Oxbow Public Market: Planning Your Visit

Browsing at the Oxbow Public Market
Prayitno/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
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Oxbow Public Market

Address
610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Phone +1 707-226-6529

Napa Valley, California, is an area known for its flourishing wine scene and gourmet cuisine. Located 46 miles (74 kilometers) north of San Francisco, this region delights those looking to indulge in the luxurious offerings of California's wine country. Among those is Oxbow Public Market, a foodie's haven, where small, gourmet food shops are known to take root and flourish. It's one of many great reasons to peel your car off the highway en route to fancier places in Yountville and St. Helena.

Oxbow Public Market offers the perfect spot for a tasty cup of espresso or coffee at Ritual Coffee Roasters. Later in the day, grab a casual meal or snack at the market, or indulge in some serious food shopping by visiting a cheese and vine vendor, butcher shop, and authentic spice boutique. At Oxbow, each member of a hungry group with varying tastes can find their own gourmet choice, and then reconvene at a table to enjoy a meal together. If the weather allows, choose a seat on the scenic outdoor deck, overlooking the Napa River.

Highlights

The 40,000 square feet that make up Oxbow Public Market houses a diverse mixture of tenants, including an organic farm stand, artisan cafes, and various food vendors. All purveyors support the concept of sustainable agriculture and local sourcing, in an effort to provide a vibrant and economically healthy community. Tenants include satellite locations of many Bay Area favorites, like Gott's Roadside, known for its burgers and Ahi poke tacos, Hog Island Oyster Bar, for those craving a raw bar experience, and Live Fire Pizza, a woodfired pizza joint run by a restaurant industry veteran and a former execute chef from San Francisco's A16. The list of names at the Oxbow Market continually evolves, with new and interesting vendors moving in all the time.

People who visit Oxbow Market praise it for its cleanliness and the superb quality of the food. And, of course, they take pictures of their meals to post on social media. Search for the hashtag #oxbowpublicmarket on Instagram to get a visual taste.

Visiting Oxbow Public Market

  • Best Time to Visit: Arguably, the best time to visit Oxbow Public Market is during the summer and early fall when the local harvest is at its peak. If you go mid-week, Hog Island Oyster Bar offers happy hour specials, with half-priced oysters on the half shell, small plates, and beer and wine specials. Sign up for the market's weekly e-blast to learn about its freshest grocery arrivals and updated events.
  • Hours: Oxbow Public Market is open every day of the week, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Various vendors and restaurants each have their own hours of operation, so check the specifics if you want to eat or shop at your favorite place.
  • Location: Oxbow Public Market is located at 610 1st Street, Napa, California.
  • Tours: Private vendors, like Cooking with Julie, offer tours of the market, complete with a cooking class, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Tips: Browse the entire market before deciding where you want to eat. Otherwise, you may end up eating a carnitas taco when you really wanted sushi. Also, pack along a cooler or insulated shopping bag. It will help you keep that yummy cheese, meat, and chocolate purchase fresh on your drive home.

What to Eat and Drink

With just one visit to Oxbow Public Market, you can enjoy fresh Pacific oysters at Hog Island Oyster Bar, tasty empanadas containing locally sourced ingredients at El Porteño Empanadas, and seasonal wines at Bar Luca. You can also stop into Oxbow Cheese and Wine to sample a variety of local and international cheeses, as well as boutique wines. Grab a seat at their bar and converse with the locals while you enjoy a craft beer or a charcuterie assortment, as well. The Fatted Calf, Oxbow's butcher shop, prides itself on sourcing only pasture-raised meat and using quality ingredients in their curing process to produce the finest cured products in the region. Then, round out your trip with a visit to The Olive Press, where you can sample and purchase gourmet olive oils, and Annette's Chocolates, to curb your sweet tooth with their signature wine and beer brittle.

Things to Do Nearby

While you're in Napa, you can also embark on a wine tour and ride in a chauffeured limousine from vineyard to vineyard. This trip comes complete with a picnic lunch. Work off your waistline by taking a hike at the pristine Skyline Wilderness Park, and then retire to a day spa for a relaxing massage or facial to round out your visit. You can also pop into several art galleries in town to fully experience the local culture.

Getting There

To get to Oxbow Public Market from San Francisco, take Highway 101 North to Exit 37 toward Napa. The market is located right across the river from downtown. It's a short walk or drive, and you can take the 1st Street bridge to get there. There's a small parking lot next to the market and parking is free. 

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Oxbow Public Market: Planning Your Visit