville

The French Laundry restaurant has been Napa Valley’s keystone for fine dining since Thomas Keller purchased it in 1994. With a prestigious reputation known worldwide, its distinctive menu, which is curated daily, and its commitment to serving classic French cuisine with the finest quality ingredients are only paralleled with its intense focus on impeccable guest service.

Coles Chophouse • 2nd

707-224-MEAT • 1123 Main St., Napa

Auberge du Soleil • 3rd

800-348-5406 • 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford


BEST Bakery


Bouchon Bakery – Winner

707-944-2253 •
6528 Washington St., Yountville

Bouchon Bakery has been drawing in crowds- both local and visitors- since its opening in 2003. Initially created to service neighboring restaurants  Bouchon Bistro and The French Laundry, it’s reputation demanded it establish a presence of its own. It’s delectable and IG-worthy selection of artisanal bread, impeccable desserts, and sweet gourmet delights are rewarded to those who usually wait in line to retrieve them.

Model Bakery • 2nd

707-259-1128 • 644 1st St., Napa

Buttercream Bakery & Diner • 3rd (tie)

707-255-6700 • 2297 Jefferson St., Napa

Sweetie Pies • 3rd

707-257-7280 • 520 Main St., Napa


BEST Place for Breakfast

Boon Fly Cafe – Winner

707-299-4870 • 4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa

Located in South Napa at the Carneros Resort, Boon Fly Café takes the prize as   one of the best places to jump-start the day. The café/bistro serves modern-rustic cuisine in a contemporary roadhouse atmosphere. Since the pandemic, their take out menu is a hot ticket in town with menu favorites that include their famous homemade donuts, avocado toast, fried chicken and waffles, and green eggs and ham. Other brunch items include flatbread pizzas, burgers, and fish tacos.

Napa Valley General Store • 2nd

707-259-0762 • 540 Main St. #100, Napa

La Cheve Bakery and Brews • 3rd

707-294-2142 • 376 Soscol Ave., Napa


BEST Bar/Cocktails

Goose and Gander – Winner

707-967-8779 •
1245 Spring St., St. Helena

Goose & Gander maintains its status as one of St. Helena’s hidden-gem hangouts. Its seasonal menu complements a great selection of wines, beer, and retro-fresh cocktails. Guests and locals partake  in the Whiskey Bar or outdoor bar garden, which offers pop up specials and live music in the summer on weekends.

Coles Chop House • 2nd (tie)

707-224-MEAT • 1123 Main St., Napa

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch • 2nd (tie)

707-963-4555 738 • Main St., St. Helena

Sky & Vine at Archer Hotel • 3rd

707-819-2490 • 1260 1st St., Napa


BEST Outdoor Dining


Auberge du Soleil – Winner

707-963-1211 •
180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford

Enjoy both fine dining and casual French  bistro fare while taking in the spectacular panoramic views for miles around from the expansive terrace. Start with an appetizer to share, such as fresh oysters on the half shell or smoked salmon tartine, or delight your palate with classic entrées such as dayboat scallops or Prime New York Steak. Handcrafted cock- tails and a formidable wine list are available to quench a thirst or pair with either menu.

Bistro Don Giovanni • 2nd

707-224-3300 • 4110 Howard Lane, Napa

Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch • 3rd

707-963-4555 • 738 Main St., St. Helena


BEST Dog-Friendly Hang Out

PR + D Kitchen -Patio – Winner

707-945-0920 •  6795 Washington St., Yountville

R + D Kitchen in Yountville is one of Hillstone Restaurant Groups’ flagship lo- cations. Known for its flavorful California fare, it’s specialties include fresh sandwiches and sushi. An expansive patio is a great place to hang out and enjoy a limited version of the menu or enjoy libations from their bar menu. Adirondack chairs and fire pits are popular for relaxing with friends with two legs or four.

Peju Winery • 2nd

707-963-3600 •
8466 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford

Gotts Roadside • 3rd

707-224-6900 •
644 1st St., Napa


BEST Golf Course

Silverado Resort – Winner

707-257-0200 •  1600 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa

Challenge yourself on a championship course, surrounded by Napa Valley’s golden hills. Redesigned by PGA Hall- of-Famer and Owner Johnny Miller – Silverado Resort’s two PGA courses offer some of the nation’s best golf. Access is limited to members and resort guests, promising an exclusive day on the links. Grab your clubs and enjoy an all-time classic golf experience.

Napa Valley Country Club • 2nd

707-252-1111 •
3385 Hagen Rd., Napa

Eagle Vines Golf Club • 3rd

707-257-4470 • 580 S. Kelly Rd., American Canyon


BEST Jewelry Store

Napa Valley Jewelers – Winner

707-224-0997 • 1300 1st St., Suite 365, Napa

For over 25 years, Napa Valley Jewelers has been providing the Napa Valley area with a personalized shopping experience offering a wide array of jewelry, unique pieces crafted from precious metals and gems, as well as stunning creations of art made from glass. Napa Valley Jewelers exceeds expectations by delivering exceptional customer service and offering their clients a variety of options that will suit anyone’s budget.

Creations Fine Jewelers • 2nd

707-252-8131 • 3341 Solano Ave.

Padis Jewelry • 3rd

707-963-2288 •
1269 Main St., St. Helena


BEST Wine Country Event

BottleRock Napa Valley – Winner

Napa Valley Expo, Napa •

Entering its 9th season, BottleRock paused in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each year, 120,000 concert goers flood downtown Napa to partake in the four-day festival that features some of the world’s greatest bands and showcases Napa Valley’s best food and local wines. Produced by JaM Cellars, the  event proudly wears the crown for sharing the best of music, wine, food, and beer with Napa. Whether concert-goers are rocking to one of their many Grammy- award- winning, live music performances or indulging in their culinary stage, BottleRock is by far one of the most unique, entertaining experiences in the entire Bay area. BottleRock 2021 is currently scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

Safeway Open • 2nd

Napa Valley Porchfest • 3rd (tie)

Auction Napa Valley • 3rd (tie)


BEST Hotel/ Resort

silverado resort

Silverado Resort – Winner

1600 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa

At Silverado Resort, there is something for everyone. The award-winning property  (which also took #1 for Best Place to Play Golf) is a travelers delight. Along with guest rooms and private villas, the property offers tennis, a beautiful spa, and a  sumptuous  menu from Chef Rodrigo Cuadra, who is well known for his weekly wine and food specials—conveniently located right off of Silverado Trail.

Auberge du Soleil • 2nd

800-348-5406 180 • Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford

Archer Hotel Napa • 3rd

855-437-9100 • 1230 1st St., Napa


BEST Shopping for Women

shop boho

BoHo Lifestyle – Winner

707-337-5870 • 1012 First St., Napa

Boho Lifestyle is not only a store; it’s a feeling. The popular boutique on Napa’s busy First Street carries hip, affordable local clothing, shoes, hats, and lots of gorgeous jewelry and accessories that are diverse, affordable, and always on- trend. Their friendly fashionistas are happy to assist with style ideas for any occasion.

Helen Lyall Clothes for Women • 2nd

707-252-7400 • 650 Main St., Napa

Makers Market at First Street • 3rd

707-637-4637 • 1300 1st St., Napa


BEST Shopping for Men


Williamson & Co. – Winner

707-224-5284 • 1144 Main St., Napa

Located in Napa for over 40  years,  Williamson  & Company specializes in updated traditional looks for men. With a unique mix of casual and  dress,  a man  can  shop for all occasions in a relaxed, boutique-style setting. For quality clothing to dress the man who likes to look good, Williamson & Co. delivers.

Scott Lyall Clothes for Men • 2nd

707-255-5858 • 614 Main St., Napa

Marios Napa Valley • 3rd

707-963-1603 • 1223 Main St., Napa


BEST Day Spa/Salon

Meadowood Spa – Winner

877-963-3646 •
900 Meadowood Ln, St. Helena

The Meadowood Spa is all  about  relaxing,  wellness, and serenity. It’s been recognized by Forbes with the Industry’s highest award of Five-Stars three years in a row- the only one that has earned this prestigious award in Napa Valley. Due to the Glass Fire and the pandemic over the course of 2020, portions of the Meadowood complex may be under reconstruction or renovation.  Check ahead for updates and availability.

Spa Solage • 2nd

707-226-0800 • 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga

Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch • 3rd (tie)

(under renovation)
866-484-8829 • 580 Lommel Rd., Calistoga

Spa Terra at Meritage Resort • 3rd (tie)

707-251-3000 875 • Bordeaux Way, Napa


BEST Cultural Venue

The CIA at Copia Museum – Winner

707-967-2500 • 500 1st St., Napa

Presented by the Culinary Institute of America, The CIA at Copia is a gathering place to “Feed Your Joy.” Located in the heart of Napa’s Oxbow District, the cultural foodie can take in entertainment, educational, and food-centric events. Whether it be creating a menu in a hands-on cooking class, attending an educational seminar, viewing historical culinary artifacts in the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum, or  participating in one of their many food and wine events,   The CIA at Copia has all the bases covered. Picturesque, unique, and full of tasty ideas, The CIA at Copia makes any event a truly memorable one.

The Hess Collection • 2nd

707-255-1144 • 4411 Redwood Rd., Napa

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art • 3rd

707-226-5991 • 5200 Sonoma Hwy., Napa


BEST Wine Tour

Beau Wine Tours – Winner

707-938-8001 •
21707 Eighth St., E Suite A, Sonoma

With a team of wine-savvy chauffeur tour guides, Beau Wine Tours is consistently rated as one of the region’s premier luxury tour operators. It helps that proprietor Thomas Buck has been an avid collector of California cult wines for more than 20 years, as well as a vintner himself. Beau Wine Tour’s fleet includes a full bus, luxury sedans, SUVs, sprinter vans, and coaches. It boasts an in-house concierge staff to curate unique itineraries for individuals or groups throughout Napa and Sonoma wine country. No single tour is ever the same.

The Wine Train • 2nd

707-253-2111 •
1275 McKinstry St., Napa

Your Driver in Napa • 3rd (tie)


Platypus Tours • 3rd (tie)

707-253-2723 •
101 S. Coombs St., Napa


BEST Boutique Lodging

harvest inn

Harvest Inn – Winner

707-963-9463 • 1 Main St., St. Helena

Set on eight acres of vineyards, this upscale resort is  1.1  miles from downtown St. Helena and 8.4 miles from Yountville’s restaurants and shops. Country-chic rooms, suites, and cottages, some with fireplaces, private decks, and whirlpool tubs, offer views of vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains. Additional amenities include spa treatments, access to a golf club, a cigar program, and an award-winning restaurant on site.

Napa River Inn • 2nd

707-251-8500 •
500 Main St., Napa

Vintage House • 3rd

707-927-2188 •
6541 Washington St., Yountville

Poetry Inn • 3rd

707-944-0650 •
6380 Silverado Trail, Napa


Best of Napa Valley Awards 2021 – Editor’s Choice

Some stand out businesses that deserve a category of their own.

It is hard to narrow down the voting categories every year and include the best of everything the Valley has to offer all on one list. In the Editors Choice section, we recognize some outlier businesses that don’t fall into a designated category but are outstanding in their genre and deserve an honorable mention.


BEST Place for a Fun Night Out

Ca’ Momi Osteria – Winner

707-224-6664 • 1141 First St., Napa

Ca’ Momi Osteria is nominated every year in multiple voting categories, including Best Pizza, Best Bar, Best Italian  Restaurant,  and  Best  Live Music venue. Located on vibrant First Street in downtown Napa, Ca’Momi is known for its award-winning, authentic Italian  cuisine  and extensive bar program that features an impressive wine list including Ca’Momi wines, garden-to-glass cocktails, craft beers, and all-natural craft spirits. Late- night on weekends, the dining room transforms into Osteria Live!, a speak-easy like listening room serving up cocktails and dancing.


BEST Wine Storage

Rutherford Wine Vault – Winner

707-235-2555 •  1901 St. Helena Hwy., Napa

Rutherford Wine Vault is regaled as the finest and most unique wine storage facility in Napa, Sonoma, and the greater San Francisco Bay area. Located in the historic Beaulieu Vineyard’s champagne department, the meticulously transformed 110-year-old vault space features custom- designed seismically independent racking systems, lockable private steel storage enclosures, redundant temperature and humidity controls, and more than five layers of state-of-the-art security systems for both area vintners and private collectors to store their vinous treasures.


BEST Outdoor Wine Tasting

Domaine Carneros – Winner

800-716- BRUT • 1240 Duhig Road, Napa

Perched on top of one of Los Carneros’ undulating hillsides, Domaine Carneros serves as a grand beacon for Southern Napa Valley’s Carneros region. Built-in 1989, a visit to the striking eighteenth- century château is equally elegant and memorable. Guests are offered a menu that includes samplings of curated sparkling and still wines, which can be paired with cheese/ charcuterie plates or caviar, all of which can be enjoyed on the expansive terrace overlooking the 138-acre property.


BEST Place to Shop Local

The Bennington Napa Valley – Winner

707-501-0300 • 1300 First St., Suite 345, Napa

While the local Farmers Markets in Napa Valley are sure bets for finding local farmers and purveyors of local goods, The Bennington Napa Valley, one of First Street’s newer tenants, offers a cornucopia of local artisan crafts, gifts, and goodies such as goat milk soap and lotions, olive oils and vinegar, sweets, artwork, candles and barrel products which showcase some of the best Napa has to offer. Owner Susan Melendez rotates local brands and is open to feature new vendors.


BEST New Restaurants

Nick the Greek – Winner

721 Lincoln Ave., Napa • 707-927-5802

Nick the Greek became one of Napa’s hottest new carryout restaurants after it opened in June 2020. Best  known for its Beef/Lamb Gyro pita stuffed with french fries, the menu options include Beef, chicken, and pork gyros or souvlaki served in a pita or on a salad, and simple sides like hummus and pita or Avgolemono soup. Don’t miss the Loukoumades for dessert– warm Greek beignets drizzled with nuts and honey syrup.

First and Franklin – Winner

1331 First St., Napa • 707-252-1000

This past Spring, Industry veterans Chuck Meyer of Napa Palisades Saloon and Michael Holcomb, Jr.  launched First & Franklin after renovating the old Tourist Information Center on First Street. The deli/market venue offers sandwiches and salads as well as local wines and beer. Starting as a walk-up / carry out window during  the  pandemic, it quickly rose to become one of First Street’s busiest corners. When it fully opens, retail items and local wines  will be available to taste on site along with indoor and outdoor seating.


MOST Innovative New Business

Downtown Rides – Winner

707-287-7003 •

Downtown Rides (DTR) is a complimentary, tip- based ride-share service with a unique strategy. It  is a joint collaboration with local  businesses  such as wineries, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses who advertise with signage on their fleet of electric-powered vehicles, which gain impressions weaving through the heart of Napa. The win-win partnerships subsidize the free ride service, which in turn introduces riders to downtown Napa’s notable locales, reducing downtown traffic, decreasing demand for parking, and helping reduce air pollution.


Best of Napa Valley Awards 2021 – Pandemic

Silver Linings Playbook

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 presented new challenges for the hospitality industry to maintain operations continuity and comply with regional safety guidelines. New social distancing practices forced businesses to discover new ways to serve the public, including hosting guests outside, offering products and services online, and developing individualized solutions to serve guests. While many will look back on the pandemic as a dark spot in our history, some silver linings emerged, some of which became creative innovations that we hope will live on once we all safely gather again.

Pop-Up Restaurants and Food Trucks

Napa Valley has always touted some of the region’s finest foods, but when the pandemic hit, some of the areas’  premier  caterers and restaurants mobilized by launching virtual pop-up menus, restaurants and food trucks, allowing them to expand their reach during high volume order- ing times and offering convenient pick up or delivery options.

Drive-In Movies

With local indoor theaters closed to the public, the Cameo Cinema and Team Morales Events in Napa came to the rescue. They created family- focused pop-up movie events in St. Helena, Calistoga, and downtown Napa. The event planners collabo- rated with local eateries and con- cessions to provide beverages and snacks for movie-goers to  watch the show safely spaced within their vehicles on huge pop-up movie screens. The concept provided a fun and nostalgic respite for families and friends to gather and enjoy watching movies outside of the confines of home.

Walk-Up Windows

Carry-Out listings were the de facto link found on many local restaurant websites when take-out dining was the primary option to acquire some of Napa’s coveted dishes. Most restaurants offered home delivery or curbside pickup to expedite fresh meals to hungry patrons. Some restaurants created designated walk-up windows, some of which maintained their popularity even when indoor dining was also in play.

Cocktails to Go

During the months when the community was in the habit of sheltering in place, many restaurants relied on carry-out services to deliver their tasty menus and beverages at home. Besides offering great deals on local wines to go, some got creative and converted some of their signature cocktails to ‘to-go’ status. Whether sold by the drink or by the batch,   the creative concoctions became a popular request, allowing customers to carry-out and recreate the restaurant/bar experience at home.

Virtual Hospitality Events

Napa Valley transported its reputation as a world-class wine & food destination by hosting virtual food and wine events to captive audiences at home. Wine enthusiasts, foodies, and home cooks tuned in to live, interactive online sessions hosted by Napa Valley’s renowned winemakers and chefs via virtual technology that enabled them to showcase their latest wines, suggested food pairings, and educational classes, expanding their reach (sales and visibility) to people and places they were not connecting with before.


This summer, some of Napa’s restaurants and wineries took  to the streets with the installation of Parklets- built-out platforms that extend out from the sidewalk to the adjacent parking space’s width, allowing additional seating for patrons. Complete with umbrellas for shade, barriers for privacy, and potted foliage for decoration, they present a handy solution for dining outdoors and some European charm to Napa’s dining scene.