Now that places are opening back up, Napa outdoor dining is the thing to do. Once the pandemic hit, Napa restaurants had to adjust to ensure diners were safe. Many restaurants already had patio dining, but others had to get creative and the city had to get savvy.
Not only was Main St. (between 1st & 2nd) closed to traffic to create a Napa outdoor dinning alley, the city also started a new program called Napa Al Fresco. This program allowed restaurants to create parklets throughout downtown to expand seating.
What’s a parklet? Basically it’s a cross between a parking spot and a mini park. What’s great is not only are these parklets functional for outdoor dining, but also add a modern vibe to the ever evolving downtown. And word on the street is that they are here to stay.
So where should you go to get maximum enjoyment of Napa’s outdoor dining scene? Read on and see how Paper Napan enjoys Napa Al Fresco!
Boozy Breakfast & Brunch
A boozy brunch is a great way to kick off your Napa outdoor dining experience. Nothing compares to the fun that can come from enjoying a brilliant brunch on a beautiful weekend morning. And here are a few tips on where to dine and soak up the amazing California sunshine.
Southside is a community-centered café and coffee bar with three locations across Napa Valley: Carneros, Yountville and Century This charming café serves real California cuisine with a Latin influence, along with specialty coffee from Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters and Napa Valley beer & wine.
JAX White Mule Diner & Cocktail Lounge is an airy, low-key American diner that serves all-day breakfast, including their popular beignets. For cozy, rustic breakfast & brunch with a great riverfront patio, Napa General Store delivers. Plus you can also shop their general store and pick up a few local goods.
Patios with Personality
When we think patio dining, we instantly think ritas & guac. And Napa outdoor dining provides plenty of options to imbibe. First, if you want a very cool vibe and eclectic margaritas, Gran Electrica is the place for you. If you want something off the beaten path where the locals go then head over to Las Palmas. Known for their homemade Michelada recipe, this place oozes local charm and a warm family atmosphere.
Or perhaps when you think patio dining, you want to also sip wine surrounded by a culinary garden. And Napa has that as well. At St. Clair Brown, not only can you indulge in craft beer and Napa wine, but you can eat your way around the culinary garden while your at it.
Fancy Pants Patios
Fine dining and Napa go hand in hand, and Napa’s outdoor dining scene is no different. For a more upscale Al Fresco experience there are plenty of places to indulge. Here are just a few of our local favorites.
For a delectable steak and amazing services, Cole’s Chophouse is the place for you. For a Michelin Star experience in a heated outdoor Terrace, La Toque is a great option. Chef Ken Frank’s landmark restaurant, has earned a Michelin Star every year. For a great option right in the heart of First Street Napa, check out Compline: a wine bar, restaurant, and wine retail shop from Master Sommelier Matt Stamp and Ryan Stetins.
Patios with Pilsners
As they say “it takes a lot of beer to make great wine”, so it’s no surprise Napa is a great place to grab a cold brew. And luckily for visitors and locals alike, there are several places to have amazing food along with Napa craft beer.
La Cheve Bakery and Brews is the newest to join the Napa craft beer scene. This adorable bakery located in Napa’s oldest building, the Old Adobe, which dates to 1845. This bakery is a little piece of Mexico that combines the owner’s passion for beer, food and baked goods.
If you like to hang out where the locals meet, then Hop Creek Gastropub & Nanobrewery is the place for you. This casual dining establishment aims to provide locals a welcoming warm atmosphere. Here you can partake in a locally sourced menu coupled with unique craft beers, spirits and wine in an awesome outdoor beer garden.
For a dining experience that incorporates artisanal products and high quality ingredients, head over to Stone Brewery. The renovated 10,000 square-foot iconic building in downtown Napa brings bold, flavorful craft beer to town. The brewery and restaurant features outdoor seating overlooking the Napa River.
Outdoor Dim Sum, Sushi, and Momos oh my
If you like Asian cuisine infused into your dining experience, Napa has plenty of options. The newest establishment to open their garden gate is Empress M. Their authentic Chinese food brings unforgettable regional cuisines together for an immersive experience.
Another new comer to the Napa dining scene is Namaste Indian Bistro. Known for their variety of momos, amazing naan, and the delectable chicken tikka masala. In addition to the amazing food, the outdoor patio is charming and perfect for the times.
Another ideal spot for Napa outdoor dining is Eiko’s Sushi. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, this local favorite serves up modern & traditional Japanese fare, including fresh sushi. They also serve up a killer happy hour to start your evening right.
Italian style Al Fresco
Given Al Fresco has Italian origins, it shouldn’t be a surprise there are a few Italian options to choose from for Napa outdoor dining. Hands down one of the best patios in the valley is at Bistro Don Giovanni. This gem serves up Italian bistro fare with both indoor fireside and outside fountain side dining. The restaurant not only serves up a warm rustic Italian ambiance, but is also surrounded by world-renowned Napa vineyards for an authentic Al Fresco experience.
For something in a historic setting, check out Ristorante Allegria. This upscale Italian restaurant is located in a historic landmark, built in 1916, in the heart of downtown Napa. The former bank turned popular dining spot has both outdoor seating as well as seating inside the old vault.
Napa Outdoor Dining with Scoreboards
Perhaps you want to catch a game while you dine or just like a sports bar atmosphere. And there are a few spots to do that in wine country.
One of the newer locations is NapaSport. Part sports lounge, part steakhouse this place has something for everyone. Whether you want to watch your favorite game around the beautiful copper bar, or enjoy a Prime USDA steak with an iconic Napa Valley wine, this spot has you covered.
For a more pub like setting, Norman Rose is your place. This neighborhood pub has a cool vibe that boasts American eats & microbrews in modern-rustic surrounds with an awesome parklet to boot.
Salivating Sandwiches To Go
Maybe you are looking for simple take out but don’t want to sacrifice taste. Brand-new to downtown and already a instant local favorite is First & Franklin. The owners are longtime Napans that understand the need for quick, easy and healthy food at a good value. The Marketplace offers a full service Deli and a specialty Grocery Store selling local wine and craft Beer.
If you want to go a little more upscale on your take out, then head over to The Dutch Door. This gourmet takeout window features locally-sourced organic ingredients. If you are looking to pack a picnic to take upvalley, then Genova Delicatessen is the place for you. North of downtown, they specialize in old-world recipes handed down through the family and use the very best ingredients to create handmade products.
Fantastic Food Trucks
Food trucks are also a great way to take away and dine outside. And Napa has no shortage. One of the newest to park around town is the Best Food Truck Ever. As the name suggests, their food is “the bomb”.
Another one of our favorites is Imagination on Fire. Chef and owner of, Erik Hangman is a Napa Native with a strong passion for food. He’s worked in both food trucks and fine dining across the Valley and brings his passion for BBQ and Open Fire cooking to the mobile food trailer.
A true Napa cult classic to check out is Taco Addiction. With their handmade tortillas this gourmet taco truck never disappoints and keep you coming back for me.
Perfect Picnic Parks
Once you get your amazing order to go, a great way for Napa outdoor dining is in the fabulous parks around town.
Or perhaps you are piking up your food order from Oxbow Market, then the Oxbow Commons is an ideal setting. And if you happen to be on bicycle, a great option is to head south on the Vine Trail and check out Kennedy Park.
Weather you dine at one of fabulous dining establishments around town, or grab some grub to go, we guarantee you will enjoy your Napa outdoor dining experience.