Yelp has become a trusted source when you are searching for a reliable car repairman, a popular coffee shop, and quite commonly, a restaurant you have yet to try. Getting the inside scoop from fellow members of the community, well-versed travelers and expert foodies is a valuable resource when deciding where to spend both your money and your evening.
With so many well-respected restaurants in and around Sacramento, it is hard to narrow down a list of just 10 eateries. That’s why we turned to Yelp to hear what people are saying about some of the most loved and renowned restaurants in town.
1. The Kitchen Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of The Kitchen
It’s no surprise to see The Kitchen in the number one spot on this list. Dining at this farm-to-fork eatery (the first to emphasize farm-to-fork in Sacramento, might we add!) is a pleasantly overwhelming and almost euphoric experience. Set aside an entire night, as there are six expertly prepared courses and even an intermission, where you are invited to mingle with chefs and even try more food. So come hungry! And leave completely satisfied.
From Yelp User Mindy G.: This was a dining experience that I will never forget. I think we must have had the best seats in the house, because we were right in the middle of all of the action. We got to see the chef plating all of these masterfully created dishes. There was such love and detail put into every plate. I felt truly spoiled from the moment I walked into the moment I walked out.
2. Mulvaney’s B&L
Photo Courtesy of Mulvaney’s B&L
Mulvaney’s B&L specializes in New American cuisine, serving up some of the most delicious and farm-fresh dishes this city has to offer. Owners Patrick and Bobbin Mulvaney have poured their heart and soul into this restaurant, truly connecting with local growers, ranchers, brewers and winemakers who have become friends — in addition to their restaurant guests! Many Yelp users recommend Mulvaney’s B&L for a special occasion, such as a birthday, anniversary, or just a memorable date night. Most also recommend making a reservation in advance, as the wait can be long due to the restaurant’s popularity. You might also Uber or Lyft to Mulvaney’s, as parking downtown can be difficult.
From Yelp User Lauren S.: 100% farm to fork. The staff here have been around for years, it is like a family. We love the owner, he is always around in his cooking scrubs. Love the vibe and culture and of course the food and drinks are top notch! As a side note, my husband and I met the owner at the State Fair in the agricultural section in 2010. He was doing a cooking class. I still use the two recipes he made to this day.
3. The Firehouse Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of 3fold Photography via The Firehouse Restaurant
There is something extra meaningful about enjoying modern food in a beautiful historic setting. The attentive and hospitable staff members, relaxed ambiance with peaceful music, and gorgeous venue (especially on the enchanting outdoor courtyard) make dinner at The Firehouse Restaurant even better. Not to mention, the creative plates and drinks have Yelp reviewers raving. They appreciate the fact that the servers at The Firehouse are more than happy to walk you through their sophisticated menu and answer any questions you might have throughout the evening.
From Yelp User Jack D.: I have great childhood memories at The Firehouse. I remember coming here with my father when I was just a kid, sitting in the patio on warm Sacramento summer evenings, back then food and service were outstanding, and still is. I have never had a mediocre experience here, nor should anyone, attention to detail is paramount, service is flawless, and food is delicious. I can assure you you will remember your Firehouse visit for decades to come.
4. Station 16
Photo Courtesy of Station 16
Station 16 is a fairly new Midtown seafood hotspot with a fresh raw oyster bar, private dining room, full bar and an outside patio area. The modern industrial interior is the perfect environment to enjoy their fresh and sustainable seafood, including their specialty — garlic-roasted seafood served on cast iron skillets. Plus, many Yelp users steer readers in the direction of the delicious lobster mac!
From Yelp User Carol P.: After just one visit, this is easily one of my new favorite restaurants in Sacramento! Everything we tried was so good that it makes me want to try everything else on the menu. We managed to make it to happy hour and were seated in a booth right away. Their happy hour menu has a great selection of appetizers and is extremely affordably priced at only $6.
Photo Courtesy of Moxie
As stated on their website, “Moxie is not for everyone, but I am sure it is the perfect place for you”. Moxie effortlessly combines the casual feel of a neighborhood eatery with a classically elegant setting. People are raving about the crab cakes, but anything on the menu is worth trying. Moxie serves anything that runs, swims or flies, and that includes an array of courses such as salmon, halibut, ahi, scallops, beef, lamb and much more.
From Yelp User Kali D.: Oh Moxie how I love thee… Our waiter was the charismatic hilarious owner. He advised us of the menu, then went into a hilarious commentary of the specials. Literally there was at least eight seafood/fish specials on top of other lamb and beef specials. They all sounded wonderful and I think it took us 20 minutes to decide what entrée we were going to have because of so many options.
Localis is a superb dining destination in Midtown serving artfully prepared, beautifully presented food full of flavor and the freshest ingredients. Many Yelp users reference the way they were sincerely welcomed by the folks at Localis, whether it was the host, server, chef or sous chef. (In fact, one Yelp user made note that three of those four had the name Chris!) Many call Chef Chris by name, as they were able to meet him and even watch him perform culinary magic in front of their very eyes. In fact, guests have the option to enjoy the tasting menu at the Chef’s Counter or choose from the à la carte menu.
From Yelp User Eric F.: Localis was on the radar for quite some time and the chef knocked it out of the park for our early Valentine’s Day dinner. While the a la carte menu already had a number of tasty items, the tasting menu included a slew of entirely different dishes that all sounded very promising. Overall, the finesse behind each dish was exceptional and certainly on a different level than just about every other modern American establishment in Sacramento. An excellent dinner spot for a special occasion and I expect their HH will be just as great.
7. Heat Shabu Baru
Photo Courtesy of Heat Shabu Baru
As lovers of DIY projects for the home, we think this DIY eatery provides a refreshing change of pace. Heat Shabu Baru is an interactive dining experience, as you watch thinly sliced raw meats, seafood and vegetables cook on a tabletop stove right in front of you. Then dip your freshly cooked morsels into a flavorful sauce for an extra kick! Whatever they ordered, Yelp users were fond of the overall experience, upbeat atmosphere, and perhaps most importantly, the exceptional food.
From Yelp User Vanessa L.: Perfect food for a rainy and cold day. They have different broths and meats to choose from and it always comes with a side of veggies, noodles, rice, dipping sauces, and ice cream at the end of your dinner! The service here was excellent as well. Our waiter was attentive and got everything we asked for.
8. The Waterboy
Photo Courtesy of The Waterboy
For over 20 years now, The Waterboy has been a neighborhood favorite for Midtown residents and those in surrounding areas. Their fresh, seasonal menu is inspired primarily by the beautiful cuisines of Northern Italy and Southern France. Yelp users especially appreciate the bright and comfortable interior, the delectable and inspired plates, and the delicious cocktails and vast wine selection. They just warn you to plan ahead with parking!
From Yelp User Thomas S.: At Waterboy for our 28th Wedding Anniversary this past Saturday night. We asked for and received a great center table and had always excellent server Andrew. We ordered a bottle of the 2010 Adamvs (Napa) Cabernet, which was excellent especially after Andrew decanted it. My wife had a delicious butter lettuce salad and the coq au vin which she loved. I started with their great beef tartare, shifted to an amazing Caesar with white anchovies, and really enjoyed mesquite grilled leg of lamb.
Photo Courtesy of Bandera
Bandera is a cozy restaurant in Arden-Arcade with a dimly lit and comfortable interior. Their signature dishes include the butternut squash enchilada with Kobe-style tri tip, Macho Salad, and their house-made Oreo ice cream sandwiches. Settle in to enjoy delicious and hearty plates prepared with slow-roasting techniques on a wood-fire rotisserie. People from near and far love Bandera for both the pleasant atmosphere and wonderful plates. In fact, one user who lives in Galt says she visits Bandera at least once a month, despite the 25-30 minute drive!
From Yelp User Cynthia A.: Loved it, from the atmosphere, to the people and of course the amazing food. I ordered a medium well USDA prime fillet, it literally melted in my mouth, so beyond tasty! And the mashed potatoes on the side were delicious as well. It also comes with broccoli, which doesn’t fall behind. Can’t wait to be back!
10. Cafeteria 15L
Photo Courtesy of Cafeteria 15L
Cafeteria 15L gets a lot of attention on our blog, in addition to praises throughout the city. But for good reason! This eclectic and contemporary eatery serves some of the best New American dishes around. Whether you’re visiting for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or just for a few drinks — you will not be disappointed. Relax on one of their two plush outdoor patios during warm summer nights or enjoy the industrial and whimsical interior while you take in the flavors and overwhelming hospitality of Cafeteria 15L.
From Yelp User Lisa R.: Amazing service, amazing food! Our server Amanda was very attentive even though we were there during a very busy time. The mushroom bruschetta is very rich and flavorful, I ordered the beet salad without the cheese and didn’t feel like I was missing a thing. The mix of beets, pomegranates, and pistachios was a delicious flavor combination. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone in the Sacramento area.