The only aspect of a wintertime visit to Napa Valley that can be problematic is mealtime. While many restaurants, both casual and upscale, welcome dogs on their open-air patios, cool weather and reduced clientele mean few of those patios are open in winter. Your best bet on a sunny day is to call ahead and ask (or beg) to be served at an outdoor table, preferably one with a heater.
Good bets for patio tables in cool weather are Angele and Napa General Store in the Historic Napa Mill complex; Gott’s Roadside, with dog-friendly locations in St. Helena and at the Oxbow Public Market; and The Farm, a fine-dining restaurant at the Carneros Inn.
Yountville, which touts itself as having the highest percentage of Michelin stars per capita in the world, does not ignore diners traveling with their pets. Hurley’s, Bistro Jeanty and Bouchon are among acclaimed restaurants with pet-friendly patio dining. In St. Helena, try Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen or Go Fish, which reserves a section of its patio for DogTrekking guests.
Should you be turned away when arriving with a dog in winter, you can always let Fido sit it out in the car. Another alternative: sample some yummy† take-out from Dim Sum Charlie’s, a “rolling noodle bar” based out of† an Airstream trailer near the river on First Street in Napa. For an inexpensive lunch, try Tacos Garcia, a Mexican food truck parked next to Pancha’s, a genuine, cowboy-attracting dive bar in otherwise toney downtown Yountville.