A Local's Persepective on How to Eat Like a Local - Sacramento, CA

8:14 AM

I have not and will not ever hide my love for food!
Or my love for my city! I did leave for 2.5 years to make sure I had some good, drunken college stories to one day tell my children. Other than that, I've been a Sacramento resident my whole life. Born, raised, and most likely will die here (morbid, sorry). It's just city enough. How do I quantify that, good question. I can comfortably drive to a Target in my car. Being on the Bart and/or Muni and watching people try to carry 10 plastic Target bags to their house is enough to scare me out of the City. Weird reasoning, I know, but it makes complete sense to me...

Awhile back, I was pursuing FB and I saw someone post an article where Yahoo's Food Editor, takes "...you on a cross country food crawl, city by city." Eat Like A Local and it's author(s) decided that Sacramento happened to peak their interest, I suppose. Their description of this traveling foodie adventure ends with this, "Here’s where to chow down in America’s lesser-known destinations without sticking out like a sore thumb." 

I'm not sure who or how this list came about, but I don't agree with most of them. Yes, we all have our personal preferences. And yes, I've had plenty of years to hone in my tastes of the local grid as well as create favorites and biases, so I wanted to give this list a GO! Things that should be noted before you read my recommendations:
  • I have NOT tried every restaurant in Sacramento.
  • I tend to become a creature of habit and once I find a spot, I stick with it.
  • I despise beer.
  • There is a specific list of things that I DO NOT eat, which some feel deems me inadequate to review restaurants properly. So here they are: beans, mushrooms, bananas, olives, and pickles.

Eat Like a Local: Sacramento CA List 
Best White Tablecloth: Ella
Best Dive Bar: Old Ironsides
Best Coffee Shop: Chocolate Fish
Best Date Spot: Shady Lady
Best Hungover Brunch: Alonzo’s
Best Ethnic Eats: Quan Nem Ninh Hoa
Best Lunch: Mother
Best Beer Garden: Low Brau

Eat Like a Local: By a Local (Me, duh) 
Best White Tablecloth: Mulvaney's B & L  
I've been here a handful of times and every single time their service is beyond spectacular. They are small in nature (seating), source all local and fresh everything, and their service is on point and genuine. They did have a health scare, but I'd still chose them over Ella in a heart beat.

Best Dive Bar: Pine Cove Tavern
Maybe it's my generation of Sacramentens, but back in my hay day, this was the spot. You could come in flip flops and shorts, get your drank on and karaoke. The had some suspect popcorn if you needed to sober up a bit. They also had a liquor store down below and a hot dog car outside, for post bar treats (if that's your thing). There used to be a line to get in and it was the funnest, low key dive bar on the grid. It was hipster, before hipster was cool. 

Best Coffee Shop: Old Soul at the Weatherstone  
By far the best coffee, vibe, and goods on the grid. Love their pour over coffee (can't remember the damn name) and more recently they had fresh lavender lemonade, game over!

Best Date Spot: Ten22  
For so many reasons. It can be a good place for a relaxed HH date, an average date night, a super romantical date night where you get a seat near the kitchen (just the two of you) and interact with the chef's if that's your thing. No pressure to be overly dress, but if you are it is okay. There is valet parking in a rather congested cluster F that is old sac. The food is amazing and their bar is fully equipped with some talented bartenders.

Best Hungover Brunch: Cafeteria 15 L  
From chicken fried steak to endless mimosa's, they have the most savory food to soak up any alcohol that may reside in your stomach, if you haven't puked it all out already. They even offer their regular item menus, if mac-n-cheese is your brunch item of choice!

Best Ethnic Eats: Nathans Chinese Cuisine  
It's off the grid, in Elk Grove but it's worth the drive. This nomination is hard, because there are so many good different ethnic places in town: Mexican, Turkish, Greek, etc. But I do love coming here, nothing fancy about it and a very traditional Chinese food, but so delicious. If Chinese isn't your thing, then I'll give you my other nominations...just ask ;)

Best Lunch: Dad's Sandwiches on S 
I am completely obsessed with the Besto Pesto, but coming close in second is the Hot Blonde. Their BLT is on point, as are a slew of their sandos. They have the sando game on lock on the grid!

Best Beer Garden: Pangaea Bier Cafe (or The Shack )
I don't really care for beer, so I'm relaying on Haley for her response (verbatim): Shack usually has better beer but Pangea got a new chef and their food is amazing

This is how a local, grid kid actually eats in Sacramento...

How do you eat as a Local?

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