california, travel, Uncategorized

Ten Places to Eat and Drink in Sacramento, CA

Its my hometown, its where I lived the first twenty-one years of my life. Its not exactly a tourist destination, especially when you have Lake Tahoe and San Francisco so close. Growing up, and especially in High school and college I wouldn’t say there was a lot of places to hang out. Going downtown wasn’t the easiest thing to do and the nightlife in the burbs wasn’t great. There’s a lot of cool stuff downtown and it wasn’t as bad to go downtown as I remember.  So, on the off change you get to make the trek through the State Capital I put together a list of some of my favorite places to eat, drink and be merry in Sacramento {a little bit of the burbs and a little bit of the city!}. You just might learn to love this little slice of the Sunshine State, where the weather is mild almost 365 days a year, there’s not a ton of fog, you never really feel the earthquakes and you are two hours to the mountains or the beach!

Hook and Ladder ~ 1630 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811

The name Hook and Ladder pays homage to Sacramento’s history and the Hook and Ladder brigade that worked hard to same Sacramento during the 1850s, and a series of fires that almost destroyed the city. Combine that with Sac Town’s rough start when it came to flooding, she’s a tough city. H&L embraces the city with his historic building, and its menu full of local breweries, winery’s, ranches and farms. The outdoor patio is so nice to sit on, or you can opt for the twinkle lights and soft pinks inside. Ether one is a fantastic vibe. If you go you have to get the Chicken AND the drink for two, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Pineapple. Yummy! But H&L is more than a place to eat! They have a cocktail academy which a friend of mine says is pretty cool. So check that out on their website as well. Visiting Hook & Ladder is a wonderful window into the direction that Sacramento has taken with their dining options, focusing on a very local and farm to table vibe. You’ll find that, and more, here!

 

The Shady Lady Saloon ~1409 R St, Sacramento, CA 95811

Be advised that the tables are for those eating only, and it can get quite busy! But its a place to you should hit when visiting Sacramento. There’s a reason Esquire Magazine named it one of the top 25 bars in America. Its got a really cool vibe, full speakeasy feeling, but no need for special knocks or secret passwords. The ceiling was my favorite part of the decor, but I’m a sucker for a good tin ceiling. Also, the cocktail list is pretty cool. A plethora of uniquely titled drinks like the Galaxy’s Edge and The Flying Dutchman, with fresh ingredients that one has to try “for science”. Your dapperly dressed, or Victorian-inspired, bartenders can also whip up anything you want if you describe what you like (like my adorable mom who almost never drinks). It is in a great part of town, with cool murals and other bars to choose from, a perfect addition to a your night out list. You can also get brunch here, although with lunch and dinner, plus they have evenings with live music! It’s a unique little place.

 

Rick’s Dessert Diner ~ 2401 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816

Another on the list of “Must See Sacramento” is Rick’s Dessert Diner. Serving the best desserts in Sacramento since 1986, Rick’s Is THE place to go! All of the dessert are made fresh daily, and my mom and I fought over the last piece of lemon meringue. There WILL be a line and what you think you might want might be gone when you get up to the front, but you’ll have plenty of time to check out the case as you wait. My advice to you is ride the wave and please be kind to those behind the counter. I couldn’t believe how much grief and sassiness they were given. I thanked them and they were really appreciative. What do people expect with a place to busy? But think Seinfeld Soup Nazi. Don’t hold the line up with your indecisiveness…however at Rick’s they’ll serve it to you even if you can’t decide. Rick’s has indoor and outdoor seating and a great cup of diner coffee! I had one of the best Key Lime Pie slices I’ve ever had. You will definitely enjoy your visit.

If you love Rick’s that much and you happen to live locally, Rick’s also does specialty cakes and Wedding cakes!!

The Original Mel’s Diner {Home of American Graffiti}

From its origins in San Francisco in 1947, Mel’s is an American Classic. Mel’s is also a bit famous for having appeared in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and the tv show Alice, but most familiar is its feature in American Graffiti! You can now visit Mel’s in 22 locations in Northern California and Nevada.

While Mel’s isn’t something super fancy, it has its nostalgic and old Hollywood feel, a really good Cherry coke with the syrup in it and not flavoring, and a yummy loaded french fry. Their breakfast all day is top notch and Mel’s has been feeding me and my friends since high school. Many an after prom/dance was had at Mel’s and there are so many good memories. Bring the quarters for the juke box and enjoy the memorabilia and fun neon.

Carmelita’s ~ 4071 Howard St, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Nestled on the outskirts of Old Town Fair Oaks is Carmelita’s, a Sacramento area staple since 1962. The second location, the one in Old Fair Oaks, was opened in the late 1980s and they are still serving Mexican food right from Grandma Carmelita’s recipes. It’s yummy, authentic and with something for everyone. They have a great enchilada, and tostada, which is my favorite. And the bar makes a super yummy margarita. It’s always busy, and you may have to wait, but trust me its worth it! After you eat, or before, spend some time walking the streets of sweet old town Fair Oaks, my true hometown, that has a sweet place in my heart. Keep your eyes out for the chickens and roosters because there will be plenty. They’ve been living there for my whole life AND my dad’s! Yes, second generation Old Fair Oaks!!! Its in my blood.

In and Out

If you’ve never been to the West Coast – or Texas – then you’ve never had In N Out, but you’ve probably heard of it. You probably have heard the debates – Five Guys, In N Out, WhatAburger. Depending on where you’re from the debate can get pretty heated. I’ve had them all, and currently am living without my beloved In-N-Out, but whenever I go home, or travel anywhere near one you can be sure I’m paying SEVERAL visits. I like my fries extra crispy and my burger plain. You really can’t beat the price, the simplicity of the menu and the fact that you can taste the freshness in their never frozen products. Its good stuff, I love it, and you really can’t convince me otherwise. In 15 days I had it seven times! It’s been two years since I’ve had it and it will likely be a little while since I’ll have it again, but to you In N Out I’ll always be true, no matter what side of the US I’m living on.

Bar 101 – 101 Main St, Roseville, CA 95678

Local bar in the older part of Roseville. It has live music and tons of seating inside and out. We opted for the pool table, which there is only one. Great servers and the live cover band was stellar! Its a chill, everybody knows your name type of feel. And if Bar 101 isn’t your cup of tea don’t worry, you’ve actually arrived in some sort of positive Bermuda triangle, because every awesome bar in Roseville just happense to be on this one corner so have a good night bar hopping!

 

Punch Bowl Social

For a more one stop shop, younger group, check out Punch Bowl Social. We visited the one located in Downtown Sacramento near the newly renovated Capitol One Center, Punch Bowl Social is literally serving up Punch Bowl’s of drinks for you and your friends. Full bar, open seating, full menu. You can also venture off into some more quieter areas for eating that are separate from the louder bar AND you can go bowling on several mini-lanes and rent the pool table for an hour or two. They also have board games, a huge connect four and a scrabble you play with giant magnets on the wall. Its a really fun place for spending the evening relaxing with friends without having to change locations. We had a ton of fun. If you aren’t in Sacramento check out Punch Bowl’s website because they lots of locations in 13 states including several in Texas, California, Ohio and Wisconsin! See if there’s on near you!!

Other favorite bars – Player’s Club – if you love Billards check out player’s club. No frills, good drinks and tons of pool tables. Check the locations, because there two! The smaller one up on Fair Oaks Blvd (9729 Fair Oaks Blvd)has like 10 tables, plus darts and ski ball! Its alot of fun.

Sully’s Bar & Grill – 4451 Pacific St, Rocklin, CA 95677 – Located in an out of the way area of Rocklin is Sully’s. Another no-frills bar with great service, a handful of pool tables, darts, modern day juke box music and indoor/outdoor seating.

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