Sacramento is home to plenty of chain restaurants, as well as local favorites that do some pretty big business. When you’re looking for something different and more personable, Sacramento “hole in the wall” restaurants deliver strongly from start to finish. These smaller establishments are known well by many locals but are overlooked by some who are on the prowl for new eats. Consider trying one of these tiny restaurants with their friendly staff, innovative menus, and charming locations.
5913 Broadway, Sacramento
Let’s agree with this one hard fact – bacon is a beautiful thing. You’ll need to come alongside that train of thought if you hope to enjoy yourself at the adorable Bacon & Butter located in midtown. Almost everything in this restaurant is “repurposed” – they even present the bill in old encyclopedias. Bacon is everywhere at this sweet little diner, which is only open for brunch.
If you want a hearty meal, try the Grilled Cheese Benedict. Your grilled cheese sandwich comes served on challah bread, topped with bacon with cheese melted over it, followed by traditional eggs benedict on top of that. It’s served with house potatoes and is unforgettable. Other favorites include the pork hash, biscuits and bacon gravy and apple bacon fritters.
3440 C Street, Sacramento
This place is small, yet mighty. You’ll miss it if you aren’t looking for it – so keep your eyes open at the corner of 35th and C in East Sacramento. Orphan combines the unique cooking influences of Latin America, Asia and traditional homestyle west coast foods for a menu that’s quite impressive. Try the Sweet Corn Breakfast Tamales or the Veggie Sandwich if you want something simple, affordable and delicious.
Be sure to get to Orphan early – there’s usually a long wait on the weekends – this is one of the smallest restaurants in terms of seating space.
2416 K Street, Sacramento
Open starting at 7 am on weekends, it’s never too early to get a plate of the unforgettable food you’ll eat at Tres Hermanas. Their homemade creamy cilantro dressing is a hit with many of their customers. Try the Milanesa – a thin, breaded sirloin served with rice, beans, and warm tortillas.
Tres Hermanas has a welcoming ambiance with brightly colored décor and a lively outdoor patio area. It was founded by three sisters from Mexico, and the authentic northern Mexican cuisine is popular with midtown locals.
3030 T Street, Sacramento
This tiny restaurant is reminiscent of a vintage gas station – a small interior with plenty of room to sit and enjoy outside. Their menu is simple and delicious – try the bulgogi tacos paired with cilantro rice. Especially during the summer, you’ll see why people are willing to sit outdoors for this unique fusion of Korean and Mexican-American food. Feeling daring? Get a Kimchi quesadilla – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good cabbage can taste inside of a tortilla. Everything is paired with their inventive sauces for impressive flavor combinations.
Affordable and quite possibly the best burgers in town, the Squeeze Inn got its name from its originally cramped quarters. A shut-down threat for not being ADA compliant moved them to a larger location on Power Inn Road, and there is also a Roseville location.
Their burgers are famous for their “cheese skirt” – cheese that is twice the size of the bun and fries to a golden crisp outside of it. They also serve sandwiches and hot dogs, but really – you need to try the “Squeeze with Cheese.” Kid-sized bites available.
These are just a few of the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Sacramento. If you’re truly looking for the best eateries in the Capital City, avoid the chains and patronize one of these creative local businesses.