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Jul 5, 2009 05:06 PM

Lunch in downtown Sacramento

We are passing through Sacramento in a couple of weeks, and stopping at the Crocker
Art Museum, which seems to be on O Street in downtown.

Any recommendations for a good place for lunch in the vicinity? Don't care about the price range, or the cuisine, just looking for something good! We'll be there on a Friday, if that matters.


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  1. Waterboy is very good.

    1. What do you mean by "in the vicinity"? If you're talking about walking distance, your options are somewhat limited. Il Fornaio (Northern Italian regional chain) and Morton's (national steakhouse chain) are both within about half a mile, and the food isn't bad. Or you could walk a bit further to to Old Sac and eat at the Firehouse or Rio City Cafe, both of which are equally unexceptional, but local. None of these are culinary destinations, but you can get decent food.

      If you're willing to get in the car, you have far more options. As Tripeler noted, the Waterboy (Cal-Mediterranean) is delicious, as is Biba (Northern Italian). And I like Aioli Bodega Espana a lot. If you venture over to Broadway, the ethnic (Cantonese / Thai / Ethiopian / Nepali / Japanese / etc.) options are worth exploring. If you want more specific info, just ask more specific questions...

      2 Replies
      1. re: alanbarnes

        Sorry for the lack of clarity... by "in the vicinity" I mean that driving is just fine, it is just that I don't want to drive all the way across town. Anything within a 10-15 minute drive from the museum is completely acceptable.

        Thanks for the recommendations so far!

        1. re: alanbarnes

          On Broadway, New Canton is probably the best place for lunch.
          Otherwise I recommend warmly the options (Bodega Aioli,
          Il Fornaio, Biba's, Waterboy) mentioned above.

        2. I hesitate to recommend the top Zagat rated restaurant in Sacto: La Bonne Soupe Cafe. It's a one man operation and since the rating came out the wait is very long, unless you can go when he opens (11:00 am I think). Within walking distance to the Crocker you may try the 4th Street Grill.

          La Bonne Soupe Cafe
          920 8th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

          Fourth Street Grille
          400 L St., Sacramento, CA 95814

          1 Reply
          1. re: PeterL

            magpie caterers at 15th and R has great food for lunch. not too far i don't think

          2. Tower cafe or the crepery. yum.

            1. I really like Cafe Bernardo on R and 15th for brunch or lunch. They have a great menu, the food's always good, and the prices are less for the same food as at other Paragary's locations. One of my favorite places to go when I'm too hungry to think of an alternative. :)

              I second (or third?) the vote for Aioli.

              I also think some of the best ramen in Sacramento can be found at Shoki Ramen on Broadway.