Sacramento and the Gold Country Restaurants

American, Italian, and Mexican are common Gold Country fare, but chefs also prepare ambitious European, French, and contemporary regional cuisine that mixes California ingredients with international preparations. Grass Valley's meat- and vegetable-stuffed pasties, introduced by 19th-century gold miners from Cornwall, are one of the region's more unusual treats.

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  • 1. Alchemy Cafe

    $$ | American

    A casual spot on the eastern edge of town with yellow walls and artsy French posters, Alchemy serves sturdy comfort food like braised lamb shank...Read More

  • 2. Camden Spit & Larder

    $$$ | Downtown | American

    Upscale London haberdasheries reportedly inspired the aesthetic of this impeccably designed, pressed-metal-ceilinged paean to spit-roasted,...Read More

  • 3. Carpe Vino

    $$$ | American

    What started as a boutique wine retailer has become a must-visit experience for foodies who appreciate the hearty and imaginative French-inspired...Read More

  • 4. Magpie Cafe

    $$$ | Midtown | American

    This Midtown eatery with a vaguely industrial look and a casual vibe takes its food seriously: nearly all the produce is sourced locally, and...Read More

  • 5. Smith Flat House

    $$$ | American

    Carefully sourced ingredients from local purveyors, meticulous execution, and a historic setting at a former mine site have made this restaurant...Read More

  • 6. Taste

    $$$$ | American

    A serendipitous find in downtown Plymouth, Taste serves eclectic modern dishes made from fresh local fare. Phyllo-wrapped mushroom "cigars"...Read More

  • 7. The Firehouse

    $$$$ | Old Sacramento | American

    Sacramento's rich and famous including California governors going back to Ronald Reagan settle into the elegant spaces within the city's restored...Read More

  • 8. Auburn Alehouse

    $ | American

    Inside the historic American Block building, which dates to 1856, you can see this craft operation's beers being made through glass walls behind...Read More

  • 9. Awful Annie's

    $ | American

    One of Auburn's favorite old-time breakfast and lunch spots entices patrons with waffles, pancakes, Monte Cristo French toast, and a slew of...Read More

  • 10. Bistro 33

    $$ | American

    This striking venue, in and outside what long ago was Davis City Hall, does brisk business well into the evenings. Wood-fired pizza and a diverse...Read More

  • 11. Cafeteria 15L

    $$ | Downtown | American

    The exposed brick, reclaimed wood, mismatched chairs, and natural light streaming through large-paned windows of this easygoing hangout for...Read More

  • 12. Charles Street Dinner House

    $$$ | American

    Centrally located Charles Street, its rustic decor heavy on the wood and Old West adornments, at once evokes gold-rush days and the 1980s, when...Read More

  • 13. Diamondback Grill and Wine Bar

    $ | American

    The bright decor and refined atmosphere suggest more ambitious fare, but massive half-pound burgers and sandwiches like the Ultimate Grilled...Read More

  • 14. Dogwood

    $$$ | American

    One of Calaveras County's shining stars serves fresh seasonal cuisine in a cabinlike white-walled space with an open kitchen and hardwood floors...Read More

  • 15. Ella

    $$$$ | Downtown | American

    With fresh white calla lilies on the tables, ivory linen curtains, and distressed-wood shutters installed across the ceiling, this swank restaurant...Read More

  • 16. Grounds

    $$ | American

    From potato pancakes for breakfast to grilled rib eye for dinner, this bustling bistro with a series of wainscoted rooms and an outdoor patio...Read More

  • 17. Heyday Cafe

    $$ | American

    Inside an exposed-brick 1857 former assay office where miners exchanged gold nuggets for the coin of the realm, the Heyday is a happy haven...Read More

  • 18. Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company

    $$$ | Midtown | American

    Youthful and compelling, with found-art decorative elements and exposed vents, this historic former fire station is a favorite stop for cocktails...Read More

  • 19. Kitchen428 and Mojo's Lounge

    $$ | American

    Erected in 1891 to house luxury apartments, the Jackson building roared back to life as a showcase for locally sourced California cuisine from...Read More

  • 20. Kneading Dough Bakery

    $ | American

    Breakfast entrées, soups, soufflés, and sandwiches are on the menu at this beloved spot for pastries, tarts, coffee cakes, scones, cookies,...Read More

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