California is undeniably the land of plenty—the largest agricultural producer in the country. And it doesn’t get much more rural than the region surrounding Sacramento. This fertile acreage, with remarkable soil and abundant sunshine, means Sacramento has incredible access to the juiciest fruits, freshest vegetables, and an ever-increasing array of artisanal, farm-based products. Area chefs take advantage of the bounty by forming close relationships with farmers and sourcing ingredients that will end up on diners’ plates that very same night. Taste the results at favorite eateries including Ella Dining Room & Bar, Mulvaney’s B&L, Waterboy, Localis, and The Kitchen Restaurant.
Sacramento’s chefs also craft their seasonally driven menus by shopping at local farmers' markets—more than 10 sprout up at different locations year-round. For a novel experience, join one of the many culinary-themed tours offered by Local Roots Food Tours, such as the Sutter District Tour, which dives deep into Sacramento history and the cuisine of the various immigrant groups that formed the city. Also offered is the Midtown Arts Tour, which explores some of the more recent culinary hotspots while getting a taste of the city’s current arts scene, including some of the many stunning murals that line the streets.
If you’re visiting in September, you’ll want to be part of Sacramento’s annual Farm-to-Fork Celebration, a two-week affair that gathers farmers and chefs to showcase the best in food and wine. In addition to the free two-day street festival which features live music, food vendors, and cooking demonstrations, events typically include the Legends of Wine tasting that showcases Northern Californian wines (with bites provided by area restaurants), and the Tower Bridge Dinner, when celebrated chefs prepare an exclusive farm-to-fork meal at an iconic city landmark for hundreds of foodie attendees.