Chispa in Napa Named Among the Best Bars in America by Esquire

Esquire magazine recently listed the Napa cocktail bar in its annual list of best bars in America.

Chispa, a tequila-forward cocktail bar in Napa, recently clinched the fourth spot on Esquire magazine’s annual list of the best bars in America.

Opening last year in a region widely known for its wine, Chispa emerged as Napa Valley’s first dedicated tequila bar. Co-owners Aubrey Bailey and Taylor Kindred, of Napa’s popular Cadet wine bar, developed the new venture to showcase their love for agave spirits.

Esquire points to an important component in Chispa’s creative libations: bar director Marco Garcia and the “clever cocktail list” he crafted to spotlight the bar’s selection of around 80 tequilas and 40 mezcals.

At Chispa in downtown Napa. (Haley Robinson)
Cocktails at Chispa in downtown Napa. (Haley Robinson)
At Chispa in downtown Napa. (Haley Robinson)
Fare at Chispa in downtown Napa. (Haley Robinson)

Of course, there are the classics — margaritas, Palomas and tequila highballs — but Chispa’s creativity lies in drinks like the deep-purple Side Eye martini, made with tequila blanco, lime, hibiscus and a bitter pomegranate liqueur. And other cocktails wink at the co-owners’ experience as sommeliers, like the Scenic Sling made with Cocchi Rosa Italian red wine, tequila blanco, fresh lemon and seasonal strawberries from Napa’s Silverado Trail strawberry stand.

Chef Mac De Chavez, formerly of St. Helena’s Charter Oak restaurant, whips up modern bar bites and seafood-centric dishes that pay homage to his Filipino heritage. Raw seafood plates, like ceviche and oysters, pair well with the lighter spirits. Then spice things up with Kung Pao octopus or crispy, pork stuffed lumpia, drizzled in a hot chile sauce.

No need to rush to get your fill of tequila cocktails and Filipino-inspired seafood. Chispa is open late, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Chispa, 1500 First St., Suite 140, Napa,