Food & Drink

16 Excellent Reasons to Eat in Sacramento

Published On 05/17/2016 Published On 05/17/2016
Courtesy of Burgers & Brew
Bacon and Butter
Courtesy of Buckhorn Grill
Zocalo
courtesy of Hook & Ladder
Seann Rooney/Thrillist
Mother
Courtesy of The Grange
Seann Rooney/Thrillist
Seann Rooney/Thrillist
Courtesy of Paesanos
Tower Cafe
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1. Burgers and Brew 1409 R St #105, Sacramento, CA 95811

This R Street burger spot specializes in classic juicy cheeseburgers, over-the-top fries, and craft beer. There are over 50 local California beers on tap, plus an Imperial Brown Ale from the owners' own brewing company, Old Ritual Brewing. The pub-like interior is spacious, inviting, and low-key.

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2. bacon & butter 5913 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95820

Hands down, Bacon & Butter is serving some of the best food before 3pm in all of Sacramento. The breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot in Tahoe Park serves up all your favorite egg dishes and griddled goods, but with a twist -- think grilled cheese Benedict on challah bread and bananas Foster French toast. B&B is legitimately farm-to-table and most of the ingredients are sourced from the local farmers market, so the menu is always changing. Be sure to order some baked goods, they're whipped up daily and can be ordered to-go. Past hits include caramel apple pop tarts, bacon apple fritters, and strawberry crumb bars.

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3. Buckhorn Grill 1801 L St #10, Sacramento, CA 95811

This California mini-chain of family-friendly barbecue restaurants is known first and foremost for its tri-tip sandwiches, which the founders originally sold at the Chef's Market in Napa before they opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in San Francisco. The midtown Sacramento outpost serves up all the Buckhorn house specialities, which include burgers and smokey garlic pulled pork. Portions are sizable, so come hungry and with a crew -- family-style meals are available with three meats, three sides, and cornbread muffins.

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4. Zocalo 1801 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95811

Regional Mexican fare is what's on the menu at this bustling Midtown eatery. Stop by for brunch and munch on huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, while you down Mezcal-infused cocktails-- for dinner, citrus seafood ceviche, slow cooked pork shoulder, and house-made queso fundido are worthy go-to's. Zocalo's patio is perfect for people watching on warm summer days.

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5. Juno's Kitchen & Delicatessen 3675 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816

This pint-sized East Sacramento restaurant from a husband-and-wife duo is a lunchtime gem. The gourmet deli menu is features salads, speciality sandwiches, burgers, and pan pastas. The 250-sqft space is open for lunch and dinner, but there's minimal seating, so you should probably take your lovingly prepared sandwich to go.

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6. Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. 1630 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811

Hook & Ladder is a hipper-than-thou restaurant and craft beer bar in Midtown that flaunts its California, specifically Sacramento, pride in every way. The menu is a mix of small plates, pizzas, salads, pasta, and meat entrees -- aka it's the kind of place that tries (and succeeds at) representing every kind of comfort food. There's a rotating selection of state brews and wines, though many of the latter are South American and European in origin. Open until 1am on Fridays and Saturday, Hook & Ladder is a great spot for late-night dinner.

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7. Moxie 2028 H St, Sacramento, CA 95811

This cute Midtown Sacramento restaurant serves up tasty, New American comfort food from a rotating menu that changes nightly. Moxie is definitely for seafood lovers: up to five fish entrées are served every day, and sea bass is usually one of them. If you know what's good for you, you'll get the sea bass and pray it's served with a side of house mashed potatoes. Both are too good to forget.

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8. Rick's Dessert Diner 2401 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816

This Midtown diner only serves dessert, and what amazing dessert it is. Open since 1986, Rick's serves a menu of 285 house-made cakes, pies, cheesecakes, pastries, and tarts in a '50s-themed diner. Most of the sweets are European-inspired (like the German black forest tart), but others, like the old-fashioned apple pie, are undeniably American.

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9. Mother 1023 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Sacramento vegetarians go wild for Mother, a cozy and eclectic veggie-only spot on K Street. The menu changes with the seasons, and though it's inspired mostly by Southern cooking, it's been known to take on a new cuisine every month (past themes include Mexican in March, Japanese in April, and Italian in May). No matter what, Mother will amaze you with its inventive ways of using vegetables (mushroom po' boys aren't half-bad).

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10. Grange 926 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Sacramento-proud chef Oliver Ridgeway is at the helm of this high-end California restaurant on the ground floor of the Citizen Hotel. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Grange transforms seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients into plates fit for the power meal crowd. The spot is a modern architectural gem complete with high ceilings and a lofty feel.

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11. Kru 2516 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816

Midtown Sacramento's Kru is a sushi and contemporary Japanese resto with an extensive menu of grilled and fried small plates, nigiri, and sashimi. If maki is more your thing, then you're in the right place: Kru has plenty of speciality creations, including a completely customizable make-it-yourself roll.

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12. Roxie Deli & Barbeque 3340 C St, Sacramento, CA 95816

This unassuming deli in East Sacramento makes some of the best made-to-order sandwiches in the area. The counter crew assembles speciality subs piled high with fresh-sliced meat and house-made condiments, plus hot breakfast sandwiches. Known for its barbecue, Roxie serves smoked chicken and meatloaf every day, and tri-tip, pulled pork, ribs, and brisket on a rotating basis. There are a few tables outside but for the most part, this place is grab-and-go.

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13. Masullo 2711 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818

Located in a quiet shopping center, Masullo is a sleek and tiny Italian spot in Land Park that specializes in wood-fired, thin-crust pizza. With or without tomato sauce, the pizzas are piled with a fine array of Italian cheeses, meats, and vegetables. Aside from a daily pasta special, the rest of the menu is dedicated to appetizers and salad, plus an extensive beer and wine selection.

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14. Paesanos 1806 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95811

This Italian mini-chain is the answer to a neighborhood red sauce joint in Sacramento's Midtown. Pastas, pizzas, hot sandwiches, and calzones round out the menu, and rumor has it the pork fusilli is a crowd favorite. A spacious outdoor patio lets you dine al fresco while taking in some prime people watching.

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15. Jamie's Broadway Grille 427 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818

Don't be fooled by the divey exterior: Jamie's Broadway Grille, while shabby in appearance, is one of the best old-school spots in Sacramento for cheap drinks and a solid American dinner. It was featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for its braised chuck roast, and its meats, both in-house smoked and braised, are out of this world. Jamie's seafood is also worth a trip -- a daily special board features fresh catches -- and the clam chowder is the self-proclaimed (and critic-approved) best in town.

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16. Tower Cafe 1518 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818

Right near the Tower Theater on Broadway, this restaurant and bakery is truly globally inspired. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus feature specialities from all over the world, from chimichangas and Thai green curry to fish & chips and jerk chicken. The restaurant's signature is French toast, dipped in house-made custard and topped with whipped butter. It tastes great on its own at breakfast, but pretty excellent when used as the base of a Monte Cristo sandwich at lunch. Tower's eclectic interior sets it apart from nearby restaurants, but the canopy of Japanese maples, ferns, and palms on the patio is what makes it one of the best outdoor dining spots in Sacramento.

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