What to do in Downtown Napa: Wine Tasting, Dining, & More

What to do in Downtown Napa: Wine Tasting, Dining, & More

Moving to downtown Napa was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. I feel like I’m finally on the path that’s meant for ME, not what I thought people expected of me. 

Goodbyyyyye corporate world!

Shortly after moving here, I had the opportunity to partner with Downtown Napa to explore my new hometown — and WOW! I’m blown away by how much amazing food, beautiful scenery, and things there are to do in the downtown area alone. 

When most people plan a trip to Napa, their initial thought is of sprawling, beautiful vineyards, quaint wineries, and charming country roads. And while YES, all that exists in Napa and is well worth your visit, there are even more adventures waiting for you right downtown. 

downtown napa riverfront

Downtown Napa is a fantastic place to book your hotel — giving you the chance to spend your mornings and evenings, pre- and post-wine, wandering along the beautiful Napa River, dining at world-class restaurants, and exploring the other adventures downtown Napa has to offer!

During my time here, I’ve covered A LOT of ground! Here are a few of my favorite places from my everyday life living here in downtown Napa!

The Best Downtown Napa Tasting Rooms​

Napa is a food and wine lover’s paradise, and downtown Napa is the perfect place to enjoy both. There are dozens of wineries within walking distance of downtown that offer wine tastings and flights. Whether you’re looking for a casual wine bar or a formal wine tasting room, you’re sure to find something to your liking. And best of all, you can enjoy all downtown Napa has to offer without worrying about driving. So put on your walking shoes and explore the best downtown Napa tasting rooms!

Alpha Omega Collective Downtown Napa Tasting Room
Alpha Omega Collective Downtown Napa Tasting Room Fried Chicken and Wine

Alpha Omega Collective Downtown

This posh tasting room is situated in the heart of downtown. Enjoy tasting flights sitting inside or out, while people watching from their prime downtown Napa street corner. Be sure to try their fried chicken from the food menu – it’s the perfect pairing for their delicious wines! 

The best part of this tasting room is that they offer a wide range of wines – including those from Alpha Omega in Napa, Pinot Noir & Chardonnay from Tolosa in San Luis Obispo, and Mediterranean reds from Perinet in Spain’s Priorat. Travel the world through wine in downtown Napa!

Quilt & Co.

Quilt & Co is home to the wines of Joseph Wagner, a fifth-generation Napa Valley winemaker. His wines are crafted under multiple labels and in multiple locations, but all are made with an intense focus on quality and enjoyability. 

This downtown Napa tasting room currently hosts tastings indoors or outside on their beautiful patio space that’s complete with wooden flooring and eye-catching chandeliers. It’s stunning!

Mayacamas Downtown Napa Tasting Room
Image via Mayacamas Vineyard

Mayacamas – Downtown Napa Tasting Room

Mayacamas is one of the most storied wineries in Napa, originally founded in 1889. They host tastings on their Mayacamas Vineyard estate, as well as conveniently in downtown Napa. Be sure to make a reservation at the correct spot!

Their wines are some of the most beautifully complex and dimensional wines I’ve ever tasted, and incredibly age-worthy. If you have a chance to try something from their library selection, be sure to savor it! 

Ellman Downtown Napa tasting room
Image via Ellman

Ellman

Ellman is a family-owned winery founded by two brothers, Neil and Lance. They work with renowned winemaker Andy Erickson to craft their estate-vineyard wines. Their downtown Napa tasting room features a luxurious and relaxing private tasting setting, with the Ellman family’s personal artwork on display and the opportunity to listen to vinyl records while enjoying their wines.

Be Bubbly

The first & only dedicated Champagne & sparkling wine lounge in Napa Valley, Be Bubbly offers some of the best sparkling wine from around the world — including an extensive by-the-glass menu. While technically not a “tasting room” and more of a wine bar, it’s still worth including on this list!

The space at Be Bubbly is cute and everything is very on-theme, including chandeliers that look like bubbles and tabletops scattered with champagne corks. Sip sparkling wines from all over the world, under the guidance of a well-educated staff.

Best Downtown Napa Restaurants​

When you hear the word Napa, what comes to mind? Chances are, it’s wine and food. There are plenty of delicious downtown Napa restaurants that feature cuisine from around the world as well as local specialties. Below, I’ve compiled all of my favorite spots to help you find the best downtown Napa restaurants.

Avow

Avow is magical. Just magical. I’m still dreaming of their delicious Bone Marrow and the crispy duck (and I’m drooling about it as I dream!) The aesthetics inside are absolutely gorgeous, featuring chic details like a tin ceiling, a beautiful old carved wooden mantel behind the bar, and plants. Lots of plants. 

From the second floor, where their dining room is, you can gaze out at the Napa River, or head up to their third-floor bar for a rooftop patio experience. It’s one of the most memorable downtown Napa restaurants.

Angele Downtown Napa Restaurant

Angèle

Located along the Napa River, Angèle is a French country restaurant and bar offering refined bistro fare, wine, and cocktails. It’s dog-friendly and one of my go-to favorite downtown Napa restaurants for its delicious cuisine and beautiful atmosphere. I especially love their Tuna Nicoise salad, devilled eggs, french onion soup, and beef bourguignon… but really you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu!

Compline

Compile is a wine lover’s favorite stop for their rotating by-the-glass wine menu. Their incredible selections are perfect for exploring something new and learning along the way. Locals commend their delicious duck fat fries, but note that serving portions here tend to err on the smaller side.

Eiko’s

Eiko’s is a high-end sushi restaurant in the heart of downtown Napa. The menu features classic sushi favorites as well as imaginative twists, such as the “Ricky Ricardo on Vacation”, which features tempura shrimp and avocado topped with salmon, maguro, jalapeno, and crab sesame sauce. My personal go-to is the Kobe Beef Roll paired with Rainbow Roll. Yum!

Tarla Mediterranean Grill & Bar

Bright & trendy, Tarla Grill & Bar has a fun vibe that makes you feel welcomed the moment you walk in. Their team crafts delicious Mediterranean dishes using local, seasonal, and organic fare whenever possible. I’ve always left here feeling full, satisfied, and happy, completely in love with whatever dish I just tried. The service can be hit or miss, but the food is so incredible that I have to still put it on this list!

Oenotri

Oenotri serves Italian cuisine in downtown Napa. We stopped here to split some delicious wood-fired pizzas after wine tasting. They’re big believers in keeping it local– the restaurant also owns a 5-acre culinary garden just a few miles from the restaurant where 80% of their menu is sourced during peak season.

Pancake Charcuterie Board

Best Breakfast Downtown Napa

Eating is a way of life. After a late night of wining and dining in Napa, you need some good breakfast! Find breakfast downtown Napa that’s easy on the palate –  check out these highly-praised breakfast spots that I love to frequent!

Winston’s Bakery

BAGELS. Need I say more? After living in New York for a handful of years, there’s nothing I love more than a perfectly textured, delicious everything bagel smothered in chive cream cheese. When Winston’s Bakery opened, I was ecstatic.

This downtown Napa bakery serves up incredible pastries, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches, along with coffee, tea, and other specialty beverages. Pro tip? Order ahead on their website, as the line can get rather long!

Napa Coffee Roasters

Napa Coffee Roasters is a staple in my Napa life now! I’m obsessed with their Lavender Vanilla latte (you may have seen my Instagram stories, weekly, about these!) They’re also huge supporters of the local area. 

Napa General Store

For a sit-down breakfast downtown Napa, stop by the Napa General Store. Their menu offers something for everyone, including favorites like omelets, waffles, all-natural sausage, house-smoked bacon and buttermilk waffles. You can enjoy sitting indoors in their old-time dining room or enjoy the sun on their patio that faces the Napa River.

Model Bakery

Ahhh, bread. Carbs are the way to my heart, and there are plenty to be found at Model Bakery! For almost 90 years, Model has been a mainstay for breakfast downtown Napa, serving up some of the best breads, pastries, and coffee. They’re most-known for their english muffins, which are full of decadent flavor like noneother. And their chocolate chip cookies? 10/10 stars. SO delicious!

Other Things to do in Downtown Napa​

Downtown Napa is a great place to visit for the whole family. There are plenty of things to see and do, from picturesque parks and gardens to walking tours and great shopping. 

Downtown Napa Gondola Tours

Who would’ve thought you could take a beautiful Gondola down the Napa River?? I had no idea this existed until recently, but WOW! It was such a magical experience. Bring your own wine and some cozy blankets, then be transported to a serene reality, complete with an authentic Venitian Gondola and charming Italian music. Enjoy scenic views of Downtown Napa as you cruise down the river.

Get a Massage in Downtown Napa Valley

I’m a sucker for a good massage. So much so that I actually have a monthly membership at Napa Valley Massage & Wellness. This women-owned business provides a safe, serene space to relax and unwind. Their Napa-inspired menu includes facials, massages, and more! Use my link for a free hot stone upgrade to your massage.

Get Your Nails Done

My favorite place for a mani/pedi in downtown Napa is Paint Nail Bar. Their pampering experience includes mimosas or hot tea, clean-beauty products, and an overall high-end experience. They pride themselves on using healthier, “clean” nail products that have fewer toxins than traditional nail art. I love that when I get my nails done here, they feel healthy, even after removing the polish!

Art Gallery Napa Valley

One of my favorite things to do in Downtown Napa is to explore local art. Located in the heart of downtown Napa, the Art Gallery hosts the creative work of over 50 local artists. There’s something for everyone — the gallery offers a variety of media including acrylic and oil painting, watercolor, photography, jewelry, fused glass, pen & ink, monotypes, woodwork, textiles and greeting cards. 

Downtown Napa River with Paige on bridge

Downtown Napa Shopping

There’s nothing I love more than a downtown Napa shopping spree! There are so many cute boutiques and locally-owned places. Here are a few places I regularly stop in to see what’s new!

Honey Whiskey

Be sure to check out Honey Whiskey, a woman-owned boutique where I frequently update my own wardrobe. Alexis, the owner, stocks chic modern bohemian styles that combine on-trend pieces and eclectic-yet-classic finds. I always discover something to love when I stop in!

The Perfect Provenance

Also, stop by The Perfect Provenance in downtown Napa for a high-end, beautifully curated retail experience. They have everything to create a beautiful life – from clothing to accessories to home goods. You can use code PAIGE15 online for 15% off!

Napa Farmer’s Market

Be sure to also check out Napa’s farmer’s market – the best place for downtown Napa shopping! Here you’ll discover an array of fresh, seasonal produce, seafood, and locally made artisanal and craft products. Napa Valley’s unique agricultural environment provides the basis for a year-round market filled with beautiful offerings. Check out my favorite booths at the Napa Farmer’s market here!

Best Downtown Napa​ Hotels

If you’re looking for the best downtown Napa hotels, you’ve come to the right place! This downtown area is full of great hotels that offer everything from luxurious accommodations to convenient locations.

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Embassy Suites by Hilton

During my staycation with DoNapa, we had the opportunity to check out the Embassy Suites by Hilton. The property is absolutely gorgeous and they have a stunning outdoor pool that’s perfect for those lazier Napa days. Located just minutes from downtown, it’s the perfect spot for whatever your Napa adventures have in store. There’s also a restaurant on-premise and they host complimentary evening wine receptions, in case you’re in search of more vino.

Napa River Inn doors downtown Napa hotel

Napa River Inn

Located right downtown Napa within walking distance to everything on this list, the Napa River Inn provides a charming stay in a historic building, right along the Napa River. I stayed here several years ago and loved how convenient it was to get everywhere I wanted to go. My room also had a beautiful clawfoot tub that I couldn’t help but swoon over! It was a wonderful and relaxing stay that I’d highly recommend again.

P.S. rumor has it that several of the rooms are haunted. 

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