Best Restaurants In Sacramento Worth The Hype

There is always a chunk of subjectivity when foodies talk about their favorite places. Write-ups in the local papers can be decidedly right on, or can miss the mark altogether. Everyone's palate differs in what is considered adequate, or really divine. The places that live up to their great reps? Here are a few, at least from this point of view.
Tower Cafe
1518 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 441-0222

It is difficult to be restrained about the Tower. Simply put, it is an icon, legendary not only here, but around the globe. It is a haven of eclectic in decor, service, deliciousness and menu. Arrive a little late for any dining date and you will wait. When the weather is good, sitting outside is an exercise in memory making. Choosing from the menu will take some time and thought. Figuring out how you will be able to save room for what can arguably be pointed out as an overwhelming task of dessert choosing may be the most thought-provoking thing you do during your meal. Bring your appetite. You will appease it with ease.

Biba Restaurant
2801 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 455-2422

Biba Caggiano. Her name alone can cause mouths to start watering. To get anything better or more authentically Italian, true Italian cuisine, you have to fly to Italy. When she started her namesake restaurant, the goal was simply to use the most fresh ingredients prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail, and to serve her customers as if they were part of her family. It is a combination that continues to this day. If you are lucky, Biba will be there, and you will meet her. Her restaurant is another Sacramento experience that has an international reputation as being one of the best. It is a true Sacramento must do. Make a reservation and get ready for an intense and delicious meal.

Capitol Garage
1500 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 444-3633

This place really did exist as an auto garage at one time. You got your car fixed here. Now, you get your appetite fixed. The menu is extensive. From breakfast to dinner, if you're in need of a place that is unpretentious with extraordinary food, this is it. It's right behind the Sacramento Convention Center. While the energy around the Capitol can be intense, the Garage offers a bit of a respite from all of that. The take on this place, among regulars and one timers, is that it is kind to your wallet and wonderful to your taste buds. From inside or outside, you can watch the pace of the city ramble by while you enjoy a very well prepared, local, organic, natural meal. Vegetarian? Yep, this place is for you too, in spades. Just coffee and a crumpet? Yes, and it's wonderful.

Related: Best Spring Salads In Sacramento

Cafe Bernardo
2726 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 443-1180

How do you maintain a great reputation over many years? Attention to detail and a drive to offer only the best. Bernardo's has done that. This MidTown slice of heaven is more than just a great place to eat. Walk in and you'll find a lively place where young and old are having a great time. Walk up to the counter and order, after you've taken the time to figure it out first. The menu is easy to read, but there is a lot on it. You'll find that the rep here is well earned and well deserved. It's a place to relax, create, meet, people watch and enjoy. This is another Sacramento icon that is easy on your wallet while giving your foodie needs a real treat.

Tres Hermanas
2416 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916 443-6919

Three sisters from Chihuahua, Mexico started this restaurant over 10 years ago. The food here is Northern Mexican, and it is stunning. Simple, plentiful and lovingly prepared don't quite describe it. It's close, but you really need to sit down here and experience it for yourself to really understand what all of that means. The restaurant is in an old house, and the ambiance is part of the charm. Unpretentious all around, the sisters have created one of those places that foodies return to over and over again. Very family friendly, it's best to get there for lunch a bit on the early side, as it really is that good, and Sacramento knows it. If Mexican food is what you're needing, this has to be the place where you satisfy that need. You'll do it more than once.

Related: Best Breakfast Sandwiches In Sacramento

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at