What to do in St. Helena
St. Helena can be found almost literally in the heart of the Napa Valley. The Wydown Hotel is in lovely downtown St. Helena, conveniently located on Highway 29, aka Main Street, which parallels Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail. Main Street is one of the most amazing locations you’ll find in the Valley — which, like the Wydown, offers a more modern take on traditional wine country style, with its cosmopolitan offerings and world-class dining and shopping. There’s a charming cinema just a few doors down that’s steeped in heartwarming history.
The array of local bakeries, cafes, restaurants, and gourmet stores make Main Street a foodie’s paradise. Style-savvy visitors will appreciate the selection of urbane boutiques, filled with beautifully-curated selections from some of America and Europe’s top designers. Even the window-shopping is delightful, with downtown’s artful window displays — but true art and design aficionados will also appreciate the works on show at local galleries. And – of course – we likely don’t need to remind most of our oenophile guests that within a few short miles are a cornucopia of world-class wineries.
We love it here, and we can’t wait to show you around.
Goose & Gander
245 Spring St, St Helena, CA 94574
Hours: Mon thru Sun 12:00 pm–12:00 am
Connoisseurs of hand-crafted artisan cocktails would do well to stroll a few short blocks from their room at the Wydown to the Goose & Gander. Upstairs and outside is a beautiful eatery and patio, cozy with fireplaces no matter what the weather outside. Downstairs inside is one of the finest local bars you’ll find in wine country. And behind the bar are some of the craftiest cocktail creators this side of San Francisco. Slide into a plump leather booth and peruse a lengthy menu of libations listed by spirit. Our current favorite is the Scarlet Gander ($11) – a blend of Hanger One Buddha’s Hand Citron vodka, ginger, shiso, galangal, lemon, and rhubarb. Ask us again next week — we’ll likely have a new “favorite”! The late night bar menu is also incredibly tempting — we recommend flavor-packed nibbles such as roasted dates with Gorgonzola, crispy olives with roasted pistachios, radishes with black sea salt, or for more substantial late-night indulgences, the almost irresistible duck-fat fries.
1347 Main St., Saint Helena, CA 94574
Sun., 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Mon-Thurs; 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri. and Sat., 11:30 a.m. til 10 p.m.
Taking a fresh, seasonal and modern approach to much-loved American classics, Market offers a truly refreshing dining experience that is both refined yet relaxed. Dishes reflect the venue’s sophisticated yet down-home ambiance. We love the lobster rolls wrapped in rice paper with papaya, avocado, asparagus and a basil-mint dipping sauce; and the Zinfandel braised lamb shank with mashed potatoes, garlic sautéed spinach and a mint remoulade.
Cook St. Helena
1310 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
Mon. thru Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (brunch), 5 – 10 p.m. (dinner)
This charming eatery adds the local seasonal touch to its Northern Italian cuisine. Simplicity and quality of ingredients is key in dishes such as the house made pastas and cheeses, and the ever-changing risotto. The unpretentious atmosphere and friendly service have made it a favorite amongst locals, including many chefs and wine makers. Pop in early to grab a table in this cozy setting or eat at the 10-seater counter for a more casual dining experience.
1429 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
Wed. thru Fri. 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat-Sun 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Located conveniently just across the street from the Wydown Hotel, this beautiful eatery features rustic, seasonally inspired, often wood-fired fare. The dinner menu features starters such as bacon-wrapped Monterey Bay sardines with roasted sunchokes and Dijon mustard, or more substantial main courses such as Petaluma chicken stuffed with fine herbs and served with oven-roasted Brussels sprouts and cider-glazed Cipollini onions. Wine country regulars tout it as a not-to-be-missed spot for a leisurely brunch. Favorites from the brunch menu include the lemon ricotta pancakes, served with blueberry syrup and delectable almond butter, or the black truffle and Fontina cheese omelet.
320 Main St., St Helena, CA 94574
Hours: Mon. thru Sun.,11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The team at La Condesa have really hit their stride — offering exceptional modern Mexican cuisine worthy of its stellar wine country setting and inspired equally by Mexican street food and the bounty of local farm-fresh ingredients. Friendly, fun and flavorful are three words that spring to mind. The venue and the menu strike the ideal balance of sophisticated yet unpretentious. And the food coming out of the kitchen of talented executive chef Chris Mortenson is consistently divine. Start out by sampling the restaurant’s unique guacamoles and salsas, and some of the utterly addictive huaraches — thick corn tortillas with toppings such a local Dungeness crab, corn sauce, queso fresco, salsa morenita, crema, and pickled red onion; or wild mushrooms, huitlacoche (the delicious and sought-after corn fungus), yellow corn, farmer’s cheese, queso Oaxaca, epazote and truffle oil. Diners with a palate weary of endless wine tastings will doubtless be eager to try La Condesa’s extensive selection of more than 200 fine tequilas and over 20 mescal varieties. Signature hand-crafted cocktails such as the prickly pear margarita are as gorgeous as they are delicious and refreshing. More substantial dishes include the hard-to-pass-up carne asada plate, featuring oak-grilled Niman Ranch bavette steak, chimichurri, heirloom tomato and avocado salad, cebollitas, and spiced french fries.
Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen
1327 Railroad Ave., St Helena, CA 94574
Hours: Sun. thru Thur., 11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. ‘til 9:30 p.m
The mantra at Cindy’s is warm and welcoming, even around these parts, where even the finest dining venues still somehow manage to feel homey and comforting. “The food we serve is from our hearts, what we make at home and what we most like to cook,” announces the menu. The atmosphere is part supper club, part speakeasy, part family kitchen, and feels both upscale yet somehow down-to-earth. Think local eatery and neighborhood hang-out, with better food than you could imagine, thanks to creator Cindy Pawlcyn. Pawlcyn is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, the chef and owner of Napa Valley’s Mustards Grill and Brassica Mediterranean Kitchen & Wine Bar, and the co-creator of many renowned Bay Area restaurants. Expect dishes such as coconut curry mussels with kaffir lime, ginger and cilantro; or grilled pork tenderloin with roasted Cippolini onions, asparagus, red potatoes and a lemon-caper sauce.
1345 Railroad Ave, St Helena, CA 94574
Wed. thru Mon. 6 – 9 p.m.
Terra’s husband and wife team Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani have received a great amount of acclaim for Terra in the years since it opened in 1988, including Michelin Stars and a spot on the San Francisco Chronicle “Top 100.” But it has gained even more loyal followers since its reinvention and modernization several years ago. The eatery is now comprised of two distinctly separate dining rooms, each with its own menu. Terra is the intimate 30-seating dining room, while the larger, 40-seat dining room is now known as Bar Terra and serves smaller, tapas style plates in a less formal atmosphere. Diners at Terra can expect Hiro Sone’s signature style dishes, such as the broiled sake marinated Alaskan black cod and shrimp dumplings in shiso broth, but the chef has also added more wine-friendly fare, such as lobster tortelloni in sauce Américaine with tarragon and shimeji mushrooms.
587 St Helena Hwy., St Helena, CA 94574
Thur thru Tues., 5-10 p.m.
If the menu isn’t already enough to make visitors swoon, the wine cellar at Press should do it. This impressive, world-class restaurant features the only all-Napa wine list in the region, and also the largest restaurant collection of Napa wines anywhere. The specially-designed cellar at Press can house up to 10,000 bottles of wine. They are serious about their wine here, and the menu reflects that — with a selection of some of the finest cuts of meat available, including prime steaks such as the Cowboy Rib-eye, procured from legendary Bay Area butcher Brian Flannery. The menu’s steaks, beef, and free-range poultry and lamb are all cooked to perfection on a custom-built cherry and almond wood-fired grill and rotisserie.
738 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574
Mon. thru Thur. 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
This classic farm-to-table restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch is housed in a beautiful old barn that was once used as a nursery. The restaurant’s seasonal, ingredient-driven cuisine provides the perfect outlet to showcase some of the 650-acre farm’s sustainably produced olive oil, grass-fed beef, eggs, honey, vegetables and more. Long tables and antique farm equipment hanging from the barn-high ceilings add authentic allure. Favorites on the menu here include the incredibly popular LMR cheeseburger, served with California cheddar, arugula and herb friend potatoes (regulars recommend the addition of an LMR farm egg), and any of the chef’s wood grilled dishes or items from the plancha grill.
933 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574
Mon. thru Sun. 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
This iconic burger stand’s Main Street location in St Helena has won acclaim for its gourmet take on fast food — with items made using ingredients from largely local purveyors. Their menu’s freshly-made, modern take on American diner classics such as the cheeseburger, chili cheese fries, tuna melt and onion rings also features wine country touches — such as microbrew beers and wines by the glass.