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. Biba

    $$$ | Midtown | Italian

    Celebrity chef and owner Biba Caggiano's elegant yet comfortable haven of northern Italian cuisine, opened in 1986 near Sutter's Fort, stands...Read More

  • 2. Canon

    $$$ | Modern American

    Farmhouse meets semi-industrial open-kitchen chic at this light-filled restaurant whose executive chef found success in the Midwest and the...Read More

  • 3. Lola

    $$$ | Modern American

    Riffing off the calculated flamboyance of its namesake, the gold-rush-era celebrity Lola Montez, the National Exchange Hotel's restaurant flirts...Read More

  • 4. Smith Flat House

    $$$ | Modern American

    Carefully sourced ingredients from local purveyors, meticulous execution, and a historic setting at a former mine site 3 miles east of downtown...Read More

  • 5. The Waterboy

    $$$ | Midtown | European

    Rural French cooking with locally sourced, seasonal, high-quality, often organic ingredients is the hallmark of this upscale, white-tablecloth...Read More

  • 6. Camden Spit & Larder

    $$$ | Downtown | Modern American

    Upscale London haberdasheries reportedly inspired the aesthetic of this impeccably designed, pressed-metal-ceilinged paean to spit-roasted,...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Charles Street Dinner House

    $$$ | American

    Centrally located Charles Street, its rustic decor heavy on the wood and Old West adornments, at once evokes gold-rush days and the 1980s, when...Read More

  • 9. Dogwood

    $$$ | American

    One of Calaveras County's shining stars serves fresh seasonal cuisine in a cabinlike white-walled space with an open kitchen and hardwood floors...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Mustard Seed

    $$$ | American

    Many patrons at this restaurant serving eclectic seasonal California cuisine are attending performing-arts events at the Mondavi Center a short...Read More

  • 12. Sushi in the Raw

    $$$ | Japanese

    Landlocked Nevada City might seem like an odd place for a sushi haven, but this brick-walled restaurant with an open kitchen consistently ranks...Read More

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