Sacramento might be best known for its Gold Rush history and many museums and monuments, but to those in-the-know, the city’s food scene is a big draw. In fact, many call it the fork-to-table capital of America. Enjoying the town’s delicious eats is also a great way to learn about the city’s history.
Over years of visiting the California capital to visit friends, I’ve developed a huge list of favorite spots. I also love to find out about the city’s evolving foodie scene through taking walking food tours and chatting with local chefs. Here are a few top spots, plus other ways to enjoy the city’s food scene.
It’s usually pleasant in Sacramento; you’ll want a raincoat with you from September to March and light clothing in the summertime.
If you only have time for one thing, make sure to take a walking tour to get a good overview of the food scene.
The day you arrive, take a food- and history-focused walking tour of downtown. You’ll get the lay of the land and also be able to note spots to come back to later.
Afterwards, take a stroll along the American River for a dose of nature and some fresh air, then enjoy a sunset cocktail cruise, where you can have a little dance to the onboard DJ’s tunes and watch the city light up.
Lastly, for dinner, dive into the farm-to-table scene with some modern comfort food; Q1227 in Roseville (a nearby suburb) is a good place to start.
On your second day, there’s more local history and food to check out, so head to the tree-lined Sutter District, which is full of both historically significant sites and restaurants.
Once you’ve gotten a great dose of history (and have a reasonably full belly), it’s time to take a cooking class. A Sardinian-American chef offers classes that will show you how to use local ingredients to make Italian specialties.
If you still have time for a sweet treat, make your way to Vic’s Ice Cream, a family-run place that has been serving since 1947.
For your last day, head out of town for a day in wine country; Napa is only an hour away. Hire a driver and do some tastings mid-morning, then pick out some bottles to take home.
After your drive back, stretch your legs and have a little competitive fun by doing a scavenger hunt through the city with your friends.
By the time you’re finished, you’ll be ready to treat yourself to a final meal at one of the loveliest restaurants in town, the Waterboy. Start with local oysters and indulge in Italian-inspired fare to cap off your trip.