Whenever Nick and I go to Napa, the highlight is visiting the Oxbow Public Market. Our favorite vineyards are more towards the Healdsburg area, so we prefer partaking in tasting rooms and foodie adventures when we do Napa day trips. I also like telling other people to visit the Oxbow Public Market when they are in the area. When it was still under a good amount of renovation last year, I felt like it was the lesser-known gem on the other side of the wine train tracks. It was much more bustling when we went over the weekend, but we still loved it (it is kind of like a mini Ferry Building on the inside). Here are some of our must-go destinations in the market.
| Hog Island Oyster Co. | I love raw bars, especially for the oysters. If you've never had raw oysters, I would encourage you to try them at least once, and at a place like this where the staff will be happy to answer your questions about texture and salinity. Otherwise, their grilled oysters are also delicious and tend to pack together great combinations of flavors into the little shells. Sit at the bar so you can watch the pros shuck. If all else fails, their grilled cheese sandwich is one of the best to be had in the Bay Area; it makes my stomach rumble every time I smell them making one.
| Three Twins Ice Cream | A local ice cream company specializing in great organic ice cream. Get the Cookie Jar flavor if they have it—it takes "cookies and cream" to a whole other level by using three different types of cookies in their smooth vanilla ice cream. If you love chai, get Dad's Cardamom.
| Kara's Cupcakes | Our favorite cupcake maker has a shop at the Oxbow Public Market, too. If you've never partaken before, get the Fleur de Sel—a chocolate cupcake filled with caramel and topped with chocolate ganache frosting and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Then, keep going back to try every flavor at least once. Over the weekend, Kara herself happened to be there and she was sweet enough to take time to pose for a photo with us and listen as Nick and I gushed about how we served her cupcakes at our wedding and are her biggest fans. She rocks.
| Photo Credit: top section. Me; bottom. A nice stranger. |