Known as the nation’s farm-to-fork capital, the Sacramento area is home to nearly 8,000 acres of boutique farmland and boasts the largest certified farmers market in California. So it goes without saying that the city’s best restaurants are sourcing from some of the finest farms in California. Read on for a rundown of just a few.
For more than 20 years, the Selland Family has been promoting the local food movement, and nowhere is that better demonstrated than at The Kitchen. Executive chef Kelly McCown continues the culinary legacy of Randall Selland, with five-course seasonal menus including such dishes as braised Montana beef cheeks with black truffle agnolotti and Yunnan black tea shortbread. At only one seating a night, it’s not easy to score a spot, but once you do, you’re in for the kind of exceptional dining experience that has made The Kitchen the first Sacramento restaurant to earn a Michelin star.
As difficult as it can be to get a reservation at Kitchen, it’s fortunate that it isn’t the only Michelin-worthy restaurant in town. Also recognized for excellence by the organization are Canon and Frank Fat’s—both have earned a Bib Gourmand Award, given to more affordable restaurants that offer exceptional food and service.
Other local favorites showcasing farm-to-fork dishes are purveyors of Californian Modern American cuisine Grange, swanky Ella’s Dining Room & Bar, and homey Mulvaney’s B&L, with a menu that changes daily to reflect the seasonal harvest at local farms. With offerings that are described as “American, meatless, and craveable,” For ramen that is obsessively homemade, from the broth to the tare to the noodle, there’s Shoki Ramen.
Bookend your day with visits to spots that dispense treats of the liquid variety—kick things off with a self-described “farm-to-cup” coffee at Temple Coffee Roasters, and end the day with a craft brew or cocktail (with, in one case, an optional haircut & shave) at Bottle & Barlow, Ruhstaller, or West Sacramento’s Drake’s: The Barn.
Insider tip: To satisfy a late-night sweet-tooth craving, longtime Sactown fave Marie’s Donuts is open from 11p.m. to 4p.m. and offers a great apple fritter too.