15 Restaurants in Sacramento That Don’t Take Reservations
Come Friday night, many of Sacramento’s finest eateries are bustling with people, most of whom made a reservation in advance. So if you didn’t, you are often out of luck when trying to snag a seat.
Did you forget to make a reservation? No sweat. The following restaurants in Sacramento don’t take reservations, which means you can avoid the possibility of a fully booked restaurant and you may be able to sit down and order right away. Or worst case scenario, you might be able to put your name in and take a stroll around the neighborhood or grab a drink at the bar while you wait for your table.
Whether you’re hosting out-of-town guests, planning a date night or you simply want to dine out for the evening, there is still hope — even if you didn’t plan ahead.
Many Locations (Roseville, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Arden Fair, Elk Grove, Midtown, Davis + Concord)
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sykes Photography via Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
One of our favorite award-winning restaurants in Sacramento is Mikuni Sushi, a laid-back sushi restaurant with several locations in the region, including Davis, Arden Fair, Elk Grove, Roseville, Fair Oaks and Midtown. Order appetizers and a selection of rolls to share as a table, or consider ordering from their $45 menu for two, where you can select from their most popular dishes to create your own personalized four-course meal. With a moderate price point, Mikuni is suitable for both a date night and when you have the kids in tow. NOTE: Mikuni takes reservations for those at the Mikuni Hoshi membership status, offered by invitation only to upper-level Koki Club tier members.
Counter-serve eateries are a great choice when dining without a reservation. Origami Asian Grill is a relatively new fast casual spot in East Sacramento that draws inspiration from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai cultures to create a unique modern Asian fusion concept. They serve a variety of innovative dishes, including ramen, rice bowls, sandwiches and salads made with your choice of protein. Through utilizing local ingredients at their peak of quality and flavor, this laid-back yet refined eatery proves that affordable food can still be healthful, hyper-seasonal and progressive.
A casual pub environment is a great option when you didn’t make a reservation anywhere. Ever since they opened their doors in Arden-Arcade in 2017, Serpentine Fox Prohibition Grille has been wowing guests with their handcrafted cocktails and flavorful menu focused on burgers. They are paving the way for a modern Prohibition Era, where trendsetters seek out exceptional forms of food, drinks and entertainment. With lots of TVs and industrial decor, Serpentine Fox is a fun and laid-back place to be!
Photo Courtesy of Pushkin’s Restaurant
If you’re gluten-free, it’s likely you are well-acquainted with Pushkin’s, an exclusively gluten-free eatery in the heart of Midtown. Pushkin’s is also one of our favorite weekday brunch spots in town! Their brunch menu includes an array of options, including baked goods, main egg-centric dishes, sandwiches, salads and bowls. Pushkin’s also has a robust drink menu, including non-alcoholic options like tea, juice and coffee, in addition to signature cocktails, wine, cider, and of course, mimosas available by the glass or carafe. Vegans will love the completely vegan brunch menu at Pushkin’s, with baked goods, plates, sandwiches, salads and bowls. There are so many options at Pushkin’s! But there are two things you won’t find here: gluten and reservations.
Land Park: 915 Broadway, Sacramento
East Sacramento: 5340 H Street, Sacramento
El Dorado Hills: 4370 Town Center Boulevard #120, El Dorado Hills
From the renowned Selland Family, Sellands’ Market Cafe is a casual eatery, full-service bakery and a wine shop with three locations in the region — in East Sacramento, El Dorado Hills and Land Park. The cafe menu includes a variety of options, including entrees, sides, sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza, complemented by a wonderful drink selection. With each of their restaurant concepts, the Selland Family is committed to the community and the principles of farm-to-fork cuisine, which includes sourcing high-quality ingredients locally. Every week, Selland’s offers a $25 dinner for two special served with a select bottle of wine. The special is available Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to close, for dine-in or take-out.
Sacramento: 1409 R Street #105, Sacramento
West Sacramento: 317 3rd Street, West Sacramento
Davis: 403 3rd Street, Davis
As you can probably gather from the name, Burger and Brew is an excellent place to grab a hearty burger and a cold one. Founded over 10 years ago, Burgers and Brew was created by two brothers who wanted craft beer and a solid burger made with 100 percent Niman Ranch meats and the freshest ingredients. With four locations in the region and two more on the way, Burgers and Brew has over 25 tasty burgers and over 30 taps of craft beer.
Photo Courtesy of South
The husband and wife team behind South, N’Gina and Ian Kavookjian, is one of our favorite power couples in Sacramento! In late 2014, the couple opened South, a contemporary Southern eatery, in a former Chinese grocery store in the Southside Park neighborhood. The menu includes traditional family food that is heavy on seasonal vegetables and driven by historical inspiration. They don’t claim to reinvent the wheel when it comes to good, old-fashioned comfort food; they simply aim to express 200 years of family history on a 12-inch plate. This small no-reservation restaurant requires guests to order at the counter before taking a table, which enhances the laid-back Southern vibe of this neighborhood hotspot.
Mendocino Farms is a chef-driven, farm-to-table counter-serve eatery serving a delicious array of sandwiches and salads made with premium, locally sourced ingredients. Since 2005, the restaurant has been a favorite in Southern California, and has since expanded to Northern California with four new locations in the Bay Area. Most recently, Mendocino Farms opened a new location at the Ice Blocks in Midtown! This is a particularly exciting opening for the team, as co-founder Mario Del Pero grew up in the Sacramento area, originally hailing from Yuba City. This feels like a homecoming for Del Pero, who attributes the inspiration for the restaurant concept to the farm-to-fork atmosphere of the Sacramento region.
The Bank is a new and exciting culinary concourse in downtown Sacramento perfect for when you forgot to make a reservation but you’re searching for a bite to eat or a drink. This historic building is home to a handful of casual eateries, a coffee shop, cocktail bars, a beer “vault” and several event spaces. While many of the tenants in The Bank are no stranger to the city, Poke Bros is a brand new eatery. Build your own poke bowls at this casual and modern spot, or opt for a comforting miso soup, spam musubi or a sushi roll. Learn more about The Bank, downtown Sacramento’s new culinary concourse.
Photo Courtesy of Tiger
Because of its unique ordering procedure, Tiger is one of the best options for quick no-reservation service in the heart of downtown. At Tiger, guests pluck their craft beverages and New American eats off wheeled carts, dim sum style. This is an excellent setup for those hoping to dine quickly, as a server arrives within minutes of your arrival with small, shareable plates and a selection of wine, beer and craft cocktails. Add in some neon, graffiti and exciting music, and you may just experience a sensory overload — but that is completely on purpose!
Downtown: 1431 R Street, Sacramento
Arden-Arcade: 515 Pavilions Lane, Sacramento
Davis: 234 D Street, Davis
From the Paragary Restaurant Group, Cafe Bernardo is a comfortable eatery inspired by the European tradition of cafe dining. So naturally, there are no reservations accepted at this popular lunch and dinner spot. With two locations in Sacramento and one in Davis, Cafe Bernardo has become a staple in the area’s dining scene. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, Cafe Bernardo has a little bit of everything — and a bright and vibrant space to enhance your experience.
Photo Courtesy of Masullo
Situated in the heart of Land Park, Masullo is an elevated Italian eatery specializing in Neapolitan-style pizza and other delicious dishes. The airy, minimalist interior creates a gorgeous atmosphere for enjoying their wood-fired pizza complemented by a beer or glass of wine. There are no reservations at this quaint restaurant, which makes this an excellent last-minute choice for lunch or dinner. Masullo also offers outdoor seating if the indoor tables are full and you wish to dine al fresco!
Reservations Accepted for Larger Parties Only:
Reservations for Parties of 6 or More Only
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. The Red Rabbit only accepts reservations for parties of six or more.
Reservations for Parties of 8 or More Only
Photo Courtesy of Federalist Public House
Federalist Public House & Beer Garden is a unique artisan pizza spot serving local brews and a menu with an intense farm-to-fork emphasis. Their interior is as inventive as their pies, as the building is made out of shipping containers and includes a bocce court for diners to enjoy before, during or after their meal. Enter into this laid-back atmosphere with long wooden tables and enjoy one of their creations, like The Capitol with crushed tomato, mozzarella, cremini mushrooms, pancetta and oregano. You can only make a reservation at the Federalist for groups of eight or more.
Reservations for Parties of 6 or More Only for Sunday Dinner to Friday Lunch
(Friday Dinner Through Sunday Brunch Excluded)
Situated near the historic Tower Theater along Broadway in Land Park, Tower Cafe is an iconic brunch, lunch and dinner destination. Owner James Seyman founded this worldly fusion eatery on Earth Day in 1990, with the intent of bringing the hearts, minds and appetites of the city’s diverse population under one roof. Enjoy specialties from across the globe at Tower Cafe, including their Famous French Toast, Piag’s Thai Steak, Jamaican Jerk Chicken and more. Tower Cafe only accepts reservations for parties of six or more from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch. And from Friday dinner through Sunday brunch, there are no reservations.
What no-reservation restaurants in Sacramento would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!