Best Bars To Celebrate Mardi Gras In Sacramento

February 7, 2013 5:00 AM


Mardi Gras comes around every year on Fat Tuesday. This year, Fat Tuesday is February 12, 2013, and the following morning begins Lent, a time of self denial. That is why it’s so important to party right in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. At least, that’s the theory behind the celebration on Bourbon Street in Louisiana. Sadly, not everyone can make it to the French Quarter this time of year, so certain other cities, like Sacramento, have made their own celebrations.



Fanny Ann’s Saloon
1023 2nd St.
Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 441-0505

Fanny Ann’s is a wonderland environment with staircases leading up and down to different bars and dance floors. It’s easy to get lost and separated from friends and even easier to forget which floor you are on or which way is up, as wagons, suitcases and any number of odd things hang from the ceilings. The drinks are more expensive here and the wagon wheel of discounts has, sadly, stopped turning. Still, Fanny Ann’s serves food, a full bar and very cold beer. And, there’s always somewhere to dance.

Related: Best Dance Clubs In The Sacramento Area

The Other Office
926 2nd St.
Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 444-2002

This is a secret hideaway of business men avoiding their wives, or at least that’s the angle being playing with the slogan, “If she calls, tell her you’re still at The Other Office.” This bar offers hoagies, hot subs, drinks and even salads. The lumpia is sensational. After eating or while holding your drink, you must check out the outdoor smoking area, the upstairs, the downstairs and the dance floor. You will be amazed at how much bigger the bar is than it seems.

River City Saloon
916 2nd St.
Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 443-6852

This bar is dark, meaning there is little to no light. Low lit bars have their place, especially as the night goes on. It’s the perfect bar for the last stop, and is right near the terminus of Old Town. It has a Wild West feel, decently priced drinks, and if the night has gotten out of hand, in the words of Aldous Snow, go there to “Stroke the furry wall.” All the walls are covered with velvet lattice work, giving it something special. The River City Saloon also serves sandwiches and it’s the only place around to get Old West Sarsaparilla.

Vega’s Night Club & Sports Bar
910 2nd St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 706-3502

The experience at Vega’s is about the closest one can get to a late-night stop in the French Quarter. That’s what makes it a must-visit during Old Sac Mardi Gras. A true dive bar, full of dark corners with a secluded back patio, Vega’s is home to a surging but secret music scene. Descend a dark staircase, enter a dank room and dance, dance, dance. Though this spot only serves beer and wine, the ambiance has just the right flavor for the evening. 

O’Mally’s Irish Pub
1109 2nd St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 492-1230

There’s no getting around it. O’Mally’s is a very dirty bar, especially the bar top. On the other hand, the people are friendly, it’s low pressure and beers are $2 (easily the best deal in town). Though surfaces are generally sticky, the kitchen is clean and the corned beef is epic and famous. The jukebox is pretty awesome too. Visit O’Mally’s early for dinner and return late when the funds are low. It’s a pub. Pub’s aren’t supposed to be “clean.”

Related: Gone Country: Best Southern-Style Bars In Sacramento


Laurel Hanson is a freelance writer uncovering Sacramento’s healthy food secrets in local restaurants, locavore havens, and even local foraging. Her work can be found on