Many of you watched the news as fires ravaged Sonoma & Napa county this fall. Those of us in the Bay Area prayed for our friends, loved ones, and first responders as the winds intensified flames & brought smoke that choked out the bay air. As the area physically heals, locals are still dealing with the economic fallout from the damage during it’s busiest season. This year I will be doing my Christmas shopping at my favorite local Napa & Sonoma shops to support this community and their amazing small businesses. One of my favorite spots to shop is Napa’s Oxbow Market.
As you walk into the Oxbow Public Market, you are immediately greeted with traditional marketplace offerings of fresh farmer’s market produce.
That illusion of traditional market place quickly fades as you look around and see the multitude of offerings available. It’s like a mall food court except for foodies!
One of my favorite stops is the Napa Valley Distillery. They do a lovely tasting and have an obscene number of bitters for you to stock your bar with. We really enjoy their brandy. The pear, cherry, and lemon brandies are all delicious, but the real winner is the Apple Brandy. Just a shot full after dinner is the perfect dessert!
If booze isn’t your thing, head next door to the Olive Press where you can do a flight of olive oil instead!
If all of that shopping starts to make you tired, then there are plenty of delicious spots to grab a bite to eat!
My favorite is the Hog Island Oyster Company. We have been to their waterside location in Marshall which can’t be beat, but the oysters are just as tasty at this more accessible location!
Try some local Bay Area organic ice cream. So good!
Then load up on plenty of unique gifts….one for you, one for someone else, etc!
The Oxbow Public Market continues into the building next door.
It starts with Gott’s Roadside. Don’t be intimidated by the line. It moves fairly quickly & the food is worth it. That’s why everyone else is in line too! I’ve lucked out and caught Gott’s several times when there was no line & we could lazily enjoy our burgers on their warm patio. It may be because I always push to try “just one more” winery! The California burger with garlic fries and an organic cookies & cream milkshake to finish is perfection after a long day of wine tasting!
If you keep going around the corner, you will find delicious charcuturie at Fatted Calf & incredible breads at Model Bakery. Model makes the insanely good English muffins that we had at breakfast at Archetype in nearby St. Helena. I am not an English muffin lover. You will never find me ordering them anywhere else, but Model Bakeries can convert anyone!
Just across the river you can see downtown Napa. If you are looking for more upscale restaurants, that’s where you want to head next!