Oxbow Public Market

Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, and everyone else with an interest in people in Boston being happy, listen up. We need a year-round indoor farm market. And I don’t mean Cumberland Farms. I know, I know, it’s in the works, but it needs to happen without any feet dragging or typical Boston miles of governmental tape.

Don’t you agree with me, Boston readers? Ok, I will finish my tirade there.         Join me for a few minutes, won’t you, on a tour of downtown Napa’s Oxbow Public Market.

With all of our trips to Napa and Sonoma, we have never spent much time downtown Napa, but as I booked a hotel room I couldn’t cancel for the Napa Marathon, we were kind of roped into it. This turned out to be a very good thing. After a smooth but very long flight, we drove from San Francisco up to Napa, stopping at an adorable farmer’s market in Marin food lunch, then went straight to Napa for some sightseeing.

Oxbow Public Market, a few blocks from our hotel, was at the top of my list.

Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Public Market is, in some ways, a smaller version of San Francisco’s Ferry Building, a perfect size for the downtown Napa neighborhood it is in. It hosts artisans and vendors of all types, and you could easily do most of your food shopping inside.

Oxbow Public Market Oxbow Public Market

There was a butcher shop with some beautiful looking cuts of meat and a spice shop, Whole Spice Company, where I picked up some ghost chili powder.  Devil

Whole Spice Company

Then there was the Oxbow Cheese Market with a massive case of cheeses, wine, and fresh baked bread from the Model Bakery.

Oxbow Cheese Merchant Oxbow Market Bread

All of the wandering around the market worked up a little bit of hunger, so we stopped for a few minutes at Hog Island Oyster Co.

Hog Island Oyster Co

The square bar was light and airy, and it was a nice place to take in the entire market.

Oxbow Public Market

We split a Bison stout and both downed a ton of water (we had been wine tasting right before).

Bison Stout

Stout and oysters, perfect together! These were Hog Island sweetwater oysters, and they were perfect for me, nice and small, briny but also a little sweet. I ate them with mignonette and a little hot sauce.

hog island oysters

hog island oyster

Before we headed out of the market we passed through the other side for a few photos and samples. The Olive Press has a space where they sell their award-winning olive oil. You may remember The Olive Press from the generous giveaway they did on my blog last spring.

The Olive Press

Citrus olive oil = Red heart The Olive Press makes some incredible quality oils. I really wish they had a store in Boston!

The Olive Press

I spent the rest of the time wandering the Oxbow Market wishing I could eat more! I was full from our farmers market lunch and oysters, but I could have definitely eaten one of everything here!

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Oxbow Public Market

Obviously, I would recommend a visit to Oxbow Public Market if you ever get to Napa. I am planning on going back a couple of times before we leave Napa for Sonoma.

Do you have a public market in your city or town? If you could have one, what businesses would you put in it?

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Tags: Bison stout, bread, cheese, Food, ghost chili powder, Hog Island Oysters, Napa, Oxbow Public Market, oysters, Travel

  1. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I’d like it if the Governer would get more farmers markets outside of the city. More people live in the ‘burbs than in the city and it’d be nice if we could have more options in the smaller cities and towns.

    The oysters look delicious!

    Reply

  2. Justin’s avatar

    Yes, I really hope this Boston indoor market happens soon! I’ll definitely be checking out Oxbow when I finally make it to Napa… and will certainly down a few oysters as well.

    Reply

  3. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle’s avatar

    oh my god YES. Boston needs this. Luckily I live really close to a huge farmer’s market now, but that’s only june through october. I would love a year round market.

    Reply

  4. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Oh my gosh could you even imagine if this is what the Boston Public Market ends up being like? Absolute heaven. A trip to Napa is definitely in order

    Reply

  5. Daisy’s avatar

    I walk by the space with the signs of the future home everyday and just long for it to actually open. and SOON. I’m with you 100%. this place looks amazing, the oysters look perfect.

    Reply

  6. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    First of all, I am insanely jealous of where you are right now! Second, I agree about the need for a year-round market. I have been enjoying the Somerville market this winter but the city definitely needs more!

    Reply

  7. Megan’s avatar

    Keep that ghost chili powder far away from me!! :) That market looks gorgeous, and I hope the Boston Public Market gets underway soon and takes some tips from this market.

    Reply

  8. Michelle’s avatar

    I wish we had a market like this in Boston too! I hope you’ll share some of that ghost chile powder…after I’ve fully recovered from Hell Night! xo

    Reply

  9. William Allen - Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog’s avatar

    wow, amazing pics Meghan! Shame on me I haven’t been yet, must get there. cheers!

    Reply

  10. alicia’s avatar

    Great photos! We don’t have a public market where I live, but I am lucky enough to live in a town with a lot of ethnic markets….and there are a couple farmers markets and pick-your-own farms not far from here…..

    I would kill for one of these nearby though!

    Reply

  11. Terri’s avatar

    These are some beautiful photos! I need to take a trip to Napa!

    Reply

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