5 Best Pizza Places in Napa

Ah, pizza. Sometimes nothing else will do. I could eat great pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and not get bored. But, like most pizza lovers, I’m fussy about my pizzas. Similar to my stance with wine, I’d rather have nothing than have a bad one. A bit of a traditionalist, my preferences are: wood-oven baked, thin, crispy crust, thin layer of top-notch tomato sauce, lots of gooey cheese and fresh, flavorsome toppings. Whether you live in Napa or are just visiting, here are five of my top picks for getting your pizza fix in town:

1. Bistro Don Giovanni | 4110 Howard Lane (Just off Hwy 29) | Napa, CA

This bustling bistro is my personal favorite and we go here often as a family, or with visiting friends, for casual meals when I can’t be bothered to cook. Located just outside of Napa, on the road to Yountville and among the vineyards, this is a place to really kick back and relax. When the weather is nice, we sit outside on the patio overlooking the garden so that the kids can run around outside, when they inevitably need to burn off some energy. In the winter, there is a large, cozy fireplace inside. The wine list is actually pretty good and there are plenty of affordable, interesting choices. Corkage is a flat $20 per bottle. The only drawback is that this place is very popular and you’ll need to book well in advance if you want to go here on a weekend with a group larger than four people, otherwise it can be impossible to get a table at any time slot. Favorite pizza: Fig with caramelized onions, Gorgonzola dolce, arugula and aged balsamic (sounds crazy, but this flavor combo is just magic!).

2. Ca’Momi Osteria | 1141 1st Street | Napa, CA

Ideally located in the heart of downtown Napa ,within a stylishly renovated 19th century warehouse, this hipster hangout isn’t just a case of style over substance. The pizza here is pretty serious—“vera” serious, in fact. The Napoletana is made “with strict adherence to Vera Pizza Napoletana guidelines,” meaning that it is cooked for 90 seconds in a 900-degree wood-burning oven and served uncut. However they do it, they do it to perfection and its worth coming here just to check out their pretty awesome pizzas. There’s a good selection of beers, otherwise, I’ve brought my own wine and haven’t been charged corkage. Favorite pizza: Pizza Napoletana with porcini mushrooms, white truffle cream, organic fior di latte mozzarella and basil.

3. Kitchen Door | 610 1st Street (Inside Oxbow Market) | Napa, CA

This place isn’t specifically a pizza place or even Italian, but I was very pleasantly surprised with how good the pizzas here are. This said, the pizzas are kind of a feature, properly prepared in a wood-burning oven, and I actually think they are best thing on the menu. The atmosphere is laid-back (my euphemism for kid-friendly) and this is right in the middle of Oxbow Market, so you can shop for gourmet tidbits while you're there and/or get a superb coffee at Ritual Roasters. Favorite pizza: Mushroom.

4. Oenotri | 1425 1st Street | Napa, CA

This is more of a proper restaurant than a good ol’ pizza joint, but it’s a great choice for when you’re in the mood for serious pizza as well as killer charcuterie, delicious and creative pasta creations, and “secondi” plates. Unlike many places in Napa Valley, there is an above-average but not crazy corkage fee of $25 per bottle. There’s a decent selection of Italian wines on the list, though with a few gems to be found and the prices aren’t too scary. Favorite pizza: Margherita with the additions of arugula and pancetta.

5. Velo Pizzeria | 807 Main Street | Napa, CA

Every pizza lover’s got their go-to pizza place for take-out and this is mine. The crust is thin and crispy, the flavors are fresh and robust, and toppings are generous and tasty. They also do a mean meatball sub. Favorite pizza: Pepperoni.

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