Some stand out businesses that deserve a category of their own.
It is hard to narrow down the voting categories every year and include the best of everything the Valley has to offer all on one list. In the Editors Choice section, we recognize some outlier businesses that don’t fall into a designated category but are outstanding in their genre and deserve an honorable mention.
BEST Place for a Fun Night Out
Ca’ Momi Osteria
707-224-6664 • 1141 First St., Napa
Ca’ Momi Osteria is nominated every year in multiple voting categories, including Best Pizza, Best Bar, Best Italian Restaurant, and Best Live Music venue. Located on vibrant First Street in downtown Napa, Ca’Momi is known for its award-winning, authentic Italian cuisine and extensive bar program that features an impressive wine list including Ca’Momi wines, garden-to-glass cocktails, craft beers, and all-natural craft spirits. Late- night on weekends, the dining room transforms into Osteria Live!, a speak-easy like listening room serving up cocktails and dancing.
BEST Wine StorageRutherford Wine Vault
707-235-2555 • 1901 St. Helena Hwy., Napa
Rutherford Wine Vault is regaled as the finest and most unique wine storage facility in Napa, Sonoma, and the greater San Francisco Bay area. Located in the historic Beaulieu Vineyard’s champagne department, the meticulously transformed 110-year-old vault space features custom- designed seismically independent racking systems, lockable private steel storage enclosures, redundant temperature and humidity controls, and more than five layers of state-of-the-art security systems for both area vintners and private collectors to store their vinous treasures.
BEST Outdoor Wine Tasting
800-716- BRUT • 1240 Duhig Road, Napa
Perched on top of one of Los Carneros’ undulating hillsides, Domaine Carneros serves as a grand beacon for Southern Napa Valley’s Carneros region. Built-in 1989, a visit to the striking eighteenth- century château is equally elegant and memorable. Guests are offered a menu that includes samplings of curated sparkling and still wines, which can be paired with cheese/ charcuterie plates or caviar, all of which can be enjoyed on the expansive terrace overlooking the 138-acre property.
BEST Place to Shop Local
The Bennington Napa Valley
1300 First St., Suite 345, Napa thebenningtonnapa.com
While the local Farmers Markets in Napa Valley are sure bets for finding local farmers and purveyors of local goods, The Bennington Napa Valley, one of First Street’s newer tenants, offers a cornucopia of local artisan crafts, gifts, and goodies such as goat milk soap and lotions, olive oils and vinegar, sweets, artwork, candles and barrel products which showcase some of the best Napa has to offer. Owner Susan Melendez rotates local brands and is open to feature new vendors.
BEST New Restaurants
Nick the Greek
721 Lincoln Ave., Napa • 707-927-5802
Nick the Greek became one of Napa’s hottest new carryout restaurants after it opened in June 2020. Best known for its Beef/Lamb Gyro pita stuffed with french fries, the menu options include Beef, chicken, and pork gyros or souvlaki served in a pita or on a salad, and simple sides like hummus and pita or Avgolemono soup. Don’t miss the Loukoumades for dessert– warm Greek beignets drizzled with nuts and honey syrup.
First and Franklin
1331 First St., Napa • 707-252-1000
This past Spring, Industry veterans Chuck Meyer of Napa Palisades Saloon and Michael Holcomb, Jr. launched First & Franklin after renovating the old Tourist Information Center on First Street. The deli/market venue offers sandwiches and salads as well as local wines and beer. Starting as a walk-up / carry out window during the pandemic, it quickly rose to become one of First Street’s busiest corners. When it fully opens, retail items and local wines will be available to taste on site along with indoor and outdoor seating.
MOST Innovative New Business
707-287-7003 • dtrnapa.com
Downtown Rides (DTR) is a complimentary, tip- based ride-share service with a unique strategy. It is a joint collaboration with local businesses such as wineries, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses who advertise with signage on their fleet of electric-powered vehicles, which gain impressions weaving through the heart of Napa. The win-win partnerships subsidize the free ride service, which in turn introduces riders to downtown Napa’s notable locales, reducing downtown traffic, decreasing demand for parking, and helping reduce air pollution.