clock menu more-arrow no yes
Two pieces of fried chicken on a waffle. Fixins Soul Food Kitchen

24 Exceptional Restaurants in Sacramento

From iconic favorites to fresh newcomers, these are the restaurants that define Sacramento

View as Map

The Sacramento restaurant scene will never be quite the same following the COVID-19 pandemic: iconic restaurants such as Biba are gone for good, and favorites like Tower Café are closed indefinitely. But Sacramento restaurateurs have proven to be a tenacious and creative bunch whose quick pivots to takeout programs, pop-ups, and delivery services have allowed the scene to shine.

Despite all the disruptions of the past year, the area still thrives with its globe-trotting range of flavors and dining options, from low-key mom-and-pop shops to fine-dining restaurants with Michelin aspirations. It’s a dining scene that excels in everything from tacos de cabeza to Chinese dumplings, Ethiopian stews to Italian comfort foods. These two dozen restaurants represent the spectrum of Sacramento’s enduring dining scene — a mixtape of the city’s standout spots.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kabab Hut

Copy Link
6661 Stanford Ranch Rd Ste J
Rocklin, CA 95677
(916) 315-3315
Visit Website

Head to Placer County for Pakistani and Indian food at this restaurant known for its over deliciousness — and, especially, for its impeccably tender tandoori fish. Overseen by Zulfiqar “Guddu” Haider, who previously ran the acclaimed San Francisco restaurants Lahore Karahi and Guddu de Karahi, this strip mall eatery also produces exceptionally creamy chicken tikka masala, irresistible garlic naan, and housemade pudding for dessert.

Tandoor Fish at Kabab Hut
Tandoor Fish at Kabab Hut
Stephanie Stiavetti

2. Shige Sushi

Copy Link
5938 Madison Ave
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 331-7300
Visit Website

For sushi purists, it doesn’t get much better than this humble shop on Madison Ave. Leave the sauce-drenched rolls with wacky names for another time. Chef-owner Shige Tokita specializes in impeccably prepared nigiri, sashimi, and small plates that are high in freshness and flavor, and low on flash. Pro tip: Go with any of the “daily specials” posted inside the restaurant, such as the juicy hamachi kama.

Aburi Salmon Nigiri at Shige Sushi
Aburi Salmon Nigiri at Shige Sushi
Stephanie Stiavetti

3. Sunflower Drive-In

Copy Link
10344 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 967-4331
Visit Website

The offerings for vegetarian and plant-based foods have never been better locally, but you still can’t beat a nutburger with house sauce from this long-running Fair Oaks eatery. Since the late 1970s, Sunflower Drive-In has stood as a must-stop for vegans and vegetarians with a variety of burgers, burritos, and sandwiches that are both filling and fresh.

4. Yue Huang Restaurant

Copy Link
3860 Truxel Rd
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 621-3737
Visit Website

The Michelin Guide called out this Natomas Chinese restaurant as a “hidden treasure” tucked away into an otherwise unnoteable Natomas stripmall, which essentially means you’ll have to show up early if you want to get a table on bustling Saturday and Sunday mornings. It’s become a hot destination for steamed dumplings, barbecue pork buns, and all other manner of fried and baked Cantonese specialities. 

5. Tori's Place

Copy Link
1525 Grand Ave
Sacramento, CA 95838
(916) 646-6038
Visit Website

Billed as “the tiny restaurant with the big heart,” this humble shack dishes out some of the best soul food in the Sacramento area. The skillet cornbread eats like a pancake and comes with all combo meals, whether your entree of choice is fried chicken, red snapper, riblets, or pork chops. For a true Tori’s Place experience, dip that cornbread into their signature gumbo, with its spicy and soothing overtones. Loaded with shrimp, chicken, and sausage, it’s a hearty stew that really sticks to the ribs.

6. Sam's Hof Brau

Copy Link
2500 Watt Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 482-2175
Visit Website

Despite an ownership change in 2017, Sam’s Hof Brau remains a classic Sacramento carvery where sandwiches piled high with roast beef, turkey, pastrami, and other deli meats rule the day. Though you can’t dip into the usual barrel to grab your sliced pickles right now while the dining room is closed, those pickles do come with every sandwich order. Order to go, or chow down on that corned beef sandwich with a “heavy” extra helping of meat.

7. La Flor De Michoacan Méxican Restaurant

Copy Link
2339 Northgate Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95833
(916) 927-7265

The north side of Sacramento is one of the best hubs of Mexican food in the area, especially along Northgate Boulevard. While you can fill up on handmade tortillas, saucy burritos, and tortas, the true stars at La Flor De Michoacan are the plush, and darn near habit-forming, Salvadorean pupusas that are served with spicy slaw. Note that it’s cash-only here, and takeout-only for now.

8. Abyssinia Restaurant

Copy Link
1346 Fulton Ave
Sacramento, CA 95825

Since 2012 this Fulton Avenue Ethiopian restaurant has served a solid menu of spongy injera to enjoy alongside its rich and sometimes spicy stews. The restaurant is currently offering takeout only, but you can still get your fix of classics like tibs, cubes of stir-fried beef doused in butter, or go for the sharable Grand Sampler, which includes a variety of dishes and serves two. 

9. Solomon's

Copy Link
730 K St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 857-8200
Visit Website

Located in a former Tower Records spot, the restaurant previously known as Solomon’s Delicatessen now focuses on globally-inspired dishes like the “Sapporo” fried chicken sandwich with sunomono. Jewish deli favorites, including some of the best pastrami in town, remain from its original concept as a delicatessen. While much of the nearby area resembles a ghost town in the COVID era, this restaurant — named after Tower Records founder Russ Solomon — remains a lively spot. Look for the outdoor “disco brunch” on weekends with DJs in the mix and plenty of patio dining.

10. Bambi Vegan Tacos

Copy Link
1725 I St
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 942-9993
Visit Website

If you’ve lived in Sacramento for any measurable amount of time then it’s likely you’ve eaten a crunchy, greasy, and curiously Parmesan cheese-dusted taco from Jimboys. Well, Bambi Vegan Tacos, a former food truck that rolled into a sunny brick-and-mortar space near downtown last year, does a vegan version starring “beef” made from crimini mushrooms that honestly might be even better than the original. The fully vegan menu also offers creamy queso and bean dip; a Taco Bell-esque crunchy taco that comes wrapped in a refried bean-lined fresh flour tortilla; and the Melty Melt, an artichoke-filled riff on a vegan tuna melt. Plant-based eaters, get wild. 

A metal tray with tacos and a patty melt from Bambi Vegan Tacos in downtown Sacramento. Lauren Saria

11. Frank Fat's

Copy Link
806 L St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-7092
Visit Website

In terms of classic Sacramento cuisine, it doesn’t get much more iconic than a “Frank’s Style” New York steak that’s loaded with oyster sauce and onions, plus banana cream pie for dessert. Frank Fat’s has bridged Chinese and American cuisines since 1939 and remained a hotbed of political wheeling and dealing. It’s the oldest family-run restaurant in Sacramento, enduring times of war and recessions, and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Dine-in and takeout available — lobbyist not included.

12. The Waterboy

Copy Link
2000 Capitol Ave
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 498-9891
Visit Website

Long before the city’s great marketing takeover designated Sacramento as “America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital,” chef Rick Mahan and crew were putting this ethos in action. Seasonally driven menus with an emphasis on local ingredients set the stage for such dishes housemade strozzaapreti with lamb raised in nearby Dixon, and mixed grills of Llano Seco pork loin. The sauteed sweetbreads with bacon, mushrooms, and capers remains one of Sacramento’s definitive dishes.

13. Paragary's

Copy Link
1401 28th St
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 457-5737
Visit Website

Since 1983, Paragary’s has been giving Sacramento diners a taste of classic Continental (read: French-Italian) cuisine and over the years has gone on to spawn a number of other successful restaurants. But the original Midtown location remains a classic dining experience for the City of Trees; it’s all white tablecloths and seasonal produce used to dress up pizza, pasta, and steak, but thanks to an update in 2015 the real draw might be the stunning patio with its lazily climbing vines and romantic string lights. 

14. Kru Sushi

Copy Link
3135 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 551-1559
Visit Website

Splurge on some of Sacramento’s most artfully executed and flavorful Japanese food at this elegant East Sacramento spot. Chef Billy Ngo and his team are producing precision-sliced nigiri and sashimi, plus such small plates as tea-smoked duck kushiyaki and grilled corn with miso butter. The restaurant is open for dine-in but act fast and early if you want to snag a reservation, which can be made online.

Quail egg fried rice on a bed of frisée Chris Macias

15. South

Copy Link
2005 11th St
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 382-9722
Visit Website

In Sacramento’s great fried chicken wars, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t list South as a top contender — if not the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. But beyond that deftly seasoned and chomp-worthy chicken, this mom-and-pop shop near Southside Park has emerged quickly as a Sacramento staple with barbecue platters, Creole-style linguine, and one of the best burgers in town.

16. Localis

Copy Link
2031 S St
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 737-7699
Visit Website

At this Michelin Guide-worthy Midtown restaurant chef-owner Christopher Barnum-Dann offers Sacramento diners a true fine dining experience with prix-fixe menus built around locally grown and seasonal produce. Snag a seat at the chef’s counter to hear about the Barnum-Dann’s “conscious eater” ethos from his own mouth or snag a seat on the cozy back patio.

Wood-Fire-Roasted Octopus at Localis
Wood-Fire-Roasted Octopus at Localis
Rachel Valley

17. Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining

Copy Link
2226 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 469-9448
Visit Website

In a section of southern downtown that continues to shed its Japantown roots, Binchoyaki remains true to the neighborhood’s soul with such comfort foods as bacon fried rice, sumptuous bowls of ramen, and skewers grilled over white-hot Japanese charcoal. Order a la carte or opt for Binchoyaki’s artfully assembled bento boxes. Takeout and outdoor dining only.

18. Fixins Soul Kitchen

Copy Link
3428 3rd Ave
Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 999-7685
Visit Website

Sacramento loves to claim South makes the best fried chicken in the city. But don’t overlook Fixins, the Oak Park soul food restaurant opened by former NBA player and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. What Fixins might lack in indie-coolness it more than makes up for with its consistently succulent fried chicken, sinfully sweet candied yams, and smoky collard greens. Bottom line: Fixins is a crowd-pleaser thanks to those flaky biscuits that come with a side of pink strawberry buttery and playful selection of Kool Aid-infused cocktails. 

Fried chicken with mac n’ cheese and candied yams at Fixins. Lauren Saria

19. Bacon & Butter

Copy Link
5913 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 346-4445
Visit Website

Breakfast and brunch don’t get much better than this spot on the edge of Tahoe Park. In pre-pandemic times, the wait for a table was notoriously long, but the payoff was big with chef Billy Zoellin’s take on scratch-made biscuits, breakfast burritos with housemade chorizo, and a burger that some call the best in town — all now available for takeout and curbside pickup, though indoor dining has since reopened too. Don’t sleep on the “Kitchen Sink,” a flavorful mash-up of crispy lardons and potatoes with mushrooms, cheese, and onions, all topped with two perfectly cooked eggs.

20. Luigi's Pizza Parlor

Copy Link
3800 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 456-0641
Visit Website

A pandemic-era diet includes plenty of pizza. But for a slice of old school Sacramento, it’s tough to beat Luigi’s. This Stockton Boulevard landmark has crafted pies since 1953, with much of that time under the Brida family’s ownership. That changed in 2019 with a new ownership group that includes the proprietors of the Shack, but this pizzeria’s time-honored recipes endure. The “Luigi’s Special” remains one of Sacramento’s signature pizzas with its mouthful of olives, salami, mushrooms, and sausage on a crispy New York-styled crust.

21. Lalo's Restaurant

Copy Link
5063 24th St
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 736-2389
Visit Website

A must for any fan of Mexican food, this unassuming spot near Fruitridge Road comes through with quesadillas con huitlacoche (corn smut), a mouthful of a Cubana torta, birria, and other dishes that bring a taste of Mexico City’s food styles to the 916 area code. Also check for $1 “Taco Tuesday” specials that can be washed down with a variety of agua frescas. If you’re looking for especially rich tacos de lengua or tacos de cabeza, this is your spot.

22. Yang’s Noodles

Copy Link
5860 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95824
(916) 392-9988
Visit Website

Step up and get your slurp on. For local noodle lovers, this coveted spot in Little Saigon is a frequent stop for its Shanghai soup dumplings, richly flavored beef noodle soup, and other dishes that reflect Taiwanese and Sichuan traditions. Be sure to ask if the spicy and succulent lamb roll is available on the secret menu.

Beef Noodle Soup at Yang’s Noodles
Beef Noodle Soup at Yang’s Noodles
Rachel Valley

23. Quán Nem Ninh Hòa Restaurant

Copy Link
6450 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95823
(916) 428-3748
Visit Website

Some 23,000 Vietnamese live in Sacramento, and the south side of town is especially known for its range of Vietnamese restaurants. Still, even within that vibrant local scene, Quan Nem Ninh Hoa stands out as one of the few spots that focuses on central Vietnamese dishes, including bánh bèo (steamed rice cakes), bánh xèo (crispy, savory crepes), and nem nuong cuon (fresh spring rolls) that you roll yourself.

24. Journey to the Dumpling

Copy Link
7419 Laguna Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 509-9556
Visit Website

A good place to start any trek through the Sacramento area’s spectrum of international flavors is the aptly named Journey to the Dumpling, a Shanghai-styled cafe located in the southern suburb of Elk Grove. The xiao long bao is the star of the show here: The delicately wrapped dumplings, which include versions made with ground pork or seafood, are flavor bombs filled with savory soup. Also look for such specials as mushroom stuffed baos and vegan dumplings.

1. Kabab Hut

6661 Stanford Ranch Rd Ste J, Rocklin, CA 95677
Tandoor Fish at Kabab Hut
Tandoor Fish at Kabab Hut
Stephanie Stiavetti

Head to Placer County for Pakistani and Indian food at this restaurant known for its over deliciousness — and, especially, for its impeccably tender tandoori fish. Overseen by Zulfiqar “Guddu” Haider, who previously ran the acclaimed San Francisco restaurants Lahore Karahi and Guddu de Karahi, this strip mall eatery also produces exceptionally creamy chicken tikka masala, irresistible garlic naan, and housemade pudding for dessert.

6661 Stanford Ranch Rd Ste J
Rocklin, CA 95677

2. Shige Sushi

5938 Madison Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608
Aburi Salmon Nigiri at Shige Sushi
Aburi Salmon Nigiri at Shige Sushi
Stephanie Stiavetti

For sushi purists, it doesn’t get much better than this humble shop on Madison Ave. Leave the sauce-drenched rolls with wacky names for another time. Chef-owner Shige Tokita specializes in impeccably prepared nigiri, sashimi, and small plates that are high in freshness and flavor, and low on flash. Pro tip: Go with any of the “daily specials” posted inside the restaurant, such as the juicy hamachi kama.

5938 Madison Ave
Carmichael, CA 95608

3. Sunflower Drive-In

10344 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

The offerings for vegetarian and plant-based foods have never been better locally, but you still can’t beat a nutburger with house sauce from this long-running Fair Oaks eatery. Since the late 1970s, Sunflower Drive-In has stood as a must-stop for vegans and vegetarians with a variety of burgers, burritos, and sandwiches that are both filling and fresh.

10344 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

4. Yue Huang Restaurant

3860 Truxel Rd, Sacramento, CA 95834

The Michelin Guide called out this Natomas Chinese restaurant as a “hidden treasure” tucked away into an otherwise unnoteable Natomas stripmall, which essentially means you’ll have to show up early if you want to get a table on bustling Saturday and Sunday mornings. It’s become a hot destination for steamed dumplings, barbecue pork buns, and all other manner of fried and baked Cantonese specialities. 

3860 Truxel Rd
Sacramento, CA 95834

5. Tori's Place

1525 Grand Ave, Sacramento, CA 95838

Billed as “the tiny restaurant with the big heart,” this humble shack dishes out some of the best soul food in the Sacramento area. The skillet cornbread eats like a pancake and comes with all combo meals, whether your entree of choice is fried chicken, red snapper, riblets, or pork chops. For a true Tori’s Place experience, dip that cornbread into their signature gumbo, with its spicy and soothing overtones. Loaded with shrimp, chicken, and sausage, it’s a hearty stew that really sticks to the ribs.

1525 Grand Ave
Sacramento, CA 95838

6. Sam's Hof Brau

2500 Watt Ave, Sacramento, CA 95821

Despite an ownership change in 2017, Sam’s Hof Brau remains a classic Sacramento carvery where sandwiches piled high with roast beef, turkey, pastrami, and other deli meats rule the day. Though you can’t dip into the usual barrel to grab your sliced pickles right now while the dining room is closed, those pickles do come with every sandwich order. Order to go, or chow down on that corned beef sandwich with a “heavy” extra helping of meat.

2500 Watt Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821

7. La Flor De Michoacan Méxican Restaurant

2339 Northgate Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95833

The north side of Sacramento is one of the best hubs of Mexican food in the area, especially along Northgate Boulevard. While you can fill up on handmade tortillas, saucy burritos, and tortas, the true stars at La Flor De Michoacan are the plush, and darn near habit-forming, Salvadorean pupusas that are served with spicy slaw. Note that it’s cash-only here, and takeout-only for now.

2339 Northgate Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95833

8. Abyssinia Restaurant

1346 Fulton Ave, Sacramento, CA 95825

Since 2012 this Fulton Avenue Ethiopian restaurant has served a solid menu of spongy injera to enjoy alongside its rich and sometimes spicy stews. The restaurant is currently offering takeout only, but you can still get your fix of classics like tibs, cubes of stir-fried beef doused in butter, or go for the sharable Grand Sampler, which includes a variety of dishes and serves two. 

1346 Fulton Ave
Sacramento, CA 95825

9. Solomon's

730 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Located in a former Tower Records spot, the restaurant previously known as Solomon’s Delicatessen now focuses on globally-inspired dishes like the “Sapporo” fried chicken sandwich with sunomono. Jewish deli favorites, including some of the best pastrami in town, remain from its original concept as a delicatessen. While much of the nearby area resembles a ghost town in the COVID era, this restaurant — named after Tower Records founder Russ Solomon — remains a lively spot. Look for the outdoor “disco brunch” on weekends with DJs in the mix and plenty of patio dining.

730 K St
Sacramento, CA 95814

10. Bambi Vegan Tacos

1725 I St, Sacramento, CA 95811
A metal tray with tacos and a patty melt from Bambi Vegan Tacos in downtown Sacramento. Lauren Saria

If you’ve lived in Sacramento for any measurable amount of time then it’s likely you’ve eaten a crunchy, greasy, and curiously Parmesan cheese-dusted taco from Jimboys. Well, Bambi Vegan Tacos, a former food truck that rolled into a sunny brick-and-mortar space near downtown last year, does a vegan version starring “beef” made from crimini mushrooms that honestly might be even better than the original. The fully vegan menu also offers creamy queso and bean dip; a Taco Bell-esque crunchy taco that comes wrapped in a refried bean-lined fresh flour tortilla; and the Melty Melt, an artichoke-filled riff on a vegan tuna melt. Plant-based eaters, get wild. 

1725 I St
Sacramento, CA 95811

11. Frank Fat's

806 L St, Sacramento, CA 95814

In terms of classic Sacramento cuisine, it doesn’t get much more iconic than a “Frank’s Style” New York steak that’s loaded with oyster sauce and onions, plus banana cream pie for dessert. Frank Fat’s has bridged Chinese and American cuisines since 1939 and remained a hotbed of political wheeling and dealing. It’s the oldest family-run restaurant in Sacramento, enduring times of war and recessions, and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Dine-in and takeout available — lobbyist not included.

806 L St
Sacramento, CA 95814

12. The Waterboy

2000 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95811

Long before the city’s great marketing takeover designated Sacramento as “America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital,” chef Rick Mahan and crew were putting this ethos in action. Seasonally driven menus with an emphasis on local ingredients set the stage for such dishes housemade strozzaapreti with lamb raised in nearby Dixon, and mixed grills of Llano Seco pork loin. The sauteed sweetbreads with bacon, mushrooms, and capers remains one of Sacramento’s definitive dishes.

2000 Capitol Ave
Sacramento, CA 95811

13. Paragary's

1401 28th St, Sacramento, CA 95816

Since 1983, Paragary’s has been giving Sacramento diners a taste of classic Continental (read: French-Italian) cuisine and over the years has gone on to spawn a number of other successful restaurants. But the original Midtown location remains a classic dining experience for the City of Trees; it’s all white tablecloths and seasonal produce used to dress up pizza, pasta, and steak, but thanks to an update in 2015 the real draw might be the stunning patio with its lazily climbing vines and romantic string lights. 

1401 28th St
Sacramento, CA 95816

14. Kru Sushi

3135 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95816
Quail egg fried rice on a bed of frisée Chris Macias

Splurge on some of Sacramento’s most artfully executed and flavorful Japanese food at this elegant East Sacramento spot. Chef Billy Ngo and his team are producing precision-sliced nigiri and sashimi, plus such small plates as tea-smoked duck kushiyaki and grilled corn with miso butter. The restaurant is open for dine-in but act fast and early if you want to snag a reservation, which can be made online.

3135 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816

15. South

2005 11th St, Sacramento, CA 95818

In Sacramento’s great fried chicken wars, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t list South as a top contender — if not the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. But beyond that deftly seasoned and chomp-worthy chicken, this mom-and-pop shop near Southside Park has emerged quickly as a Sacramento staple with barbecue platters, Creole-style linguine, and one of the best burgers in town.

2005 11th St
Sacramento, CA 95818

Related Maps

16. Localis

2031 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Wood-Fire-Roasted Octopus at Localis
Wood-Fire-Roasted Octopus at Localis
Rachel Valley

At this Michelin Guide-worthy Midtown restaurant chef-owner Christopher Barnum-Dann offers Sacramento diners a true fine dining experience with prix-fixe menus built around locally grown and seasonal produce. Snag a seat at the chef’s counter to hear about the Barnum-Dann’s “conscious eater” ethos from his own mouth or snag a seat on the cozy back patio.

2031 S St
Sacramento, CA 95811

17. Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining

2226 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95818

In a section of southern downtown that continues to shed its Japantown roots, Binchoyaki remains true to the neighborhood’s soul with such comfort foods as bacon fried rice, sumptuous bowls of ramen, and skewers grilled over white-hot Japanese charcoal. Order a la carte or opt for Binchoyaki’s artfully assembled bento boxes. Takeout and outdoor dining only.

2226 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95818

18. Fixins Soul Kitchen

3428 3rd Ave, Sacramento, CA 95817
Fried chicken with mac n’ cheese and candied yams at Fixins. Lauren Saria

Sacramento loves to claim South makes the best fried chicken in the city. But don’t overlook Fixins, the Oak Park soul food restaurant opened by former NBA player and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. What Fixins might lack in indie-coolness it more than makes up for with its consistently succulent fried chicken, sinfully sweet candied yams, and smoky collard greens. Bottom line: Fixins is a crowd-pleaser thanks to those flaky biscuits that come with a side of pink strawberry buttery and playful selection of Kool Aid-infused cocktails. 

3428 3rd Ave
Sacramento, CA 95817

19. Bacon & Butter

5913 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95820

Breakfast and brunch don’t get much better than this spot on the edge of Tahoe Park. In pre-pandemic times, the wait for a table was notoriously long, but the payoff was big with chef Billy Zoellin’s take on scratch-made biscuits, breakfast burritos with housemade chorizo, and a burger that some call the best in town — all now available for takeout and curbside pickup, though indoor dining has since reopened too. Don’t sleep on the “Kitchen Sink,” a flavorful mash-up of crispy lardons and potatoes with mushrooms, cheese, and onions, all topped with two perfectly cooked eggs.

5913 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95820

20. Luigi's Pizza Parlor

3800 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95820

A pandemic-era diet includes plenty of pizza. But for a slice of old school Sacramento, it’s tough to beat Luigi’s. This Stockton Boulevard landmark has crafted pies since 1953, with much of that time under the Brida family’s ownership. That changed in 2019 with a new ownership group that includes the proprietors of the Shack, but this pizzeria’s time-honored recipes endure. The “Luigi’s Special” remains one of Sacramento’s signature pizzas with its mouthful of olives, salami, mushrooms, and sausage on a crispy New York-styled crust.

3800 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95820

21. Lalo's Restaurant

5063 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95822

A must for any fan of Mexican food, this unassuming spot near Fruitridge Road comes through with quesadillas con huitlacoche (corn smut), a mouthful of a Cubana torta, birria, and other dishes that bring a taste of Mexico City’s food styles to the 916 area code. Also check for $1 “Taco Tuesday” specials that can be washed down with a variety of agua frescas. If you’re looking for especially rich tacos de lengua or tacos de cabeza, this is your spot.

5063 24th St
Sacramento, CA 95822

22. Yang’s Noodles

5860 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95824
Beef Noodle Soup at Yang’s Noodles
Beef Noodle Soup at Yang’s Noodles
Rachel Valley

Step up and get your slurp on. For local noodle lovers, this coveted spot in Little Saigon is a frequent stop for its Shanghai soup dumplings, richly flavored beef noodle soup, and other dishes that reflect Taiwanese and Sichuan traditions. Be sure to ask if the spicy and succulent lamb roll is available on the secret menu.

5860 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95824

23. Quán Nem Ninh Hòa Restaurant

6450 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95823

Some 23,000 Vietnamese live in Sacramento, and the south side of town is especially known for its range of Vietnamese restaurants. Still, even within that vibrant local scene, Quan Nem Ninh Hoa stands out as one of the few spots that focuses on central Vietnamese dishes, including bánh bèo (steamed rice cakes), bánh xèo (crispy, savory crepes), and nem nuong cuon (fresh spring rolls) that you roll yourself.

6450 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95823

24. Journey to the Dumpling

7419 Laguna Blvd #180, Elk Grove, CA 95758

A good place to start any trek through the Sacramento area’s spectrum of international flavors is the aptly named Journey to the Dumpling, a Shanghai-styled cafe located in the southern suburb of Elk Grove. The xiao long bao is the star of the show here: The delicately wrapped dumplings, which include versions made with ground pork or seafood, are flavor bombs filled with savory soup. Also look for such specials as mushroom stuffed baos and vegan dumplings.

7419 Laguna Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758

Related Maps