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Apr 28, 2014 01:47 PM

Most Authentically "Sacramentan" Meal?

I have a friend coming in from out of state, and we are planning to get dinner in Sacramento while he's here. Last time he came this way, we met up in San Francisco. While we were enjoying cocktails and discussing where to eat, he asked me what the most authentically "San Franciscan" meal was, and without hesitation I said "Mission-style burritos", whereupon we headed down to the Mission District and indulged.

So now I'm wondering what Sacramento's counterpart to that would be. What do you consider either a authentic staple or invention of Sacramento?


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  1. This might sound a bit off the wall, and it isn't an invention, but nevertheless, when I think of Sacramento, I think of home-style Japanese cooking. There was a recent thread on a place in the mid-town or downtown area....

    2 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf

      Here is the thread that I was thinking of; years ago, I used to enjoy several similar places in Sacto:

      1. re: susancinsf

        June's is still open. In fact, I just went there on Thursday! Too bad the Market Cafe (Market Club Cafe?) closed a while back…that was classic Sacramento!

    2. Frank Fat's wedding banquet: beef and onions, walnut shrimp, vegetable fried rice and banana cream pie. Worth a trip to Sacto.

      1. Is Jim Denny's still open downtown? To me, that is classic Sacramento food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tripeler

          Jim Denny's is still open and packing them in.

        2. I can't think of anything that I would consider 'authentically Sacramentan' (but both susancinsf and Tripeler's suggestions are fine - I could never get into Frank Fat's food, tho…), but if you're willing to stretch the geographic boundaries a bit, Hangtown Fry comes to mind. Placerville ("Hangtown") is just up the road a piece and it's about as authentic a dish can get. It's a gold rush era dish, supposedly ordered by a miner who'd hit it big and wanted to splurge on something that was near impossible to get: eggs and oysters.

          Having said that, I have no idea where to get a decent Hangtown Fry.

          1. I've been living in Sacramento for the past 2 years, and I'm not sure I am aware of any dish that was invented here.

            The city is fairly clue collar and extremely ethnically diverse, and many international cuisines here are particularly strong. Among those you may not find elsewhere, I can think of good Laotian food (e.g. Vientiane), but all Asian foods are strongly represented here.

            For a little more upscale American food, my favorite is Taylor's kitchen. Magpie is also outstanding. Both of these are worth driving to Sacramento in my opinion.