Sacramento and the Gold Country Restaurants

American, Italian, and Mexican are common Gold Country fare, but chefs also prepare ambitious European, French, and contemporary regional cuisine that mixes California ingredients with international preparations. Grass Valley's meat- and vegetable-stuffed pasties, introduced by 19th-century gold miners from Cornwall, are one of the region's more unusual treats.

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  • 1. Creekside Cork & Brew

    $$ | American

    At shift's end, workers from Fair Play wineries gather with neighbors at this nouveau rustic roadside watering hole whose chefs prepare elevated...Read More

  • 2. Grounds

    $$ | American

    From potato pancakes for breakfast to grilled rib eye for dinner, this bustling bistro with a series of wainscoted rooms and an outdoor back...Read More

  • 3. Localis

    $$$$ | Midtown | Modern American

    Exquisite plating and compelling, at times piquant, flavor combinations are the trademarks of this restaurant whose chef-sommelier owner, Chris...Read More

  • 4. Magpie Cafe

    $$ | Midtown | American

    This Midtown eatery with a vaguely industrial look and a casual vibe takes its food seriously: nearly all the produce is sourced locally, and...Read More

  • 5. Alchemy Cafe

    $$ | American

    A casual spot on the eastern edge of town, Alchemy serves sturdy comfort food like braised lamb shank over couscous, seared mahimahi, and meat...Read More

  • 6. Auburn Alehouse

    $ | American

    Inside the historic American Block building, which dates to 1856, you can see this craft operation's beers being made through glass walls behind...Read More

  • 7. Awful Annie's

    $ | American

    One of Auburn's favorite old-time breakfast and lunch spots entices patrons with waffles, pancakes, Monte Cristo French toast, and a slew of...Read More

  • 8. Bistro 33

    $$ | American

    This striking venue, in and outside what long ago was Davis City Hall, does brisk business well into the evenings. Wood-fired pizza and a diverse...Read More

  • 9. Carpe Vino Marketplace & Lounge

    $$$ | Modern American

    What started as a boutique wine retailer inside a restored 19th-century saloon evolved into a must-visit bistro serving imaginative cuisine...Read More

  • 10. Castillo's Mexican Restaurant

    $ | Mexican

    Tasty tacos, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and burrito combinations plus chimichangas, fajitas, steak, and seafood are served in this casual...Read More

  • 11. Cirino's at Main Street

    $$ | Italian

    A family-owned spot with exposed brick walls, a tall ceiling, and a well-worn bar and floor, Cirino's serves up a vast menu of hefty Italian...Read More

  • 12. Diamondback Grill and Wine Bar

    $ | American

    The bright decor and refined atmosphere suggest more ambitious fare, but massive half-pound burgers and sandwiches like the Ultimate Grilled...Read More

  • 13. Ernesto's Mexican Food

    $ | Midtown | Mexican

    Customers often have to wait for a table on Friday and Saturday evenings at this traditional Mexican restaurant that's a reliably good bet for...Read More

  • 14. Ficelle

    $$ | Eclectic

    If you're in Winters on a day this self-proclaimed "delightfully random place to eat" is open, try to score a seat (no reservations) to enjoy...Read More

  • 15. Fixins Soul Kitchen

    $ | American

    A cheery, sometimes boisterous vibe prevails at this ode to Black cuisine and culture that former NBA star and past Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson...Read More

  • 16. Friar Tuck's

    $$$ | European

    Popular Friar Tuck's specializes in creative, interactive fondues and has an extensive menu of seafood, steaks, and pasta dishes. The sparkling...Read More

  • 17. Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company

    $$ | Midtown | Modern American

    Youthful and compelling, with found-art decorative elements and exposed vents, this historic former fire station is a favorite stop for cocktails...Read More

  • 18. Mel and Faye's Diner

    $ | American

    Since 1956, the Gillman family has been serving up its famous "Moo Burger" with two patties and special sauce—so big it still makes cow sounds...Read More

  • 19. Preserve

    $$ | Modern American

    The seasonal produce of nearby purveyors figures in nearly every dish at Preserve, which pairs elevated gastropub fare with artisanal beers...Read More

  • 20. Putah Creek Cafe

    $$ | American

    The wood-fired pizza oven blazing away on the sidewalk turns out this café's handmade pies, but the lunch and dinner fare extends well beyond...Read More

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