2022 Update: This post captures a moment in time, pre-pandemic, and before we moved to Sacramento. I now have an always-updated list of the best places to eat gluten-free in Sacramento to help you make your visit to Sacramento a delicious one)
A few weeks ago, Lewis and I decided to make a weekend trip to Sacramento. I hadn’t visited our state capital in years, and Lewis had somehow never been. As a kid, I spent a lot of time there, usually in the middle of the Summer heat waves. Since then, the city has built a reputation as the farm-to-fork capital of the U.S., even hosting an annual farm-to-fork festival each Fall. With all this in mind, I was excited to see what the options were for eating gluten-free in Sacramento.
We chose to stay at The Sawyer, a new Kimpton property that opened about six months ago. It’s located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, next to the Golden One arena and the Downtown Commons shopping area. The location made it easy for us to walk around and enjoy Sacramento without the hassle of parking.
Restaurant Recommendations for Eating Gluten-Free in Sacramento
Punch Bowl Social
One of the big advantages of staying at The Sawyer is Punch Bowl Social is in the hotel. And I was pleasantly surprised at how many awesome gluten-free menu options they have, including fried chicken (NOTE: this location stopped making gluten-free fried chicken right before the pandemic closure). Do you know how difficult it usually is to find great gluten-free fried chicken!?!? And there it was, just casually available. In our hotel’s restaurant. Adjacent to skeeball and video games!
Since we had reservations for Grange in a few hours, we opted for a snack of the fully loaded nachos with carnitas, and a couple glasses of the house specialty punch cocktails. It’s lively any time of day, but can get pretty crowded on weekend evenings. We’ll definitely be hitting it up any time we visit so we can report back on the fried chicken.
Fat City Bar & Cafe (Now Closed)
It’s not a visit to Sacramento without a stroll through Old Sacramento. We timed our visit to hit up brunch at Fat City Bar & Cafe. Although they don’t have a gluten-free menu, there were plenty of gluten-free brunch options. Our waiter made sure to double-check with the cook that the dishes our table ordered would be safe for me to eat. I opted for the corned beef hash, while Lewis went with the special omelette. It was a quick and fresh breakfast that fueled us up for more exploring in the Old Sac shops. They serve food throughout the day, and tend to be less crowded than the delta-facing restaurants which is a plus.
I wanted to have dinner at one of the new crop of farm-to-table restaurants, and Grange more than fits that bill. From my crispy pig’s ear salad (which is crusted in a dusting of cornmeal), to my Spring risotto and Lewis’ lamb, local seasonal produce was front-and-center. I would have liked to see more gluten-free dessert options, but let’s be frank: as soon as I hear they had both a strawberry and a rhubarb sorbet I was obviously going to have that, given my well-documented obsession with those flavors.
During our recent dinner at @dinegrange I was excited to see two of my favorite flavors—strawberry and rhubarb—on the dessert menu in the form of sorbets. It was fun to have the sharp #rhubarb flavor on its own for a change. #foodblog #foodblogger #foodbloggers #droolclub #foodphotography #foodporn #forkyeah #goodeats #instafood #foodiesofinstagram #foodinstagram #Sacramento #icecream #glutenfree #Dessert #Desserts #DessertPorn #DessertOfTheDay #Sweets #IceCream
More Options for Eating Gluten-free in Sacramento
When you’re only in town for a weekend, you don’t get to every place on your list. Here are a few of the other gluten-free friendly establishments we plan to try on our next visits to Sacramento:
Just for Fun
The focal point of Dive Bar is a huge aquarium above the bar, where you can occasionally spot a mermaid. We were there for one of her sightings and it was worth the wait. Plus we had some very tasty cocktails to sip as we waited. If you get a chance, check it out. And don’t forget to tip your mermaid!
Coin-up reminds me of the arcade I frequented as a kid. It’s got a ton of classic arcade games and pinball machines but there are no kids allowed because there’s also a huge bar. We were stuffed from dinner, so we just partook of the games. Lewis was pretty good at the Walking Dead pinball machine.
The only way it could be improved is by the addition of some skeeball. But you can’t have everything, right?
Know of any great gluten-free restaurants I should check out next time I’m in Sacramento? Let me know in the comments!