During my recent visit to sacramento for the IFBC 2017 conference, trying new foods was a top priority. Of course I was also there to learn new things, network and generally have fun.
Sacramento is known as the farm to fork capital of the world, with an emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients. This shines through in the quality of food available at Sacramento restaurants. The food scene has exploded over the last five years, and for good reason. Almost every restaurant I tried (with a few exceptions) had exquisite food and unique menus. I’ll highlight some of the best Sacramento restaurants that I found.
Best Sacramento Restaurants for a Weekend Visit
1. Iron Horse Tavern
WIthout a doubt this is my favorite restaurant I’ve tried. Olia I and stopped there on the way home from a previous family visit. I made sure to try it again. The menu is modern comfort food and the atmosphere is rustic, yet elegant. I recommend the Korean Fried Chicken and Rice Breakfast. It’s saucy, sweet, tangy and spicy fried chicken over perfectly cooked rice. Topped with housemade kimchi and pickled cucumbers. Then topped with two poached eggs, runny yolks and all.
2. Cafeteria 15L
This has a similar menu and vibe as Iron Horse, but can get quite loud later on weekends. The food was wonderful. I tried the fried chicken sandwich with truffle tater tots (I’m sensing a pattern here), ahi tuna bowl, spinach and artichoke dip, as well as a tasty cocktail. It’s a standard menu, but the food is well executed.
3. Capital Hop Shop
This place is so awesome. It’s a beer room with 40 beers on tap from local breweries, with everything from ales, IPAs, lagers, stout, wheat beers and in between. They also do 3-ounce pours, which allows you to sample more beers. Some of my favorites were Avery Liliko’i Kepol (a passion fruit wheat beer) and Berryessa Free Kittens (a Japanese rice lager, with a perfectly subtle rice flavor).
4. Tequila Museo Mayahuel
A Mexican restaurant and bar with quality, authentic cuisine. Everything from carnitas to mole is on the menu. The Tequila Old Fashioned was a nice twist on the classic whiskey version.
5. Ginger Elizabeth Chocolate
This is a Sacramento favorite. It’s a chocolatier and dessert shop. They’re known for their macarons and gourmet chocolate bites. The prices are very high, so be prepared to spend a bit of money for the experience. Be sure to try the Salted Caramel Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich.
6. Karma Brew
This is a bar with funky, random and unique decor. There’s a decent selection of beers and they have a house-made strawberry cinnamon sangria. It’s worth going for the atmosphere alone.
This is an upscale, classic Italian restaurant, white linens and all. It’s another local favorite and came highly recommended. The appetizers were great, but the entree and dessert wasn’t as memorable. Your mileage may vary.
8. Squeeze Burger
This ridiculous cheeseburger must be experienced at least once. It’s your everyday diner burger, but with a twist. While the burger is being cooked, a large mound of cheese is piled on top, then it’s covered with a stainless steel bowl. It cooks to a moist burger with a crisp, excessively large cheese skirt attached to it. Words don’t do it justice.
This Best Sacramento Restaurants for a Weekend Visit list is based on what restaurants I had a chance to try. Somehow I managed to pack all this in and more in just two days, and it was one of the highlights of the conference. IFBC 2017 left plenty of open time and provided limited food, leaving plenty of time to explore Sacramento restaurants.
Disclaimer: I was provided discounted IFBC Conference tickets. No other compensation was provided for this post.
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Ginny McMeans says
What a cool post. I use to live in Placerville and loved to go to Sacramento’s restaurants. I’ve been to the Iron Horse but maybe the others are all newer (or I missed them). I will be back so thanks for the reviews.
Noor Fatima says
Sacramento is def on my to-visit list now. The food, the restaurants…all look SO good. Thanks for the lovely reviews. It showed me Sacramento, a place I hadn’t known at all before.
Melissa Novotny says
My husband and our friends came in for Mountainfest and frequented this establishment. The Bloody Mary’s were top-notch but the Mac and cheese was the best I’ve ever had! Delish!!! Can’t wait to get back and have some more!
That awesome Melissa! I’ll check that out next time I go back. Which restaurant were you referring too?
What a tasty list of restaurants! I’m bookmarking this for my next trip that way! It’s not all that far; I’m in Arizona!