A beautiful vacation destination any time of year, Napa Valley, California is known for its incredible vineyards and wineries, boutique hotels, spa centers and gourmet restaurants. One of the state’s most popular tourist destinations and a world-famous wine growing region, Napa Valley is home to more than 200 wineries and welcomes more than 5 million visitors each year. Travelers searching for eco-conscious restaurants with organic ingredients and sustainable practices don’t have to look far; Napa Valley boasts a number of amazing restaurants that are worth the trip in itself. Serving farm-to-table fare made with fresh, local ingredients, these five Napa Valley restaurants top our list.
1. Ad Hoc: Offering a family-style menu in an intimate space that feels like home, Ad Hoc is a casual yet magnificent restaurant run by Chef Thomas Keller. Serving a 4-course prix fixe menu of comfort food with a contemporary twist, the restaurant features fresh, seasonal ingredients often sourced from its own culinary garden. With a small and friendly wine list, Ad Hoc serves dinner five nights per week (Thursday through Monday) plus brunch on Sunday.
2. The French Laundry: Boasting the only 3-star Michelin rating in Napa Valley, The French Laundry (located in Yountville) features a three-acre garden next door that provides seasonal produce aplenty. Sourcing other organic ingredients from Jacobsen’s Farm nearby, the restaurant offers numerous vegetarian dishes and salads, along with traditional French cuisine served with American innovation. Located in an historic stone building that evokes a turn-of-the-century atmosphere, The French Laundry offers a range of dining experiences and sample menus. Choose the 9-course tasting menu (also available in vegetarian) for the best experience.
3. FARM at the Carneros Inn: Relax and enjoy regional wines and organic ingredients sourced from sustainable local farms at FARM, located in the city of Napa. Committed to simple yet engaging fare, Chef Andrew Budnyj offers a gourmet menu experience with dishes like California Squab with crispy sweetbreads and toasted white sesame custard for dessert. A true wine country experience, the restaurant provides al fresco seating in an outdoor living room with two fireplaces and a cathedral ceiling.
4. Ubuntu: Found in the city of Napa, the “community-focused” restaurant Ubuntu combines fresh vegetarian fare from its own culinary gardens with another California favorite: yoga. The yoga studio/vegetarian restaurant was named one of the best new American restaurants by The New York Times and boasts one Michelin Star along with an annex selling fine wines, artisinal food items and handmade gifts.
5. Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen: A pioneer of the farm-to-table movement in Napa Valley, Chef Cindy Pawlcyn cultivates a 1 ½-acre organic garden at her home to supplement the local produce from other sources at her restaurant. An award-winning cookbook author, Pawlcyn owns a number of Napa Valley restaurants including Mustards Grill and Brassica Mediterranean, but the Backstreet Kitchen offers a unique dining experience that is unpretentious and soulful. Located in charming St. Helena, the restaurant feels like an upscale speakeasy supperclub, serving fresh seasonal ingredients and dishes cooked from scratch in a festive environment.
Image: Lydia Fizz