Restaurant News & Reviews

Looking for a new place to eat? These 30 restaurants opened in 2018's first six months

Sacramento's restaurant scene continued to expand in the first half of 2018, from downtown steakhouses down to Asian restaurants off Stockton Boulevard.

These 30 restaurants all opened in Sacramento within the first six months of the year. Existing restaurants that opened near-identical iterations of their current work weren't included in this roundup, nor were eateries that opened in surrounding areas like Rancho Cordova or Arden Arcade.

  1. Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse (1322 V St.): Pangaea Bier Cafe founder Rob Archie and local beer aficionado Peter Hoey teamed up to serve barbecue and brew beer in a 17,000-square-foot facility with a large outdoor patio.

  2. Allora (5215 Folsom Boulevard): An Italian seafood restaurant owned by chef Deneb Williams, formerly of The Firehouse, and his wife, Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou, a sommelier who previously worked at Ella Dining Room and Bar.
  3. Mas Taco Bar (1800 15th St.): Brothers Mason, Curtis and Alan Wong opened this Mexican restaurant in the same building as one of their other enterprises, Iron Horse Tavern.

  4. Toasted (1424 14th St.): The toast bar offers slices piled high with toppings and coated in spreads such as chipotle pesto, almond butter and yes, mashed avocado.
  5. Alaro Brewing Co. (2004 Capitol Ave.): Alaro's grand opening on June 30 showed off the brewery's Spanish food and beers, including chorizo, croquettes and escalivada, a Catalonian eggplant dish.
  6. The Diplomat (1117 11th St.): This steakhouse replaced Chops across the street from the Capitol and offers $1 oysters during happy hours from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  7. Ming Dynasty (1211 Broadway): Bee food critic Kate Washington found this dim sum restaurant's strength was in its seafood, including scallop dumplings, lobster turnovers and shrimp-stuffed sticky rice balls.

  8. Orange Oven (2790 Stockton Blvd): Sacramento State nursing student Ateeq Rahman opened this halal restaurant where a former Orange Freeze stand used to be, and included fruit freezes on the menu along with gyro wraps and samosas.
  9. Wing's Restaurant (3653 J St.): Don't let the name deceive you: this East Sacramento eatery specializes in Chinese food, not chicken wings.
  10. Burgers & Brewhouse (1616 J St.): This three-story building houses Sacrament Brewing Co. in the basement and features a food menu with pizza and tacos, unlike the midtown Burgers & Brew.
  11. A Taste Above (7485 Rush River Dr., Suite 700): Located in the Promenade Shopping Center, A Taste Above's extensive menu carries Hawaiian, Chinese and classic American food.
  12. Lit Delhi (1129 11th St.): An Indian deli carved away in a downtown bodega, Lit Delhi sells pizzas and burritos made with naan as well as several vegan options.
  13. Celestin's (3610 McKinley Blvd.): The Cuban restaurant from husband-and-wife team Patrick and Phoebe Celestin has re-opened in East Sacramento after a seven-year absence.

  14. Hop Junction (7600 Greenhaven Drive, Suite 20): This 20-tap neighborhood bar from Bay Area commuter Jasdeep Purewal carries burgers, loaded fries and wings.
  15. Jyro's Twisted Gyros (1901 J St.): Former Dickey's Barbecue Pit franchisee Jared Katzenbarger closed the Texas-based chain's J street location in January to open up his own quick-service Greek restaurant a few weeks later.
  16. Rockin Crawfish (6666 Stockton Blvd.): This casual seafood restaurant previously opened in Concord, Oakland and San Pablo, and devotes a section of its menu to "sakitinis" — that is, martinis made with sake, lychee and flavored syrup.
  17. SweetHoney Dessert (6825 Stockton Blvd., Suite 240): The Hong Kong-style dessert shop also plans to open in Elk Grove and Davis, according to its website, after its soft opening in Sacramento on June 22.
  18. Star KTV Lounge (4543 Freeport Blvd.): This restaurant in a Hollywood Park strip mall has several different themed karaoke rooms and sells a range of noodle and skewer dishes.
  19. Pho 1920 (6175 Stockton Blvd, Suite 270): Noodle soups run $8.31 for a small bowl and $9.24 for a large at this Lemon Hill Plaza restaurant.
  20. Super Pan (900 15th St.): Customers can watch their meat and vegetables as they cook in this teppanyaki restaurant in the back of E Tea.
  21. Echo & Rig (500 J St.): This Downtown Commons restaurant ditched the classic shadowy steakhouse look in favor of sunlight shining through large windows.
  22. Real Pie Co. (2425 24th St., Suite A): Kira O'Donnell Babich closed her downtown pie shop 10 years ago, then reopened near Broadway this spring with an expanded menu and indoor seating.

  23. Poke Station (7600 Greenhaven Dr., Suite 22): The poke bar opened up two doors down from Hop Junction last month with eight kinds of fish and bowls ranging from $13-$17.
  24. Station 38 Cafe (3711 J St.): Station 16 co-owners Trinh Le and Minnie Nguyen opened a coffee-and-waffles joint in a brick-exterior building at the corner of 38th and J streets last month.
  25. 3 Hermanas (3260 J St., Suite B): Dora Saenz split from her siblings at Tres Hermanas and Three Sisters to open her own restaurant serving authentic Chihuahuan dishes last month.
  26. Backbone Cafe (729 J St.): The name for this wellness-oriented restaurant comes from co-owner and head chef Joey Woolston's two spinal fractures sustained in a 30-foot fall at Burning Man.
  27. Recess Cafe (1102 Q St.): Yelp reviewers rave about this small cafe's daily soup specials and hot sandwiches.
  28. Sac City Brews (3940 60th St.): This taproom in the Tallac Village Shopping Center offers variations on classic bar food as well as weekend brunch.
  29. Chocolate Fish Coffee (2940 Freeport Blvd.): Edie and Andy Baker's New Zealand-style cafe features alcoholic drinks and a toast bar in addition to coffee.

  30. O-Toro Sushi & Shabu (2131 J St.): Former Sakamoto Sushi owner David Leung remodeled the building, changed his partnership group and added Japanese hot pot before reopening his midtown restaurant.

Think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below, and stay on the lookout for more openings in July, including Beast + Bounty and TBar & Fusion Cafe.

The Bee's Benjy Egel is launching a new effort to cover Sacramento's dining and beer scene. Please send tips and story ideas by email at, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.

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