Downtown and the Best of Farm to Fork

You probably know that Sacramento is the capital of Farm to Fork around the world. Well, the downtown Sacramento restaurants are the headquarters of that capital.

Sacramento’s not an up and coming foodie city, we’ve already arrived. Don’t take our word for it – the New York Times, Washington Post and Sunset Magazine agree. Here’s our list, in no particular order, of the Top 10 Farm-to-Fork Restaurants in Downtown Sacramento (and just a little beyond)

Magpie Cafe
1601 16th St
(916) 452-7594

So many people swear by the chicken dish – which involves a whole chicken, minus wings, with the breast pan roasted and dark meat cooked confit-style, in duck fat. It was sublime, with light and dark meat equally tender.
– Carla Meyer, Sacramento Bee

1719 34th St
East Sacramento
(916) 469-2433

This casual spot is one of the city’s hottest new dining destinations. Chef Brad Cecchi, who earned a Michelin star while at Calistoga’s Solbar, works with local farmers and ranchers to serve an eclectic menu of small plates that range from chicken drumsticks to flat iron steak.
– Sam Boynkin, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

The Firehouse Restaurant
1112 2nd St
Old Sacramento
(916) 442-4772

The service is impeccable. Entremets (generally a small sorbet that cleanses the palate between courses) are served, and they added such a lovely touch to the entire experience. Then the entree arrived. It was presented like the prom queen being crowned at a dance. I could almost hear the oooh’s and ahhhh’s from the other diners. It was poetry in motion. The first cut, was like slicing into french butter. Soft, and just ohhhhh so good! The crust was flaky, the meat was tender, and the light sauce had tasty mushrooms that enhanced an already magnificent meat.
– Darci K, Yelp Elite

Grange Restaurant
926 J Street
(916) 492-4450

The Dixon Lamb Ragout was an excellent dish. The featured pasta is called a hankerchief pasta because it starts as a flat sheet and is folded over many times like a hankerchief. A generous portion, the dish featured nuanced and complex flavors topped with sweet peppers. I especially liked the contrast between the ricotta cheese and the savory sauce. I don’t recall ever having this type of pasta. Definitely worth a try.
– Darrel, Cowtown Eats

Ella Dining Room and Bar
1131 K St
(916) 443-3772

The menu is designed to please both politicians and visitors. At lunch there’s a very good fried chicken served with a chile sauce and lemon wedges; fish tacos; chef’s salad; Reuben sandwich; pan-roasted salmon and flatiron steak salad. At dinner the menu expands to include such items as Thai spiced lobster, seared scallops with mushrooms and wood-fired pork chop with rosemary grits.
– Michael Bauer, SFGate

Tiger Bar & Restaurant
722 K St
(916) 382-9610

Tiger, the bar/restaurant that opened in November just steps from Golden 1 Center, is on a roll—literally. Many of the noshes on the eclectic menu arrive tableside on a dim sum-style cart, allowing diners to choose from a rotating selection of small plates with culinary origins that span the globe.Upon each visit, the cart offers something a little different, from pickled deviled eggs to Thai fried peanuts to an avocado piled high with shrimp salad. The remainder of Tiger’s menu—most of it composed of small bites, many of them sharable—is made to order.
– Catherine Warmerdam, Sacramento Magazine

1023 K Street
(916) 594-9812

Vegetarians are at the top of the food chain at Mother, a K-Street institution that produces some of the most craveable vegetarian food in the area, though omnivores are also known to favor chef Michael Thiemann’s flavorful menu and chill atmosphere. The chicken-fried mushrooms are a perennial favorite, but throw them into a handmade roll with aioli, hot sauce, iceberg lettuce, and freshly made pickles, and it becomes the Mother po’boy sandwich, the most memorably meaty vegetarian sandwich in the capital.
– Stephanie Stiavetti, SF Eater

1501 14th St
(916) 942-9599

We had excellent food & service. We had a stone-cooked Pizzetta with Fontina Cream, asparagus, zucchini, copa and spring onion to start. This was excellent and we’re pretty picky with our own wood-fired pizza oven at home. My wife was enthusiastic about her salmon and I couldn’t finish all my delicious Jäger schnitzel.
– BNI, Chowhound

Hawks Public House
1525 Alhambra Blvd
(916) 588-4440

Our mouths were watering for fried chicken and Hawks delivered. Tasty, crispy and not greasy. They use quality chicken. No “Colonel” here. The mashed potatoes were to die for – decadent, so much butter, so much cream – yum. Great cocktails, great vibe.
– Grammy69, Trip Advisor

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company
1630 S St
(916) 442-4885

Inside an industrial rustic space, bridging Sacramento’s past with the present, this Midtown eatery creates simple comfort food from Californian grown or raised bounty. Led by executive chef Brian Mizner, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company’s rotating seasonal menu gets pretty creative with housemade sausages and pastas and a daily burger special that’s always changing. Pizzas, too, are invigorated with topping combinations that go beyond the usual parlor fare. For example, the House Made Chorizo & Egg pizza places Yukon potatoes with gypsy peppers, cherry tomatoes and cilantro. Like its overall adjusting menu, pie selections can vary.
– Michelle Herman, Paste Magazine

Julie Gallaher

Sacramento is my town! During my 25 year+ career in marketing & advertising, I've worked with over a thousand local Sacramento businesses. I'm happy to share my favorites with you.