Food & Drink

Want to get hungry? Check out the two Sacramento-area restaurants in Yelp’s Top 100

A compilation of some of the Sacramento restaurants that opened in 2018

This is an video compilation of The Sacramento Bee's visit to a few of the restaurants that opened in 2018. This list is not all-inclusive and will be updated throughout the year.
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This is an video compilation of The Sacramento Bee's visit to a few of the restaurants that opened in 2018. This list is not all-inclusive and will be updated throughout the year.

Yelp has released its annual Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. list, and two Sacramento-area eateries landed on this year’s list.

California landed 24 restaurants on the list, but only four are in Northern California. Along with Sacramento’s two nods, two Bay Area restaurants were recognized.

Mediterranean restaurants took the top spots in Northern California, with three of the four spots serving the cuisine.

The two Sacramento restaurants on the list are Wally’s Cafe in Rocklin, a Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant, and Guy’s For Lunch, a soup, salad and sandwich cafe in Roseville.

The two Bay Area nods were for Achilles, a halal, Mediterranean and middle Eastern restaurant in Santa Clara, and Big H Deli, a Mediterranean sandwich and shawarma spot in Fairfield.

Wally’s Cafe, Rocklin

Address: 2110 Sunset Blvd, Ste 600, Rocklin, 95765

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays.

The chicken shawarma is a popular item at Wally’s Cafe, a Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant in Rocklin, according to owner Walid Matar. The Cafe was 16th on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2019 list. Wally's Cafe

At No. 16 on the list is Wally’s Cafe in Rocklin. Reviews for the Lebanese restaurant say Wally himself is often there to greet guests (Wally is owner Walid Matar’s nickname), and the complimentary lentil soup and baklava that come with every order make the experience extra special.

The cafe has a five-star rating with 391 reviews.

“We feel proud of ourselves,” Matar said. “We’re trying our best to do our job right, giving the customers good food, and fresh.”

Matar said the restaurant shops for ingredients daily to make the food as fresh as possible for his customers.

“We try our best to treat them the way they deserve, and give them the service and food they deserve,” Matar said.

Wally’s Cafe in Rocklin is the restaurant’s second location. The first is in Emeryville, and Wally plans to open a third location, also in Rocklin, within a couple of months. The Emeryville location has landed on the Yelp Top 100 list twice before, Matar said.

Guy’s For Lunch, Roseville

Address: 1249 Pleasant Grove Blvd, Ste 150, Roseville, 95678

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sundays.

No. 99 on Yelp’s list is Guy’s For Lunch in Roseville. The soup, sandwich and salad restaurant has five stars with 408 reviews.

Yelpers commonly recommend the chili and say the customer service is always friendly. One reviewer called one of the sandwiches “life-changing.”

Guy’s for Lunch is open, as its name suggests, for lunch only.

Owner Guy Manwaring said he is “stoked” to make Yelp’s Top 100 this year. He says the level of service is one reason he believes his restaurant is so highly reviewed.

“It’s kind of like how your friends come over on Thanksgiving, you enjoy serving them … We care about experience, we care about guests,” Manwaring told the Bee over the phone from the restaurant.

“And we’re picky. For example, you order a complicated sandwich... my wife makes it look like a work of art. If a piece of lettuce is a tiny bit brown, we throw it out. If the bread is just a little too hard, we throw it out.”

Roseville-restaurant-mak (1).jpg
The NorCal sandwich is a popular item at Guy’s for Lunch in Roseville. The soup, salad and sandwich spot in Roseville made it on to Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2019 list. Guy's For Lunch

Reviewers also said that a unique experience at Guy’s is the “initiation shot.”

Guy said if a customer is in line and he hasn’t seen their face before, he’ll ask if they have been initiated. If they say no, he gives them a sample “shot” of his chili, which Manwaring says is one of the most popular items on the menu.

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Hannah Darden covers breaking news and feature stories for The Bee and is a political science and journalism student at Sacramento State. A Sacramento native, she previously worked as editor in chief of her community college newspaper, the American River Current.