The best restaurants in Midtown Sacramento (according to a local)

Published on June 2022
Updated on April 2023

Midtown Sacramento's best restaurants, The Rind and Mas Taco Bar

Sacramento is nicknamed the “Farm to Fork Capital” (although it’s originally and will always be “The City of Trees” to locals). About 1.5+ million acres of farms surrounding California’s capital produce vegetables, fruits, meats, and nuts. Restaurants and chefs have an abundance of fresh ingredients to use in their dishes all year round. This makes the city’s food scene thriving and the dishes mouth-watering. It also encourages sustainability all around.

Midtown Sacramento is the center of the city with grid-based streets, bordering Downtown. It’s Sacramento’s hippest and trendiest area filled with eateries, coffee shops, bars, art galleries, and clothing boutiques. It’s the place where locals love to go for brunch or a night out, and where we like to take out-of-towners.

I love Midtown (although I don’t love parking there). If you live in any of the nearby suburbs, you’re probably surrounded by Outback, Olive Garden, and Applebees (case in point: I grew up in Elk Grove). Cecilio and I love going to Midtown to try different restaurants, but we always come back to some of our favorites.

I’ve gathered the best restaurants in Midtown Sacramento, and as someone who has lived in the area for 20+ years, you can trust my recommendations 🙂

The spots I have featured are also more on the mid-range, price-wise. If you are seeking a fine dining experience, Downtown Grid has a list of restaurants for you to take a look at.

Disclaimer: This post uses affiliate links through GetYourGuide and Viator, which means I make a commission if you book through this post. If you do decide to book using my links, thank you so much for your support!

So…what are the best restaurants in Midtown Sacramento?

The Rind

1801 L Street, #40
Sacramento, CA 95811

A restaurant dedicated to cheese, The Rind offers different varieties of mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. That’s not all; for appetizers, there are charcuterie boards serving meats, nuts, and spreads. Of course, no charcuterie is complete without an accompaniment of artisenal cheeses! Whether you like hard cheddars, creamy Bries, or crumbly blues, you’re in for a treat!

Did I mention there are also different wines and beers to pair with your food? Ask your waiter for the best pairing recommendations!

And for my vegan friends, you’re not going to miss out; the Veggie grilled “cheese” sandwich and Sundried Tomato Masquerader Mac are made with cashew spread.


1530 J Street, #150
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mikuni is a small Japanese chain restaurant local to the Sacramento area, but the Midtown location is one of their most well-known ones. Be sure to come early because they don’t take reservations and it gets pretty packed. Mikuni is mostly known for their sushi, but they also have delicious appetizers, specialty cocktails, and a hip, modern ambiance. If you’re looking for a quiet Japanese restaurant, this ain’t it.

I will say that Mikuni does a great job making the balance between keeping the authenticity of Japanese cuisine with a modern twist. Mikuni is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Midtown Sacramento, and there’s a reason why you might have to wait 30–90 minutes before getting seated.

Mikuni, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Sacramento, CA, with a variety of sushi rolls

Mas Taco Bar

1800 15th Street, Suite D
Sacramento, CA 95811

I’ve been to Mas Taco Bar for two years in a row for my birthday (dining in) and Cinco de Mayo (takeout). That’s how much I love it. It’s more of a bougie Mexican eatery with a mix of traditional and fusion tacos. Seriously, the fried oyster tacos are my favorite! There are also different types such as Vietnamese pork, butter chicken, Thai beef, Korean fried chicken, and Banh mi shrimp. But if you are a purist, they also offer pork al pastor, drunken chicken, and braised short rib. Vegetarian peeps can indulge in the Impossible asada or roasted cauliflower tacos.

Not in the mood for tacos? Don’t worry, they also bowls with the same stuff, also called “Not Tacos” in the menu.

Don’t forget the fresh guac and chips! Oh, and the different types of margaritas. If you order the margaritas to-go, they come in a pouch served for two (although I end up drinking all of it for myself since Cecilio doesn’t drink).

Iron Horse Tavern

1800 15th Street, Suite B
Sacramento, CA 95811

Right next to Mas Taco Bar is Iron Horse Tavern, offering New American cuisine and fabulous cocktails. I sometimes find New American food boring but Iron Horse pulls it off while offering fusion dishes. They actually identify as “Creative American”.

Iron Horse Tavern offers a variety of dishes such as gourmet salads, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and mac and cheeses (almost similar to The Rinds’). Fusion foods include the Banh Mi Impossible burger, loco moco burger, Hawaiian ribeye steak, and Asian street-style tacos.

I am obsessed with the tuna poke nachos and it’s my go-to order; it’s made with raw tuna poke with onions, soy sauce, nori, avocado, sriracha mayo, and tomatoes on wonton chips. Yum!!

Tuna poke nachos from Iron Horse Tavern in Midtown Sacramento

Tapa the World

2115 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Sometimes I get more excited over small bites and appetizers than I do over actual entrees, which is why I love tapas and why I so badly want to go to Spain someday. While Tapa the World has entrees, pasta, and paella, I would rather and recommend you skip those and order a few tapas instead all for yourself or whoever you are with. My favorites include the patatas bravas (fried potato cubes with tomato sauce), calamares fritos (fried calamari dusted with Spanish paprika and serve with Romenesco sauce), empanadas, and champiñones al ajillo (mushroomes sautéed in olive oil, garlic, parsley, and white wine.

If you’re a sucker for charcuterie boards like I am, don’t forget their Queso Español del Dia, featuring the Spanish cheese of the day (self-explanatory) along with Marcona almonds, crostini bread, Piquillo pepper, and fig jam.

And of course, don’t forget to chase ’em down with the sangria!

Queso Español del Dia, a Spanish platter at Tapa the World, one of the best restaurants in Midtown Sacramento

Pieces Pizza

1390 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Unlike the other restaurants I’ve mentioned, Pieces is not necessarily a fancy sit-down pizza place. They are a hole-in-a-wall eatery, but a local favorite. They have seating, but it’s more of a casual, order at the counter, type of place. That fresh smell of dough and mozzarella is mesmerizing when you enter. You can order a whole pizza or by the slice. My favorite is the mushroom+olive pizza while Cecilio gets the meat combo.

I have eaten inside with Cecilio a few times, but during my stint working part-time at the Pilates studio across the street for 3 months, I would order Pieces by the slice for both of us after closing my shift.

mushroom and olive pizza from Pieces Pizza in Midtown Sacramento
Mushroom + olive pizza by the slice, takeout

Orchid Thai

1609 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

I loooovvveee Thai food. I would say it’s my favorite Asian cuisine (along with Japanese). I’ve tried so many different Thai restaurants, and hands down, Orchid Thai is my favorite. I always have a hard time finishing dinner and have to get leftovers, but I have actually try to stop myself from eating everything here. For starters, Cecilio and I order the calamari rings and crab wontons, which are served with chili and plum sauces.

I know that pad Thai is the most common dish, but it’s Orchid’s most popular dish. My go-to order is the pad Thai with tofu and have been hooked since (and I have tried MANY tofu pad Thais). There is just something about the perfect amount of spice coupled with the umami flavors of the peanut sauces and eggs.

If you are craving more spice, order the drunken noodles. I love to take a bite off of Cecilio’s pork drunken noodles 🙂

Tofu pad Thai at Orchid Thai, one of the best Thai restaurants in Midtown Sacramento

Burgers and Brew

1616 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

As another small Sac chain, there are other Burgers and Brew locations in West Sacramento and Davis. But the location bordering Midtown and Downtown has a rooftop overlooking the cityscape.

Burgers and Brew has some of the best burgers in the area, made with Niman Ranch beef with no antibiotics or hormones. If beef isn’t your thing, they also offer turkey, lamb, buffalo, Impossible, and garden burgers. You have a choice between getting fries or a salad on the side; I always pay extra for the sweet potato fries.

In addition to it being a burger joint, they are also a brewery with craft beers on tap. If you’re not a beer drinker, they have specialty cocktails.

Burgers and Brew garden burger with sweet potato fries, one of the best burger restaurants in Sacramento, CA
Burgers and Brew’s garden burger with sweet potato fries. I ordered this in 2020 when they only allowed outdoor dining.

Beast + Bounty

1701 R Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Of all the restaurants featured in this article, Beast + Bounty is the most expensive (and one of the more expensive restaurants in Midtown Sacramento), but offers a fine-dining experience, millennial-style. Upon walking inside the restaurant, the interiors are filled with greenery with industrial chic decor.

More importantly, the food is top-notch. Beast + Bounty is featured in the Michelin Guide. They serve impeccable New American fare, and the concept of their name is that they wanted both meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans to co-exist and enjoy elevated dishes. They have brunch, lunch, and dinner menus; the dinner menu offers appetizers, pizza, pasta, salads, and separate entrees that are meat-based (the beast) and plant-based (the bounty). Beast + Bounty changes their menu by the season depending on the availability of the produce. The appetizers stay pretty much the same.

For our appetizers, we ordered papas bravas and a dozen of oysters and shared a fungi pizza topped with arugula and cashew cheese. I ordered the pork belly ragu which contains ground strip loin, summer pickles, basil, and grana padano.

Aside from the food, Beast + Bounty offers amazing cocktails.

Reservations are required to dine at Beast + Bounty. And it’s not cheap.

Honorable mentions

It’s worth me resharing restaurants in Midtown Sacramento that I have featured before:

  • Adamo’s Kitchen: An small, unassuming, Italian restaurant with mouth-watering dishes. It’s another local fave!
  • The Porch: For Southern fare, The Porch is a must. It’s great for date nights! My post features our visit to The Porch during Dine Downtown Sacramento, a week in January dedicated to select Downtown + Midtown restaurants offering $35 prix fixe dinners.

Best restaurants in Midtown Sacramento: Overall thoughts

I know other Sacramentans might disagree with me and disregard this article as BS. But everyone’s idea of “best restaurants” is subjective, and these are the restaurants I would recommend to those who are new to Sacramento or those who don’t go to Midtown that often. I’ve been all around Midtown, and lived in Sac + Elk Grove for 20 years, and I can for sure say that these are the ones I always keep coming back to!

Be sure to save, share and pin this post, especially if you find yourself in Sacramento one of these days!

Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.

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