Best Slow Food in Sacramento

July 27, 2011 12:00 AM

(Photo Credit: Charlotte King)

By Charlotte King

Slow food celebrates the best of our local food system to ensure equity, sustainability, and pleasure in
the food we eat. Here we round up the best restaurants in the Sacramento area for the locavore and the
slow food fan.

mulvaneys bl charlotte king Best Slow Food in Sacramento

(Photo Credit: Charlotte King)

This place has become one of the local epicenters of fine dining with a local cuisine. From heritage hogs to his mother’s recipes, Patrick Mulvaney seeks to bring the wealth of food in the Sacramento area to the tables of his restaurant. Maintaining strong connections with local farms, urban farms, and butchers – it’s one of the few places where you can taste the best of California agriculture on the table. Try the Irish Brown Bread for a starter, it’s hearty flavor and array of garnishes whet any appetite.

Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30 – 10:00, Saturday 5:30 – 10:00

slowfood ella Best Slow Food in Sacramento

(credit: Ella Dining Room & Bar)

White linen tablecloths. Cool clean lines, rustic shutters, and beautiful food. This restaurant is pure East Hampton, NY wealth. From their drink list, to their locavore meets luxury menu, or their celebrity chef hosted dinners – Ella is a culinary hub of Sacramento for fine dining. If your feeling like you need to just sample this cool, clean treat check out their Happy Hour raw bar – nothing takes you out of “office mode” quicker than an oyster on the half shell and a dry martini.

Hours: Everyday at 11:30 a until late night

hot italian charlotte king Best Slow Food in Sacramento

(Photo Credit: Charlotte King)

Looking for a little slice of Italy? Loved that scene in Eat, Pray, Love where Julia Roberts indulges in a taste of Napoli? This is the place for you. This local pizza joint not only uses the best and brightest of local ingredients, but they are the personification of Italian culture in cuisine. From their gelato, to their vino, their Vespa displays to their beautifully crafted pizzas. Looking for an idea of what you’d be
eating? Their Bortalami consists of: tomato sauce, mushrooms, HOT ITALIAN fennel sausage, smoked mozzarella, and treviso radicchio.

Hours: Mon-Sat 7:30am-9pm

magpie cafe charlotte king1 Best Slow Food in Sacramento

Photo Credit: Charlotte King

A true local treasure. With fewer than 20 tables, and a line always out the door this place quietly screams it’s culinary presence. The restaurant is all stone, birch wood, and green in color. The cold case holding a trove of treasures is always stocked with meats, cheeses, and their freshly made salads, the open air kitchen is always a flurry of movement, and their clearly visible desert selection is to never be over-looked. A downtown favorite is the Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookie. From affordable and surprisingly delicious lunches to casually indulgent dinners, this place is one of the corner stones of Sacramento’s Slow Food movement.

Hours: Daily 7am-10pm
natural foods co op 2 Best Slow Food in Sacramento

Tempeh, seitan, and quinoa oh my! This is one of the healthiest places to eat in Sacramento, and by far one of the least expensive. They change the menu everyday, always offering new treats from pulled pork, to carrot raisin salad to sandwiches or Straus frozen yogurt – there’s something for everyone. Everything is completely all-natural, they are very strict about this, and there is always a option for every digestive need: from vegan to vegetarian, locavore to carnivore – this is a must try.

Hours: Tue-Thu 11am-2pm, 5pm-9pm;
Fri 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm;
Sat 5pm-10pm; Sun 5pm-9pm
slowfood waterboy Best Slow Food in Sacramento

Ever look for a place that matches your Cheer’s need for everyone to know your name, but also want to really impress your dinner date with your cosmopolitan dining experiences? Here’s your place. This small bistro-style restaurant serves some of the finest dining in all of the Sacramento Valley, and all with utter ease. A simple yet sophisticated menu, outstanding food, and superior yet approachable service are hallmarks of The Waterboy. Try the 5 Dot Ranch Steak Tartare with Crisp Potato Pancake and Horseradish Cream for an appetizer or the Almond Cake Fresh Berries & Mascarpone for dessert.

Charlotte King is an aspiring food photographer, and freelance food & wine writer in midtown
Sacramento. Find out more about her adventures at