Top-10 Sacramento restaurants
You have visited the capital of California and want to have a dinner or breakfast in the best restaurant? We know where you can enjoy the tastiest meals, the best service, and the most original atmosphere. Let’s observe the most popular and highly-reputable restaurants of Sacramento.
1. The Waterboy
The Waterboy is a local eatery in Midtown Sacramento preparing heavenly dishes and giving incredible service since 1996. It was established by homegrown chef and owner Rick Mahan. The restaurant serves European delights, for example, steak tartar, sautéed veal sweetbreads, and stewing bouillabaisse mix ingredients from local manufacturers. They have a seasonal menu, based basically on the wonderful cooking styles of northern Italy and southern France. To top it off, they offer a wide wine list and a fully stocked bar including high quality cocktails and aperitifs.
The Waterboy a number one goal on Sacramento’s culinary guide. Why? This restaurant offers two types of foods: the one you can never cook at home and the one that seems to be a simple meat/potato combination, but cooked in such an exquisite way you will want to try it again and again.
We would highly recommend the following specialties:
- Tartar steak;
- Potatoes gratin;
- Caesar salad;
- Brussels sprouts.
It all goes without mentioning the incredible atmosphere created by the exclusive interior. Store-front windows let the sun in offering a splendid view outside. This is the place to ‘feel at home’, but at the same time, The Waterboy has something so special in the air it makes you enjoy the restaurant spirit.
Address: 2000 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, CA
The author of the popular cookbook and television chef, Biba Caggiano has received many awards including ‘The Best Northern California chef’ title. Raised in Italy, she brought her experience to Sacramento in 1986, and since then her restaurant has become the starting point for authentic Italian cuisine in the city.
Try traditional recipes like costoletta di maiale col balsamico (fried pork chop with balsamic vinegar glaze served with farro, relic squash and radicchio) or the famous 10-ply lasagna. Guests enjoy wines from all over Italy and California, as well as a warm welcome from the hostess herself. Amazingly tasty dishes and outstanding hospitability contribute to Biba’s recognized reputation.
If you need something light and vegan, this is not the place that offers much choice. Biba is a must-visit for people seeking for classic Italian dishes in modern interpretation. Try pizza, lasagna, and pasta — they are to die for!
Address: 2801 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA, +1 916-455-2422
3. The Firehouse
Need a high-end restaurant in the area of Old Sacramento? Go straight way to The Firehouse. The most award-winning restaurant in the Old Sacramento, The Firehouse has been established more than half a century ago!
The Firehouse has been serving gourmet meals to residents in a historic building dating back to 1853. The place itself opened in 1960, and was later designated as a historical landmark. The restaurant has an amazingly vast collection of wines: some guests say there are thousands of options to choose from (to be precise, it keeps 2,100 individual labels and over 18,000 bottles in the cellar). It’s not surprising that The Firehouse got the “Award of Unique Distinction” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine twice: in 2006 and 2007.
Accordingly, The Firehouse serves fish daily for the location of the promenade, but the home specialty is filet mignon, in combination with bone marrow oil, beak-potato croquettes with demi-glace sauce, and a few other delicacies.
We would also recommend you to try:
- Mixed seasonal greens;
- Salmon belly tartar;
- Crab cake;
- Grilled pork chop;
- Smoked crab chowder.
Though it’s far not the cheapest place around (average check ranges within $40–90), The Firehouse definitely deserves your attention being one of the oldest and most reputable restaurants in Sacramento.
Address: 1112 2nd St, Sacramento, CA
Grange Bar & Restaurant located in the heart of Sacramento Citizen Hotel prides itself on being named the capital of America. They buy ingredients directly from seven farms in neighboring counties for cooking such dishes as Passmore ranch sturgeon with turnip, brown butter, beets, gastric and horseradish. A separate dining room is available at the restaurant’s mezzanine level, which will add exceptional dining experience, but this is already impressive thanks to the impeccable presentation and inventive taste combinations. They also serve upscale brunch here on weekends with ‘customizable’ Bloody Mary cocktails.
Although Grange is positioned as high-end kitchen restaurant, its menu is pretty diverse: there you can find classic hamburgers and old-fashioned oatmeal, as well as saffron risotto, grass valley polenta, storm hill zabuton, and so on.
Whether you stay in Citizen hotel or not, Grange is a must-visit, especially if you love urban-style loft interiors, non-obtrusive service, and high-quality alcohol. To top it off, the restaurant offers a wide range of breakfast dishes, vegan-friendly meals, and gluten-free options. You won’t regret spending your bucks here, even though an average check is $45–60.
Address: 926 J St, Sacramento, CA, +1 916-492-4450
5. The Kitchen
Such a simple name — but such a complicated kitchen! In fact, The Kitchen is not just a restaurant: this is a place where you can watch a true performance during which the yummy masterpieces are being prepared right before your eyes.
This is something in the middle between a restaurant and a theater. During the first course, the chef will cook five dishes where your role is to watch and awe. In the second course, you play the role of eater and taster.
The table should be booked a few weeks beforehand — The Kitchen is highly popular! You will be met with a glass of champagne and led to the table. Being The Kitchen’s visitor feels like you’ve come to the chef who is your old friend. He well talk to the audience, tell you about the dishes and their secrets, and discuss some other topics.
Since it’s a theater, you cannot change the scenario — the menu is fixed. If you order wine, that will be +$120 to your check, but you will be able to meet a sommelier.
What do the courses include? The menu is seasonal and is being renewed on a constant basis. For example, in 2014, The Kitchen served:
- House smoked king salmon;
- Acorn and porcini mushroom ravioli;
- Maple and candy cap pot de crème;
- Celery root croquette, white truffles and paprika-port coulis.
The Kitchen guarantees extraordinary experience that appeals to both your eyes and taste buds. Do not forget to book a place beforehand!
Address: 2225 Hurley Way, Sacramento, CA
6. Iron Grill
A genuine Korean barbecue restaurant where guests can grill the food on their own. A flame broil is incorporated with each table, and copper hoods are installed above. In Seoul, such restaurants are pretty widespread, however here it may be called extraordinary. The meat previously brought to you is already marinated. You can cook such delicacies as samgepsal (pork tummy), tedi moxal (marinated pork in sweet sauce), sen calbi (hamburger ribs) and a large variety of chicken, pork, and meat dishes. It’s up to you!
Afraid to burn your meat? You can be assisted by a server, or even the proprietor himself. In this case, you simply need to substitute the plates. However, we recommend visiting Iron Grill if you know how to cook and simply need some special environment for that (something aside your backyard and old rusty barbecue grill).
Address: 2030 Douglas Blvd, Roseville, CA
7. Dive Bar
The founder of the huge mermaid aquarium, designer George Carpati, said Dive Bar is California’s most innovative dance club. You can find this place in many tourist guides — this is a carte-de-visite in Sacramento, even if you are not a party beast.
To see a mermaid, you need to find a place in the bar. Once the show starts, you will notice lights getting dimmer, the music getting stronger, and an astonishing show starts in the 7,500-gallon aquarium.
When the Greenpeace representatives expressed their concern with the health of real fish (all in all, they live side-by-side with mermaids), the owner explained there is no danger at all. The neon makeup of mermaids is made with non-toxic materials, and the agreements with the ‘mermaids’ expressed that there is a taboo on utilizing creams, scents and lotions before the performance. During all this time, no fish was hurt.
Address: 1016 K St, Sacramento, CA
8. Delta King Pilothouse
The Delta King wheel steamer is located in Old Sacramento. Two stories are hosted by an eatery, two more by a hotel.
This steamer was built as long ago as in 1927. Before the World War II, it serves as a flawing restaurant transporting people from Sacramento to San Francisco. At the point when the war started, the white ship was repainted in grey and transformed into a floating emergency clinic. After the war, the ship was sent to Canada to move loads, and afterward came back to San Francisco.
However, this was not the end of ship’s ‘career’.
The present proprietors of the Delta King, the Coin family, found the ship in an amazingly dismal state: it was half overflowed and crushed. In 1984, the Coins purchased the ship and for a long time meticulously reestablished it, alluding to the drawings and photos of the pre-war epoch. The snow-white ship got a new life, yet in addition it received he status of an authentic landmark.
By the way, the menu includes the same dishes that were served to guests almost 100 years ago. There, you can order sandwiches, homemade seasonal fruit pie, seafood cioppino, rib eye steak, pan seared scottish salmon fillet, and so on.
Address: 1000 Front St Delta King, Old Town Sacramento, CA
You’re a fan of Mexican food? Then you should visit Zocalo — the top-rated Mexican restaurant of Sacramento. This place is mostly valued for food. Guests recommend trying guacamole and sangria — those are the top positions in the menu. What else? Order a plate of tacos and ceviche de guaymas — you won’t be disappointed. Asada is another highly-praised dish in the collection.
Although the prices in Zocalo are far from being called democratic, there is a happy hour, so don’t miss the opportunity to try top-notch Mexican all-time classics for a fraction of the cost.
As for the interior, it’s not complicated but feels cozy, especially in the evening with the warm dim lights around. We recommend Zocalo for family dinner (if you like spicy food, of course), but it would also be a great place for a lunch, especially during the happy hour.
Address: 1801 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA
10. Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant
One more restaurant offering exotic experience is Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant. Don’t expect to see high chairs and snobbish waiters — this time, you visit a sultan’s palace. Being his dearest guest you will be offered the whole gamut of Eastern delights, kebabs, spicy chicken, baklava, and many other delicious things. On the dessert, you will be served a belly dance performed by hot Eastern-looking girls: all shining and clanging.
The Maroccan-style hall is something out-of-the-box: you will sit on the cushions at a low table surrounded by Persian covers and dim mysterious light. The program includes dinner and dance and lasts 2.5 hours. Don’t want to miss the performance? Order a table several days beforehand! Casablanca Restaurant is very popular among both tourists and locals.
Address: 3516 Fair Oaks Blvd. Sacramento, CA
If you ever happen to visit the state Capital, don’t miss the chance to eat out in some of the above-mentioned restaurants. They offer more than food — you will receive unforgettable experience and understand that restaurant business is a true art where every masterpiece has its audience.