Near the historic Tower Theater on Broadway sits another piece of Sacramento history, the Tower Cafe. Owner James Seyman founded his worldly fusion venue on Earth Day 1990 with the intent of bringing the hearts, minds, and appetites of the city’s diverse population under one roof. Specialties from across the globe range from the award-winning Famous French Toast (a custard-soaked slice of heaven) to Piag’s Thai Steak to Jamaican Jerk Chicken. In addition, there is a fantastic selection of seasonal daily specials. To complement their international meals, guests can choose from a wide variety of signature cocktails, margaritas, wine, and beer. These drinks can be enjoyed while out in the restaurant’s beautiful patio garden. Tower Cafe also offers numerous delicious pastries and baked goods made fresh everyday, using seasonal local produce whenever possible. The restaurant promises a relaxed dining experience that offers something different to both local and foreign patrons. This ensures that each visitor will enjoy a memorable food experience every time. This is a popular spot on weekend mornings thanks to their award-winning brunches, and an ideal location for a romantic evening in the garden. It’s no wonder that Tower Cafe has become known as Sacramento’s favorite restaurant and bakery.
1518 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 441 0222
Vic’s Ice Cream
Since 1947, Vic’s Ice Cream has been serving its famous cones, pies, cakes, sandwiches, and other soda fountain classics to multiple generations of Sacramento locals. At Vic’s, diners are treated to a classic parlor experience, complete with black-and-white checkered floors, old-fashioned bar seating and friendly service. Of course, there’s also all the ice cream their hearts desire. This family-owned place is constantly packed with crowds of people craving their large scoops of delicious creamy ice cream or a tasty sandwich with one of the best milkshakes in Sacramento. Patrons love to stop by for lunch and chow down on a nostalgic egg salad sandwich, hot dog sandwich, reuben, braunschweiger, corned beef, tuna, or ‘cheezedog’ sandwich. There’s also daily specials, which include the popular turkey salad with cranberry sauce and the roast beef sandwiches. Any of the sandwiches can be requested on white, wheat, sourdough, or light rye bread. The parlor also offers different soups depending on the day of the week. One of the favorites is the homemade turkey vegetable soup, perfect for a chilly winter day. In addition, Vic’s offers old-fashioned phosphate sodas and you can even get a free cone for your kid if you bring their report card along with good grades.
3199 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 448 0892
Jamie’s Broadway Grille
Featured on the popular Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives, Jamie’s Broadway Grille is popular little restaurant and bar off Broadway. It’s known for its exceptional meat and seafood dishes. Jamie’s is set in a rustic shack-like building with dim lighting, a full bar, and animal heads adorning the walls. It serves up amazing garlic steak sandwiches, great hamburgers, delicious halibut fish and chips, perfect clam chowder, and fantastic sand dabs. This is in addition to some incredible daily specials. The famous garlic steak sandwich is by far the restaurant’s most popular item. It comes with two sandwiches filled with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and perfectly cooked tender steak, with a side of either a green salad, potato salad, or fries. The potato salad is heralded as some of the best you can find and the fries here are perfectly crispy. You can even substitute some spectacular onion rings for a little extra. When they offer their superb smoked prime rib or melt-in-your-mouth brisket, you won’t want to miss out on those. The calamari is also a favorite, as it’s actually strips of calamari from a calamari steak. Although it’s not very close to the coast, the restaurant ensures that it has the best quality seafood available by making a point of flying it in fresh regularly. The place does get very crowded during peak hours, so it’s best to get there early for lunch or late for dinner.
427 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 442 4044
Established in 2008, Masullo Pizza is a neighborhood pizzeria with the style and quality of Italy. The go-to spot of many Sacramento residents, Masullo offers some of the best Neapolitan pizza in town. It has perfect thin-crust nicely charred pies that may be light on toppings but still manage to be huge on flavor. The sauce they use for the pizzas is always fresh, tasting of tomatoes rather than spices or sugar. They only use high quality cheeses. All of the restaurant’s pizzas are cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven, and the menu changes with the seasons. The chef can even make delicious vegan-friendly pizzas. The Four Quarters pizza is one of the most popular orders because it allows guests to choose four different topping styles to try all on one pie. Their arugula salad is also hugely popular, comprising peppery arugula with thinly sliced fennel, shaved grana padano, toasted almonds, and meyer lemon vinaigrette, plus wedges of delicious rosemary bread. In addition, the house-made ginger ale makes an excellent drink to complement your Italian meal. They also have a nice selection of beer and wine. Service is consistently exquisite, and they are very family-friendly, even letting children throw a piece of wood into the oven sometimes.
2711 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 443 8929
Zion and her brother Eskinder opened the doors of Queen Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant on Howe Avenue in August of 2003. After two years of very successful business, they moved to the current location on Broadway in December of 2005. Together, the siblings have continued to offer friendly and attentive service along with spicy, flavorful dishes that follow the traditions of Ethiopian dining. Those new to Ethiopian dining can expect robust dishes that revolve around injera, a flatbread that diners use like a spoon to scoop and savor every bite of the delicious cuisine. At Queen Sheba, guests can enjoy the famed honey wine, Tej, which Ethiopian often make themselves. Its taste perfectly complements the spices in the food. The restaurant also offers a wonderful vegetation buffet everyday from 11.30am to 3pm, and the lunch menu includes great dishes like Doro Wot. This is a famous Ethiopian dish served with chicken and boiled egg simmered in spices like berbere, onion, garlic, and ginger. Classic staples with beef, lamb, and fish are offered as well. In addition, they’ve recently added a line of specialty desserts and herbal teas to further tantalize the tastebuds of their guests. The traditional Ethiopian communal experience makes for the perfect outing for a group of friends or family.
1704 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 446 1223
Chada Thai Cuisine
A family business for more than a decade, Chada Thai Cuisine serves up Northern countryside authentic Thai food originating from the family’s home in Thailand. The restaurant’s name comes from the name for the jeweled crowns that performers would wear as part of their costumes when entertaining the kings, nobles, and high-ranking officials of ancient Thailand. Over the years, Chada has become a local favorite for authentic Thai food like coconut soup, eggplant, peanut sauce broccoli, mango curry, and everything in between. The staff is known for being incredibly kind and efficient, recognizing the regulars and predicting their orders to speed up the process. Chada’s food is perfect for people of all dietary needs and preferences, thanks to their option to switch out the meat in any of the dishes for seafood or tofu. There is also the option to switch out white rice for brown rice. Patrons especially love the avocado curry, which isn’t on the menu but is always a special on the board, as well as the red curry, the pad see ew, the Chada fried rice, the pad thai, the yellow curry, the panang curry, and the basil duck. With its wide variety of deliciously fresh authentic Thai options, it’s no wonder that Chada is considered to be one of the best places to take the family or a group of friends for an amazing meal.
1624 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 444 8909
Kyoto Sushi Bar Grill & Ramen
A local go-to for tasty fresh sushi, Kyoto Sushi Bar Grill & Ramen is known for its vast selection of high-quality Japanese favorites at reasonable prices. Patrons love their Pepperfin Tuna, Hamachi Kama, OMG and Honey rolls, and the tuna and spicy scallop nigiri. Locals rave over the restaurant’s amazing happy hour, from 11am to 5pm Mondays through Saturdays. This place’s great menu includes a variety of sushi rolls, hand rolls, appetizers, ramen, and bento, all at fantastic prices. The service is always excellent, and all of the photographs adorning the walls in the waiting area give the place a cozy, friendly feel. They even offer delicious complimentary small appetizers to guests while they wait for their food. In the past these have included spicy edamame, seaweed salad, or cucumbers. Other favorite menu items include the seafood udon, crispy tempura, edamame potstickers, oyster shooters, and spicy salmon sashimi with a creamy spicy sauce and crunchy sesame topping. In addition, the deep-fried ice cream is a dessert you won’t want to miss. Their sake collection is also worth exploring. Although it’s a small business, there is plenty of indoor seating and large sushi bar seating. The owner often serves as one of the sushi chefs at the bar, concocting creative dishes and providing friendly service.
1724 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 492 2250
Considered one of the best Indian restaurants in the Sacramento area, Kathmandu Kitchen is popular for its daily lunch buffets offering a huge variety of quality Indian foods at a great price. Patrons love the naan, lamb tikka masala, lentil soup, chicken dumplings, chicken tikka masala, vegetarian korma, chicken tandoori, vegetable samosas, and lal maas. These are all served fresh, perfectly spiced, and offered in large portions. The roasted eggplant entree is another favorite, served Thali-style with naan, rice, dal, vegetables, and a chutney. The setting is charming, with imaginative decor and Indian music playing in the background. Here, the service is attentive, friendly and helpful. Even the owner comes out and cleans up after the guests, talking with everyone as he does so. He shows how passionate he is for his food and how much he wants people to enjoy it. The place often gets quite crowded thanks to the good food and service, and it’s especially popular among vegans and vegetarians. They enjoy the wide selection of delicious, healthy, and vegan-friendly menu items including vegetable pakora, basmati rice, and beautiful green salads with English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and mint chutney from the buffet. Other good picks include chana masala, squash curry, eggplant curry, and the amazing vegan Thali plate for dinner.
1728 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 441 2172
Located in Old Land Park across from the Old City Cemetery, Riverside Clubhouse offers its guests a relaxed atmosphere. Here they can sit by a 30 foot-long wall of water of three-tier fireplace on an inviting patio, watch television on one of three 50-inch plasma TVs, or enjoy the warmth of the restaurant’s ‘Burning Crystal’ fireplace in the lounge. Just minutes away from downtown Sacramento and the State Capital, Riverside Clubhouse serves up amazing short ribs on creamy cheesy grits, crispy fish tacos, Philly steak sliders, and perfect Cubano sandwiches. There are also incredible baked goat cheese crostinis, house burgers, calamari, shrimp cigars, kobe mini burgers, and sirloin dip sandwiches. A casual spot with a splash of class and romance, Riverside makes for a great date night or outing with friends. It gets especially busy during sports events thanks to the TVs and bar area. It’s also a place many locals like to frequent when they just want to hang out with a great beer, wine, or cocktail and a delicious dessert. Spectacular dessert options include the creme brulee cheesecake and chocolate molten cake. The staff is always upbeat and attentive. People especially love the happy hour, when everything on the bar menu is only $5, as well as the great brunches with bottomless mimosas.
2633 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 448 9988
New Station Restaurant
If you’re looking for great authentic Chinese food that’s full of flavor, New Station Restaurant is the place to go. Patrons love the shredded jellyfish with duck, ginger beef, chow fun, porridge, and sea cucumber. Other favorites include the rock cod clay pot, steamed shrimp, walnut shrimp, giant clams in xo sauce, salt and pepper shrimp with green beans, tender pork belly, and house fried rice. New Station does offer the more Americanized Chinese food options as well, like orange chicken and egg rolls. However, everyone knows it as the best place to get authentic foods. The restaurant is rarely crowded because most people choose to order take out. The service is fast and they offer great soups and hot red bean desserts to diners when they eat in for dinner. The food is consistently good, and though the place isn’t decorated all that well, the food more than makes up for the lack of fancy decor. There’s really no better place to go for a quality Chinese meal around the downtown and midtown areas. Local families love stopping by for dinner, thanks to not only the large portions of tasty food but also the great prices. Open until midnight every night, New Station is the perfect place to satisfy your late-night Chinese food cravings.
1800 Broadway, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 446 6688