It only took a stop in one coffee shop for me to wonder why I’d not made Sacramento a higher priority on my California travel list. Things appear to be changing rapidly in this city and that means it is ticking all the boxes of a top food and drink destination.
There are coffee shops that make you want to pull out the laptop and sit a few hours, craft beer lists that represent the state’s growing number of breweries and beyond, happy hours with bites that combine comforting favorites with trendy twists, and vegetarian food that I could easily pick over a meat treat any day of the week.
I was in Sacramento for 4 days at the end of July to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference. It was a fun few days catching up with old friends and making new ones. The conference did an excellent job of tying in so many of the wonderful foods and food companies that Sac has to offer.
As you would probably expect, as attendees we look forward to being fed some really great food. In collaboration with Sacramento Farm-to-Fork, the conference did not disappoint.
One thing about this year’s conference that I would consider to be a positive is that lunch was on our own. And if you are like me and need coffee closer to 7 am than 9 am, breakfast was, too. This turned out to be a very good thing. We were able to head out into the city and try some really great food and drinks.
Below are my favorites. I highly recommend adding them to your list if you find yourself in Sacramento.
To start your day, head over to Temple Coffee Roasters. There a few locations. A group of us went to the 9th street location downtown. Get the Brazil pour over and a vegan raspberry jam muffin.
For lunch, keep it meat-free and grab the outstanding Nut Burger at Mother. I expect the Mushroom Po’Boy was equally as good from the looks of it. For the meat lover, you want to be at LowBrau – a modern beer hall atmosphere, killer craft beer list, loaded brats and duck fat fries. Enough said.
For an afternoon pick-me-up, Insight Coffee Roasters is the perfect spot. Again, multiple locations in town. I managed to make it to two – the Southside location on 8th and the Capitol location on 10th. The 10th street spot has an especially cool ambiance.
For Happy Hour, swing in de Vere’s Irish Pub. They have a good variety of craft beers and you must, and I mean must, get the Corned Beef Tots. It’s large tots laced with corned beef and served with a drizzle of Thousand Island dressing. Go ahead and get the Beer Cheese Nachos, too. You won’t be disappointed.
For dinner, Firestone Public House was a great stop. And that’s not just because they were gracious enough to figure out how to seat about 12 of us and allow us all to pay separately. Their excellent craft beer list outlined the beer, who made it and where it was from. This is such a highlight for a traveling craft beer lover. I also had the BEST veggie sandwich on toasted Russian bread that included a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
For dessert, sometime during the day swing into About a Bite Bakery and grab some of the Rosemary Salted Caramels to have for dessert later. I wasn’t able to get a photo, but these are the easily the best candy combination I’ve tasted. Deliciously unique.