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Folsom CA

  • j

Portland OR Chowhound here.
My boyfriend frequents Folsom on business, and will be going there tomorrow.
What are great eating options?
This is broad- this means the best taco cart on the corner to the upper-mid scale in the city. All cuisines.
The main concerns is that while he will have a car, he is not going to be familiar with the city enough to find a REALLY obscure place out in the suburbs. He is staying at Hawthorn Rancho Cordova/Folsom. So anything in that area would also be a bonus, but not a requirement (as we all know hotel streets are the haven of chain restaurants. Blach!)
Thanks for any advise!

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  1. Folsom is the suburb!

    In Folsom itself we really like Bidwell Street bistro (on...Bidwell Street). I don't think they do lunch. Another possibility is Zenfindel Grill.

    For really upscale you should try Masque in El Dorado Hills (just off Hwy 50), probably one of the top Italian restaurants in the area.

    For Japanese we like Samurai Sushi on Folsom Blvd. north of your hotel (Folsom Blvd and Hazel Ave.). On Hazel going north across the bridge you'll find Mikuni Sushi, one of the best sushi places you'll find anywhere.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Peter

      Unless they have changed, Bidwell does do lunch, but I think they are closed on Mondays.

      1. re: Karen

        I have only been to Folsom once, a year ago. Had an excellent lunch at Bailies Restaurant & Martini Bar- not cheap, but outstanding clam chowder.312 Bidwell Street, hidden in a strip mall.

        1. re: Karen

          They are open on Mondays. But they don't do lunch on weekends.

        2. re: Peter

          with angelo auriana leaving as chef, i don't know if masque is one of the best italian restaurants in the area anymore. it used to be, with angelo in the kitchen. they might be able to follow his recipes, but they cannot copy his creativity and imagination. has anyone on the board tried it since he left?

        3. For Breakfast or lunch there is no better place than the Gold Miner. On Bidwell St. Homemade everything.

          For chinese try Jeannie's place also on Bidwell (Up by Lowes).

          For pizza Roma's is the one. (Natoma Street and Blue Ravine). OLd style NY pizza. Gotta eat it with a fork.

          Bidwell Street Bistro is great. (right next door to Jeannie's.)

          I noticed today that Ballie's has changed ownership so I have no idea what is going on there. It used to be very good.
          For taqueria style there is Pacos Tacos on Natoma Street inside a dive bar called City Slickers. right across from the park.

          On Sutter Street and the area down there are some good places too.

          For margaritas and a good time try the Hacienda Del Rio. The food is okay but don't get anything with the red sauce.

          Much better is Q-Bole for food.

          The Folsom Hotel is okay, not great but still pretty good. Great bar though with loads of history.

          Pizzeria Classico is really good pizza too, If there was not Romas in town this would be the best around.

          Chicago Fire Pizza is terrible. All canned food. lots of people go there but they are not good at all.

          Peter Yagers has a great beer selection and their food is servicable pub type grub. Great burgers. I built the place in the eighties.

          Pachanga's is great. Very nice. The best dining on the street IMO. The pan seared scallops are my favorite.

          Down in the lower part of the historic district (not Sutter Street) is Zinfandel Grill. Pretty nice. Good food, kind of upscale. I go here sometimes but would rather go to Pachangas or Bidwell Street Bistro. Great wood fired pizzas.

          Q-Bole is here too.

          Kamon is a pretty good japanese/sushi place. Not like Mikuni (Which is about 2 miles out of Folsom)but kind of old school style.

          There is also a Thai place in that complex too but I cannot remember the name. I had a good meal there a few years ago but have not been lately.

          On your way from your Hotel on Hiway 50 is Samurai Sushi. Loud, huge rolls and trendy as all get out. I really like it myself. Also Mikuni is about a half mile from the Hiway 50 Hazel exit (where Samurai is).

          Also on the hazel/50 corner there is Rudy's Hideway. The place for Lobster.

          There are many Indian places around town too. I have no idea of any of them myself.

          Also on Bidwell is the Streets of London Pub. Great food and total British atmosphere. Tuesday nights they have trivia too for prizes. I will be there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bennyboy

            Thanks so much for taking the time to list these chowhound-worthy places. I just moved to the area recently and will print this list to keep in my car.

            1. re: bennyboy

              I wrote:"Chicago Fire Pizza is terrible. All canned food. lots of people go there but they are not good at all"

              I have been doing a survey of Chicago natives and this pizza. They all agree that the pizza at Chicago Fire is truly authentic and very good. "just like Chicago." they'll say. Most of the print reviewers love this pizza also, the outlet downtown has recieved rave reviews....

              So maybe my lack of experience with Chicago style pizza is the problem here. But do remind me not to go to Chicago anyytime soon for a pizza.

            2. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

              1. Whoops forgot some. On Sutter street too: Sutter Street grill is pretty good for breakfast and Lunch. Not as good however as the Gold Miner.

                Hop Sing's. Incredibly bad chinese food. Nice place and the soup is okay but the rest is pure dredge. How they have been in business for so long I have no idea.

                The Balcony restaurant is open under new owners and has an interesting menu. I have not been but have been meaning to go.

                Seasons is pretty good for upscale lunch and breakfast type things too.Mostly sandwiches, but not the usual.

                Snooks candies make the best peanut brittle in the world and other great candies.

                The Purple Place (kind of ElDorado Hills) on Green Valley Road (by the lake)is not very good. so skip that one.

                The Cliff House is pretty good but it is kind of the meat and potatoes type of place. beautiful view, but the typical Prime rib and steaks thing. pretty pricey.

                there is new Sushi place at Auburn Folsom and Greenback (NaNiHa) that has been getting raves from others but I have yet to go.

                There is a nice mexican restaurant on Natoma Street that is pretty good too. Cannot remember the name right now but it is pretty good. Not as good however as Q-Bole, but a great family mexican restaurant.

                1. Forgot Fats Asian Bistro. Incredible room. Pricey but great food. At Hiway 50 and Bidwell St.

                  1. Just in case someone does search for Folsom I got a couple of other reccos.

                    The hot wings at the Hacienda (sutter Street) are the best. Really good.

                    And Mission Rogelio (Riley Street in the Wal-Mart plaz) is really good mexican food with a emphasis on seafood.

                    1. One place I totally forgot is Lake Forest Cafe. On Folsom Blvd south of old town. Great breakfasts. Home made everything and some very different cooking goes on there. Very good. Folsom is blessed to have two outstanding breakfast and lunch places, Gold Miner and Lake Forest Cafe.

                      1. This thread is just slightly over a year old - it would be great to see some updates!

                        I'll be up there this Saturday only for the afternoon so probably will only have lunch.
                        I'd like something good - prefer Asian but any suggestions to update this thread would be appreciated!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: RWCFoodie

                          I can do an update. the sushi place on lower Sutter street is under new owners and name. haven't been.

                          Zinfandel Grille..Went ther for lunch not long ago and there is no way in hell I would ever go back for lunch. too much money for nothing.

                          Sadly, the Gold Miner Cafe is colsed at the moment. Sad. They will reopen soon (according to the sign) but have no diea how they will be.

                          And I forgot to mention Scotts Seafood. They are great Best seafood in the Sac region..

                          As for you RWCF....I would try Jennies for lunch myself. Unique recipes for chinese. By the Lowes on east Bidwell.

                          1. re: bennyboy1

                            Thanks bennyboy1 - could you elaborate a bit on Jennies "unique recipes for Chinese"....

                            1. re: RWCFoodie

                              Not sure..... It is unique in that they use different ingredients for their dishes. Not the same old sauces too.. they also have some very different types of soup.....Mybe not to the Mandarin's standards, but pretty close. certainly not the run of the mill chinese that is for sure....

                              1. re: bennyboy1

                                It was pushing 8:00 last night when we were finally able to get to dinner - after a hectic day with real estate agents... DH, son and 10-year old grand daughter in tow - not in the mood to drive all over looking for a superlative Chow experience, we just wanted a decent fairly quick meal.

                                So we ended up at Jennie's Palace and we were pleasantly surprised. I was a little dubious at first as we were the only customers but it was fine! After Jennie's friendly greeting we looked over the menu - Grandaughter wanted egg rolls, something I rarely if ever order. They were ok, obviously freshly fried and they appeared to be house-made ($3.50). Scallop & shrimp in garlic sauce, described as spicy (wasn't to our taste $12.95) with julienne bamboo shoot and large dice of water chestnut, was tasty. BBQ Pork with snow peas ($6.95) lots of house-made sliced cha shu and fresh pea pods with slices of water chestnut in a light sauce - enjoyed by all. Sesame chicken ($8.95) a hit with the younger generation - I wouldn't order this again - white meat chicken, heavy batter, sparse sesame seeds, sweet sauce - not my thing at all but 10-year old loved it. Dry sauteed string beans (6.25) a decent version - DH felt they could have been cooked a little longer but I thought they were fine. San Shein fried rice (with chicken, beef and shrimp $6.25) again, not something I would normally order but 10-year old wanted it & so did 39-year old Son!!! Not bad, not great, ok.

                                Total with tip $65.00 Friendly folks, clean place, decent food. Nice to be treated like we are regulars!

                                Towards the end of our meal a fellow brought supplies out to a table and started making pot stickers - the filling looked like it was mostly meat - if I had realized that they made them in house, I might have ordered them! Next time we're in Folsom maybe... you can see the menu at www.916Biz.com according to the take out menu I picked up... prices I've quoted are from the current take-out menu.

                                Jennie's Palace
                                1004 East Bidwell St., #400, Folsom 95630

                                1. re: RWCFoodie

                                  Nice review.. Jennie does make you feel at home, unlike some chinese places where they treat you like a stranger even though you have been there a zillion times (why izzat?). I love the art in there too, one of my favorite interiors anywhree. Changes often...

                                  Every one of those are dishes I have never had there. I tend more towards the Kung Pao dishes and soups. BTW< the pot stickers are great, Those I eat.

                        2. Some updates.....

                          Lunch at Biwell St Bistro today. Open Monday. Ecellent lunch. Incredible french onion soup. Guyure cheese, great bread, the best ever. The tomato Bisque was ecellent and the portabello sandwich was really good. Great foccacia, grilled veggies, a perfectly done mushroom with aoli. YUMMY.

                          The other diners food looked great too, especially the special, linguini with chicken.
                          The service was really incredible too, just perfect.
                          Great as always.

                          The Gold Miner is back open. Same great food, menu has changed a little but the things I loved about it remain unchanged. Everything still made fresh.

                          The Folsom Hotel has new owners and I don't think the dining room is open. Big changes to the interior of the bar area. Still pretty funky and a nice place to party.

                          In regards to the area the orginal poster stayed, the Brookfields restaurant at Sunrise and Folsom Blvd, is really good for coffee showp food. A huge step above Denny's or Lyons. They even have pepper grinders on the table!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: bennyboy1

                            Another update. SAD NEWS!

                            Jennies Place has closed. Was headed there for lunch today and there was a sign from Jennie thanking everyone for ten years of patronage. So that sucks.

                            1. re: bennyboy1

                              Sorry no big loss for me. It's OK but nothing great.

                          2. More chages in Folsom on Sutter Street.

                            Pachanga's has changed ownership. Don't know why and did not eat but different name. As of now, no liquor license. Menu looks pretty much the same but the scallops are no longer on the menu.

                            The Folsom Hotel has a new operator for their restaurant. Southern BBQ. Good too, and very reasonably priced. The beans were great.More toward the spork than silver ware and table linens.... If you ask me, this is good move. The place is FUNKY and every restaurant that has been here since Murder Burger has tried to reach too high for the bar it is in. And the Hotel is bar above all else.

                            Seasons is no longer, replaced with another Bistro.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: bennyboy1

                              Updated info on the Cliff House. We were visiting from out of town and went there for Champagne Brunch on Sunday. Brunch was wonderful...lots of creative pasta salads along with the usual brunch suspects. The restaurant, however, has changed names and possibly ownership. It's now Sudwerk Riverside. Apparently, Sudwerk has a restaurant and brewhouse in town, and this is another location to distribute, but not brew, their, um, brew.

                              1. re: martyparty

                                Wow, I just popped on here to post about that myself. It is different owners. Sudwerk owns a restaurant in Davis and, under another name, a couple in SF..

                                The menu at this place has changed as well form the Cliff House fare.. More adventure it seems.

                                How was the brunch?

                                1. re: bennyboy1

                                  The brunch was really good. There were all the usual brunch items, breakfast meats, fried potatoes, etc, plus a nice spinach quiche. My boyfriend enjoyed the shredded beef enchilada casserole, although I felt that it was sort of out of place. I had an omelet to order, and it was very nicely done. A carving station had nice rare beef, some turkey and ham. There was plenty of fruit. What stood out for me was the variety (about 4 types) of creative pasta salads. There was an Asian one I particularly enjoyed. They kept running out of the little smoked salmon crostini, but were happy to get more if you asked. Those were particularly good, not really creative, but fresh and done well, as were the large boiled steamed shrimp. There was a big table of desserts that looked really nice, but I'm not into dessert so I can't give you a review. As for the "champagne" part of brunch, they were very generous with the initial serving and in coming around to refill your glass frequently. We sat outside overlooking the river, so the experience was really nice. I'm from Atlanta, and brunch buffets here usually include some dishes like paella, seafood newburgh, shrimp and grits, or chicken divan (crepes or otherwise), so that was missing for me, but it was still a delicious brunch.

                            2. Big Changes in Folsom on Sutter Street:

                              Pachangas on Sutter Street is now closed. What a shame.

                              Seasons is no more.

                              Peter Yeagers is not open for lunch and has cut way back on their beer selection and, according to others, the food has gone downhill since the new owners.

                              The restaurant at the Folsom Hotel has closed (again). They are looking at new operators.

                              I did have a great meal at My Brother Vinnies the other night. Spaghetti and meatballs and it was perfect. Might be the best place on Sutter Street now.

                              And up on E Bidwell, Ballies has changed their menu and prices according to others. lowered the prices and the food stayed the same. new ownership.

                              1. Some more updates on Folsom:

                                Next to Bidwell Street Bistro is Granitos, italian. Bigger and newer than the other Granitos (Douglas Blvd, Granite Bay) the food is as good as it ever has been. The new owners of Granitos have made soem huge improvements over the period after Lester (the original owner/chef) died. had a very memorable meal there the otehr night. Still the best garlic bread ever. garlic garlic garlic.

                                As a side note, there is a space between Granitos and Bidwell St Bistro, someone should open a wine shop in that space with tastings.

                                The restaurant in the Folosm Hotel is back open again with bar type food, open late on the weekends. haven't been but saw it had reopened.

                                The hacienda Del Rio (sutter St) has lowered their prices on the combos to 1978 pricing. so if you don't order anything with the red sauce you will have good meal for a bargain. Not the best, but some things I really like.

                                Pachangas does not look like it will reopen at all.

                                Ballies has closed completely. Now there is another restaurant in the building, one that serves all meals not just dinner. Haven't been.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bennyboy1

                                  More changes on Sutter Street: Peter Yagers is closed. Deservedly so. The newest owners were clueless.

                                  My Brother Vinnny's is closed. That is a shame. Easily the best food on the block.

                                  In Pachanga's old building is an authentic German place. I did not go but some others tell me it is great.

                                  Zinfandel Grill is closed.

                                  And again the restaurant at the Folsom Hotel is gone. Someday, someone is going to open just the right place in there and make a go of it, but it hasn't happened....

                                2. Man oh Man, Did I blow it in this thread. I forgot the real gem of the Old Folsom District, Karen's Bakery. Wow, Great deserts and bakery items. Sandwiches on great breads...I mean great house made stuff. Great coffeee and Juices. Busy, busy busy, and deservedly so.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bennyboy1

                                    Also The Black Rooster on Sutter street. Great coffees/pastries in the morning. Great sandwiches and Gelato in the afternoons. They also have wine and beer. Cute family run place

                                  2. Hi - DC-Chower here. I am in town until Thursday morn in the wee hours and I was wondering if you have recommendations for or updates on:

                                    Coffeehouses (local roasters?)
                                    Bakeries (I know to visit Karen's)
                                    Chinese/dim-sum (or is going to Sacramento better?)


                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: orangemix

                                      The closest dim sum place would be in Sacto: New Canton on Broadway.

                                      New Canton Restaurant
                                      2523 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818

                                      1. re: orangemix

                                        Darn, I did not see this till too late.

                                        Great, yet expensive chinese/dim sum at Fats in Folsom. Out by 50...

                                        Black Rooster on Sutter Street for local roasted coffee.

                                        For mexican Q Bole is good, the place on Natoma Street (who's name escapes me)is great.

                                        Sushi and Japanese in the same building as Karen's and Q Bole on the opposite end. Good Thai there too in that building....

                                        Samuel Hornes tavern is new on Sutter street. Loads of great craft beers on tap and more in bottles. the food is great too. The chefs special is really good every night.

                                        Yagers has new owners too. Lots of good beers on tap and the food here is outstanding. great lunch specials.

                                        There are a couple of new wine tasting rooms open too and a tea room on the street. And a great coffee house (along with Black Rooster) opened recently. even the old Europe place is getting rave reviews...(not by me, never been)

                                        Black Rooster
                                        807 Sutter St, Folsom, CA 95630

                                        1. re: orangemix

                                          The Mexican place on Natomas is Sol Azteca and I was awfully unimpressed the one time I went there. I don't even feel like giving it another chance.

                                          Also newish is Manderes, great beer selection, great food.

                                          Sutter Street Steakhouse is also getting a lot of buzz but I haven't tried it yet.

                                          402 E Bidwell St, Folsom, CA 95630

                                        2. The best soup in Folsom (or surrounding areas for that matter) and just an all around GREAT lunch stop is the Acorn Cafe across from City Hall. Also GREAT BBQ just up the hill in Cameron Park at Sierra Smokehouse.
                                          I concur on Karens Bakery and Mandares being excellent.
                                          Avoid Granito's. Head to Dominicks Deli instead, great authentic italian Pizza and Calzones.
                                          Thai Paradise is our go to for Thai.
                                          Scotts Seafood for good fish.

                                          Thai Paradise
                                          2770 E Bidwell St Ste 100, Folsom, CA 95630