The 10 Best Restaurants in Sacramento

Sacramento, California’s vibrant capital, is not just a hub of political hustle and bustle but a sanctuary for foodies, offering an eclectic dining scene that promises to tantalize your taste buds. From farm-to-table innovators to cultural culinary delights, this city is ripe with flavors waiting to be discovered.

Here’s a curated list of 10 unmissable restaurants that will take you on a gastronomic journey through Sacramento’s best offerings.

The Kitchen Restaurant

A beacon of culinary excellence in Sacramento, The Kitchen offers an unparalleled dining experience. As a Michelin-starred restaurant, it showcases the epitome of farm-to-fork dining, inviting guests on a sumptuous journey with a multi-course meal that’s as theatrical as it is delicious. With Executive Chef Kelly McCown at the helm, each dish is a masterpiece, served with a side of storytelling, making your dining experience a memorable saga.

The Kitchen’s ambiance is one of intimate engagement, where the boundary between chef and diner blurs, encouraging curiosity and conversation. Booking a table here is securing a ticket to a gastronomic show that’s bound to linger on your palate and in your heart long after the curtains close.

Canon

Canon, under the guidance of Sacramento native Brad Cecchi, is a testament to creativity and communal dining. This East Sacramento gem has earned a Bib Gourmand rating, thanks to its inventive small plates that are perfect for sharing. The restaurant’s ethos of “creative and shareable fare” is reflected in dishes like the Urfa chile chicken drumsticks, a harmony of zest and smoke that dances on the taste buds.

The restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere, coupled with an extensive selection of beers and wines, makes Canon a bustling spot where laughter and clinking glasses underscore the joy of eating together. It’s a place where each visit promises new flavors and a renewed appreciation for Cecchi’s culinary prowess.

Frank Fat’s

Frank Fat’s is a cornerstone of Sacramento’s food scene, with a history that stretches back over eighty years. Winning the James Beard Foundation’s “American Classics” award, it combines Chinese recipes with American favorites in a setting that feels like stepping back in time. The menu is a treasure trove of delights, from its famous banana cream pie to its brandy-marinated fried chicken, each dish showcasing a deep-rooted culinary tradition.

Visiting Frank Fat’s is like taking a journey through history, where the food tells stories of the past. It’s where you can feel a connection to the city’s heritage with every bite. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, blending past and present to create a dining experience that’s memorable and uniquely Sacramento.

Zócalo

Zócalo brings the essence of Mexico to Sacramento. This celebration of Mexican cuisine is enhanced by an extensive selection of tequila, allowing diners to explore the depth and diversity of Mexico’s favorite spirit. The award of a Michelin Plate speaks to the authenticity and quality of the dining experience at Zócalo, where every dish is a tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary traditions.

The atmosphere at Zócalo is just as inviting as its menu, with a beautifully designed interior and a vibrant outdoor patio that perfectly captures the lively spirit of Mexican dining. It’s a place to immerse yourself in Mexican culture, surrounded by warmth and festivity. Dining here offers a glimpse into the communal and celebratory dining culture of Mexico in the heart of Sacramento.

Pizza Rock Sacramento

Pizza Rock elevates the classic pizza experience with the expert touch of Laura Meyer, an award-winning pizza maker. It’s a culinary adventure that brings together the best pizza styles from around the world with a special touch from California. Whether you’re trying the world-champion pan pizza or one of the unique California-inspired pies, every pizza is a standout hit, showcasing the perfect blend of tradition and innovation.

The lively atmosphere at Pizza Rock, combined with its diverse pizza menu and rock ‘n’ roll vibe, sets it apart as a key dining spot in Sacramento. It’s about enjoying a slice of Sacramento’s vibrant food scene in a fun and dynamic setting. Here, pizza is celebrated as a form of art and a centerpiece of the community, making Pizza Rock a must-visit for anyone.

Bacon & Butter

Bacon & Butter captures the essence of Sacramento’s farm-to-table culture, offering delicious American breakfast and brunch with a twist that’s uniquely Californian. The focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients is clear in every meal, from perfect pancakes to a creative take on chicken and waffles. It’s a spot where the basics are done brilliantly, turning simple meals into something special.

The welcoming atmosphere at Bacon & Butter makes it a favorite morning spot for locals. It’s more than just a place to eat; it celebrates the local farms’ produce, bringing the taste of California’s agricultural heart straight to your table. Here, eating local isn’t just a phrase—it’s a delicious reality, with every dish highlighting the best of what the area has to offer.

The Firehouse Restaurant

Located in Sacramento’s historic district, The Firehouse Restaurant combines luxury dining with the city’s rich history in a beautifully restored old firehouse. It’s a place where the ambiance of old-world elegance meets a menu filled with locally sourced ingredients and sophisticated culinary techniques. The detailed service and refined environment make every visit feel like a special occasion, whether it’s for a romantic dinner or a significant celebration.

From intimate dinners under chandelier light to private celebrations or relaxed brunches in the courtyard, The Firehouse provides a majestic setting for any event. As a key player in Sacramento’s dining scene, this restaurant is not just a place to eat but a celebration of the city’s food culture and historical elegance, promising a memorable experience for all who dine there.

Mulvaney’s Building & Loan

Mulvaney’s Building & Loan perfectly captures the city’s passion for farm-to-fork dining. This place is all about celebrating the rich agricultural lands of Northern California, offering a menu that changes with the seasons to highlight the freshest local ingredients. Here, every dish is a nod to the hardworking farmers and producers in the area. It’s about enjoying meals that tell the story of the region’s bounty.

The restaurant is about supporting local agriculture and fostering connections over shared meals. It’s the perfect spot for anyone looking to dive into Sacramento’s culinary culture, offering a chance to enjoy delicious, thoughtfully prepared dishes while contributing to the local economy. Mulvaney’s isn’t just a place to eat; it’s a place to experience the heart of Sacramento’s food philosophy.

Ella Dining Room & Bar

Ella Dining Room & Bar blends elegance with the rich food culture of Sacramento. Awarded for its outstanding dishes, Ella serves up a dining experience that’s both fancy and friendly. The menu celebrates the best of the region, featuring fresh seafood and hearty meats, all set in a chic yet comfortable space. It’s the kind of place where every detail reflects Sacramento’s diverse and abundant local produce.

Eating at Ella is memorable, offering a taste of what makes Sacramento’s food scene special. Each dish is a tribute to the city’s dedication to farm-to-fork dining, showcasing the best local ingredients. It’s the perfect spot to wrap up a culinary journey through the city, leaving diners with a lasting impression of Sacramento’s unique flavors and a dining experience that feels both luxurious and warmly inviting.

Localis

Chef Chris Barnum-Dann’s Localis transforms the farm-to-fork concept into a symphony of seasonal flavors, making it a beacon of culinary innovation in Sacramento. This cozy, intimate spot in the heart of Midtown is where local ingredients meet global culinary techniques, resulting in a menu that’s both grounded and adventurous. Dishes like the Grilled Octopus a la carte showcase the kitchen’s ability to elevate simple ingredients into gastronomic artwork.

Dining at Localis is akin to a journey through the seasons of Sacramento, with each dish telling a story of the region’s agricultural abundance and the chef’s creative prowess. It’s a must-visit for those who seek not just a meal, but a narrative on their plate, making it a cornerstone of Sacramento’s vibrant dining scene.

Sacramento’s dining scene is a treasure trove of culinary delights, each restaurant a gem with its own story to tell. From the innovative to the traditional, the casual to the refined, these 10 unmissable restaurants offer a taste of what makes Sacramento a must-visit destination for food lovers everywhere.