A perfect day in Napa Valley definitely calls for a picnic lunch to relax and take in the beautiful views. Luckily, the valley we call home boasts some pretty amazing delis that are whipping up everything you need for a perfect picnic, from farm-fresh salads and sandwiches to homemade tamales, plus plenty of packable provisions. With our small businesses needing your support more than ever, now is the perfect time to get out of the town you live in and discover some new favorites. Locals always know best, so let’s check out some of the most delicious delis, according to Napa Valley locals like you.
If you want a really outstanding sandwich, go to Giugnis Deli in St Helena. It's a no frills, no fuss, old-fashioned charming deli. You'll have to stand in line, but it's worth it for the variety of fresh meat, cheese, veggies and bread. Don't forget to ask for extra "Giugni Juice!"
IMHO the best deli in the Napa Valley is also the most unassuming: the Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company in St. Helena. This place is an Italian-lover’s fantasy. Fresh cheeses cut with a piano wire! Fresh salami from Molinari’s in San Francisco! Fresh bread! Little old ladies speaking Italian! The joint has it all (and a whole lot of other stuff, including olive oil, as the name suggests). The business has been owned by the Particelli family since the 1930s, and is currently run by a representative of the third generation. It’s hidden in an old white barn a few blocks east of Highway 29 behind The Charter Oak restaurant. When you go, go hungry and allow yourself to indulge in some of the non-essential goodies like pepperoni sticks or ready-to-eat risotto. Just be sure to walk out with a few sandwiches and a bottle of (local) wine.
Browns Valley Market in Napa has delicious daily sandwiches that they make into paninis. If you have little ones or a smaller appetite, you can also order half-sandwiches. Hike up to the top of nearby Timber Hill Park- there is a great view to enjoy with a picnic lunch.
I love Genova's Deli in Napa because it’s a great old-school classic Italian deli. They have an amazing selection of fun items for charcuterie platters and sandwiches that are out of this world! Try the meatloaf on a sweet roll or their homemade lasagna.
Soda Canyon Store off of Silverado Trail is a hidden gem on the outskirts of Napa, and has the best sandwiches ever! They also have an amazing homemade potato salad, and offer boxed lunches that are perfect for an on-the-go picnic. If you’re there on a Friday, get the tri-tip sandwich special- you can thank me later.
Oakville Grocery is my Napa Valley go-to. In addition to fantastic fresh-made sandwiches (the Wagon Wheel grilled cheese is to die for), salads, and sides, they make their own hummus in amazing flavors, and they have a huge selection of Napa Valley wines.
I highly recommend stopping by Gary’s Marketplace in St. Helena to curate that perfect picnic basket. Gary's has a delicious deli to grab a quick bite, large cheese selection, savory desserts to pack in your basket, and of course, you can grab a bottle of bubbles or wine to make your picnic basket complete. Try the poke bowl, Howell Mountain Italian sandwich or their pesto and pine nut pasta salad!
Palisades Eatery in Calistoga is one of my favorite spots. They have a little bit of everything- sandwiches and burgers, tacos and burritos, and even breakfast items, so it’s great for families when everyone wants something different. I love their Napa Valley veggie sandwich!
Now that you’ve picked a new deli to discover, it’s time to plan the perfect picnic. Read up on our favorite picnic spots in each Napa Valley town.
Have a favorite deli that didn't make the list? Let us know, and you could be featured!