Oxbow Public Market

If you ever get the chance to go to the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa, do it.

Seriously. Check it out.

You have all sorts of great vendors parked right inside the building- it’s an indoor market place and you won’t regret going there.

The Oxbow Public Market first opened in 2008 and was modeled after the ferry building in San Francisco- a place which, admittedly, I have never yet been.

Scandalous, I know. Please hold the tomatoes.

But the Oxbow? I go there all the time. It’s one of my favorite places in town. I mean, you could spend all freaking day there.

“What kinds of places and vendors are there?” You might ask me, curiously. Your head is tilted, eyes sparkling with good humor. “What would warrant spending hours in one building?”

“I’ll tell you,” I say, with a knowing grin. “Friend, you are in for a treat.”

Food, glorious food. Mexican food. Italian food. Sushi. Meaty food. A small grocery shop, Hudson’s, where you can get freshly squeezed and blended juices. Beer. Cupcakes (yes, you read that right). Some of the best coffee in town can be found right here, too. Oh, and books.

Yes, books. As in, a fully fledged bookstore.

I mean, how could you say no to this kind of magical wonderness? (Is that a word? Maybe it should be.)

It can get crowded, granted, but it’s worth it just to experience what the Oxbow Public Market has to offer. To be honest, though, I usually just like to walk around- maybe a loop or two. Of course, I’ll almost always get a coffee, then sip gingerly at the hot nectar of the gods while I browse the bookshelves.

Want to know a secret? I used to work at that Oxbow bookshop. Just a few months, about 3 years ago. I quit because I was able to get more hours at my other job at the local fabric store, but I still frequent both it and it’s mother shop downtown- a used bookstore. It’s called the Napa Bookmine. Give it a visit if you ever get the chance.

When I first worked at the Napa Bookmine’s Oxbow location, they were more of a newsstand in a drafty hallway. That place got COLD, let me tell you. I liked it much better when they moved to their current location, between Hudson’s and Eiko’s, the sushi place.

I digress, however.

“Back to the Oxbow!” You demand with a flourish.

“Okie dokie,” I tell you. “Sometimes, if I’m up to it, I’ll grab a cupcake. Because why not?”

The last time I was there, I went with my cousin. We’d recently reconnected and after cheeseburgers we had decided to park ourselves at the Fieldworks Brewing Co. for a beer. The thing I like about this place is that the list of beers is ever changing. Each time I go- guess what?  A new list of brews- which is part of why it’s so much fun.

Being as popular as it is, the Oxbow can get pretty crowded. Don’t get me started on that parking lot. But you know what? It is absolutely worth it each and every time!

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