Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at These Old-School Mexican Restaurants in Sacramento
Artisanal tacos and craft cocktails are great, but sometimes all you want is three-item combo and a cold Tecate. Sacramento has plenty of no-frills Mexican restaurants, the kind of places with tiled floors, red pleather booths and maybe even a mariachi player with an embroidered sombrero. With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, say olé to these old-school Mexican restaurants in Sacramento.
4616 Franklin Blvd, Sacramento CA 95820 | Directions
With its colorful exterior and adobe tile roof, El Nov has been the go-to spot for authentic Mexican cuisine in Sacramento for nearly half a century. They have the classic tacos, burritos and enchiladas, but their specialty is roasted pork carnitas served with all the fixin’s.
5604 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento CA 95824 | Directions
In addition to the requisite combo plates, Caballo Blanco also has a large selection of seafood dishes, such as shrimp ranchero and fish in chipotle sauce. But it’s best known for its light, flaky and somewhat addictive flour tortilla chips.
135 Sunrise Ave., Roseville, CA 95678 | Directions
The toughest part about a meal at Lorenzo’s in Roseville is deciding what to get. Crispy taco and cheese enchilada? Chile relleno and bean burrito? Pork tamale and soft taco? You choose your items, they serve it up alongside a generous portion of refried beans and Spanish rice.
400 C St., West Sacramento, CA 95605 | Directions
Photo courtesy Sarah Stierch on Flickr
Sal’s is a West Sacramento hotspot for lunchtime diners who pop over the I Street bridge from downtown Sacramento for a quick meal. They offer burritos, tostadas and even burgers, but tacos are where it’s at. Choose from carne asada, chile verde or potato, and top it off with salsa from the serve-yourself salsa bar.
402 Natoma St., Folsom, CA 95630 | Directions
This off-the-beaten-path Mexican eatery in Folsom serves up traditional, no-fuss Mexican food. They have an entire section of egg dishes, such as huevos rancheros and chilaquiles, and their mole has a bit of a cult following. Friday nights, enjoy live music with your dinner.
564 Main St., Placerville, CA 95667 | Directions
Photo courtesy Tortilla Flats Cantina
In the heart of downtown Placerville, Tortilla Flats has all the Mexican staples in a quaint, historic setting. Start with a crispy four tortilla topped with gooey cheese, and move on to pork chile verde or chile Colorado. Finish with coconut flan or deep-fried ice cream.
Multiple locations in Auburn, Rocklin & Roseville
Café Delicias first opened its doors in 1965, so it’s as old-school as gets. Plus, they have locations in Auburn, Rocklin and Roseville. Portions are huge, whether you order the overflowing nachos, busting-at-the-seam burrito or the super tacos – so ginormous you have to use a fork.
3830 Northgate Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834 | Directions
Mention authentic Mexican food to a local in Sacramento and you’ll no doubt hear about 524. Though they’ve moved from their original location at 524 12th Street, the Natomas location has the same down-home vibe. Menudo, tortas, chile verde, burritos – they have it all, including the famous minestrone that comes with every meal.