The 12 Best Restaurants in Sacramento’s Midtown Neighborhood
Midtown is undoubtedly one of Sacramento’s hippest neighborhoods. Featuring picturesque tree-lined streets, beautiful Victorian-style homes, and community gardens, the neighborhood is known for being one of the top neighborhoods in the area for young professionals, as well as one of the most pedestrian-friendly. Of course, one of the reasons this area is so popular is the abundance of top-notch, trendy and award-winning eateries!
We rounded up 12 of our absolute favorites that every Sactown local should have on his or her list. All of these restaurants celebrate local flavors and sustainability (this is the farm-to-fork capital of the world, after all), and offer fun, friendly atmospheres — the likes of which can only be found in California. Enjoy!
Cheese and charcuterie | 1801 L Street, Suite 40, Sacramento
Photo courtesy of The Rind
The Rind is a cheese-centric space in the heart of Midtown. Here, cheese-lovers will find solace perusing the vast selection of artisanal varieties, from buttery to blue and from nutty to pungent. Pair your choice with a selection from the carefully curated beer and wine menu. If you’re still hungry, the restaurant also serves up fancy grilled cheese sandwiches and melt-in-your-mouth macaroni and cheese.
The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar
Farm-to-fork fare and inventive cocktails | 2718 J Street, Sacramento
Photo courtesy of the Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar
With exposed brick walls, an open industrial-style layout and interesting light fixtures, the space alone is enough to draw us to The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar. But, of course, that’s only half of it! Here, you’ll find inventive dishes featuring flavors from the Sacramento Valley, cocktails with house-made syrups and fresh herbs and juices, a smart lineup of California wines and six taps pouring craft beer. And if the menu isn’t enough to convince you that the staff here loves to support local business, take a look at the prints and designs featured throughout the restaurant — yep, Sacramento-based artists.
Chef-driven Italian | 2801 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento
Biba isn’t just a local restaurant, it’s a neighborhood staple. The restaurant has been open since 1986, and is run by highly-successful chef Biba Caggiano, who has won countless awards and authored nine best-selling cookbooks. In fact, Biba is one of the top six most influential female chefs in the Sacramento area! Come get a taste of her incredible, chef-driven Italian cooking in the Biba dining room.
Farm-to-fork fare | 1215 19th Street, Sacramento
Photo courtesy of Mulvaney’s B&L
The menu at Mulvaney’s B&L changes daily to keep pace with the local bounty and seasonal produce. Everything used in the restaurant is sourced from farmers and purveyors from the Sacramento Valley, from the coffee all the way to the caviar. The restaurant is set in a historic nineteenth-century firehouse, and the space still boast original brick walls and soaring ceilings. The name B&L actually stands for Building and Loan, which is inspired by the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life. In the spirit of the film, the owners built Mulvaney’s B&L as a neighborhood gathering place and a spot to celebrate all things wonderful in life — especially good food!
Beer and German fare | 2332 K Street, Sacramento
For great German beer, wurst, pretzels and lots of camaraderie, locals flock to Der Biergarten. You’ll find 32 beers on draft and sausages brought in fresh from a local butcher! Enjoy these indoors our out at the traditional Biergarten tables that were shipped straight from Germany. While you’re sipping, engage your friends in a game of corn hole, foosball or ping pong!
Globally inspired vegetarian | 2431 J Street, 2nd Floor, Sacramento
Photo courtesy of VEG
If you thought vegetarian fare was bland, think again. VEG serves up globally inspired, flavorful and completely meatless meals for lunch, dinner and brunch, as well as an impressive lineup of coffee, tea and libations. The menu changes frequently depending on seasonality, but you’ll find offerings like curry bowls, falafel burgers and savory crepes! The restaurant is set on the second floor of a gorgeous Victorian-style building (above Thai Basil), and boasts a light, airy space and a large window that is ideal for people watching as you enjoy your meal!
Devine Gelateria & Cafe
Ice cream and baked goods | 1221 19th Street, Sacramento
We couldn’t leave dessert off the list! Devine Gelato is one of our favorite spots to go when we’re screaming for ice cream. The shop makes its gelato and sorbetto fresh every morning, and everything from the milk to the fruit is sourced from local farmers. If an ingredient can’t be found locally, the team scours the world to find the highest quality option! The chocolate, for instance, comes from family-owned business based in Italy that has been making chocolate for more than 60 years. This attention to detail and quality ingredients results in a mouthwatering treat that will bring you back time after time.
Farm-to-fork fare | 2031 S Street, Sacramento
Photo courtesy of Localis
Anyone who tries Chef Christopher Barnum’s dishes immediately ranks Localis among his or her favorite restaurants, in fact, we think it’s one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in town. The restaurant’s mission is to give visitors the best dining experience possible by celebrating fresh ingredients and local flavors! To get a little sample of everything, opt for the tasting menu at the chef’s counter. You can snag five beautiful and delicious courses for $79, all of which will showcase the season’s best from the first bite all the way to dessert.
Midtown’s Cantina Alley
Mexican street food | 2320 Jazz Alley, Sacramento
Taco Tuesdays (and all of the other days of the week) are best spent at Cantina Alley. The trendy hotspot opened recently (summer 2017) and serves up authentic Mexican street food on its sunny, outdoor patio. Enjoy baja fish tacos, taquitos, elotes, sopes, churros and more alongside an impressive lineup of cocktails! Down to the last piece of artwork, everything here is designed to celebrate the vibrant traditions of Mexico.
Japanese | 2319 K Street, Sacramento
This hip, Japanese gastropub might be too cool for school, but luckily the name isn’t inspired by the classroom. It’s actually based off of the name for a group of fish, which is appropriate, because the menu is very fish-centric! Here you’ll find fresh oysters on the half shell, sashimi, sushi, Japanese comfort foods and so much more. Accompany your meal choice with a craft cocktail or glass of sake, and enjoy it all in the chic space! And if you choose to come for brunch, you’ll enjoy oyster specials, breakfast udon and bottomless mimosas.
Seasonal, French and Italian-inspired cuisine | 2000 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento
Photo courtesy of the Waterboy Restaurant
For tasty, French and Italian-inspired cuisine crafted with high-quality ingredients, look no further than the Waterboy. Chef and owned Rich Mahan has been cooking since he was 16 years old, and his experience shows through in his flavorful cuisine. As is the trend in the farm-to-fork capital of the world, the menu changes to reflect seasonal ingredients, but you can expect to find items like beef tartare, cioppino, oysters on the half shell, charcuterie boards and more!
The Press Bistro
Farm-to-fork fare | 1809 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento
Farm-to-fork is the name of the game at The Press Bistro, where locally sourced ingredients are used to craft inventive tapas, fresh salads, hearty entrées and flavorful cocktails. Regardless of if you’re stopping in for a quick bite and drink with friends or settling in for date night, the menu showcases the richness and diversity of the Sacramento valley.
Enjoy your meal!
What are some of your favorite Midtown spots? Share them with us in the comments!
Category Neighborhood Guides, Sacramento
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.