Napa's Best Spots to Kick Back, Grab a (Well-Priced) Glass and Unwind on the Early Side

There's a reason that Happy Hour is named so favorably--it's a fun time of day. Whatever those earlier obligations were, they're over, completed, wound down. The evening's festivities haven't really begun, the time isn't weighed down by a heavy dinner or complicated conversation. It's the space in between, where you can pause, leisurely sip a fresh, herb-infused cocktail, a glass of carefully chosen wine or a perfectly pulled draught beer, nibble on some snacks and relax. No matter what your day was like, Napa has a spectrum of options that will suit this decadent time, from an urban feeling wine bar like Carpe Diem, the more agriculture-focused Farmstead Restaurant with its soaring barn, hot spot Goose & Gander or the surprisingly sophisticated Bounty Hunter in downtown Napa. Happy Hour is also a great time of day to experience some of Napa's very high end views and experiences like the one to be had at Auberge du Soleil without committing the time and resources to a full dinner there. More in the mood to lubricate a night that may end in dancing til, the small hours? St. Helena's La Condesa has strong, Latin cocktails that let you know the party is about to start. Whatever your happy hour flavor of choice, it would be a mistake to skip it in Napa. 

FARM at Carneros Resort and Spa
Photo courtesy of Carneros Resort and Spa

There's nothing more lovely than that feeling of showering off a full, sun-soaked day before getting dressed and settling into those twilight hours. At that point, it's time to find your spot at the Bocce court and toss the ball with your right...  Read More

La Condesa Napa Valley

La Condesa calls upon the hip Mexico City neighborhood by the same name for inspiration. The huaraches (the one with hongos y huitlacoche is a favorite), tostadas, taquitos (try the banana leaf braised pork butt) and ceviches are all fresh and...  Read More

Don't let the barbecue (which is good in its own right) and the neon signs in the window throw you off--the Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Provisions is a serious wine bar that doesn't take itself so seriously, in the best possible way. They have...  Read More

Hurley's Restaurant & Bar

Adjacent to extremely popular Hurley's restaurant in downtown Yountville is this gem of a bar, an exercise in understated elegance. Dark woods and a high ceiling create a refined space that opens onto a pleasant patio, shaded by hanging greenery...  Read More

While the inviting fireplace might draw guests inside on the coldest nights, you can be sure that the expansive, wraparound deck with its magnificent views of Napa Valley is this bar's main attraction. Drinks are pricey, but the appeal of...  Read More

You know a bar takes their cocktails seriously when the menu starts with the W.C. Fields quote, "Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water." At the bar that's enveloped in the super green hotel...  Read More

St. Helena
Goose & Gander
Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

Goose & Gander achieves a sort of old school charm, calling themselves a "wine country public house," where people passing through or in Napa to stay are encouraged to gather, eat their delicious food and sip on their "retro-fresh...  Read More

Carpe Diem Wine Bar

It's rare that true quality and value coincide to create a wholly satisfying experience. Scott, Stephanie and Steve, the owners of Carpe Diem manage to do it quite well, especially during the hours of 4 and 6pm. Their daily happy hour is not...  Read More

Farmstead Restaurant

Part of a larger complex devoted to organic farming and sustainable agriculture, Farmstead is the restaurant portion of the enterprise. Housed in the light-filled barn of a former plant nursery, it features post-and-beam architecture, soaring...  Read More


Meet Brooke Lewy

Brooke moved to California for the food. After spending the last two years getting her masters in international affairs, she realized that there’s nothing she loves better than bringing people...  More About Brooke