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The Best Bars in Napa Valley

A pub crawl from Calistoga to downtown Napa.

Chuck Meyer, owner of the brand new Napa Palisades Saloon.

 

You probably plan your trips to Napa Valley around food and wine, but who couldn’t go for a palate-cleansing beer during the day or a bar to belly up to at night? After a pub-crawl with Chuck Meyer, owner of the brand new Napa Palisades Saloon, we’ve found the perfect watering hole for every occasion. Here are Napa Valley’s best bars from north to south.

 

CALISTOGA
Solbar at Solage Resort has a classy indoor bar, a patio bar with fire pits under a canapé of shade trees, and a poolside bar ready to serve you in your lounge chair or cabana. With lunch and spa treatments on tap, Solage is the ideal spot for your ladies’ getaway or a break from Calistoga wine tasting.

Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery is known for its large outdoor patio, simple but tasty brews, and live music in the evenings. It was the first place to brew beer in Napa County after prohibition, and since it’s also an inn and restaurant you don’t need to stumble far to get back to your bed at the end of the night.

ST. HELENA
Cook Tavern, sister to local favorite restaurant Cook, is the hot new spot in St. Helena to watch a game and enjoy classic bar food with a Napa Valley twist. The tavern is known for creative shots like the Real Fireball (Buffalo Trace, Becherovka, All Spice, and cinnamon) and eats like the duck confit Nachos, buttermilk fried chicken wings, and burgers.

Goose & Gander is oft cited as the best watering hole in all of Napa Valley thanks to the dark and swanky downstairs bar, spacious patio, and singular cocktails. The ladies seem to flock to the Cucumber Collins (Square One cucumber vodka, yuzu, lemon, fresh and pickled cucumber, huckleberries, and seltzer), while the boys lean toward the Old Fashioned and Walter’s Manhattan. Our favorite is the Leatherman: Eagle Rare 10-year bourbon, Carpano Antica, Qi black tea liqueur, and bitters.

YOUNTVILLE
Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono Resort in the heart of Yountville may be small, but the outdoor area and swanky vacation vibe can’t be beat. They also have a monthly pool party called “Dive Bar” on the third Thursday of each month, June through September. These parties feature poolside fashion shows, summer cocktails, and local wines. This season there’s even a musical event with celebrated musician Brett Dennen and his new sparkling rosé, Charismatic Fool.

R+D Kitchen is owned by the Hillstone Group, which basically means you can’t go wrong with the hearty meals and fresh salads. The bar itself is long, dark, and always crowded, and the patio is massive with a chill, resort-style atmosphere.

DOWNTOWN NAPA
Napa Palisades Saloon is the brand new destination in downtown Napa, featuring more beers and wines on tap than you can shake an empty glass at. And while the tasty bites and plethora of beers are enough to get them on this list, it’s the people and the atmosphere that make Napa Palisades Saloon stand out.

The Thomas is another name that always comes up when the best bars in Napa are discussed. A classy and lively joint, the historic location (the building dates to 1910, when it was home to another hot spot called the Thomas), classic bar feel, and the view from the rooftop make it a default first stop when you’re downtown.

 

 

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