Best Restaurants

Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Sacramento dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Sacramento Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.


This midtown Sacramento favorite more than lives up to the hype with its New American cuisine. Located in a historic downtown firehouse, Mulvaney's Building & Loan excels when it comes to its service, food and drink offerings. The menu changes daily to reflect the best seasonal ingredients, all prepared in an open kitchen. The knowledgeable staff will happily help you select a wine from the extensive list to perfectly complement your meal.

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Years ago, a little girl helped her mother pull fresh mozzarella. Today, Biba Caggiano, author of six northern Italian cookbooks and host of a national cooking show, lovingly prepares authentic dishes like nutmeg and ricotta tortellini, grilled scallops wrapped in sage, and smoked prosciutto and spinach lasagna. For dessert, try classic tiramisu – Italian chocolate brandy mousse topped with clouds of mascarpone cheese. Great service makes even first-timers feel like part of one big family.

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Old Sacramento

Edging the waterfront in Old Sacramento, this converted 1853 firehouse has been a recipient of "Best Overall Restaurant" and "Best Service" awards. It also boasts a coveted five-star rating from the California Restaurant Association. The stylish interior features Victorian art and ornate antiques while the traditional menu includes prime rib, seafood, and roast duck. Add in a renowned wine selection, and you've definitely got an evening to remember.

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Paragary's Bar and Oven

In the center of the local restaurant row, this famous establishment creates hearty, seasonal cuisine. The paneled dining room, graced by colorful artwork, offers pastas, meats, and seafood in large portions. On the back patio, a waterfall adds peaceful ambience. Try wood-fired pizzas, a dry-aged rib-eye, grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and braised fava beans, or hand-cut rosemary pasta with seared chicken. A large menu, a great wine list, excellent service, and a spacious, elegant interior make the restaurant a top pick.

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Fox & Goose has what you're looking for, no matter the time of day. With great breakfasts, historic ambience, plenty of beers on tap, and a broad variety of music (Celtic to R&B), something fun is always going on. Authentic British decor includes the "Union Jack," America's only British newspaper. Play darts, duck into a dark wood booth, or sway to acid jazz – you can't go wrong at this quirky, popular establishment.

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Old Sacramento

This casual bistro occupies a colorful, polished space within a red-brick building and specializes in regional American cuisine. It features grilled panini sandwiches, hardwood-roasted meats, and delectable desserts; a large variety of salads can be ordered in small or large sizes. The signature spinach salad is made with toasted walnuts, roasted red onions, chevre, and citrus-shallot dressing. Homemade soups are always popular, as are desserts like a plum tart in a shortbread crust. No reservations. Casual dress.

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If you want to experience the best of French cuisine without the pretension of a stuffy restaurant, visit Cafe Rolle. Fresh pates, quiche, smoked seafood, sandwiches and a whole lineup of outstanding desserts (think creme brulee and chocolate mousse) await, along with a decent selection of French wines. Try the smoked salmon sandwich, you won't regret it. Aside from the flavor, the best part about Cafe Rolle is the price. You can easily fill up for less than $15.

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When you want to satisfy a sweet tooth, it doesn't get much better than the Freeport Bakery, the best bakery in Sacramento. The warm, gooey cinnamon rolls make for a heavenly breakfast, and the chocolate cake is out of this world. The bakery has been in operation for more than 25 years, so they know their way around a kitchen and it shows through their delicious offerings.

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Magpie's menu of American comfort foods highlights the best of Northern California's seasonally available ingredients. The menu changes daily and features an eclectic mix of meat and vegetarian-friendly items. Whatever you order, save room for dessert. The Chocolate-Avocado Mousse is fantastic.

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While pricy, The Kitchen serves the best food in Sacramento hands down, so you won't regret the bill. The contemporary restaurant only seats 50 people each night, with a waiting list sometimes up to a month long. The service is impeccable, and Chef Randall Selland often personally introduces himself to every guest. The five course menu rotates monthly and features items like buttered Maine lobster with puff pastry, fresh sushimi or beef with black truffle flan.

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