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Your top ten favorite Sacramento dining places

  • m

They don't have to be pricey...just what are your favorites and why? Hey if you know of a great hole-in-the-wall...spill it! Please include favorites for breakfast and late night eats. If ya want...tell me what you like to order at each one.

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  1. Zentoro is a great place for Japanese and Hawaiian breakfast-- served on Saturday mornings only. Also, Vallejo's is good for Mexican breakfast.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dimsumgirl

      Thanks for the Zen recommendation, dimsumgirl. My boyfriend and I are visiting in Sacramento this week, and thanks to you we enjoyed an amazing meal at Zen last night. Their rolls sounded and looked good, so we ordered a sweet one (the Punk Rock Roll--unagi, avocado, masago & black caviar), a spicy one (the Fong & Fong--spicy yellowtail, avocado, cucumber, masago), and a savory one (the Zig Zag--soft shell crab, avocado, creamy sauce, soy paper). Their deep fried gyoza with a ginger garlic sauce was also excellent.

    2. Here are my "rotation":

      Japanese and Sushi: Samaurai, Kamon.
      Korean: Korea House
      Chinese: Hoi Cin, Fortune House, New Canton, New Hong Kong Wok, New Station.
      Continental: Bidwell Street Bistro, 33rd Street Bistro
      Greek: Opa Opa

      2 Replies
      1. re: PeterL

        Is Korea House a place where you can grill meat at your own table? And are they generous with na mul?

        1. re: SteveTimko

          Yes, although the waitress did the grilling for us. They are generous with na mul.

          Not cheap though.

      2. Hey..great to know there are Sac chowhounds out there!

        I am going to try several of these places that I have not been to. Zentoro..what makes up a Japanese or Hawaiian breakfast?

        Does anyone want to join me next Saturday morning?

        1 Reply
        1. re: melly

          Melly:
          My husband and I go nearly every Saturday. There is a crowd of regulars and we have all gotten to know each other pretty well. It is a friendly crowd. There is a traditional Japanese breakfast that consists of miso soup, grilled salmon, rice and Japanese pickles. There is loco moco-- Hawaiian; cowboy chili; omelettes; macadamia nut pancakes; fried rice; egg foo yung; YUM! See you there!

        2. OH......Zen Toro...on 15th! Got it. I have never eaten there...but I have heard it is good. I checked it out online. Not Zentoro.

          1. Anyway...back to the original post. Here are my favorites so far:

            Enotria on Del Paso...the service is great and the food is fresh and seasonal. Very good wine list.

            Sandra Dee's on 15th for brisket.

            Cafe Bernardo in Midtown for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Love the patio between 8 and 10 a.m.

            Thai Basil for drunken noodles..or anything really.

            La Favorita Taqueria on Florin for grilled whole fish and Mexican shrimp cocktail. La Fiesta good too. Owned by same group of men.

            Rainbows End on Florin and Riverside-little place in the strip mall there. Egyptian woman runs it (thought she was Greek) and it is fun to eat there...the food is really good. I particularly love the minestrone soup and gyros are good...as is the Greek salad. She catered Jimmy Yee's political celebration. Go for lunch but get there by 11:30 most days. It was packed the other day..no place to sit. Greenhaven/Pocket needs more options. Barnhills is awful!!

            The Waterboy....sweetbreads. Need I say more?

            Spataro...loved the lamb with cranberry beans. I haven't been there for awhile. It was a noisy Friday night.

            Taylor's Market...no kidding. I just go in to drool at the meat counter. They had these lovely oysters one day...the guy shucked one for me and I ate it right then. They have some great pasta salads at the deli. A real butcher shop there! On Tues and Thurs there is an organic foods tent next door too!

            Chopstix Express...the best potstickers I have ever had. It's on Riverside in a strip mall. Two little Chinese guys back there cooking like crazy.

            Italian Gourmet Market next to Trader Joes on Folsom and 59th---I forget exact names. I am in such a hurry to get in there. A really great deli counter with fun people working there. Corti's is down the street too...but in the past couple of years I think Corti's has gone down hill. Not as great customer service.

            Andy Nyguens (sp?) on Broadway....love that place! I do love good vegetarian/vegan fair as well. This is it.

            Well..there are several others I really enjoy and more to be discovered.

            8 Replies
            1. re: melly

              I love Spataro's! And Rainbow's End is just around the corner from me. And I worked on Jimmy Yee's campaign but didn't find out about the fundraisers until too late. I also enjoy La Favorita. I think we are going to have to meet up for some serious chowing! I usually go to the gym at 6 on Saturdays and then hit Zen Toro afterwards, usually around 8 or 8:30.

              1. re: melly

                It is actually called The Italian Importing Company. The original is at 19th and J St. Larry is the owner...and he is the BEST!!!! His father sometimes runs the register. Get a quart of bolognese sauce, some imported dry pasta, a bottle of prosecco and you are good to go. And...the imported tuna in oil is WONDERFUL! Good beer, too.
                -jennyfur

                1. re: jennyfur

                  Yes! I have talked to him before. He is a character..the father. What is your favorite Italian restaurant here in Sac?

                  1. re: jennyfur

                    LOVE the Italian Importing Company. Must get the meatballs with lotsa sauce!

                    1. re: EAH

                      FYI--The one on Folsom Blvd closed last month =( The one on J street is still open, but I haven't been to see if they have the same fresh food (last time we were at the J st location, it seemed like microwaved food!)

                  2. re: melly

                    I particularly enjoy the seasonal fruit tart at Spataro. Sometime I just go there for a dessert and drinks after dinner.

                    1. re: melly

                      Not really loving Andy's since they went vegetarian. Try Henry Nguyen's on Howe. Now that is some great food.

                      1. re: melly

                        Chopstick express has the biggest portion for their combo plates. I ended up getting the combo plate ad potstickers; both of which were really good