With many contenders in the bourgeoning Napa food scene,
these are our fav’s.
A few years ago, Chronicle Food Critic Michael Bauer declared Gott’s to be “the best burger in Napa.” Unwittingly, he included his email address in his byline. I took him to task on this claim, stating there are 5 burgers in Downtown Napa that contend for the title of “the best”. And 3 of them use ABC Bakery Potato Buns.
Michael’s response: “Clearly this warrants further investigation.” So here’s our take on 5 of the best burgers in Napa — all within walking distance of the Beazley House. Hungry yet??
These are only ordered by distance from the inn on foot. Ranking by quality we’ll leave for you to decide. We like them all!
1. Norman Rose Tavern
1401 1st St., Napa (across from JaM Cellars – 7 min. walk from the inn • map)
Affectionately dubbed Napa’s own version of “Cheers!”, Norman Rose has been a favorite of locals and visitors since it opened 10 years ago. Their burger sets the standard with hand ground chuck from local producer 5-Dot Ranch. Grilled to perfection and served on ABC Bakery potato bun. This burger satisfies a carnivore’s soul with a mound of some of the best french fries and washed down with a right Black & Tan. (They do have Guinness & Harp on tap.) It is a mere 5 minute walk from our front door.
Other dishes of note: Disco Fries (mound of crisp fries topped with house sausage gravy), Frank’s Frito Sliders, right English-style Fish & Chips.
2. Grace’s Table
1400 2nd St., Napa (approx. 7mins. • map)
Billed as a “global kitchen” Grace’s Table features dishes like Argentinean Empanadas, Chipotle Pulled Pork Tamales, Seared Ahi Salad, Diver Scallop Risotto. Their menu is an eclectic mashup of flavors from around the globe. However…their House-Ground Kobe Burger – also served on ABC Bakery potato bun, with house-made pickles – is a burger of legend.
3. Alexis Baking Company & Café (aka “ABC Bakery”)
1517 3rd St., Napa (approx. 9mins. • map)
The hidden gem that elevates them all, Alexis Baking Company’s burger is a 1/2 pound of ground love in a bakery-fresh potato bun. Top with blue cheese, Gruyere, or white cheddar and pair it with any of their fresh salads. As well, the bakery features many other gems. And a fishbowl-sized cup of locally-roasted fresh-brewed coffee to wash it down.
4. Angèle Restaurant
540 Main St. @ 5th St. (approx. 17mins. • map)
Nestled at the end of the historic Hatt Building, Angéle has been quietly doing their thing for 17 years. Angèle can be that Parisian-style cafe overlooking the Napa River — where you while away the afternoon with a dozen fresh oysters drizzled with champagne mignonette and 3 or 4 “Clear Conscience’s — a delightful concoction of vodka, ginger beer, cucumber and a splash of soda. Or it can be the rustic, quaint farm-to-table bistro you found on the French countryside with traditional Salade Lyonnaise, Moules Frittes (Steamed Mussels in white wine & saffron over french fries), French Onion Soup to-die-for, or various cassoulettes.
However, the Angèle Hamburger is not to be missed. It a 1/2 pound of local chuck, hand-ground and formed to-order on a fresh potato bun. “France the pants out of it” if you like with a fried egg, or black truffle mousse and other fixings. Whatever you get, their fries enhance any order!
Honorable Mention: Gott’s Roadside
644 1st St., Napa at The Oxbow Market (approx. 17mins. • map)
Michael wasn’t all wrong. Or wrong at all. Gott’s does make a great burger. Their Ahi Burger, while a bit on the spendy side, receives high praise often. They are also known for great milkshakes. Because of the high tourist draw, we recommend making your visit during the week. On weekends the lines can be down the block. We also recommend walking, as the parking in the neighborhood can be a premium.
Gems within Walking Distance
Whatever your palate, all these gems are mere minutes from our front door. Or if you wish we can put together itineraries that take you up valley to the culinary gems of Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. We’ve also got favorites into Sonoma and further north.
Call your innkeepers to get reservations for your stay and get here soon!