15 Best Restaurants in Sacramento, Sacramento and the Gold Country


$$$$ Fodor's choice

The husband chef at this East Sacramento restaurant recognized for its singular concept and chic, deep-green aesthetic creates nimbly plated Italian-tinged cuisine his sommelier wife and co-owner pairs with international wines from mostly Italian grapes (the California Nebbiolo selection alone is epic). Seafood is a specialty on the three- to five-course prix-fixe tasting menu, which always includes exceedingly fresh and tender oysters, alluring pasta dishes, and often voluptuous entrées.


$$$ | East Sacramento Fodor's choice

Farmhouse meets semi-industrial open-kitchen chic at this light-filled restaurant whose executive chef found success in the Midwest and the Napa Valley before returning to Sacramento, where his culinary career began. Carefully chosen produce and proteins go into shareable small plates and larger platters that might include crispy octopus, vegetables à la plancha (seared on a metal plate), or smoked roasted lamb.

1719 34th St., Sacramento, California, 95816, USA
Known For
  • alfresco patio dining in good weather
  • seasonal cocktails with fresh herbs and fruit
  • vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch

Ella Dining Room and Bar

$$$$ | Downtown Fodor's choice

This swank restaurant and bar near the Capitol is artfully designed and thoroughly modern. The California–French, farm-to-table cuisine changes seasonally, but typical dishes include oysters on the half shell, steak tartare, and wood-fired bone marrow and entrées like wood-fired beef tenderloin and poached or pan-roasted fish.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Fixins Soul Kitchen

$$ Fodor's choice

A cheery, sometimes boisterous vibe prevails at this ode to Black cuisine and culture that former NBA star and past Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and his wife, Michelle, founded in a high-ceilinged, quasi-industrial space 3½ miles southeast of the Capitol. Expect heapin' helpings of soul food's greatest hits—gumbo, shrimp and grits, oxtails, and fried chicken, catfish, and pork chops among them—that you can pair with sides that include hush puppies, black-eyed peas, candied yams, and collard greens (with turkey necks).


$$$$ | Midtown Fodor's choice

Exquisite plating and compelling, at times piquant, flavor combinations are the trademarks of this restaurant whose chef-sommelier owner, Chris Barnum-Dann, won the debut (2021) season of the culinary-competition TV show The Globe. The open-kitchen choreography of Barnum-Dann and his team deftly preparing one intricate dish after another (12 courses, prix-fixe) lends the proceedings a balletic air.

The Kitchen

$$$$ Fodor's choice
The chefs and front-of-house staff at this perennial favorite with a prix-fixe menu pull out all the stops to deliver a multisensory gustatory experience. The flamboyant presentation of courses as a series of "Acts"—not to mention the dramatically lit, flower-bestrewn dining room's intentionally buoyant atmosphere—might distract from the modern American cuisine were it not so well conceived and prepared with such panache and precision.

The Waterboy

$$$ | Midtown Fodor's choice

Rural French cooking with locally sourced, seasonal, high-quality, often organic ingredients is the hallmark of this upscale, white-tablecloth, corner storefront restaurant that's as appealing for a casual meal with friends as it is for a drawn-out romantic dinner for two. Among the mains, try the steak, duck breast, or seasonal seafood, and save room for one of the palate-cleansing desserts.

Cafeteria 15L

$$ | Downtown

The exposed brick, reclaimed wood, and natural light streaming through large-paned windows of this easygoing comfort-food hangout make a great first impression. Favorites like tater tots (in truffle oil), French onion soup, and chicken and waffles (with pecan butter, maple syrup, and pork gravy) prove simultaneously familiar and intriguing.

Camden Spit & Larder

$$$ | Downtown

Upscale London haberdasheries reportedly inspired the aesthetic of this impeccably designed, pressed-metal-ceilinged paean to spit-roasted, Brit-influenced meat dishes. Near Golden 1 Center and Downtown Commons, it's a place to share small offerings like sausage rolls, steak tartare, and local caviar and crumpets (Sacramento is a center of caviar production) before proceeding to salmon, spit-roasted chicken, or English meat pie.

555 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, California, 95814, USA
Known For
  • Winston's Hour (as in Churchill) menu weekdays 3–6
  • wine, beer, and cider selection
  • craft cocktails incorporating seasonal fruits, herbs, and vegetables
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Sat.

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company

$$ | Midtown

Youthful and compelling, with found-art decorative elements and exposed vents, this historic former fire station is a favorite stop for cocktails, craft beers, and farm-to-fork fare. The area's year-round farmers' markets supply ingredients for the delectable salads and soups, and the pizzas, beef, poultry, and seafood entrées are always good.


$$$ | East Sacramento

The owner-chef of this mod-Japanese restaurant fashions fresh, wildly creative sushi for patrons seated at blond-wood tables, a counter, or an open-air patio. Order a sunshine roll—spicy tuna, escolar, and shrimp tempura enlivened by the tart contribution of green apples and lemon—perhaps pairing it with cooked fare like smoked duck kushiyaki with plum-wine katsu sauce or hot or cold ramen.

3135 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California, 95816, USA
Known For
  • smart decor
  • nearly two-dozen rolls
  • impressive sake, wine, and whiskeys
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch

Magpie Cafe

$$ | Midtown

This Midtown eatery with a vaguely industrial look and a casual vibe takes its food seriously: nearly all the produce is sourced locally, and the chefs prepare only sustainable seafood. BLTs and grass-fed beef burgers (and a plant-based option) are among the staples, as are steak and fries and pan-roasted fish with seasonal vegetables.

1601 16th St., Sacramento, California, 95814, USA
Known For
  • outdoor park-view patio
  • beer, cider, wine, and cocktail lineup
  • homemade ice-cream sandwiches
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch Tues. and Wed., Reservations not accepted

Solomon's Vinyl Diner

$ | Downtown

Named for the founder of Tower Records, this energetic diner plays the nostalgia card with an all-vinyl soundtrack and comfort classics from bagels and lox or biscuits and gravy for breakfast to pastrami on rye, two-patty burgers with melted cheddar, or the chef's take on SpaghettiOs at lunch. A few vegetarian optoins, cold-brew coffee, and craft beers in cans and on tap keep the fare current.

730 K St., Sacramento, California, 95811, USA
Known For
  • zero-proof, "brunch booze," and specialty cocktails
  • upstairs Russ's Room listening lounge
  • Saturday Drag Brunch and other festivities
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No dinner

The Firehouse

$$$$ | Old Sacramento

Sacramento's rich and famous, including California governors going back to Ronald Reagan, settle into the elegant spaces within the city's restored first brick firehouse to dine on award-winning contemporary cuisine. The creative fare ranges from carpaccio, seasonal oysters, and braised pork belly to delicately spiced fish or scallops and herb-crusted rack of lamb.

1112 2nd St., Sacramento, California, 95814, USA
Known For
  • superlative wine list
  • chef's tasting menu
  • happy-hour in bar weekdays 4–6
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch (check on weekdays)

Zócalo Midtown

$$ | Midtown

Inside a glamorously renovated Hudson Motor Car showroom from the 1920s that looks out of a movie set, Zócalo puts an upscale spin on Mexican classics. Pair the house margarita or its blackberry variation with pozole or a guac or ceviche starter before moving on to enchiladas or a burrito bowl with chicken, salmon, carne asada, or vegetarian ingredients.