Napa Newbies

I have a few friends visiting Napa for the first time in the next month.  So I compiled a list of what to drink and eat while in Napa along with one of the best spas I’ve ever visited.  Happy tasting!


Dim Sum Charlies – A gourmet (airstream) food truck, serving delicious buns and dumplings stuffed with fresh seafood, pork and veggies.  Picnic tables and outdoor strung lights make it feel like a backyard dinner party with old friends.

Hurley’s – They have a dedicated gluten free menu and I love how they describe the soup of the day as “At the whim of the chef”.

Oxbow Market – You could eat every meal here.  It’s walking distance from my good friend’s house and we end up grabbing a quick breakfast or snack post tasting or indulge in tea and spice shopping.

My favorites after three visits;

  • Pica Pica Maize Kitchen for the arepas
  • C Casa for the black beans and goat cheese tacos
  • The Model Bakery for anything and everything, pastries and fresh bread are my weakness!
  • Whole Spice Company – Bring home the pizza and spicy Zhug blends, ask for recipes, they are full of them and score online deals from home later on
  • Tillerman Tea – My friend turned me on to their looseleaf Lychee tea, it’s amazing!
  • Ritual Coffee Roasters – Hand poured and hand crafted = strong and earthy coffee

Wine Tasting

  • Chandon – Champagne, all different shades and price points.
  • Biale – TDH and I hope to join their wine club one day.  The tasting room is small and intimate with an inviting patio.  Be sure to take a few bottles of the Black Chicken and ask how the name came about.
  • Sterling – Great for first timers in Napa.  They offer a tour with the tasting fee, you are whisked up the hill via gondola and the views are stunning!
  • V Sattui – I haven’t tried this one but it was suggested by a friend.


Indian Springs – This spa isn’t actually in Napa, but Calistoga.  It’s about a 45 minute gorgeous yet windy drive from Napa but well worth it!  We spent a few hours at the resort pampering ourselves with facials and swimming in the geyser heated mineral pool.  The day was freezing because I visited in late fall but it felt like summer once we hit the water.  Plus, the resort caters to my downfall, time management.  It runs on “Spa Time” which is 15 minutes later.  Can I always live on Spa Time?

Treatments I recommend:

Adventurous?  Go for the Volcanic Ash Mud Bath, solo or bring your significant other.

Clogged pores?  Try the Luminous C and Sea

Feel like you were hit by a truck?  I always go with a Deep Tissue

Ladies have a honeymoon or bikini trip coming up?  The Body Polish should give you an extra boost

Looking for more wine country tips, travels and tastes?  Check out:

What to Wear Wine Tasting

Santa Ynez Valley I

Santa Ynez Valley II