As with most small (and large towns), Napa has a host of markets that take place regularly throughout the summer. There are even a few that go into the middle of Fall or are permanent fixtures. This is something I absolutely love.
Here are just a few to keep an eye out for when you’re in town.
The Oxbow Public Market (EVERYDAY)
This is a MUST VISIT for everyone traveling to or through the Napa Valley area.
This is probably my favorite place in Napa. It’s a permanent fixture in Napa and offers pretty much anything and everything you could want. I love working from here during the day and also grabbing dinner or a drink here at night. From cupcakes to coffee, to crapes, home decor, fine Italian food, to smoothies, organic produce, and fresh oysters – this place has everything. You can sit outside with your pup or inside to enjoy the hustle and bustle of both locals in their daily routine and tourists on vacation.
My favorite food stops are Ca’ Momi and Kitchen Door - but really, everything there is good as far as food goes. And while I love this place, it closes for business pretty early in the evening for my taste (7 pm), though some of the restaurants are open until 9 or later (it really seems to depend on the day!).
The Napa Farmer’s Market (TUESDAYS & SATURDAYS)
I love this little Farmer’s Market. It’s right in the parking lot of the Oxbow Market and is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Both days are busy busy (which is surprising to me). This market isn’t all that much different than other farmer’s markets from around the country, but they do have a few unique offerings including; Humane Society dog adoptions, the Dahlia Man (not sure that is his business or real name), some of the best enchiladas, and a little place called Worm Endings – which I think is a place to get worms for composting?! Not sure. Of course, you can always find the plentiful supply of local flowers, fruits, veggies and dairy as well.
Napa Chef’s Market (THURSDAY NIGHTS)
The Napa Chef’s Market is a fun Thursday night locals event where the city closes First Street in downtown and opens it to foot traffic, food and drink vendors, music stages, arts and crafts booths and local chef demonstrations.
The food demos are fun because each week two different restaurants demonstrate making something from their menus and then allow the audience to taste it — along with a wine pairing. I’ll have to admit, I haven’t sat through many of the demos, but I love the food and wine pairing at the end.
What’s even better, is that there is always a nice selection of beer and wine to purchase throughout the evening — allowing you to walk around (single or double-fisting) your favorite local wines for the night as you enjoy the local scenery and people watching – which can be interesting at times (there are people from ALL OVER).
In addition, the local musicians and bands are great. Each Thursday, the type of music varies, but it’s always good. Sometimes it’s little bit country, and sometimes it’s a little rock, but between the three stages there’s always something fun playing!
I actually wish the Farmer’s Market and the Chef’s Market was open year-round, but I guess these are a few of the things that help us to actually feel like it’s summer.
Have you ever been to one of these markets? What’s your favorite?