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24 Exceptional Restaurants in Sacramento

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

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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.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kabab Hut

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6661 Stanford Ranch Rd Ste J
Rocklin, CA 95677
(916) 315-3315
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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 — all available for takeout only.

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

2. A Part Café

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217 Vernon St
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 474-4154
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Located into a tiny storefront in downtown Roseville, A Part Cafe’s colorful exterior and walls align with its self-described menu of “Middle Eastern fusion” food. The signature shwaco is a taco-meets-schwarma invention featuring applewood smoked halal meats tucked into pitatillas — a hybrid pita and tortilla — and brightened with pickled onions, cliantro, and mint. Also served on vegan pitaillas, the restaurant’s manouchias resemble tiny pizzas topped with your choice of tangy labneh, za’atar, and olive oil; minced beef, tahini, and barbecue sauce; or bell pepper and walnuts.

3. Shige Sushi

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5938 Madison Ave
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 331-7300
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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

4. Sunflower Drive-In

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10344 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 967-4331
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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.

5. Tori's Place

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1525 Grand Ave
Sacramento, CA 95838
(916) 646-6038
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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

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2500 Watt Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 482-2175
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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

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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. Solomon's

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730 K St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 857-8200
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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.

9. Frank Fat's

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806 L St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-7092
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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.

10. The Waterboy

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2000 Capitol Ave
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 498-9891
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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.

11. Kru Sushi

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3135 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 551-1559
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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

12. South

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2005 11th St
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 382-9722
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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.

13. Localis

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2031 S St
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 737-7699
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The Sacramento location of Localis is under construction, but chef Chris Barnum-Dann’s fans can get their fine dining fix via “Localis Comes Home.” Housed at the chef’s Aubrun property, the outdoor dining experience involves a seven-course tasting menu and wine pairing served to 16 diners per night. Past menus have featured cured salmon with coconut red curry and rice risotto with morel mushrooms.

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

14. Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining

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2226 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 469-9448
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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 only.

15. Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine

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1704 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 446-1223
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Queen Sheba’s lunch buffet, an especially popular spread for the vegan crowd, might be M.I.A. during these COVID times. But you can still load up on injera, misr kik wot (spicy red lentils), and other excellent Ethiopian dishes. Carnivores might also opt for lamb chunks topped with clarified butter or the key wot beef stew. Either way, Queen of Sheba remains a definitive spot on this block of Broadway.

16. Bacon & Butter

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5913 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 346-4445
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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. 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.

17. Flowers Fish Market & Restaurant

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3224 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 456-0719

This soul food spot qualifies as an Oak Park landmark now that it has been serving flawlessly fried fish, chicken, and other goodies since the mid-1980s. The portions are generous, priced affordably, and often served with a neighborly smile. Be sure to save some room for the freshly baked sweet potato pie.

18. Luigi's Pizza Parlor

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3800 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 456-0641
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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.

19. Lalo's Restaurant

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5063 24th St
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 736-2389
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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. Takeout only.

20. Buckhorn Steakhouse

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2 E Main St
Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4503
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The Buckhorn name is practically synonymous with high-quality meat in the Sacramento area, thanks in no small part to the restaurant group’s more casual restaurants, Buckhorn Grill and Buckhorn BBQ. But the flagship Buckhorn Steakhouse is legendary, having helped put Winters on the map as a destination for fans of hand-butchered steaks and blackened tri-tip. The menu is paired down from its pre-pandemic glory but staples including certified Angus rib-eye and garlic mashed potatoes remain up for grabs.

21. Yang’s Noodles

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5860 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95824
(916) 392-9988
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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

22. Laos Kitchen

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6227 Franklin Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95824
(916) 424-5550

Despite the prominent Laotian population in the area, you won’t find very many local restaurants that explicitly identify themselves as Lao. South Sacramento’s Laos Kitchen is as good a place as any to indulge in the often funky, umami-based flavors of the cuisine. Savor the rice noodle soup with kasoy meat sauce, the spicy papaya salad with pork rinds, and plenty of sticky rice.

23. Quán Nem Ninh Hòa Restaurant

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6450 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95823
(916) 428-3748
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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

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7419 Laguna Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 509-9556
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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 — all available for takeout only.

6661 Stanford Ranch Rd Ste J
Rocklin, CA 95677

2. A Part Café

217 Vernon St, Roseville, CA 95678

Located into a tiny storefront in downtown Roseville, A Part Cafe’s colorful exterior and walls align with its self-described menu of “Middle Eastern fusion” food. The signature shwaco is a taco-meets-schwarma invention featuring applewood smoked halal meats tucked into pitatillas — a hybrid pita and tortilla — and brightened with pickled onions, cliantro, and mint. Also served on vegan pitaillas, the restaurant’s manouchias resemble tiny pizzas topped with your choice of tangy labneh, za’atar, and olive oil; minced beef, tahini, and barbecue sauce; or bell pepper and walnuts.

217 Vernon St
Roseville, CA 95678

3. 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

4. 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

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. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. Localis

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

The Sacramento location of Localis is under construction, but chef Chris Barnum-Dann’s fans can get their fine dining fix via “Localis Comes Home.” Housed at the chef’s Aubrun property, the outdoor dining experience involves a seven-course tasting menu and wine pairing served to 16 diners per night. Past menus have featured cured salmon with coconut red curry and rice risotto with morel mushrooms.

2031 S St
Sacramento, CA 95811

14. 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 only.

2226 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95818

15. Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine

1704 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818

Queen Sheba’s lunch buffet, an especially popular spread for the vegan crowd, might be M.I.A. during these COVID times. But you can still load up on injera, misr kik wot (spicy red lentils), and other excellent Ethiopian dishes. Carnivores might also opt for lamb chunks topped with clarified butter or the key wot beef stew. Either way, Queen of Sheba remains a definitive spot on this block of Broadway.

1704 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

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16. 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. 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

17. Flowers Fish Market & Restaurant

3224 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95817

This soul food spot qualifies as an Oak Park landmark now that it has been serving flawlessly fried fish, chicken, and other goodies since the mid-1980s. The portions are generous, priced affordably, and often served with a neighborly smile. Be sure to save some room for the freshly baked sweet potato pie.

3224 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95817

18. 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

19. 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. Takeout only.

5063 24th St
Sacramento, CA 95822

20. Buckhorn Steakhouse

2 E Main St, Winters, CA 95694

The Buckhorn name is practically synonymous with high-quality meat in the Sacramento area, thanks in no small part to the restaurant group’s more casual restaurants, Buckhorn Grill and Buckhorn BBQ. But the flagship Buckhorn Steakhouse is legendary, having helped put Winters on the map as a destination for fans of hand-butchered steaks and blackened tri-tip. The menu is paired down from its pre-pandemic glory but staples including certified Angus rib-eye and garlic mashed potatoes remain up for grabs.

2 E Main St
Winters, CA 95694

21. 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

22. Laos Kitchen

6227 Franklin Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95824

Despite the prominent Laotian population in the area, you won’t find very many local restaurants that explicitly identify themselves as Lao. South Sacramento’s Laos Kitchen is as good a place as any to indulge in the often funky, umami-based flavors of the cuisine. Savor the rice noodle soup with kasoy meat sauce, the spicy papaya salad with pork rinds, and plenty of sticky rice.

6227 Franklin 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

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