A Modern Guide to Sacramento

A Modern Guide to Sacramento


Toward the end of “California Love,” Dr. Dre asks the question we're all thinking: “Sacramento, where you at?” As of late, the inland town is on our radar for hip new shops, bars, and restaurants that fill the historic buildings of tree-lined Midtown.

One sassy men's site was thrilled to pronounce Sacramento "The New Oakland." Yet with warm weather, noteworthy grub, and the stately Capitol building looming in background, it might actually be "California’s Austin."


The Greens

Skip the corporate downtown chains and stay at this renovated mid-century motel in the up-and-coming Del Paso neighborhood. In lieu of numbers, its 27 rooms display large orange and red letters reminiscent of childhood refrigerator magnets (we’re not sure what room XXX entails). Tall, vine-covered walls and coded-entry gates give the succulent-filled grounds an air of seclusion. A small but pleasant pool area lends relief from the heat. In the morning, head next door to Southern-influenced Mama Kim Eats for a gut-busting Sunday brunch of smoked trout hash and crab benedicts over cheddar biscuits. // 1700 Del Paso Blvd., thegreenshotel.com


Old Gold

One of the new shops in the Warehouse Artist Lofts, Old Gold stocks a fashionable collection of boho chic apparel and vintage rock shirts that will take you through all three days of Outside Lands. // 1104 R St. Suite 110, shopoldgold.com

Photo courtesy of Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage

Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage

This hip record shop stocks bins of obscure 1960s garage, punk, and independent albums alongside mid-century modern furniture and vintage collectibles. It shares space with MediumRare Records & Collectibles which specializes in classic music of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. // 1104 R St. Suite 140, kicksvilleshop.com

Photo by Tina Jett

Scout Living

Don't miss this stylish den that is staged with a curated collection of mid-century furniture, vintage glassware, home decor, and a few random treausures from a handful of vendors. // 1215 18th St., scoutliving.com

Photo by Stephanie Rudy


This open-aired nook sheathed in reclaimed wood is a wonderland of pickles and preserves. Take home Sacramento-priced bottles of the shop's housemade sriracha, pickled beets, and the killer bloody mary mix that made them famous. // 1717 19th St. #B, preservationandco.com


Temple Coffee

Sacramento's beloved third-wave java producer has three stylish locations around town. Arrive early at the S Street locale to claim a spot on the coveted, trellised front patio. // 2829 S St, templecoffee.com


A sign next to the buzzer at Ruhstaller’s clandestine Downtown taproom instructs you to “ring for beer.” Once inside, a staircase descends into a cozy, masculine hideaway with pool table and tufted couches. But the real joy comes from visiting their hop farm in nearby Dixon. Haybales, wooden spool tables, rustic shelters and sunset campfires lend a magical setting. There's usually a food truck onsite and you can nab fresh-fruit popsicles from the adjacent Collins Farm stand. // 630 K St., ruhstallerbeer.com; 8949 Olmo Ln, Dixon, (530) 601-8240

Bottle & Barlow

“Get Loose, Stay Sharp” is the motto at this new bar-and-barbershop combo in the historic R Street warehouse district. Cocktails reflect Sacramento's warm climate and brighten up the modern, light-filled interior and lengthy outdoor patio. There's no food, but staff encourage you to bring in delicious handrolls and poke bowls from Fish Face next door. // 1120 R St., bottleandbarlow.com

Photo courtesy of Coin-Op Game Room

Coin-Op Game Room

Seek out this expansive, sub-street level space with more than 40 classic arcade games surrounding a central bar. Old-school favorites like Roadblasters, Simpsons, and AC/DC pinball sport handy cup holders for the huge selection of craft beers. Outside, a light-strung courtyard is set with picnic tables and oversized versions of Connect Four and Jenga. // 908 K St., coinopsac.com

Photo Courtesy of Shady Lady Saloon

Shady Lady Saloon

Hidden inside a historic masonry building, this unpretentious cocktail bar plays up the city's Gold Rush past with bordello chic interiors. Stretch out in big, comfy booths for classic cocktails and hearty, gastropub staples like a tasty fried chicken sandwich topped with vinegary slaw. // 1409 R St., shadyladybar.com


Devine Gelateria

Midtown’s pleasant sidewalks are kept cool by mature shade trees. When it’s time to cool down further, Devine is ready with a daily selection of rich, creamy gelato and icy sorbetto. // 1221 19th St., devinegelateria.com

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates

Four words: Macaron ice cream sandwiches. The delectable summer menu is up at this petite sweets boutique staffed by attendants in white smocks. // 1801 L St., Suite 60, gingerelizabeth.com

Federalist Public House

A lively crowd assembles for pizzas and pints at this modern beer garden comprised of white shipping containers, a bocce court and rooftop garden. Architect/owner Marvin Maldonado literally built the eatery in his backyard and named it for the style of his house. The wood-fired pies are fantastic, but don't overlook the tri-tip sandwich made on the same, crisped pizza dough. // 2009 Matsui Alley, federalistpublichouse.com

Photo courtesy of Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company

Grab lunch or dinner at this contemporary tavern housed in a renovated historic structure. Pair dishes from the Cal-Med menu—pizzas, salads, sandwicheswith shrub cocktails in the handsome dining room or shaded garden patio. // 1630 S St., hookandladder916.com


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